Category: Grief


The Healing Hour

This is the healing hour.
In this moment, I am sure of it. I feel it.
I feel it in the moments when a smile creeps onto my lips.
I feel it when I turn my face to the sky, just to feel the warmth on my cheeks
I feel it when I look at my children and hear their laughter.
I feel it in my desire to better my life; my surroundings.
But most of all,
I feel it when I realize that I am ready to live again.
To love again, and to heal again.

Flying free

I can see you now
Riding your bike in the skies
With a smile, and free.

Rest in Peace

Your pain has vanished.
Nothing will hurt you again.
Rest in peace, my Love.

So, I’ve been feeling pretty down and out lately.  I think a lot of it is that my body is just so exhausted from years of being in stressful and traumatic situations.  Now; things are settling down and my body is just turning to mush.  My anxiety had gotten to a point where I increased my meds to be able to get through J’s anniversary.  But now, I feel depressed.  No energy, no desire to to anything.  I still go to work, but my productivity is pretty shameful.  I still cook, and clean – enough to keep the house from being a total pig sty for more than a day… But that’s all I have folks.  I literally have nothing else right now.  I know that it is affecting my relationships with people I care about, my coworkers.. it just sucks.  So; thinking about going back down to my old dosage on my meds – and hoping that the anxiety doesn’t peak.  But, I just can’t handle this zombified/depressed feeling (I had increased them once before and I remember not truly liking the effects, but I couldn’t remember what it was).

However… I have to believe that I will get through this.  I mean, for fuck’s sake – I’ve survived horrible domestic violence and the suicide of my partner.  I’ve been through many, many struggles with my daughter, who also seems to be quite stable now.  Life is calm and as peaceful as it’s ever been. So why do I feel so crappy?

Anyway, a song by Cher came onto Pandora this morning that I thought was fitting for today.  I WILL work through this and get to the other side….

LYRICS:

 
You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me

Feeling broken
Barely holding on
But there’s just something so strong
Somewhere inside me
And I am down but I’ll get up again
Don’t count me out just yet

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me
You haven’t seen the last of me

They can say that
I won’t stay around
But I’m gonna stand my ground
You’re not gonna stop me
You don’t know me
You don’t know who I am
Don’t count me out so fast

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me

There will be no fade out
This is not the end
I’m down now
But I’ll be standing tall again
Times are hard but
I was built tough
I’m gonna show you all what I’m made of

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
I am far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me

No no
I’m not going nowhere
I’m staying right here
Oh no
You won’t see me begging
I’m not taking my bow
Can’t stop me
It’s not the end
You haven’t seen the last of me
Oh no
You haven’t seen the last of me
You haven’t seen the last of me

And, a link (hopefully)
 

I’ve talked a lot in my blog about how the suicide of my fiance as affected me.  But; I’ve not talked about my own struggles or feelings outside of that experience. 

There have been times in my life where I have wished, for fervently, for everything to just end.  Things seemed too much.  Too dismal.  I just simply did not want to “feel” anymore; and the absence of the pain I was feeling seemed like the ultimate goal; the ultimate escape.

When I was in high school; I tried overdosing on pills.  I ended up throwing them up, and I was fine.  I don’t know that this was a true suicide attempt.  I think I just wanted to dwell, for a moment,  in the fantasy of dying.  At various other times in my life; I have made really poor decisions, dangerous decisions; because I just simply did.not.care.  So what if I did something to end my life, inadvertently. 

When I was a cutter; I never did so with the goal of committing suicide.  But; there was once that I, again, was on the precipice; if it happened, I wouldn’t have cared.  I took a bunch of pain pills, and I cut my wrists.  I crawled into bed and fell asleep.  I thought, maybe I wouldn’t wake up and that would be ok.  Obviously, I did wake up and there was hell to pay after that.

After J died; I was really angry.  Not because he had committed suicide (at first).  But because he left me behind.  I wanted, so badly, to join him in nothingness. Why did he get to escape the pain, and I had to live through it?  I was also mad at myself.  I knew that if I had not run away the day he pulled the gun out and put it to his temple; that he would have killed both of us.  Why couldn’t I have just stayed?  He would have done the hard work for me; and I would no longer be in pain either.  I even told myself that it would have been for the best.  I was through ruining lives and fucking everything up.  Everyone would be better off if I had gone down with him.

