Suicidality Isn’t Normal

Last thought for the day…

While I was browsing articles last night such as “How to Convince Yourself Not to Commit Suicide,” I came across a very interesting point. It kind of blew my mind.

“Wanting to kill yourself is not normal. It may feel normal because you have lived with the ideality for so long. But it is not normal.”

What? You mean everyone else around me isn’t constantly thinking about how’d they off themselves? This isn’t NORMAL?!

Is it just me? This seriously shocked me.

Fugitive

I feel helpless. I am overwhelmed. I am exhausted and I don’t want to deal with anything right now.

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Last night I visited my former college- apparently. I woke up and thought I had dreamed the entire night. No… I- or someone- actually went. I climbed the building that I almost jumped off of 6 years ago and I went to the place where I was raped. The campus felt like home in a strange way… familiar. I hadn’t stepped on the grounds since 2010. I think to myself that I should be over it. Why the fuck aren’t I over it? Haven’t I ruminated about the incidents enough to where it should be kicked out of my system?

I’m frustrated. I don’t know how to talk to anyone, which sounds silly. I can feel myself closing up. I don’t know how to talk about what’s going on in my head.

Ramble, ramble, ramble.

I’m angry. I’m upset with my family, with men, I’m upset that my childhood is a collage of trauma. I feel like I’m losing my grip on everything. A very big part of me wants so badly to take another leave and go back to the hospital, or intensive therapy to get through this. The waves of suicidality are intense. When the pain comes around, it is nearly unbearable. I’m losing time, losing memory. Don’t get me wrong, I have good days and moments. But when the bad ones come, fuck.

I know it’s entirely my fault, but I’m slacking on work again. My life, it’s just a whirlwind of unorganized particles drowning me.

It gets so fucking loud. Voices, constantly.

I am surrounded with functioning people and it only makes me feel lonelier, more inadequate, and isolated. I don’t care anymore to hear about trivial things or problems at work. I want someone to notice and validate that I feel really fucking sick. Oh, you had a shitty night because someone didn’t snapchat you? I’m sorry…. that’s really rough. FUCK.

I want to curl up tightly beneath the sheets and just be HELD. I want to be enveloped without worrying about eating, or being awake. I need to break down and reset.

I really, really want to get on a leave again. I don’t think I can. But I feel the ground shaking again. My stability is being threatened. I have been feeling really young and it’s not Senka, it’s not Dee.

So there, there I said it. I unloaded a bit of what’s going on through my head.

I am exhausted. I HATE not remembering things. I HATE knowing that I’m dissociating with little to no recollection of what I’m up to. I hate it. It’s either I deal with my shit now, or I continue to push it under the rug and self-medicate with opiates and alcohol and starvation. Both are hell.

DID- a Personal Interview

I’ve been wanting to write an update, but every time I sit at my keyboard, I lose focus and have no idea where to start.

I’m okay. Things are better. I’m more stable. I have a new psychiatrist. I have a new scrip for Buspirone. My mom is talking to me. I haven’t been feeling the need to swallow a bunch of pills to kill myself. Work is going well. My social life is going well. The system is okay- though we are working through something at the moment.

Everything is okay.

I didn’t want to just leave a paragraph update, so I decided to post an interview regarding DID  that I recently did (which the article itself will hopefully be published within the next couple months!).

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Age:
24

Location:
California, USA

What’s your current profession?
I currently work in HR. When I’m not bustling around the office floors, I’m writing. I recently published my first book ever! It’s called, Solipsist, and it is a collection of confessional poetry that I’ve been writing during my journey in therapy. (Self promoting! It’s available on Amazon and on Kindle!)

When were you diagnosed with DID? What was your journey up to your diagnosis like?
I was diagnosed in the early summer of 2015. Before that, I had been diagnosed with both Bipolar I when I was 16 and Schizoaffective Disorder when I was 22. I struggled a lot with the latter. I had checked myself in to outpatient services once I was hearing malicious voices. It was really intense, frightening, and confusing. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and the misdiagnoses of SAD really set me back a little bit. It was difficult.

