***Warning. This post is pretty intense in places with talk of Suicide and other triggering topics.***
This post could quite easily become one big cliché. I don’t intend it too but I am going to explain what has gone on over the past couple of weeks.
I want to say that men bottling things up is a misconception that I would never fall into, but the past two or three weeks have proved that I too am just as guilty as the next (literal) man. I always thought that I communicated my feelings to my family well. I thought they were on top of things when I was in a funk.
This past Wednesday proved that wrong. In the most heart breaking way possible.
My mood had been going down more and more since I had the cold I mentioned in my last post. By the time I got to a week last Wednesday I was at the start of the worst week I had had for a hell of a long time. I started getting random suicidal thoughts here and there and as the week went on they became ever more encompassing. It went from the odd thought of taking too many pills to the worst point of actually slicing every major vein in my body to get the job done as quickly as possible. I hated myself with so much venom that in hindsight I surprised myself. I say hindsight, I am not out of the woods yet, I am just trying to put this down now at a point where my head will let me.
On Tuesday of this week I rang up to yet again to tell the Creative Arts Group that I wouldn’t be there again. I was actually terrified of leaving the house on my own in fear of what my fucked up head would try and make me do. Whilst I was on the phone I asked to speak to my CPN. He wasn’t available then but I was told he would call me back as soon as he could. I waited until after 3pm (over 5 hours since my call to the originally) I called back just in case the message hadn’t gotten to him (it wouldn’t be the first time.) My CPN came on the phone and I started to explain what was going on and how bad a state I was in. As is usual, we went through my prescription and it turns out I was on to high a dose of my Anti Depressant. TOO HIGH A DOSE. He couldn’t understand why my prescription that I get filled every two months was for a dose that had been changed in March. He said he would call my GP and see if he could find out. He would call me back.
At this point Linda starts going through past prescriptions both online and in paper format.. we couldn’t see or recall a change being made. Whilst Linda was going through the Online prescription ordering site, she noticed that the dosage had changed. In that short space of time, my surgery had changed the prescription My CPN called back after speaking to my GP and informed me that I should reduce the dosage immediately top the prescribed 6mg. So in reality, I am at the end of my tether and he wants me to REDUCE the amount of the drug that is supposed to be helping me beat depression. He couldn’t make any other changes as he wasn’t qualified to do so and the consultant wasn’t there until tomorrow.. so he couldn’t do much of anything until speaking with her on Wednesday morning. He asked if I was OK with this and could I guarantee my safety until he called back on Wednesday after 12pm. I had no choice but to say I suppose I will try. All I wanted to do was scream obscenities at him, but what would that do.. probably get my care withdrawn.
I related the conversation to Mum and Linda and they took charge pretty much.
Tuesday night was long and painful.
Wednesday, I got a call around 1.30pm from my CPN. He asked if I could go to the hospital to see him as soon as possible. Linda was already at the hospital for a Physio appointment so I made arrangements for her to wait there whilst I got a taxi to the hospital at 2pm.
I am not going to go into detail about the whole meeting as this bloody post is getting away from me already. In short he wanted the full history of what I THOUGHT had caused this current mood swing. When I had a brain blank and couldn’t remember the fact that I thought the hearing loss resulting from the cold thing had triggered this off, he (semi) laughed at me because in his mind if something is causing such overwhelming distress and thoughts of suicidal ideation then he was sure I would remember what it was. He went through a list of triggers (which he thought “had” to explain to me what triggers were) of common causes of depression. The first one he mentioned was illness and then my mind kicked back into gear and I remembered the hearing loss. I went on to explain to him about the cold and the after effects.
Whilst going through the list of triggers Linda’s health got bought up. Linda has Arthritis and degenerative spine disease among other things. One thing led to another (my mind is a bit fuzzy about the details) but she ended up in tears. I recall trying to explain how her ESA benefits were coming to an end in a few weeks and the fact that she has been refused DLA and money troubles, whilst not at this moment a big deal (as far as living on benefits can get you) I was getting more and more stressed out.
