Monday, August 18, 2014

You get what you ask for.

Kay, seriously, I need to stop blogging at night. Night is the enemy. Night is the dark time. You are all alone, even if your Mom is sleeping in the same bed as you. Everyone is in blissful sleeping land and you, the girl with cancer, the one who needs desperately to sleep, are wide awake.

Not sure if it's the after-effects of accidentally getting high yesterday or what, but I tried Tylenol PM. I did that doTerra oil on my feet. I took a bath. Then another bath. Wrote a letter the size of a novel to my friend. Nothing seems to be doing the trick.  I had the worst insomnia when I was in college. I would cry and plead with Heavenly Father to let me rest. My brain just would not stop moving. When I had kids and started falling asleep as soon as I hit the pillow, I was so grateful, in a way, that I was able to fall asleep. This staying up all night business is not terribly fun. I really should read my scriptures, but Ben moved them somewhere when we were showing the house. Maybe I should read them on LDS.org. But I have a weird thing with electronic reading. It makes me intensely uncomfortable. It's like I can't connect with a book unless I can hold it physically in my hands.

I've got a lot of quirks. Have you noticed?

So. Robin Williams. When he died, and also when my friend Frank died, not once - not ONCE - did I go, "Oh, he is so selfish." That is the most ignorant thing to say. You know what I said when I found out about each if them?

"I know how they feel."

Don't freak out. Please.

It's a hard thing to describe depression to people who don't have it. But I've been fighting that dude
my whole life, and he is a killer.  I'm way more intimate with Mr. Depression than I would like to be.

Obvi, depression is different for everyone. In my case, I had two main difficulties. 1) Anger. 2) I had this deep longing to be dead.

Don't freak out. Stay with me here. It will get better.

I never, ever made plans to kill myself. I never tried to kill myself. I was lucky I never got to that point. But there have been many, many times in my life that I wanted Heavenly Father to take me away.

"It's too hard, Father. It's too hard. Take me away."

I also had this weird desire to be underground. I wanted to be under the earth. Hidden from any view
while I grappled with this. I would bury myself deep within my bed. Completely covered. Hidden. I would put ear plugs in my ears and pretend I was peacefully sleeping under the ground.

I know it's weird. But it was how I felt.

Somehow, I was able to reach out for help, amidst the fuzzy cloudiness of my mental pain. And I got help. Real, good, specific psychiatrist help.

My meds are what hold me together.  When my grandma died, I didn't shed a tear. And I loved her.
"Wow, Kar," my dad said in admiration.  You are a ROCK."

"Oh no. No, no, no. It's my meds."

But it's not like I'm a zombie. Sure I didn't cry very much anymore, but my meds made me feel like
myself. It was like my real personality was trapped in this big ball of despair.  Now (with the notable exception of the past week), I can feel sad. Happy. Ecstatic. Angry. It's just that the ebbs are like valleys and foothills instead of ravines and...less deep ravines? Haha! My meds have saved my sanity. Therefore, they have saved my family.

Depression is like thyroid disease. No amount of scripture reading, praying, excercising, or eating healthy will rid you of thyroid disease.  Same with depression.  Some things will help for a little while.  Excercizing gives me an endorphin boost, which is why I do it ALL the time. But if your depression takes you to a place as dark as I have been, the only way out, at least for me, was clinical, medicinal help. You wouldn't tell someone who was born without an arm that if they just ate right and excercized, they could regrow an arm. It's so utterly ridiculous when people make obtuse statements like that to me.

Until you have experienced it, you have NO idea how horrifying it is. How debilitating. It will bring you to your knees.

What I feel toward people who have attempted or completed suicide is nothing but compassion. Because I've been to that dark place, and it is sheer hell. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I know that helpless feeling. I know what it's like to beg for death.

I can't help but wonder sometimes if I got cancer because I wished for death. Like I brought it on myself. I regret having thought those thoughts and said those words, but I was not in my right mind. I feel like this whole thing is my fault. I asked for something I didn't truly want. And now I'm staring death in the face. I mean, my chances are good - 72% survival rate for stage 3b breast cancer. Plus I'm young, active, etc. But I don't know. Part of me wonders if I summoned the reaper.

I'm starting to feel myself slip into that dark place once more, so I'm getting help from my psychiatrist soon.  I have an appointment this week.

Robin, you don't know me. But you were an extraordinary talent. I have zero judgment to mete out. I've been where you were. You feel like you're being tortured. You had to escape. I hope that you can actually truly rest in peace.

6 comments:

April Sattison said...

It's interesting the see the dichotomy between the reactions of those who intimately know depression and those that don't with regards to Robin William's death.

It's pretty telling.

I think the best response when people ask how Robin William's died is not "Suicide", it's "Depression"... suicide is a symptom.

I'm glad you are meeting with your doctor soon, I know with me that just the thought of an appointment gives me hope FOR hope... if that makes sense. It's a step up from absolute despair.

I hope that the meeting with your other doctor gives you hope for hope as well.

(((hugs)))

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