When did your different alters start to develop?
This is a tricky question. I suppose they really began developing around 4-5 years of age. My first alter, I suppose you could call her, was Allie. She’s been my best friend ever since. I’ve been told by friends that even in high school sometimes I would act oddly, or would even introduce myself by a different name.

How many alters do you have in your system? Can you tell me about about each different alter and their character traits?
So far, I’ve come to know 6 main alters. However, I know there are at least 3 more and a possible co-host.

Victoria is 24 and loves to write. She’s the host, typically.

Allie is a southern belle. She manages the system and works time out for everyone. If someone has an issue within the system, she is the go-to.

Goldie, or Marigold, is my protector. She’s from New Jersey, she’s tough, and she absolutely has no problem telling someone how we really feel.

Senka is 5. She’s sweet, loves dinosaurs, and likes to color.

Dee is 16, although I think she may age-slide. She’s a typical teenager and enjoys a good party.

Rogue has no identified age. She was angry abusive, and hypersexual. Now through therapy she seems to just bob around in the background.

Those are the 6. The others are:

Citizen, who is quiet and observant.

Lucy Lovelace, who is a more recently realized alter and I don’t have much information on her as of yet. I know that she was “born” in a mental institution.She has been taking on co-host responsibilities and traits.

Celia. She’s what I call the “emotional accountant” of the system.

How does Marigold protect all of you?
Goldie possesses the quality that I wish I always had: She doesn’t take abuse from anyone or anything. If something hurts the system, she’s usually the first to come out. To anyone who has met her, she’s been described as a little “rough around the edges” due to her brutal honesty. However, she is loving. She offers advice to me when I need it, even if I don’t want it.

How often can you switch between alters? Are you aware of what’s happening during a switch or when you’re a different alter?
To be honest, I don’t know how often it happens. 99% of the time, I don’t think I’m aware. I don’t feel that I even switch. Sometimes, I just feel fuzzy and my eyesight starts to shift. My girlfriend is usually the one to let me know, “so-and-so just came out.” Besides her telling me, I don’t know. However, there are times when they are louder, and there are times that I feel that I may be co-fronting, but I still don’t have any way to confirm that that means I’m switching.

Can you tell me a bit more about your day-to-day life is like?
I wake up, sometimes I’ll have a morning “meeting” with everyone depending on how we’re feeling. I’ll drive to work and Goldie typically drives with me. Every now and then Senka will be in the backseat. I work a full-job. I’d be lying to you if I said it’s not stressful because there have been moments where I’ve switched at work. Senka came out once that I know of- imagine working at your desk and then all of a sudden there’s a 5-year-old and no one knows what to do with you!

When I get home, I like to write. I blog. It’s therapy for me. I’ll spend time with my cat, Rita. I’ll play guitar sometimes. Then, bedtime!

Everyday is so different, but this is basically what it looks like.

When and why did you start vlogging and blogging about living with DID?
I started blogging a little over a year ago. I didn’t begin my blog focusing on DID. I had been battling depression for years, as well as drug addiction and rehabilitating from suicide attempts. My blog was created with the sole intention of helping other people by sharing my story. Then of course, as time went on and therapy opened up my trauma, I decided to spread awareness about DID.

The vlog came about 6 months after.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I have two goals:

1) I want to spread awareness, not just about DID, but about mental health and specifically the stigma against suicide. I’m astonished at the lack of information on the topic of DID and I would LOVE to educate people!

2) I want to continue writing and publish my autobiography.

What are the positive aspects to having DID, is it comforting to have the company of your alters?
Even though it’s scary and painful, my alters have shown me so much about myself, my past, and what I am truly capable of as a survivor. There’s not one boring day with all of us. When I’m really depressed and feeling lost, Allie is there by my side, ready to comfort me. When I feel threatened, Goldie protects me. There are a lot of positive aspects.

