Damn Unpretty

Warning: This post is graphic. Help is available for free by phone or text if you or a loved one are contemplating self-harm. I was likely never in danger of dying from the overdose itself. I was more likely to die choking on my own vomit while unconscious on the bathroom floor. Not exactly a glamorous exit off this mortal coil. They send you down to inpatient wearing nothing but oversized paper scrubs and a pair of grippy socks. I wasn't allowed to wear a bra. You can wear approved, non-drawstring clothing after your first psychiatrist consult, which usually takes about 24 hours. A few people didn't have anyone to bring them clothes and spent their entire week in those paper scrubs, which eventually shred and rip and disintegrate. We raided the ward's lost-and-found and found some community t-shirts, which could get passed along to the next paper-scrubbed newbie. Three female patients ended up wearing the same shirt with a vaguely sexist slogan on it, which they shrugged off because at least it wasn't chafing their boobs. You learn fairly quickly to always change your clothes in your bathroom, since your room doesn't lock. Your bathroom doesn't actually lock either,... Read more →


The Night Of

Warning: Graphic suicide talk ahead. Help is available for free by phone or text if you or a loved one are contemplating self-harm. I remember looking at the empty pill bottles on the bathroom floor. First from overhead, then at eye level. The labels blur and I close my eyes. I remember feeling cool tile on my face and relief in my veins. Done. It's done. I don't have to think about doing it anymore, because it's done. I don't remember how I got downstairs to the basement, or how long it took. Did I walk? Stumble? Crawl? Did I stop to contemplate my children's bedroom doors on the way? I don't know. Part of me wanted to get up off that floor, and it did, somehow. I remember Jason roughly dragging me towards the bathroom and his fingers in my throat. The part of me that wanted to stay on the bathroom floor wails and howls and begs him to stop. After that, there's nothing. A dream about a dark, underground bar. There's an old jukebox in the corner. I am dancing and laughing and spill a drink on Michael Keaton, who is also there for some reason. Then,... Read more →


Where I Am

Wow. Wow. WOW. For once, I am truly out of words. Which, as you can see from all the stereotypical-crazy-person scribbling I did in the psych ward last week, literally never happens. (I wrote everything using the same kind of tiny eraser-less pencils you get at IKEA. I find that beautifully poetic, in a way.) I am out of words because you, the Internets, the peoples, the friends in both real and online life, said so many words. Kind, loving, caring and kick-ass words. Which I was not expecting. I don't know what I was expecting. (WHO READS BLOBS ANYMORE, RIGHT?) I suppose more warped depression-think led me to believe that I would hit the publish button and get either 1) crickets, 2) a couple head-pats from one or two people, or 3) a bunch of comments accusing me of Being Dramatic or Attention Seeking or Dooce Did It First or something. (Fun fact! A few weeks ago I talked myself out of calling the Suicide Prevention Hotline in the middle of the night because I worried I was just being super dramatic. Plus Jason had a really early work meeting the next morning and someone had to get to... Read more →


Where I Almost Went

There's no nice or clever way to say any of this, so let's just get right down to it. On Saturday, June 2nd, 2018, I overdosed on a combination of Xanax, Ativan and alcohol. It was not an accident. You don't swallow a 90-day supply's worth of benzos by accident. You swallow them by handful after deliberate handful. It was far from the first time I contemplated doing just that, but it was the first time I decided to follow the dark thoughts down the rabbit hole. I don't actually remember any the following, but the facts appear to be: After passing out on the bathroom floor for awhile, I somehow managed to make it down several flights of stairs to Jason, who was watching TV in the basement. After unsuccessfully trying to make me throw up, he called 911. An ambulance took me to the ER, where I was intubated, restrained and deeply sedated. (I was also, according to my report, deeply "combative" and definitely nobody's favorite patient that night.) I spent most of Sunday in the ICU, drifting in and out of consciousness. Usually just long enough to claw at the painful tube in my throat and then... Read more →


Better Now

I've been procrastinating on a Brain Update (among many, many other things, thanks for that lovely bit of self-sabotage, anxiety, you bitch), but hey, here goes nothing. The medication is definitely helping, although it also makes me: 1) Throw up 2) Gain weight (HOW CAN BOTH OF THOSE THINGS HAPPEN WHAT IS HAPPENING) 3) Ask you to repeat everything you say, a bit louder this time, so I can hear you better over the goddamn ringing in my goddamn ears. Antidepressants are weird. I don't particularly enjoy the side effects, obviously, but when I think back a few months, to the unmedicated alternative...well. I'll just buy some bigger pants and drink some ginger tea. Hey, it's like being pregnant! Only without the baby part, or the urge to clean things. Ugh, this house. Since I wasn't exactly live-blogging the worst of it, I'll just say, in the understatement of the decade, that things were not very good. Things were very, very bad. Everything else I've tried to type here instead sounds super dark and would probably scare my mother too much, so I'll just leave it at that. Please don't let things get that bad, dear people. It's hard to... Read more →


