Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I'm almost scared to say this, but I think I'm getting better...

I've made it through four days of "real" work and haven't ended up in the ER. Not to say it hasn't been rough, there were periods of extreme distress dispersed throughout the past two weeks, but the amount of time spent in crisis-mode is getting (slowly) smaller.

During one particularly dark time I found myself simply googling "suicide" in search of any hint of light. One site had something that stuck with me, so I went back to it tonight...

Although I'm getting better, I feeling like I'm taking the rugged backroads to get there. According to this article,

Suicidal people meet the formal criteria for PTSD...Many of us are haunted by memories of acute crises, acts of self-injury, or extended periods of severe depression. Like citizens of a besieged city, we lived through periods of time in which we had a realistic and unrelenting fear that we would soon be dead. We suffer PTSD simply from having been suicidal, independently of whatever particular traumas may have contributed to our becoming suicidal, such as abuse during childhood or exposure to the violent death of someone else. Our “suicide PTSD” is also distinct from whatever traumatic events may happen as a result of being suicidal, such as involuntary hospitalization or job discrimination. Undoubtedly, most of us suffered many types of traumatic events in our lives, and these events and their consequences need to be addressed in recovery. But the suicidal crises themselves may be events that induce PTSD.

It goes on to list common conditions of those who suffer this suicidal PTSD, several are more real to me than I'd like:

  • Problems with memory.
  • Avoidance of things associated with the traumatic experience.
  • Persistent anxiety.
  • Fear that the traumatic situation will recur.
  • A feeling of being powerless over the traumatic event. Anger and frustration over being powerless.
  • A feeling of being helpless about one’s current condition.
  • Being dramatically and permanently changed by the experience.
  • An inability to experience the joys of life.
  • Feelings of being alienated from the other people and society in general. “I am different. I am shameful. If they knew what I was like, they would reject me. I don’t belong in this world. I’m a freak, an outcast.”
  • When people with PTSD try to return to normal life, they are plagued by readjustment problems in the basic elements of life. They have difficulties in relationships, in employment, and in having families.
  • Left with unexpressed rage against those who were indifferent to their situation and who failed to help them.
  • In personal relationships there are problems of dependency and trust. A fear of being abandoned, betrayed, let down. A belief that people will be hurtful if given a chance. Feelings of self-hatred and humiliation for being needy, weak, and vulnerable. Alternating between isolation and anxious clinging.
  • No sense of having a future, or, the belief that one’s future will be very limited.
  • Loss of self-confidence, and loss of feelings of mastery and competence.

A lot of the time I just don't know what to do...I've forgotten how to be a real person. Mentally, I can think of where to go and what to do, but emotionally, its like I'm paralyzed. I lie in bed and try to will myself to do something, anything, but I'm completely overwhelmed so I don't move. Yesterday, when I straightened my hair and put on makeup before work I felt so victorious. Its not overcoming laziness, its prying myself out of death's grip and falling into the realness of reality, where tasks are manageable and time does not stand still.

Today has been a partial success. I was supposed to work until five, so I didn't worry much about this evening and how I'd occupy myself, but they sent me home around two-thirty. I got two quasi-major errands out of the way and finally took care of some stuff online...then I laid in bed for two hours. I spent another two hours telling myself to eat something and plan a laundromat trip...paralyzed...

I want to be normal...I want to be functional, or at least be able to blame my lack of activity on laziness.

This is ugly. Reality/alternate reality is ugly. If you read all this ugliness, you're a rockstar. Excuse me, I have to go be overwhelmed now...

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