How did it feel to be finally diagnosed with DID in 2015? Did you feel a sense of relief or elucidation about yourself after your diagnosis?
I had mixed emotions about it. I think I had just been getting used to accepting Schizoaffective as my diagnoses and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t do any research at first. Then, slowly after working with my therapist, I realized that DID was not a fluke in brain chemistry; rather it is an adaptive and coping disorder. This is when the relief set in, because I knew there could be an “end result.” Integration. I began delving into books and forums. I picked up the DSM-V for the first time. I was so incredibly surprised to see how textbook my case was! There was definitely a sense of relief. I finally feel confident in the accuracy of my diagnoses.

I think you made a really moving point about how your alters have helped you survive trauma in your life and you hate to call DID a disorder. Can you tell me a bit more about this and describe how your alters have helped you?
I had coined this term in my blog when I first began writing- Glitter Rainbow Imagination, in lieu of the word disorder. I feel that “disorder” implies something that you want to get rid of, something negative and that is harmful to your psyche. My experience is quite the contrary! I had suffered through a lot of abuse, both verbally and physically. If I hadn’t have split, I promise you I would not be here today. Some of my alters, specifically Rogue, carry a lot of intense trauma.

I suppose if you look at it for a more psychological viewpoint, each of my alters are kind of like a filing drawer, and I’m the cabinet itself. Each drawer contains information and memories that are unique to that drawer. My brain has compartmentalized my childhood up until now. Through therapy, I am learning how to unlock the drawers safely, how to read through the files and accept the information.

 

What happened when Senka came out at work and did your work colleagues realise what was happening?
I don’t think anyone really noticed except for one co-worker. At the time, my girlfriend was working at the same office and Senka asked for her. So, the receptionist called her and my girlfriend took Senka for a drive. I don’t think she’s been out since then; she knows she’s not allowed to be out at work.

What sort of things do you discuss with your alters at your morning meetings?
We do a quick “scan” of how everyone is feeling usually. More recently, we discuss if anyone needs to take over for a while. For example, Goldie likes to drive in the morning and smoke a cigarette. Sometimes Senka wants to color after work. It all depends.

Do you have to buy or do certain things to accommodate all your different alters? e.g do you buy toys for Senka or different clothes for your some alters?
Senka definitely has a lot of stuffed animals. She loves dragons and dinosaurs so we have plenty of those! I wouldn’t say that the alters have different clothes- however, when we go shopping, they will come forward and give their opinions on what we should buy, or not buy. So, you can imagine how indecisive I could be!

What’s the most common misconception about DID?
Well, first of all, I find that the majority of the population doesn’t even know the term DID. They know Multiple Personality Disorder. Unfortunately, the extent of their exposure to MPD/DID is what they’ve seen on screen- i.e Sybil, United States of Tara, etc.

The common misconception is there are wild switches and that’s it. One day you’re Jane, the next you’re Rachel. At least in my own experience, it’s not like this. Sure, I switch sometimes. But there is SO MUCH MORE to it than that. It’s complex, it’s painful, there are so many layers. DID is not a little thing to work through. Honestly, I believe I’ll be working on it for the rest of my life.

 

Limbo

It takes a moment to acclimate, to get used to the idea that I’m still alive. I didn’t die. I’m still here, somehow. I had thought I was just dreaming.

Is it possible to co-front a lot with someone?

The past week was manageable. My girlfriend has made it so much easier to come back to reality and deal with life. She definitely made me smile and laugh, helped me feel back at home.

However, last night, everything came flooding in, seeping through my pores. The thick depression, the emptiness, the void. I’m scared that I’m actually dreaming, or in a coma.

I’m paranoid. I see people and shadows flash in my peripherals. I’m beginning to hear voices but I can’t recognize any of them.

