It’s Not What You Think

I woke up to this news utterly devastated. I am still in shock. This is so incredibly well-written and honest. I talk about depression openly and honestly, and I hope people continue to #EndTheStigma by sharing their stories because we’ve lost too many amazing people to suicide as a result of depression.

The First Ten Words by Rich Larson

Chris Cornell, 1964-2017

Chris Cornell died early Thursday morning. His band Soundgarden played a show on Wednesday night at the Fox Theater in Detroit. Two hours after the show ended, he was gone.

For two days, I’ve been working on a piece to pay tribute to him, and it’s been a struggle. Usually when I have a problem like this it’s because I’m staring at a blank screen trying to figure out what I want to say. That’s not the problem this time. The problem is I have way too much to say.

I’m not going to sit here and claim to have been a huge fan of Soundgarden. I didn’t dislike them, I just had to take them in small doses. I was a fan of Cornell. I love “Seasons,” the solo song he had on Cameron Crowe’s movie, Singles. It’s a droning acoustic song about isolation and the…

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The Aftermath

*Potential trigger warning*

I survived, and I’m always sorry when I do. Always.

Last week, a member of my family overdosed on prescription medication. It wasn’t painkillers or anything like that. In fact, I have yet to look the drug up, but I do know what it isn’t. It’s not lethal if you’re taking it responsibly, but it can be deadly if you’re being an asshole or you take four instead of one. That’s true for a lot of drugs we deem “safe”, which is precisely why the pharmacy tells you that if you can’t remember if you missed a dose, skip the dose, don’t double-up.

We don’t know yet if it was intentional or accidental, but she doesn’t remember what happened. I wish I could say the same. It took me roughly twelve hours to talk two different family members down over what happened. I’ve felt deeply depressed, unhappy, mentally, emotionally, and physically drained ever since. I’m in such a dark place and as I sit here, I realize no one has noticed.

I remember when I tried overdosing. I’d had enough and I wanted out. This was long before my Fibromyalgia diagnosis, and honestly, it was unnecessary back then, I just couldn’t tolerate what i was going through with zero support (much like I feel now). I can say with absolute certainty that no one noticed what I did and no one knew I did it. Even now, no one spends enough time with me to notice if I’m sick or not acting like myself because they don’t know me well enough to know what’s normal for me. I can’t laugh or be goofy or do anything without it being criticized or psychoanalyzed. I could do so many truly dangerous things and I am certain no one would notice. When would they have the fucking time?!

I’m not content living a half-life. I’ve spent the past few weeks in so much pain, I didn’t realize until yesterday just how badly I want it all to stop. The daily struggle. The forcing myself to get out of bed when I really shouldn’t be moving at all. The emotional struggle. The blackouts are so bad that I don’t remember most of today after eating breakfast and I’m concerned, because I think I hit my head at some point. My skull is on FIRE and aches so bad, I’m freaking out. I’m tired of forcing myself out of the house to do far too much because the one person who knows me best and knows exactly how to help me is hundreds of miles away and I haven’t seen him in a year and a half. The financial struggle is never-ending, and realizing that I’ve been unhappy before, but this is a whole other level of miserable is the icing on the cake of misery. This is something that cannot be broken with a positive attitude and smiley faces. This can’t be fixed with kind words and someone being polite. This is serious and every time I turn to someone for help, I’m given their equivalent of a gigantic middle finger. If someone does help me, they hold it over my head like a weapon. It makes it worse because helping someone should mean that you care, not that you show them hatred.

I do have a doctor’s appointment coming up, but it’s mostly for a diagnosis. A new one, because the old one is almost five years old and things change, including me. This is a fresh start and I don’t know if this doctor and I will click or not, but he’s only getting one chance to show me who he is and what he can do to help me.

Five years ago, I was in a different financial position, and while I was struggling emotionally, I kept it in check as much as humanly possible. I was making things work. My life came tumbling down less than six months later. Horror after horror, and I am suffering for it every single day. My doctor never billed me for my last appointment. He knew I had no insurance that would cover the visit at the time (Hell, the only thing my insurance was paying for back then was monthly medication and the occasional ER visit. My primary care doctor, at the time, was months away from dumping me as a patient when I needed help the most.) and that things with me were not okay. I never saw a bill from him. If he’d sent one, I would have paid it, but sitting here today, struggling, I see it as a major act of kindness in a world where there’s so little of it. In sixteen years, he’s probably bought a car or put his daughter through private school for a full year based on what I did pay him, so I don’t feel guilty about it. When I found out in late 2015 that he never put Fibromyalgia into my chart when he diagnosed me, thus making me look like an idiot and making me question exactly what the hell is wrong with me, I damn sure felt even less guilty. I was shaking with rage, and I still am. That one absent-minded mistake cost me DEARLY. And here I am, back at square one.

