I’m on a roll…why quit now…time to get real

I feel like I’m waking up from hibernation.  If there are any regular readers (the four of you know who you are), you will recognize that I have had a long drought in writing here since I got back from my big trip last summer.  Well, it is true…all sorts of shit happened…and I quit posting for a while.  But I’m back, for better or worse.

in my life, I have been through mild depression, and moderate depression, and severe depression, and even holy-shit-you’re-thinking-about-killing-yourself depression, but what happened last fall was the first time that really scared the ever-living shit outta me (yes, it was even scarier than holding a knife to my wrist and ever-so-gently slicing into the skin when I was in grad school; that wasn’t that bad because I knew i was testing myself and wouldn’t really do it).  On top of the usual depression, last fall I had crazy anxiety attacks..like I constantly thought I was having a heart attack.  When I say constantly, I mean like almost continuously.  I was sure I was a goner…and this lasted for two months.  At best, a heart attack; at worst, i was simply crazy (or perhaps those should be reversed)?

Not only did I have a string of nights where i couldn’t sleep and couldn’t stop myself from picturing myself dead (sometimes but not always from self-inflicted causes), I had constant thoughts of how I would do…well…it…as in that nice little Honda generator that I got for camping, along with a lot of prescription and OTC pills, and of course, lots of alcohol to smother what was happening…would be the end of me.  I didn’t have a conscious desire to end my life…but, even scarier to my conscious mind, there was a subconscious longing to just make all of this shit go away…with some pills and some alcohol and some carbon monoxide and some pillows in the bathtub so it would be comfortable and some tarp plastic underneath so I would be easy to clean up;  yeah…I was at the point where I had imagined a “plan” but had not quite yet set that “plan” in motion…

Thankfully, even with all of that, I still had the will to live…to fight…to get better…and in the end, that WILL is all you really need to survive (thank the Universe). I knew that I needed help fast, and I sought it out, going through several doctors until I got myself into a two-week intensive outpatient treatment (the second time in my life so far).  The two weeks was spent in group therapy, and half of the people in the group were there because they had attempted or threatened suicide.  I’m much better off for going through this, and as far as i know, so is everyone else; I keep in touch with several people from that two weeks, and they are all hanging in there.

For my part, it was a re-awakening to the goodness of other people.  I had become incredibly withdrawn and isolated.  i had convinced myself I was a “loner”.  (I am indeed at times, even when I’m healthy, but that is not me always).  I had lost touch with myself and with others.  Those two weeks gave me back my life.

Slowly, since then, I have been expanding my horizons and pushing my comfort zone(s).  I have been attending a liberal church off and on, that has super nice and accepting people there.  I have joined a tennis league, and although I did go to the E.R. one night because of heart palpitations during a tennis match (due, as far as anyone can tell, to anxiety) , I haven’t died from exercising (or anything else) yet.  I sent out my first dick pics today, because, well, why the fuck not?

I keep trying to tell the anxiety to “fuck off”.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  Each time I try, though, gives me some more strength, more courage, more determination, and more control.  I WILL outlast this shit.

I promise you, if you have never been through REAL depression or anxiety, you have no idea what it is like.  It sucks, no doubt about it.  But it is something that, Universe willing, we can learn to do better with.

I am doing better.  I am getting better.  And I can’t imagine now how I ever could have imagined what I was imagining…if that makes sense.  From my now, I can’t imagine ever wanting to hurt myself, because life is too good…certainly more good than bad…and worth the living!

BTW, if anyone ever reads this and is thinking about suicide, i can promise that things can get better…please call 911 right now…your life is worth living I promise you, even if you can’t see it at the moment.  In my experience, it is usually through the worst of times that we start to understand how strong we really are and the ways that we can help others in this life…please get help and find your path forward.

Metta to all beings, especially those that are struggling…may you find peace in this world and the next.  There is nothing is more precious than life itself…please be kind to yourselves and others.

–Keith

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