January Blah

Oh! Look at the date. Just one more day 'til February Blah. Yay. I've been locked in a somewhat all-consuming battle for health, both in brain and body and in the bodies of my children, who are every day getting sent to classrooms utterly decimated by the flu, a variety of stomach viruses and God knows what else. I'm stuffing their backpacks with donations of hand soap and antibacterial wipes and crossing my fingers our flu shots hold, but today I still woke up with a cough and a sore throat and an overwhelming feeling of blaargh. Meanwhile, poor Ezra's developed migraines and is getting regularly knocked down with them, which oh my God. As a fellow migraine sufferer (and thus, likely the genetic reason he's getting them), I am soooo sorry, buddy. He can't even swallow pills yet and here I am, dosing fucking adult-sized migraines with grape-flavored liquid. (Yes, we're working with his doctor to make sure there's nothing else going on, but all signs so far just point to: Wow, migraines at nine years old. That sucks!) And since we're on the topic of hollow, useless apologies to my children, I have another one to offer on... Read more →


Surfacing

Last week, Jason and I decided to have an impromptu mid-week date night. This in and of itself was somewhat significant, as I haven't been too keen on things like "leaving the house" and "putting on pants" for the last few months. We went to one of our favorite restaurants (alas, no House of Cards cast and crew this time). I picked a half-order of tortellini to start and the braised short rib as an entree. They were both great. Exceptionally great. I couldn't stop talking about how great it all was. "I am really enjoying this meal," I said at one point, mid-delicious bites. Then I froze. I put my fork down. I looked at Jason and repeated, with a bit of dazed wonder: I am enjoying this meal. *** During my first appointment with the psychiatrist, she asked me what I liked to do for fun. Any hobbies, activities I particularly enjoyed? I stared at her as my mind drew a blank. ...Fun? ...En-joyed? What even were those words? "I liked going to restaurants," I finally came up with. "Eating out, trying new foods. Cooking and baking with my kids, having people over and entertaining." She smiled and... Read more →


A Start of Some Kind

I was really, really hoping my first post of 2018 would be non-Sad-Ghost depression related, but seeing how we're three days in and I shall be leaving the house for the very first time today since New Year's Eve* simply to get my meds adjusted, I guess I should just break the seal already. *The highlight of the evening was me bailing on a party several hours early because I forgot how to human. You know that feeling when you're trying to make small talk with a stranger and suddenly can't remember what kind of facial expression is appropriate for the words coming out of their mouth? So you focus too much on what your face is doing and completely miss that they've asked you a question until they're just staring at you in confusion while you smile at them all psycho-Joker-style? Or when the whole room is laughing about something and you're consumed with panic because what if you try to laugh and start crying instead? No? Just me? Okay. **But a Lyft arrived like one minute after my brain officially NOPED out and they didn't charge surge pricing! I came home and watched cooking shows all night instead... Read more →


Almost There But Not Quite Yet

We have (some) floors! (Wow. Photos of...a floor. A new high point for this blog.) They are very pretty and shiny, though. They shall surely be covered in muddy paw prints and stepped-on crayon nubs in no time, but for now I am very much enjoying this fleeting moment of sparkling newness. The banging overhead is at a fever pitch today, as the rooms directly above my office are getting installed. Then it's the stairs and thresholds tomorrow, and then we can officially move everything back and get our Christmas trees and lament our lack of area rugs. Also, the new floors are really revving up my already-existing desire to paint over all the beige walls, which, knowing me and my inability to choose paint colors, means you can expect those photos sometime around 2027. Last night was Ezra's first violin recital at school, which featured 94 third graders plucking at strings to produce something that seemed somewhat reminiscent of music, but only if you squinted really hard. Also a lot of kids swinging their violins around like swords. Not Ezra though, he took it all VERY seriously and spent the pre-recital lineup/setup time quietly practicing, and then bowed with... Read more →


A Case of the Blerghs

Thank you so much to everybody who commented/emailed/messaged/otherwise-reached-out after Friday's post. Y'all are still way too nice to me, especialy after way (way, WAY) too many years of oversharing and general idioting out here. Two things I've learned since then: 1) Ativan is like an almost-instant, big ol' OFF switch for my anxiety. Glorious. 2) Switching the anxiety off, however, basically cedes full control to the depression, which is unfortunately much worse than I realized. Turns out anxiety, while brain- and breath-rattlingly awful, has been the main thing powering the hamster wheel lately. Once it's gone, the relief of "I'm not going to have a panic attack!" is quickly replaced with "I'm going to melt into my bed like a pile of greyish-blah goo and just stare at the ceiling while my yoga pants slowly fuse to my skin!" Not so glorious. So looks like I have a bit more work to do in the medication/brain chemistry department. And I will do that work, and all the work, and am very very grateful and hashtag-blessed for all the support I have from family, friends, Internetters, and of course, the therapeutic assist from this pack of floofballs: Read more →