It’s not all awful….I know well the grass blades you mention…the furniture you have placed under the sun…

Still, I find great comfort in the bridge- as if I am resting and conversing with the souls that didn’t survive the jump.

Sunset over Suicide Bridge

I’m floating in this limbo. It’s better than hell.

Published and Promoting! Plus, a Prize Contest!!!!

Solipsism: (noun) The belief that all reality is just one’s own imagining of reality, and that one’s self is the only thing that exists. 1871, coined from Latin solus, “alone”

I have been published! Solipsist, my collection of confessional poetry, is now available on Amazon and Kindle!

book

***SHARE ON WORDPRESS THIS WEEK FOR A CHANCE TO WIN GIFTCARDS TO BARNES AND NOBLE, COFFEE BEAN, AND MORE!!!
I will be sending out thank you gifts to randomly selected WordPressers who share my book on their blog! Please be sure to link lazarusandlithium.com so I can include you in the prize selection! I will be sending the gifts on Friday, January 8th, so please make sure you share and link my blog before then!***

For those of you that don’t follow this blog, in 2010, I hit rock bottom. After struggling with crippling depression throughout my adolescence and heavy drug addiction, I attempted suicide. Thankfully, it wasn’t my time to leave. It has been an uphill battle towards recovery ever since. Every day I needed to make a conscious decision to hang on and get better. Slowly, with the love and support from my family and friends, I began to rehabilitate spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I am very grateful to say that I have been sober (and plan to be!) from the drug that had nearly destroyed me.

Through my arduous recovery process, I had turned to writing for healing. These poems that I have published in Solipsist were deliberately handpicked, as each one was written during a crucial point in my therapy. They are raw, unfiltered. I understand that some of them can be hard to read. They are difficult to share.

So, why open up to the world? Unfortunately, suicide is such a stigmatized topic in our society, along with mental health. I painfully remember not wanting to reach out for help for this very specific reason. All too often, people who are struggling with the above mentioned are labeled as “weak” and “attention seeking.” Then, when someone we love takes their own life, we wonder why we never saw the signs.

I lived through my experiences and I know that my purpose is to spread awareness. If I am able to save one life, my purpose is fulfilled.
That being said, I am VERY excited about my first published book. I am inviting you all to share this moment with me!

 

In dedication to:

American Foundation of Suicide Prevention
https://www.afsp.org/

The Trevor Project- providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

RAINN- Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network
https://www.rainn.org
Thank you all in advance!!
Laz

Suicide Bridge

On Friday, I found myself driving to the Colorado Street bridge- otherwise known as “Suicide Bridge.” I don’t know what exactly prompted my flight, but I had a panic attack at work and got into my car. I didn’t plan on going to the bridge; I just somehow ended up there. Once I parked the car, I was somehow comforted by the view, despite my fear of bridges.

It was cool out. The wind was crisp against my skin, but the sun felt warm. As I walked to the pedestrian entranced, I was greeted by this sign:

I was overwhelmed by some communal feeling. I kept walking, tears in my eyes, lump in my throat. As I walked, I peered over the edge, quietly talking to those that had taken the plunge years, months, weeks, days before me.

Lined along the fencing were yellow ribbons for suicide awareness.

I was feeling better, somehow. I had cried it out. I walked beside the fencing and began to tie the loose ribbons into bows. A man walked by me and asked me what I was tying. I told him.

Then, I went back to work, as if nothing had happened. I came back to my desk, clocked in. Moments before I was towering over concrete, purging my heart in the car. No one would ever know.

Autumn’s Obituary – Trigger Warning

October.

I can only apologize for disappearing yet again from my cyber home. I’ve been jaunting and kicking around in the ever-terrifying real world. My travels this month have rendered me 5 pounds lighter, yet 5 times stronger. .

Where to begin… Since I last wrote, it was the end of September. The transition back to work was surprisingly stress-free. I was grateful to have my job back in my hands.

