Last week I asked a friend to pray that I could be at peace with either dealing with the suicidal things at home or that I could be at peace going back to the hospital. In response he prayed that I be at peace with not hurting myself. And very soon I was. It's not all gone, I think about it daily but unlike last week I have not done anything worrisome or really even thought anything too awful. That is a wonderful break. In fact tonight at my class I even smiled and sort of joked as I talked about the reason I'm knitting is because it turns out if you have a lot of knowledge about meds and you have chosen one to harm yourself with they tend to not let you have meds. It was funnier to me because I know about the entire locked box and the procedure Dr. Mind and I go through every week to get my meds to me safely. But the best part? A week ago both Dr. Mind and I thought I may have to be hospitalized. Today was the first time he has forgotten to ask me if I'd been thinking bad things since I was in the hospital and he started the new routine on the phone. I was gone before I realized that I was good enough to make him forget.
I am feeling better. There's a long, long way to go, but I feel more like myself than I have in so long I can't even name it. I still cry every day but today I laughed, more than once. It actually sounds strange to hear myself laugh. It wasn't manic laugh either. I feel somewhat manic but this was just laughing. It was also a few times with Dr. Mind when I was talking about unimportant things and was relaxed and talked about something completely non-urgent.
I also was finally able to bring up my greatest fear today: what happens now? I have no idea. I know we hope that I get to feel like myself again. But I don't know if that's even realistic. I know that eventually we back off on all the intense support. Someday we go back to once a week visits to Dr. Mind and I will control my meds again. Someday I won't cry every day and I really hope that SOON I quit crying without noticing. Dr. Mind tells me this is a way I'm protecting myself but I am constantly wondering if I'm crying in public, again, without noticing.
In the last 6 weeks or so there have been 2 times in Dr. Mind's office that have really stuck in my head as crucial points in what I was dealing with. One of them was maybe 3 weeks ago when my sobbing finally got out the words to tell him that I was so ashamed of myself for the suicidal stuff, that I knew I had promised him one thing ever and that was to tell him if I felt that way and I always had, but then I got to a danger point and I hadn't. At this point every drop of fear and horror at my own thinking and plotting and avoiding the truth came out and I sobbed and sobbed. He let me cry and I have no idea what he looked like because I couldn't see, but for a long time I cried and cried and he kept telling me over and over "oh no, no,no. Don't think that. No, no, that's not how it is." After a long while he told me that I didn't ever need to worry about bringing it up, that he would ask and I had to only say yes or no. This is, of course, inaccurate, because if I say yes then I have a whole bunch more questions to answer, but it is a lot easier and has then made it easier for me to bring up when there was a big episode that needed prioritized. Someday we need to talk about suicide out of the context of my feeling like it, but we may have to do that sooner because I need to talk about it before my class gets to that topic. I have no idea if I wrote about the day in the hospital that I said "I'm suicidal" aloud. The day before I had said a few times I didn't want to live, and then ultimately written out the suicide thing for the nurse. It was the 23rd and for a bit there were only 3 of us on the unit. We had an art therapy group and for much of it only 2 of us were there. We started talking and the words finally, finally came out, how I would rather die than face the end of my career. I talked a LOT in that group and so did the other woman, so much that it went on for something like 3 hours. After that I said it a lot while I was in the hospital and it got easier to say and to live with. But with Dr. Mind and Dr. Brain it was a whole other ballpark because I knew that I handled it badly with both of them. Apparently not being able to talk about being suicidal is forgivable, but I am still not comfortable.
The other time, which had a lot to do with the shift now, was last week. We'd been through did I need to be in the hospital, what he was going to use as the criteria for pushing it (which I didn't absorb and keep forgetting to go back to), and the ongoing "what has happened to my life and i don't want this" that made up a lot of my life since the sudden understanding I'd be making enormous changes that were more permanent than I'd let myself accept. (And thank God I as I just now learned my longterm disability through work was denied and it's much better to have my claim in week 2 than for it to be started tonight. One thing I have learned is that if you come to a realization there is even a SLIGHT chance you may be heading for SSDI or SSI apply immediately for benefits. It's easier to undo a claim than to wait for approval. If you're in supreme denial as I was this doesn't work, but I could have easily applied in November following the terrible job I did trying to go back.) Anyway, after I'd cried for over an hour off and on he decided to pray with me. We seem to do that when something is huge, and we prayed for a very long time, maybe 10 or 15 minutes? I don't know what all he said, but I do know that he was emotional as well.
Those 2 prayers were accompanied by many more that I don't know about specifically, and others that were carefully written here in my comments. And I have been getting a tiny bit better since. I think today is the first time that I thought I may feel good again. I still need to ask if I will ever feel like me again, and what they feel will be a reasonable prognosis at this time, but that's for my next session. Actually he said we'd do that in small pieces every session for a while so I'm guess I'm not going to enjoy some of the answer. But really nothing can be as bad as losing so much of my identity with my career. Two huge losses at the same time have to be worse than learning I may not feel great again until there is a chance for a new medication.
So, for tonight, a little happiness from a freezing cold (I think because I'm emotionally drained; class was intense tonight) Jen.