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Friday, December 20, 2013

My Experience: Instead of Ending it all, I'm Starting Again.

A few years ago, I was in a customer service job. I was good at it. I talked to people, and even better, I talked gadgets with them. I started zoning out and feeling dizzy most nights, and was asked to leave early quite often.

One time, on the hour and a half drive home, I blacked out for almost half an hour, and found myself quite off course, in the opposite direction of home.

I decided to see my doctor, and it was discovered that my *fasting* blood sugar was 599. My doctor called me after hours on a Friday, and had the pharmacy stay open a little late so I could get some meds and supplies, or else I would have to go into the hospital.

This began a period of change. Mostly for the better. Suffering from depression, I had always felt "not quite right" so I didn't even notice the havoc that daily fast-food lunches were wreaking on my poor body.

So, I figured, one more thing to deal with, I got this shit.

Change is always stressful, even if it's for the better. About the diabetes, it's been 4 years now, nearing 5. I got my diagnosis a month after my daughter's Rett Syndrome diagnosis.

Yeah, pile on the worries.

Sometimes, I don't feel the worry on the surface. It's always there. It still is. I know now how to let myself feel it, and get it out.

If I jump ahead, it's because this gets darker, then it gets better.

So, for a while I was out of work. After medical leave, I'd try to go back, and get asked to leave again. I was "hurting the company's numbers", though still doing a great job as far as the customer was concerned. I was using the knowledge in my head, getting things right, but not following "work flows". I couldn't focus on those. Not while talking to someone and looking up info for them at the same time.

I've always enjoyed the feeling of a job well done. I hadn't had that in too long at this point. I wasn't an earner. It was costing me money to go to work. I had to go out on short-term disability.

While out, things at home got tense, and I was kicked out of the house by my now ex. Don't worry about that, we're civil, even friends most of the time.

I stayed with my sister for a few months, then, near the end of this round of medical leave, I found a place to live nearer to work.

I moved, closer to work, but much farther away from anything familiar. I still had to deal with crippling social anxiety, depression, you name it. And I still just couldn't think straight.

I went back to work around the holidays. I was a mess. A bad phone call, and I'd be in tears, and I wouldn't even know why. Needless to say, I was asked to leave again.

So now I was rooming with someone I barely knew, almost two hours from my children without a car(their mother had it), and the holidays were upon us.

To top it off, I have Rheumatoid arthritis. I had a major flare up, so on top of it all, I was dealing with intense physical pain. That alone is hard to think clearly through.

I stayed in my room, sometimes all day, with the lights off. I've always been able to deal with a lot, as long as their was something, even small, that I could do or work on to make things better. There may have been something I could have done, but I couldn't figure what it was.

I thought about ending it all. My sister was good enough to reach out, but people's pity didn't help me at this point. I was low, and withdrawing more and more.

For a few days, I wouldn't let anyone even know anything was wrong. I was in crippling pain, and when people were there, I made sure I was sitting, and if I had to get up, it was when they weren't paying attention. I couldn't laugh at anything. Nothing had meaning.

I was so overwhelmed, I laid in bed for two days, only getting up to relieve my bladder. I felt so amazingly useless. I couldn't pay my rent, see my kids, or even go to work if it meant finding a new job. I was in no shape for that.

Finally, I went to the medicine cabinet, saw I had the better part of a month's worth of prescription sleeping pills, and some vodka. I swallowed the lot, and laid down, expecting never to get up. It didn't even upset me.

Fortunately, a few hours later, I felt a little wet nose on my face. My dog, London
Someone was rooting for me.
, was nuzzling me, wanting affection. I realized what I had done, gave my dog a hug, and I knew that if I waited, I'd just feel like I did the night before again.

I called 911. It had only been about 3 hours, and I didn't know if I'd make it otherwise. It turns out I'd have to take a few hundred of those pills to really do any damage, but I didn't know that at the time.

I was taken to the emergency room, questioned, and left there for most of the day on a hospital bed. They asked if I would go to a CSU - Crisis Stabilization Unit. I agreed, hoping removing myself from society for a few days would help me get my head on straight.

While there, I learned to make origami. My flare up spread to my right hand, so I made a swan entirely left handed.

I drew some. I found peace in that. The first peace I could remember in months.

I draw, I paint. I make wire sculpture. I play music. Mostly for myself, but in rare cases, I get paid for it. I found a sort of usefulness for myself.

Even though it's been nearly five years, and my head is back on for the most part, things do NOT change overnight. It's hard. It's hard to find what actions one can take. It's hard to see things in a better light. It's not impossible, and if you can manage to stick it out, and find what centers you, maybe find at least one person you can really connect with, you don't have to talk about your problems all the time. Just work on finding out who you are, and be that person. Work on that person. Make that person better. For yourself.
This guy can be your best friend if you treat him right.

When you do things to make yourself better, you are worth so much more to those who need you. However useless you can feel when the darkness inside almost wins, I promise, somebody out there loves you and needs you. Sometimes you just haven't met them, or made them. Sometimes, they're not human.

Whatever you do, be true to yourself. It takes time to really find what that means. It's not easy, and there can be so much chaos in the meantime. Learn to let go of what really doesn't matter so you can focus on what really does. If giving in to anger, hate, or sadness won't help you accomplish something, don't let it win. Do cry if you need to. Crying releases endorphins, our brain's natural mood stabilizer.

Health-wise, I'm healthier than I've been my entire adult life. I've got my strength back, and added some sexy man-muscle, I can even run again. Taking care of yourself is always worth it.

For me, this holiday season, I'd rate as my most stressful yet. Everything I've been afraid of, without going into detail, has happened. Yet, I'm optimistic. I've made changes, and I'm looking forward to a new phase of my life. I promise great things, and for once, I really feel it, too.
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