From what I understand; the loved ones of someone who has committed suicide are at a very increased risk of committing suicide themselves.  Believe me; I spent a lot of time wishing that I had died along with him.  But; I also knew what it felt like to those left behind.  I knew the pain, very intimately, that they went through.  I knew the guilt, the despondency, the helpnessness and hopelessness.  And so, I also knew that I could nevver, no matter how bad I felt, do that to anyone I cared about.

That has gotten me through a lot of rough days in the past year.  Days when I really didn’t think I could hold on.  Days where I thought that the pain inside of me was too much to bear.  Days when I would have giving ANYTHING to stop feeling what I was feeling.  Moments when I thought that it would be better for everyone if I just dissappeared.

As bad as my pain is; I will endure it.  Because I NEVER want anyone to feel the pain that I have felt.  That is what gets me through the hardest, most painful days.  I think of my children; of my family; and of my beloved friends; who have stood by me all of this time – and I just can’t do it to them.  Not after I know the reality of what a suicide does to those left behind.  Regardless of the pain I feel, or the hardships I cause in life; none would compare to the pain I would cause if I decided to voluntarily leave this world.

 

One Year Ago

One Year Ago

One year ago,

My life changed completely.

It took one single moment,

And I shattered into tiny little pieces.

I didn’t think that there was any coming back

From that one moment.

I thought,

There was no way that I could be made whole again.

A year later; everything is different;

And yet so much seems the same.

I’ve survived. 

Sometimes I’m happy about that.

Sometimes it seems too much to bear.

I still miss you.

I still dream about you.

I still have nightmares.

I still get angry at you.

I’m trying to move on;

But so much is still you.

Baby,

I want to move on.  I want my life back.

Help me, now,

A Year Later,

To find the way;

Back to myself

And to the future beyond.

I saw you in my dreams last night

You looked just as I remembered you.

Our eyes met –

And with the same leap of my heart as always,

I welcomed you into my arms.

You tried to pull away and said you couldn’t stay –

You had only come to tell me “to be ok”.

I tightened my embrace and begged you not to leave,

If only for a little while.

You nodded, and stayed locked in my embrace,

Supporting me as I cried.

With a final brush of your lips and a bittersweet smile,

You were gone.

And I was again left alone

But for the memory of a dream.

Yep, I admit it.  I am a Glee-addict.  It’s enjoyable, sweet, and a lot of times tackles pretty tough subjects.  It’s one of my guilty pleasures that I allow myself.  I wasn’t prepared for this week’s episode, though.  In fact, I’m still watching it as I type this, to try and relieve some of the pressure I’m feeling by watching.

One of the minor characters was being teased about being gay; so he attempted suicide by hanging himself.  His Dad found him in time, though.

The episode has shown some of the emotions, guilt, ect. felt by those who know him.   Will talked about how EVERYONE has something that feels like the end of the world to them at some point.  He asked everyone to talk about something they were looking forward to, and each person went around saying something they looked forward to in the future.

It’s really hard for me to watch, and bringing up so many emotions that I keep thinking I have started to overcome.  The “why’s?”  The “what-ifs”; the guilt and the pain.

Earlier in the evening, I had also run across a story of one of the actor’s from Seinfield had attempted suicide by gunshot.  He survived. That brought up another feeling I sometimes have.  An almost jealous feeling -“Why couldn’t *my fiance* have survived like so-and so”?

So many emotions.  This post is all over the place; without much of a focus – but it’s just one of those moments where all of my emotions are spilling over and too much to hold in.

 

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day.  I had someone ask me last night if it was “messing me up”; if it would be a hard day for me.  Honestly, Valentine’s Day was never a very huge deal between my fiance and I.    I typicaly haven’t put a huge importance on Valentines Day, as I think that every day should be an opportunity to show your loved ones that they are important.  But, with saying that – I’ve never completely ignored or disavowed Valentine’s Day just because of the commercialization of the day.  So, I have participated, even if it was not a big of deal as it is to some.

Last year; Valentine’s Day was a horrible day.  My fiance was not in a good place.  I got him a little something; and it sent him into a pretty intense tirade.  He hadn’t gotten me anything; and although I didn’t say anything to him about it; he was mad that I had done something for him.  We got into a huge argument about it.  Strangely; in both of my serious relationships (with my fiance and with my ex-husband) Holiday’s always seemed to be the days that they struggled with the most, and I don’t have a lot of great memories of ANY holiday.

