Robin Williams Got Me Thinking

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When I hear about a suicide or suicide attempt, it usually leaves me in a bit of a catatonic state. For example, I abandoned my blog for a while after hearing about a suicide attempt. A student at the University of Guelph tried to kill themselves in the same building that I was in when I tried to end my own life.

I didn’t know how to handle that. I still thought about the aftermath of my suicide attempt often at that point in time. Living in Guelph, occasionally visiting campus, felt haunting. To hear about that suicide hit me too close to home, so I stopped writing for a while. I was in the middle of a series about what the treatment I received after my suicide attempt, but I never finished. Maybe one day I will.

Anyhow, I read a couple of blog posts about Robin Williams’ suicide. I spent a few minutes in the fetal position. I was scared because I was reminded of how far gone I used to be, and I never want to end up there again. I cried a little, especially because I’ve seen a few posts that have said that suicide is an incredibly selfish act. That stung because I would never do anything to intentionally hurt my loved ones. I could have gotten angry or upset and cried a whole lot more, but I decided to share my point of view instead.

First off, every person who suffers from any disease will experience it differently than someone else with the same disease. Two people who are diagnosed with terminal cancer might think very differently about it. One of them might want to fight to live day after day no matter how hard things get. The other may hope that it ends quickly and with as little pain as possible. And I am sure that there are a million other reactions that people have when they find out that they have cancer. It is the same with depression. Every person afflicted with depression experiences it differently. So just because I tell you how I felt when I was depressed does not mean that everyone with depression feels that way.

When I was severely depressed, I felt like a burden to everyone around me. I felt bad for my family that they had to be stuck me. I felt bad for my friends because I was always a downer. At the time, I also had a person in my life who got very upset with me because of my depression and anxiety issues. When I would have major panic attacks hanging out with friends, I felt guilty for bringing them all down. When my mom had to come get me in the middle of the night because my friends couldn’t get me to stop screaming, I felt guilty for making her get out of bed to pick me up.  And when I was already feeling this way, I had one person telling me how happy he was before he met me.

In retrospect, that guy had a lot of issues.  He told me that he would stand by me and help me fight my illness.  But he got mad at me when I turned to him in times of crisis; I had ruined his night.  And he got mad when I turned to someone else; I shouldn’t have turned to someone else when I had him.  I now know that it wasn’t my fault when he would get angry.  There was no way that I could have won.

However, at a time where I believed that I was a burden to my friends and family, being told by someone who always insisted that they loved me and cared about me that I really was a burden convinced me that my worries were true; I was holding the people that I cared about back.  If I died, they would be sad at first, but I would be liberating them; I would no longer be the one to ruin everyone’s good time.

I’m not blaming that person for my suicide attempt; that was my choice.  A lot of people have been writing about how suicide is not a choice, but for me it was.  It was a bad choice, and those who are suffering from depression are not in the right mind to make the right choice, but it was a choice.  At least for me, it was.  I decided to take the pills and follow them with gin.  I was just wrong about it.

I’m very happy now.  I got through it.  Thankfully I have a sensitive stomach and threw up after I passed out, so I got a second chance.  In this moment, I can’t imagine ever wanting to kill myself.  I love being alive!  But for a long time, that was not the case.  For many people, that is not the case.  Each and every person has his or her own battles, and we can’t pretend to understand all of them.  All we can do is show support for each other.

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The “I Hate Myself” Spiral

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It has certainly been a long time since I posted anything on this blog.  I have written lots of things for the purpose of posting on here, but it just hasn’t happened.  (NOTE: “hasn’t” is underlined like it is spelled wrong in my editor, so I am really self-conscious about it.  Please don’t make fun of me if it’s wrong.  I’m like 10-90% sure [depending on how hard I think about it] that I am right, but one never knows.)  I’ve been in an “I Hate Myself” spiral.  You must know what I am talking about.

