Sunday, 20 March 2016

adrift again

I haven't made one of these pathetic posts in some time.

I'd been in a bad way and sought help. I went to my GP in December and told him how bad I'd been, that I'd been suicidal and was frightened. He was as good as ever, made sure I didn't seem an immediate risk to myself and referred me to the local mental health service. Even though it took them ages to respond (I actually had another appointment with my GP and he was furious they hadn't arranged an an assessment, other than to check again that I wasn't in imminent danger from myself and to give me contact phone numbers), I'd been okay. I think that, having asked for help had been a kind of therapy in itself, knowing I was n the first step and the future looking brighter, actually being able to see a future beyond this thing.

I had my assessment last week, the day after my 45th birthday.

It wasn't helpful. I thought I expressed fairly well the problems I was having, but I obviously failed. I told the mental health worker about my suicidal ideation, how I'd been better for the last four months since I asked for help but how frightened I was that if I slipped I'd slip all the way. I tried to tell him about my background, about the problems I'd been having, about how disconnected and stressed and hopeless I'd been feeling, about how guilty and ashamed I feel all the time, but I guess I didn't express it very well. Perhaps I came across as calm and articulate and was hoping for him to read between the lines and I was asking too much. Or perhaps I'm not worth helping.

I know, intellectually, that this is a stupid, self-regarding thing to think but as I typed it my throat tightened unbearably and tears pricked my eyes. I know its a cry for help, and we in our culture differentiate between 'actual' suicide attempts and 'cries for help'. But if someone is crying for help, surely that is because they need help? and, anyway, I don't think it's as clearly delineated as that. There's the idea of letting fate take a hand. While I profess to not believe in fate sometimes I am quite happy to leave my life in its hands; for a while I made a habit of accelerating down a steep hill on my bike and closing my eyes, but came to my senses (or chickened out) before a fateful impact. The same idea surrounds the 'cry for help'. If I cry and nobody responds, then it proves I am not worth saving.

So I feel adrift, as though I've realised that the lifeline to which I was clinging is held by nothing but seaweed. So far there are a few things staying my hand, other than plain cowardice. The potential indignity of failure in even this. Not wanting to inflict pain on my friends and relatives, or trauma on anyone who has to clean up the mess. My son. But I know I stand on a balance and that the guilt that keeps me here can easily slide over to the other side of the scales. I don't know how many times I can hit the low point before I break through.


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  2. I know you wrote this post some time ago, but I have to ask, have you gotten treatment since this post and are you currently on any medication?

    Your goodreads' friend,