I feel like an insane basket-case, just waiting to explode. I’m looking at the pile of problems in front of me, which I cannot solve. I’ve got nowhere to turn for help, and I am scared out of my mind. I can let certain things go, but the realization of this particular problem and how important (and potentially damaging it could be) is making things worse. I suspect knowing that since yesterday is what caused me to blackout today. The stress is too much for my body. Stress can be so damaging, we don’t always know exactly how much stress we’re dealing with, until it’s too late.

Unlike many people, I’ve always understood the level of emotional pain it takes to make a person say “I’ve had enough.” I also understand the level of mental and physical pain it takes to say “No more. I can’t do this.” Most people never act on it, especially when they’re talking about it for several years to family and friends, but the people who, like me, keep it inside, are the ones more likely to act on their thoughts. There’s no fascination involved, we’re just done.

Today, I am 100% DONE. I have no idea how I’ve survived this far and I’m tired of worrying. Of not sleeping. Or praying and feeling like I’m all alone. There’s only so much hurt, disrespect, abuse, and abandonment one person can handle.

Will tomorrow be better? I don’t know. I never know. I can pray, and I am going to reach out for help to see if someone will have my back this week, but ultimately, once I’ve exhausted all options, I don’t know where I’ll be.

I’m praying for better days, but I feel lost and completely abandoned. The level of emotional pain for that is off the charts.

This is the aftermath of loss, grief, abandonment, abuse, and other things you may never heal from. No matter how strong you are, no matter how hard you try, there are some things you can’t do anything about. For me, that hurts almost as much as seeing how meaningless I am to others.

Most people would say “It’s the Monday blues.”, but those people don’t understand I feel like this almost daily. That’s not okay.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

There Is A Point In Your Life

“There is point in your life when you come face-to-face with the reality that you cannot take another step on your own. For me, I had never experienced that point, but depression brought me there. I have slowly, painfully, and continually been confronted by my brokenness. Coming to terms with the fact that I am broken has been at the center of my accepting my being loved.

For me, now, there exists a sense of desperate need for what God brings to my spiritual and mental self.

It has been this desperation that has opened a crevice in which I am seeing Him for the first time. He is why my soul can find some peace even when my mind is dark and numb. It is this love that continually has brought me back from the edge of the impostor to the honesty of my broken, inner self.” ―David Hulon Hood

The Month Of Triggers

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Fourteen years ago today, a female relative of mine (an Aunt by marriage) was murdered by her live-in boyfriend. I just read her autopsy and toxicology report for the first time; her death having been ruled an “accident”. I read it in utter disbelief. The damage incurred was no accident. I look at it as being blamed in death for being harmed. If I ever come within ten feet of her ex, and I’ve always said this from day one, I will beat the living crap out of him. That he’s alive and breathing disturbs me on levels I cannot begin to describe.

I remember being told that she was gone . She died on Thursday morning. I wasn’t told until Monday. I fell to my knees in the living room, devastated, in tears. Eight years later, her ex-husband, who is my direct relative, would also pass away suddenly. I nearly fell down the stairs when my brother told me, because I just couldn’t handle the news. Both of them far too young to die at all, leave alone the way they did. It guts me.

For the past week or so, leading into this day, I’ve been nothing short of a basket case. I kept asking myself “What’s wrong?” I’ve been dealing with a lot of memory loss and blackouts, and I kept telling myself that my neurology appointment would “fix everything”. Not so fast.

Yesterday, I became keenly aware that the month of May is really “the month of triggers”. It’s a month full of loss and painful memories for me. Last year, it was when I started blacking out. If I began blacking out in years past, I am 100% unaware it was happening, but now I’m wondering if it began earlier due to trauma.

I don’t often talk about their deaths. It pains me, because it was like losing a second set of parents. It is a hard adjustment to go from being loved and adored to having no one to turn to for shelter from the storms of life.

Despite being divorced, they both loved me and had my back. My Uncle, especially. There is nothing he wouldn’t have done for me. He put me through school when my own father would not. He didn’t co-sign a loan; he flat-out paid for six years of advanced education, four at a top ten university. If I had ever been hurt or in trouble, he would have been there without a single judgmental word. In fact, he’s one of the reasons I am the way I am. My Mom used to say that not only did we look alike, enough that I still pass for one of his children, but that I took after him in so many ways, it was creepy. Since his passing, I’ve forgotten that fact. There is a ring in my jewelry box that he gave me after I graduated. Whenever I wear it, I’m reminded that I am fire, flame, and unique. I can storm through anything. It’s been a long time since I’ve had it on my finger, I think I probably need to remedy that.

This month will be lonely, sad, emotional, and painful. Tomorrow has its own triggers. I’ll do my best to power on. Sometimes, there’s strength in tears.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.