 I wonder – how is everyone else dealing with it?  Is this a good day for you; or not so much?  What about Holidays in general?  I’m just curious if other’s share the same experiences on Holidays?

I have been thinking about this post for awhile.  But, I want to be careful and sensitive to those living with Bipolar; as I in no way want to paint anyone with a mental or emotional disorder in a bad light.  For me, though, it’s important to have a place to write about my experiences without censor.  So – I hope I am able to express this in a way that is honest without appearing to have any discriminatory feelings towards anyone with Bipolar.

I met my fiancé in December 2008.  I had just started going out, trying to meet new friends, a year and a half after I had separated from my abusive husband.  I went to a Christmas themed pub crawl, and I was very nervous.  I don’t make friends easily – and I was still in a very vulnerable place.  This man approached me during the night; full of vibrancy and life.  He was funny, over-the-top, and full of energy.   He accepted me into the group and made me feel like he had known me for my whole life.  He made me feel welcome, and made sure that I never felt alone in any of the group events I attended in the next few months.  Eventually, we started to spend one-on-one time with each other, and he won me over with his extraordinary kindness and generosity.  I felt safe with him.  Like he would never let any harm come to me. 

 He did tell me early on that he was depressed.  But, he tended to make light of it – joking about it and downplaying it.  He did mention that one Doctor had diagnosed him Bipolar, but he discounted this.   He also told me of the medications that he had been on in the past; and the medications he was on at the time.  Now, I understand that these were all typical bipolar medications; but I really knew nothing of the disease at the time.

My first experience with one of his true, intense lows was less than a year after we had met.  We had just decided to exclusively date a few months prior.

We had an argument earlier in the day, and were set to go to a party that night.  He was feeling insecure about the argument, and got upset with me for “flirting” with other people at the party.  He ended up leaving me at the party without telling me.  When I realized he was gone, I tried to call several times but he would not answer.  I was stranded at the party; I had left my car at his house.  I ended up getting a ride from someone else, back to his house.

He was passed out; completely overdosed on his medications.  He finally woke up and came down the stairs; screaming obscenities at me and telling me to leave.  However – the next day he remembered nothing of that night.  He contacted me and blamed me for never coming over.  He starting accusing me of staying the night with someone else; when I had really spent the night on HIS couch. 

He wouldn’t get out of bed for over a week.  He threatened suicide.  He screamed at me, ranted and raved and popped all sorts of pills.    Ambien, vicodin, xanax, seroquel… anything he could get his hands on.  I stayed at his house as much as I could, to try and make sure that he was ok.

 This was completely out of my realm of experience.  I had dealt with an abusive husband; but I had no idea how to handle what was happening with him.  Of course, he blamed the whole episode on me.  I still had enough of the victim’s guilt in me that I believed him and I wanted to “fix” it.

Eventually, he stopped overdosing on the pills (that time), and came out of it.  He didn’t remember any of what had transpired.  He apologized, and said that sometimes he went through “lows”.   He swore that he would keep his medications in check; and that he would stop taking his Ambien – which he blamed for the black-outs.   I cared enough that I stuck around, and hoped that I would be able to prevent it from happening again, by being a better partner.

We had good times and bad times.  Gradually, I began to detect a pattern.  Periods of extreme “hyper-ness”, of wanting to go out and be the life of the party, needing the social experiences and everyone laughing at him and feeling like he was the most popular person on the planet.  During these times, he was calling me numerous times a day, to tell me of the most mundane things – and would talk in this very fast, rambling way.  I was always afraid to tell him I had to get back to work; because I didn’t want to ruin this buoyancy and send him into another depression. 

These were the times he would go to Home Depot on a whim, and come back with a carload of things that he was going to use to improve the house.  He would have to finish it all without taking a break.  One time he tore out all the carpet in the downstairs and installed wood floors.  Another time, he completely redid the bathroom – new tile, new paint, everything.  He would get angry when I wasn’t as exuberant about getting this project done as he was; or if I got in his way… or if I didn’t anticipate his needs and help in the way he needed, at the moment he needed me to.

