Disclaimer: This is not an erotic post, or really sexy at all, so technically not qualified for Sinful Sunday, but I don’t care. This is my diary. Writing is therapy. This is a call for awareness, and I am officially activating my personal support network. That means you.
I am hurting people I love no matter what I do.
It is killing me.
It is all my fault.
I can’t stop it.
I need to run away.
Then I can’t hurt them anymore.
My pain will stop.
It makes sense now.
I want to disappear.
The word ‘disappear’ in my thoughts was the bright red flashing neon warning sign that made the trained counselor part of my brain drag my body out of bed, force it to get dressed, and drive straight to the nearest VA healthcare facility. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. I needed help immediately. It was a medical emergency, and I knew it.
Even so, it took quite a mental battle to talk myself out of my truck once I had arrived. Reminding myself that asking for help is NOT failure, it takes great strength. Remembering that ALL pain fades, even if right now it feels like it will hurt like this forever. I knew what walking through that door would mean. I had done it before. I had been monitoring my mental status, watching for another episode of Major Depression for months. I was definitely there.
Still I hesitated. Antidepressants do help with the lows, but also flatten out the highs for me. Far less crying, but fewer joys. Just existing. With a lot more trips to the bathroom. They also destroy my libido, which as you may have noticed, is a big part of my self identity. I would still be functioning, but who I AM would disappear.
Suddenly I realized I have already been disappearing. I barely tweet anymore. I rarely torment local Sadists via text and arrange dates anymore. I haven’t tormented Sir in a very long time. My drinking has increased dramatically.
I withdraw from being social now, preferring to sit off to the side in a room full of people or, even better, alone in bed playing solitaire on my phone. Obsessively. It is far more discrete than sitting on the floor hugging my knees and rocking, and nearly as soothing.
I also remembered a random thought that had crossed my mind within the past couple of weeks. Somewhere I had seen a Concealed Carry application for Washington State. “For a mere $55, I could carry a weapon. For protection. There is still a Pedophile and Stalker at large after all. I will have to look into buying a small handgun.”
The bright red neon flashing sign went off again in my mind. It screamed “Help.” My counselor part opened my door and dragged my body in to the desk.
The VA staff is VERY well trained on how to respond to a sobbing female veteran bursting in through the door.
I didn’t need to be reminded this Veteran’s Day that 22 veterans a day commit suicide. I didn’t need to be informed that women who have served in the military at any time are six times more likely to kill themselves than women who haven’t, often decades later. I didn’t need to be told that having a PTSD diagnosis increases my risk exponentially.
This Veteran’s Day, I felt it. The helplessness. The hopelessness. The inability to cope. The urge to separate myself from everything. The need to run from the people who care about me, my support network.
“Are you having thoughts of suicide?”
“Not yet, but I am dangerously close,” I told the nurse.
“Do you have access to any firearms?”
“The gun cases have been locked, and all ammunition has been hidden in the garage since April. I do not have any knowledge where the keys are located. At that time, it was to save someone else’s life, but it turns out I was prepared for this as well.”
I already have more than one foot in the grave. I fully intend to keep the rest of me out of it for quite a while. I don’t fear Death, in fact we have quite an interesting long term relationship going. I have a whole lot more living to do though, even if I need to take a Prozac time out from life for a little while.
It will all be ok. It always is. On the darkest of days, simply just breathing is a huge victory. I am still breathing. All pain fades, even the pain that will never disappear.
I am a trained professional, and I recognized the warning signs. I got help. I will get through this. I will be stronger for it. I have survived worse before. Still, I almost stumbled and fell.
So many others are stumbling right now. Or will years from now. They may not recognize their irrational thoughts like I did. This time. Trust me, at that moment, those thoughts make PERFECT sense!
If you know anyone that could benefit, please share the links below. Or use them yourself, for yourself. Use them to ask how to help someone you care for. Just don’t disappear.
And please, don’t let me disappear.