My girlfriend and I went through a little bit of hurricane. The hurricane (I see now) was needed. During that time, I re-visited the knowledge I already harboured that I don’t need to rely on another human being for any fulfillment and/or stability; I am my foundation. No person or situation will ever change that fact for me. That time also helped me to realize how much I do trust her and how much I enjoy having her in my life. Every relationship, every friendship, has its own suffering and celebration. So, it’s okay. All I can do is project my sincerity from a place of unconditional love. Needless to say, any shakiness and uncertainty I felt about our relationship prior to this brief moment in time has dissolved and I have stepped forward with a renewed outlook of, “I love you and I am going to treat you with the respect you deserve.” I’m much happier with her now and I feel very loved and secure.

During this time, however, real tragedy struck. One of which I am still trying to comprehend. My ex-boyfriend’s brother has taken his own life.
I’ve written several letters to him, the brother, in hopes that somewhere, somehow, he was listening to me. I have so many words, feelings, thoughts about this.
My heart imploded when I read the words, “…he has passed away….” I didn’t believe it at first. My eyes ran over the jumbled letters and shapes over and over again. I felt numb. Then the sudden rush of, “Why?! Why?! Why him?!” filtered through my bloodstream, jetting bursts of sickness throughout my body. I hadn’t known it was a suicide at the time, but below the surface, I already assumed.
What a wonderful human being. He had been my brother, my friend, even my mentor. I knew he struggled with severe depression for several years. We spent many nights on the edge of his bed talking about his past suicide attempt, his feelings of despondency, life in general. We felt comfort and familiarity within each other, as I understood him completely, vice versa. Still, I never really thought he would try again- or succeed for that matter. The sickness still pervades my thoughts when I have a moment to myself. It hurts my heart to imagine what he was feeling in the moments before. I pray often for him that he has found peace, wherever that may be.
I was in shock for the first 3 days. A friend of the family’s had given me the details of how it happened. I wish he hadn’t.
Perhaps what breaks my heart even more than him leaving us is the thought of the unimaginable grief his family is in.

This is a lot to feel.

When this happened, something within me snapped into a painful awareness. Even to this point, I don’t feel fragmented. I just feel, present.

I have been grappling for many months to feel whole, and now I do. For now, I suppose. I feel very aware, and I know that some part of me is grieving. Grief is sacred. I almost feel as if I am a wolf protecting her den. My walls have gone up, though in a healthier way. This month has been a test of strength and self-reliance. I am only allowing that which nurtures me into my space, and any other bullshit can see its way out the front door.

Although I feel “better,” now the embers of the previous two weeks are beginning to fall and settle on my shoulders. Some piceous sadness has swept over me, yet again. I’m a little bit concerned of psychosis slithering its way back into my head; I think I’ve been hallucinating. I’m continuing to be alert- or as alert as I possibly can be. I haven’t been sleeping very much, either.

I’m focusing on the good things:
I am finally back in theater at a community college. I was cast as the lead in a play! Rehearsals start in two weeks. I am VERY excited about it.
My relationship with my family has greatly improved, particularly with my cousin. He has helped me through a lot of turmoil the past few weeks.
My friends are coming back into my life, and I am making new friendships.
My girlfriend, as I am always grateful for her love, support, and ability to make me smile when I need it the most.

I need to write more.

The Vicious Flower

Today during my third group, I was able to come to a very enlightening discovery about myself.

For 45 minutes, we worked on our vicious flowers..

My intrusive belief was, “Isolation is better than seeking help.” Many of petals explained how isolating was a form of self harm in its own, etc. Then, at the the end of the exercise, the therapist called on each person to say aloud to the group one truth about themselves that they have been ignoring. When it was my turn, the following words fell from my lips:

I am worthy and deserving of recovery.

I kind of caught myself by surprise with this one. Wow…I’m worthy of happiness. I deserve peace. The entire day of processing had revolved around my own feelings of inadequacy; many times I have felt that I am the world’s punching bag. I don’t actually deserve happiness, but other people’s happiness depends on me.