I came to know that these highs meant that the lows were about to come.  No matter how happy he was during his manic episodes; the lows ALWAYS came after.  Days in bed.  He was barely able to get out of bed to go to work.  Sometimes, he was not even able to do that – and would call in sick or come home early.  He would come home with stories about how his boss was such a “fucking asshole.”  He would tell me about how he had screamed at his boss, and how he didn’t know if he had a job anymore.  He never seemed to think this behavior was out of the ordinary. 

I went days where he wouldn’t call me during the day, and he wouldn’t answer his phone.  The only thing he seemed to want to talk about when he WAS able to communicate is to say how horrible his life was.  How much he wanted to die.  He had a love affair with the idea of dying.  He would talk of the ways it would happen.  About how he would make it look like an accident so that I wouldn’t have to live with the fact that he had committed suicide.  Every time this came up, I told him to stop.  I couldn’t handle all of his talk of suicide, and it scared me.  I would try and make him promise he wouldn’t do anything rash.  His favorite phrase was “Well, I won’t actually commit suicide, but I wouldn’t care if I got hit by a bus.”

 Later, he talked about how he hated me and my children; because we were keeping him from dying – when that is really all he wanted to do.  He would tell me that we were the only things standing between him and blissful death.

When things got bad enough; I would take his gun and hide it.  He would tell me that he would never use a gun to kill himself; that he would find another way.  Every single time he had one of these lows… I had such anxiety.  I had anxiety when he wouldn’t return my texts.  I had anxiety when he seemed down when he DID answer his phone.  I would have anxiety when I was pulling into the complex; wondering if his car would be parked there when he was supposed to be at work.  If I did see his car – I would look up at the windows and start panicking if the lights were out; because that would mean he was in bed; having a depressive episode.  I would open the front door on these days, shaking so badly that  I could not get my key to fit into the lock.  I didn’t know what I would find when I opened the door.  I always wondered – would this be the day I would find him overdosed on his medications?  I would walk up the stairs with dread at the silence, and open the bedroom door to find him completely covered in blankets; and I would come to him to see if he was still breathing.

Then… he would finally come out of his depression, and another manic stage would begin.  He would be loving and kind and funny…. and I would try and tell myself that it was all ok now.  He took more of an interest in the kids than their father ever did.  He cared for them, and he cared for me, deeply.  I knew this.  But, I also knew that a lot of the times he loved the idea of death more; and I was in a constant battle to try and convince him to love me, and life, more than death.

When 2011 started; it signified a very drastic turn in my partner.  I noticed his depressions lasting longer.  His paranoia was increasing to a point where we could not go out together, as he was convinced I would just wander off with another man, or I would so something to hurt him (none of which was substantiated).  He didn’t like my clothes, as he thought they were too sexy.  He didn’t want me to wear makeup, because he saw it as an indication that I was trying to get attention from other men.  He didn’t want me to wear high heels.  We were essentially confined to the house, of which I began to thought of as a prison.  No matter how gently I tried to coax him to get out the house; even just for a small walk; it always ended in a fight.  He became convinced that I hated him.  That I was going to hurt him.  No matter what I did, or how hard I tried – these convictions became more and more real to him every day.

He started counseling.  His counselor again diagnosed him with bipolar.  She said he was going thru a quite common occurrence in people with bipolar, in which their symptoms get very bad during the spring time.  He saw a psychologist who tried to change up his meds.  Nothing became better, and he began to drift farther and farther from me.

One day in early May – he overdosed on Xanax and took his motorcycle for a drive.  He told me later that he was hoping to die that night.  He wanted to wreck the bike and make it look like an accident.  He came home more depressed than ever – because he was “too chicken” to go through with it.

I wish that I could say this story had a happy ending.  But, two weeks after the motorcycle incident – he kicked me out of the house, and after 3 long days of overdosing on his medications – he shot himself in his bed (he broke into my safe and took his gun which I had taken from him during his last suicide threat).  Despite my attempts to get him help – no one would respond.  I finally went over to the house and found him, sometime within a day of the time he had committed suicide.

I know that I will never truly understand what he felt inside, and that I cannot compare my experiences with his.  However, although I was not the one diagnosed Bipolar; in a way – I lived that life with him.  I was a passenger on the roller coaster that he went through on a daily basis.   I experienced it in the 3rd person, and I know how helpless and afraid I felt.  Now, I am here and he is not.  I read somewhere that suicide does not end pain; it just disburses it.  I am living proof of that.  This is now my legacy.