Step 1: Start off with confidence

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Step 2: Doubt yourself

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Step 3: Procrastinate

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Step 4: Hate yourself

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Step 5: Repeat until you can’t

For example, I am supposed to be writing an essay right now.  Actually, at this point, I should have that essay completely finished.  If not totally finished, I should be at least in my final round of editing.  I keep sitting down to start it with so much confidence that I am going to blow the head off of my TA with my insights on same-sex marriage in Canada.  But then I actually start writing, and I realize that I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.  I chose to write about homosexuality and religion.  Why the hell did I do that?  I am neither homosexual nor religious.  And yes, it is a research project, but I am starting at ground zero on two subjects.  “You know what?” I think to myself.  “I will just take a little break to refresh my brain, then I’ll come back to this.”

Later… “Jesus Christ, why did I just waste my time re-organizing my drawers and watching The Vampire Diaries (although, is watching TVD ever a waste of time?)?  Now I have even less time to get this shit done.  Sophie, why do you do this to yourself time and time again?  Okay, well, here it goes again.”

The spiral does end at some point.  I run out of energy, so I just can’t keep going forever.  Luckily, the spiral does have a possible outcome that is positive; I eventually get enough done each time that I re-start my project that it ends up finished.  Unfortunately, there is always the other possibility that I just decide that the task I have taken on is too much and I give up.  Hopefully my essay doesn’t (there it goes saying “doesn’t” isn’t spelled right again) end up like the latter, but this blog did.  I gave up on it.  I was doubting myself so much that I just stopped.  Luckily for me, the “I Hate Myself” spiral is my very own “I Hate Myself” spiral, so I can do whatever the fuck I want with it.  In other words, I am bringing the blog back.

One good thing has come out of all this, however.  The boy is very happy with me that I did dishes, even if it was just because essays are the worst, worse than dishes even.

Restaurant

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I’m back in the town I grew up in for the weekend, and it is bringing back lots of memories.  Man, I used to have the world figured out.  Being the oldest sibling, my brother and sister thought I was the coolest (I think) and always wanted to play with me.  Especially my sister.  I took advantage of them.  I invented the game “Restaurant.”

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Restaurant involved three players: the customer, the waiter, and the chef.  I always played the part of the customer.  I had convinced by younger siblings that the customer was the most boring person to be because you just sat there the whole time.  My brother usually assumed the role of the waiter, while my sister was the chef.  I would sit on the couch with the coffee table in front of me and do whatever the hell I wanted (read books about ponies, mostly) while they waited on me.

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It was a pretty sweet deal.  I got servants.  They got to play with me.  It was a win-win situation.  They had fun.  Sometimes they even requested that I play restaurant with them.

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However, it was too good to last.  As they got older, and I guess smarter, they started to want to play the role of the customer.  When one of my parents made me let them, I would make sure to do a terrible job as a waiter and/or chef so that they would think that the customer really was a boring player to be.

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But they got older and wiser.  They started to refuse to bring me food.  I would try and invent reasons why they should.

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My brother still fell for it sometimes, but my sister was on to me.

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She had a point.  My siblings were becoming little badasses, and I was running out of tricks.  We had a good run, though!

Post Suicide Attempt: Chapter 3

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Post Suicide Attempt: Prologue – https://sophiebuck.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/post-suicide-attempt-prologue/

Post Suicide Attempt: Chapter 1 – https://sophiebuck.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/post-suicide-attempt-chapter-1/

Post Suicide Attempt: Chapter 2 – https://sophiebuck.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/post-suicide-attempt-chapter-2/

When I was transferred to the unit in the psych hospital that had lower security, I was given a tour by one of the nurses.  I was a little afraid because I had no idea what to expect.  But the fear and hesitation I felt was nothing compared to where I was before.  This unit was much nicer.  There were sofas, the patients were allowed to open the windows and change the tv channels themselves, there was art on the walls, and I got my first glimpse of sunlight in days.

I was taken to what would be my room, where I was introduced to my roommate.  She was my age, and very friendly.  I was also introduced to another patient who showed me all of the ropes and made sure I had someone to sit with at dinner.  I was also quickly introduced to some other patients, but I didn’t really get to know them until later.