In my experience whenever you mention Suicide to a Mental Health professional they ALWAYS want to know HOW you you’re going to kill yourself. I explained how I would do it in general terms to start off with but then he asked why again and I think I must have flipped a little because I got quite animated and explained how much I hated myself and I had never hated myself as much as I did at this point in my life.. that was until I looked to my left and looked at Linda.
She looked like she had been hit by a train and she was crying.
Shame took over, but I was still railing. I was ashamed but so fucking angry.. my mouth wouldn’t stop. It wasn’t until my hand instinctively moved to hers that my mind drain and I shut the fuck up. She explained that she had no idea I was in this much pain and no clue that what I had just spat out was going on. I hadn’t been talking. I had bottled everything up. They knew I was pretty depressed (later Mum said that she had gotten hints that I was suicidal in some ways).
I hated myself. I mean I felt bad before, but in that moment that self pitying depression went away for a moment and turned into a shame that I could hurt the woman I married for better or worse the one that chose me because she wanted me and wanted to share her life with me. I felt like pond scum. This totally honest reaction was adding to the pain I was feeling, BUT I think it might have been the implosion of a germ that started me onto a small path of recovery.
Depression makes you it’s bitch, everything becomes about how much you hate yourself and how much the world hates you. When I get depressed I lose all sight of reality (I would imagine that it’s the same for many people). Linda sparked that reality check. Whilst it’s not a massive fix and I still feel pretty bloody awful now, I know I am not alone and I can talk to someone.
Back to the CPN.. After Linda had calmed down a little my CPN had said that my Consultant had wanted to change about some medication. I was to decrease the Anti Depressant to 4mg (that’s half of what I had been on since AT LEAST November of last year) and increase the Depakote to 1Gram twice a day to compensate for the loss in AD. We had a conversation about drugs doing more than one job.. I tuned out he started using words that originated in Ancient Greece and he lost me.. he always does it.. I have learned to take the important bits from the waffle. I pretty much gave up the fight and just resigned myself to taking the drugs they suggested.
My CPN is away at University next week (he is studying to become a prescribing nurse). I asked what I should do if things didn’t improve or got worse over the weekend or next week.. he said to call in to speak to someone on Duty during “office” hours (we all know how well our mentalness sticks to strict timings). I kind of knew that.. it was the out of hours situation I was worried about. In the past I have been told to go to A&E first and at other times I have been told to call the local out of hours doc and at other times I have been told to call the Crisis team. I wanted clarification on the matter for THIS period of time. He said the Crisis team. He gave me the number again (I have such a shit time at keeping numbers I am supposed to keep handy… handy), it’s now in my phone and also in Lindas and Mums. Everyone is on the same page.
We left after making an appointment for me to go back and see him a week on Wednesday.
Linda and I went outside and both lit up cigarettes and sat there thinking to ourselves. For me.. it was trying to find a way to say sorry for upsetting her so much. The word “Sorry” just didn’t seem to cut it, it felt like a redundant empty word that I say every time I screw something up, from forgetting to put the chicken in the oven to scaring her half to death. Even four days later, after the fact that we have hashed things out and I have promised to be more open and to talk if things get to much, sorry still seems like a pathetic thing to say in such a situation.
So now.. four days on I am trying to make each day better than yesterday if it’s only by a little squeak. I had a little blip Friday night where I didn’t sleep, but little steps. Today is the first time since the end of April where I have been able to write anything substantial (I don’t claim it to be good) and now I am at the end of the post I can honestly say “I feel better than I did at 6pm when I started writing this post.”
I said this post could become a cliché.. well here it comes. If you’re depressed, suicidal even just a bit down in the dumps.. for all things good and true TALK TO SOME ONE. Don’t make the same mistake I made and let it get way to far out of hand. Find someone you trust and spill your guts to them. They will thank you for still being there tomorrow.
Not a bad end to the day.
Until Next Time…