Perception

My recent hospital visit really played into the narrative I have recently opened; that is to say that it did little to dissuade myself that I am indeed a FUS (a fucked up shithead). It may be difficult to do so, but please don’t argue with me on this. I know what it is and the key to my functioning is to be completely honest with myself.
A myriad of emotions are bustling within me. For starters, I’m embarrassed and concerned about the long-term ramifications of my recent hospital stay. Will future doctors treat me differently based on the nature of my last stay? Will I be taken seriously in my quest for treatment of whatever malady(ies) are next for me?
Why is that my initial assumption would be that people will think less of me, especially if they are part of my circle? Am I wrong in my assumption that people just look at you differently once they hear the words “psych ward”? Why would I think that those closest to me wouldn’t understand and support me? After all, most people that I have spoken to, doctors mostly, thought very little of the details of the situation and focused instead on immediately trying to get me into a better place.
I have told more people in my blog about the details of my last hospital than I have in my circle. My closest friends know all of the details, amazingly my family does not. My and oldest daughter is my health care proxy and she and my mother made the decision not to tell my other 3 children. They know that I was in, they just don’t know the details. I suppose I will tell them when I am ready but for now I will maintain my strict policy of not making people worry about me.
To the best of my analytical ability, and I am surprisingly adept in that area, I believe that is my biggest problem and the root of many of my issues. I am not honest with people when they ask me how I am and therefore it always turns about to be a little worse than expected when I do fall.

I’ve always been a believer in the old adage “when someone asks you how you are say fine, at the end of the day they don’t give a shit”. It’s harsh but there’s a grain of truth to it. Greetings are formalities and should be treated as such. I have always taken it a bit farther when it comes to admitting that I am not doing well, I smiled and acted fine. So when I did break down it was always worse than everyone thought.
Lately, fine was not happening. I was sick and my resolve to deny that dialysis was kicking the shit out of me was gone. I reached out to my doctor’s and they didn’t respond to my liking. So I tried to force their hands to treat me medically under threat of force.

I’m not crazy, I just fucked up. But this time I hurt the ones around me. Not only do I have to carry that around with me, but the pain is still there. The insomnia is still there. The memories of the outrageous, uncharacteristic and very dangerous thoughts that ran through my mind in which I vividly imagined every conceivable scenario in which I would end my life are still there. Now compounded by an unimaginable and insurmountably heavy sense of guilt for forgetting that there are people in my life that care for me, people who would miss me if I were to commit such an act.
Maybe that guilt would be less intimidating if I finally admitted that I am not doing as great as my fake smile and false assurances would suggest. Do they even want to know what it takes for me to get out of bed in the morning?

I hope I shake this darkness and never fall down this rabbit-hole again.


rock bottom

Well, you finally did it, dumbass. Look where you are now“.
The intercom crackled, “Sir, are you talking to us?”. I looked up at the dark globe that contained the all-seeing camera. “No, I’m talking to myself”. Just for the hell of it I screamed “Get me out of here!”
But I wasn’t going anywhere. See, when you tell your doctor that you plan on harming yourself, this room with no doorknobs, a TV encased by plexiglass and a communal bathroom with no toilet seat with which to bludgeon yourself to death, this is where you end up.

I was cold. The sweat-soaked flimsy hospital blanket did next to nothing. I spent almost 18 hours tucked in the fetal position and waiting for the sound of the big key in the big lock that may bring someone, fucking anyone that may talk to me about what was next. I was alone with my thoughts and those thoughts were dark, foreboding, scary as fuck and wholly, entirely unlike me. Thoughts of harming myself consumed me. Occasionally, the rational version of me broke through the morass and attempted to set me right, reminding me that I have so much to live for.
Think of your kids…
Your mom…
Your friends…
They will never forgive you. All of them. Mom just can’t take another loss and the kids would never get over it. Suicide is selfish, you just pass the pain on to someone else.
Yet here I was. Consumed by the darkest thoughts a man could have. I couldn’t shake it. Death called to me as a viable release from the pain.