My nurse also explained “privileges” to me.  There were different levels of privileges.  The lowest was on-unit privileges, which meant that you were not allowed to leave the unit except to go to classes.  Next up were in-house privileges, which meant that you could go anywhere you wanted inside the hospital as long as you signed out and were back every hour to confirm that you hadn’t run away.  After that you got grounds privileges, which meant that you could go anywhere on the hospital grounds (you could go outside and breathe fresh air!) as long as you signed out and came back every hour.  I was immediately given in-house privileges since I had behaved so well in the previous unit.  Your doctor could also grant you evening and weekend passes so that you could spend some time at home as long as you were with a family member at all times.  And if you misbehaved, you could have your privileges taken away.

Finally, I was given a schedule.  The schedule listed all kinds of classes that were available.  These classes included horticulture, yoga, art therapy, wellness (which was super boring, but it was the only class we absolutely had to go to), and some other activities.  Our doctors also referred us to groups that were more specific to our particular issues.  I was assigned to Women’s Group (a bunch of women who sit in a circle to share their issues and support one another), Managing Emotions (learning how to identify what you are feeling and express it in a healthy way), and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Skills for Anxiety (learning tips and tricks to help understand your triggers and how to cope with anxiety).  I can’t really share too much about these classes because we had to sign some confidentiality forms; all I can tell you in that they existed and I learned things.

I started to get used to the routine, and I got used to eating eggs every single day because that’s what they always served the vegetarians.  Don’t get me wrong, eggs are delicious.  I just got a little tired of eating them every single day.  My original roommate was released after one night, and I was assigned a new roommate.  She was mostly bedridden, and she asked me who I was every time I entered the room.  But I made friends elsewhere.  I am even still in contact with a couple of them.

I was also finally allowed to go outside when I had a panic attack and freaked out because I felt like I was being confined in too small a space, so that was good.  It was freezing outside.  I got soaked by all of the falling snow, but I GOT TO GO OUTSIDE!  Seriously, don’t ever take the fact that you are allowed to go outside for granted.  And really, how good can it be for someone’s mental health to never let them breathe fresh air?  Even prison inmates get to go outside for an hour every day.  I’m not going to get into that right now because it’s not really relevant to my story, but I was thrilled to finally be allowed to go outside!  It was the best I had felt in months!  I even called my parents to tell them the exciting news!

There were also many challenges that I came across in this unit, and there were several things that went on outside the hospital that I felt like I was helpless to do anything about.  My school, for example, was a source of many issues.  But I’ll talk about that next week.  See you guys then!

Children

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So, I promised that I was going to post something fun this weekend (because let’s face it, this blog needs something to lighten the mood a little after the past few weeks), and here it is!  I babysit two girls before and after school, and they say some pretty hilarious things.  Here are some of my favourite quotes:

“I’ve had just about enough of you telling me what to do.  I think I’m going to have to start talking back to you.”

“Did you know that boys have different private parts than girls?”

“When will my boobs be as big as yours?”

“I want to see what your bum looks like.”

“Why would someone ever call a store Forever 21?  And what does H&M even mean?”

“Do you like your boyfriend?”

“If my parents pay you to look after me, will yours pay me for looking after you?”

“Have you and your boyfriend kissed?”  “Yeah.  Yeah, we have.”  “I’ve kissed a beluga whale at Marineland.”

Also, one of the girls once ran up to me, grabbed my breast, and then ran away.  She also likes to try to pull my shirt up all the time.  She has quite the fascination with boobs.

In spite of the attempts at undressing me, I have a lot of fun with these girls and they have inspired me to write a children’s book about my bunny; they absolutely love hearing about all of her shenanigans!  Meet Bailey who you can also follow on Twitter (@BaileyBun23):

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Once I have gotten the story written, those girls will be the first to hear it!

Anyway, this post’s purpose was to point out some of the positive things going on in my life since they far outweigh the negative!

I Don’t Wanna

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Hello Readers (if I have any),

Today is Tuesday, and I promised that I would post chapters about after my suicide attempt on here Tuesday evenings.  Not this Tuesday.  I need a break from writing about trying to kill myself; it’s pretty draining.  I’ll be posting something fun later this week (probably Friday or Saturday), so stay tuned!  And I’ll be back on schedule next Tuesday!

Sophie