Never have I really sat there and thought to recover my own self.

I’m doing better today. The suicidal thoughts have been pretty consistent lately. However, today I allowed myself to just feel shitty. If I didn’t feel like smiling, it was okay. And fuck, the groups are SO supportive. The amount of love and reach I have experienced over the past 4 days is absolutely incredible.

I do notice that I feel very split a lot of the time, and even my speech seems to not be able to keep up with my lips. This should go away, though.

On a last note, I am stressing over my disability insurance. I’m stressing about finances.

Tegretol and Ideation

Back to PHP I went.

I don’t even know where to begin with an update. It went well. I don’t remember driving to group. I signed in, had a little assessment, went to 3 groups. It was nice to be back. The therapist and social worker remembered me and welcomed me back. Everyone was just as sweet as they were when I left. New patients walk around freely, as I feel like a senior in high school; I know how everything works, which vending machine to avoid for the exploding sodas, so on and so forth.

I saw my therapist yesterday as well before she took off for a couple of weeks. I’ve gotta to say, she is the BEST therapist I’ve ever worked with. I’m so very fortunate to have her in my life. Completely. I don’t know how I would have come to the realizations that I have without her.

So, that was yesterday.

Today was a brand new day. I went to group, felt fuzzy like I had the day before. I met with my doctor. She asked me the usual questions, then mentioned something very serious: She said with the work that I’m doing now with my therapist, it may be an option for me in the near future to check in as inpatient, or even a resident. I think she is taking my opiate addiction and running with it a little… and my alcohol use. I don’t necessarily believe that I need inpatient treatment. I think I’m functioning, but I do need a little care I suppose.

She told me she is concerned about my eating habits. I guess I used to be concerned as well?

She also wants me to think about Tegretol. Has anyone used Tegretol? Did it help? It would be used (for me) to treat not only my bipolar disorder, but curb alcohol cravings. She also mentioned Vistaril, which I am interested in taking. I read up a little on Tegretol and it makes me a little nervous. I would rather take Lithium because I know for a fact it helps my swings and mood. However, she’s worried about my alcohol binging. I think I can control my binges with groups, etc.

Am I doing okay? I don’t know. I feel that I’m slipping. I feel apathetic. I feel… kind of lost, fuzzy, split, compartmentalized at times. I don’t feel all “myself” a lot. I’m scared of being alone because honestly, I’m very triggered to self harm. At least I’m being truthful with myself. I really, really, really want to harm myself and cut.

I feel very disconnected from my system.. very much like Rogue; she is isolated. Actually, I feel very much like Rogue.

I’ve met some really awesome people already. I’m glad to be getting help again. I hope that I can accept it. I feel very, undeserving and very sad right now. I feel a little bit like I’m wasting space.

It’ll be okay though.

Thank you for listening. You all have been such a great support system. I know we limited to letters on a screen, but honestly, I feel very loved here on WordPress.

When I Kissed the Cement

Last night was difficult. I’m not even sure if I ever fell asleep. My body is tired, my eyes burn, I feel slightly off balance.

I sat out on my back porch steps watching the rain fall. I was on the phone with my girlfriend, sobbing, rocking myself back and forth. Just hours before, I was standing in the drizzle, talking to God like I always did, begging Him to please make it go away. I bent down to the floor and kissed the warm cement repeatedly, waiting to feel absolution.

I haven’t been this despondent since February.

I texted my therapist telling her I felt suicidal and I’m too scared to admit myself into a hospital. I don’t even know if that would be the right move. I keep waiting for this to go away. Tomorrow, it’ll be better again. I’ll be happy and cheery, this mess will be behind me. Yet tomorrow has shown its face over and over again. I’m not getting better.

I feel as if I’ve contracted an illness and all I can do is rest, try to recover. I know I’m not alone, but I feel like I am.

Perhaps going back to group would behoove my mental crises. I have no idea.

Last night was really painful.