13 hours later, at 3 AM I was transferred to my room. A burly security guard with too many tattoos and kind eyes inventoried my belongings. I could have my shoes, but no laces. My beloved Templar cross and chain was bagged and tagged. As he explained the rules and regs of the behavioral unit I glanced through the security window to the ward that awaited me. Nothing beckoned to me as welcoming. I asked the guard, half serious, if it was too late to retract my statement.
“Sir, when you say you want to harm yourself, shit gets serious.”

I had dug myself a big ol’ hole. I needed to find a way to play this. The end game was to get the everlovin’ fuck out of there. I’m not a danger to myself and nobody here is going to believe me. All I knew is that once this ward came to life in a few hours I needed to actively pursue my exit strategy. I knew there would be fallout from family and friends, but therein lay the problem. I’ve been so concerned about everyone else in my life that I failed to take care of me. Now I was broken, and at that moment when I was escorted into the booby hatch I had never been in a lower place.

How do you explain to someone that you love that you’ve lost your will to live? That life no longer gives you joy. How do you tell someone that you are in pain and sleepless and the demons of insomnia are putting bad ideas in your head and you would give fucking anything for the pain to stop, if only for a day. Maybe it’s my fault for smiling when I really felt like wincing. Maybe I should tell people the truth about how I feel and how well I’m coping. Maybe I should cut the damn act and get some help. How are my family and friends supposed to know what is happening if I can’t even be honest with myself…?

“Sir, we have your daughter on the phone…”, a heavy-set nurse was standing at the foot of my bed. I looked out my postage stamp of a window. In the absence of clocks I surmised that it must be about 8. I had finally fallen asleep after 3 just brutal days of insomnia.
“Where can I use a phone?” I asked.
Nurse Ratched motioned for me to follow her. I found a phone with the receiver dangling in the hallway. The cord was only long enough to use while stooped over. I picked up.
“Britt. I made a huge mistake.” Fighting back tears I choked into the phone. “Please get me out of here.”
Time was up. I hung up the phone and went back to my room, curled up into the fetal position again and didn’t move for hours. What had I done with my life… ?


funk

I am easily in the worst funk I have ever been in.

The cold and short windows of sunshine always affect me but this year is by far the worst with regards to being down. I think I’m clinically depressed. I’ve let my appearance go. I hate showering because the bathroom is so damn cold. I’m always tired. I don’t answer the phone when most people call. I constantly call on myself to snap the fuck out of it but I can’t. The visceral reactions I once had to my hyper self-aware moments are just not there. The days in which I feel good no longer outnumber the bad. I reach inside for the strength and it’s not there.

There are so many things that I want (ed?) to do. Bucket list stuff. Skydive. Travel in a RV cross country and embrace my inner Kerouac. Ride my motorcycle, one of the things that makes me happier than anything. At least it used to. Write a novel. Get my own place. Fall in love.

Now that one I can say happened. But to what end?

My girl is not mine. But I love her. She belongs to another man. Yes, there is a possibility that she will leave him one day. In the meantime I’m hanging around, like a cinder-block around her neck, trying not to influence her in one of the biggest decisions of her life-to leave and start anew. Hopefully with me. The whole thing really is a “hopefully”. In addition to all of her potential adjustments in her own relationship I’m sure at some point she will ask if she needs another man in her life, and more importantly is it going to be me?

The one thought that dominates my psyche is can I be enough for her? I don’t have money. I don’t have my own place. The love in my heart and my dreams of a new and fresh start don’t seem very reasonable when I can barely get out of bed some days.
Sadly, I feel I’ve led her on. Not in the sense that I am not who I say I am. Instead, I feel that in my quest for normalcy I indicated that I was ready for a relationship. I now question whether I can. I can barely take care of myself, can I be enough for her?

All of these thoughts race through my head and I barely have the energy and will to process them, never mind act on them.

I’m in a bad place.