Graham Moore’s Oscar Speech Sends a Heartfelt Message to Those Kids who Feel They are Weird, Different or Don’t Fit in.

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Graham Moore won Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Imitation Game” at Sunday’s Oscars.

The screenplay was about Alan Turing, the genius codebreaker who did so much to help the Allies overcome the Nazis during World War II, but was later demonized and eventually committed suicide.

He used the win to give a powerful speech about being ‘different’, depression and suicide awareness.

Graham Moore's Oscar Speech Kindness

Graham Moore's Oscar Speech Kindness

Graham Moore's Oscar Speech Kindness

Graham Moore's Oscar Speech Kindness

Graham Moore's Oscar Speech Kindness

Graham Moore's Oscar Speech Kindness

Graham Moore's Oscar Speech Kindness

His moving speech has been welcomed with much praise with several stars including Ellen DeGeneres and singer Ariana Grande applauding it.

DeGeneres wrote on Twitter: ‘Congratulations Graham Moore. That speech was beautiful. You should think about being a writer.’

While Grande posted: ‘Anyone else want to hug and thank Graham Moore?’

The screenwriter said he had imagined the moment on stage as a teenager when he would get to say those things during an acceptance speech, and said that it was surreal to be able to do it for…

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YOU JUST NEVER KNOW

So much has been written about Robin Williams’ suicide this past Monday.  I have read most of it.  In the end, what I’ll say about it is this:  you will never know what someone else is going through.  Never.  It’s not possible, unless he or she decides to share it with us.  Just because someone is funny does not mean he or she is not depressed.  Just because someone has financial security does not mean that he or she is not depressed.  Just because we think someone ‘has it all’ does not mean there isn’t a battle going on inside.  You simply cannot tell by looking at someone, especially if that someone does not want you to know, what is happening inside.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…as someone who has battled and lived with depression for most of my life, I hid it very well.  It is possible to go out and laugh and smile and act as though all is well, when inside you are slowly dying.  And it’s not a matter of being strong enough to fight the good fight.  You can fight and fight and fight, and at some point, you may get tired of fighting.  You just want the pain to stop.  It really is that simple.

Mental illness, suicide, sexual assault, rape… none of these are pleasant subjects; and yet, all of us are touched by them at some point in our lives, whether directly or indirectly, and it would behoove us to be more open about them all.  Is it easy to talk about for most people?  No.  It’s can be very difficult.  And it is very necessary, I think.  There is a lot shame and judgement surrounding all of them, and that makes people reluctant to talk about them.

There are a lot of people who think that committing suicide is a selfish act.  Jenny Doh wore a great post on this very subject.  As she said, it is not about you or me.  It is about the person who wants the pain to end and comes to the decision that the only way is through death.  If you’ve never been there, you cannot possibly understand.  And though I find it hard to believe, there actually are people who have never felt that kind of despair.  I know a few.  Or they are lying about it.  Most, though, have had the idea at least make an appearance, however briefly.   This is the comment I left on Jenny’s post:

“Depression is a chemical imbalance in your body/brain.  It runs in families.  I have lost two brothers to suicide.  I have been seriously close to ending my own life.  I got the help I needed.  Jenny, you are absolutely right about suicide not being about you or me, but about the person who does it or attempts to do it.  I can totally understand wanting to make the pain stop.  Someone who has never felt the utter despair and hopelessness that a deep clinical depression can bring, cannot understand how this truly feels.  I would go so far as to say that no one takes his or her own life on the spur of the moment, simply because of a bad day.  Many months, years or decades of pain, whether physical or emotional or both, contribute to such an act.”

I also feel like there are different ways to kill yourself that are not even considered suicide.  Abusing drugs and alcohol are two of them.  And overeating is probably one, too.  As the saying goes, everyone is fighting some kind of a battle.  Some are more obvious than others.  Mental illness, though, usually is not so apparent.  And as long as there is so much judgement surrounding it, people will remain reluctant to speak about their struggles.  Sadly, it takes the suicide of a well-known and well-loved celebrity to get people talking about it.  My hope is that, however hard it is, that we continue the dialogue even after the media attention has died down.  As I’ve said from the beginning, and the second anniversary of this site is just a little over a month away, my purpose for sharing my story is because I believe passionately that we need to talk about these hard subjects so that we can, hopefully, make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Robin Williams.  I believe he did the best he could and stayed in this world as long as he was able to.  May you find some kind of peace in knowing that his pain has stopped.

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DEPRESSION…AND HAPPINESS

Is it possible to be both depressed and happy?  Common sense would tend towards no.  But I’m thinking that it is possible to be both, at the same time, without even being aware of it, especially if your ‘normal’ state is some degree of depression.  I think that depression runs the gamut from mild sadness occasionally all the way to severe clinical depression.  I cannot honestly remember a time that I was not depressed, though if asked now, I would say I am happy.  What does that mean?  Being happy?  Obviously, happiness is subjective.  What makes me happy will not necessarily make you happy, and vice versa.

I can remember clearly the first time I was aware that I really didn’t want to be in this world.  I was 14 years old.  As I am thinking about this, though, I suspect that this idea occurred to me when I was far younger.  I simply do not remember.  Much of my childhood is a blur. I have very few actual memories, but knowing myself as I do, it makes sense that it would have come up long before I was 14.  So much more is known and understood these days about depression and the genetic link.  I am definitely predisposed to suffering from it.  My brother and uncle (my mother’s brother) are both diagnosed bipolar.  I believe that my grandmother, though not diagnosed, also suffered from it.  And plain old depression runs rampant in my family.  Two of my brothers have died as a result of it.  It is something I continue to struggle with, though certainly not to the degree I have in the past.

I think part of the reason that depression is still so misunderstood and seen by many as some kind of weakness, is because it is possible to live with it and function almost normally.   I did it for many years before I finally took the antidepressants I needed to get my chemicals back in balance.  I’m sure I even had times that I felt happy in the midst of my suffering.   I remember when my grandmother found out I was taking an antidepressant, she said, “You’re not depressed.”  Ha!  I told her that just because she didn’t see it did not mean it wasn’t there.   I was very good at hiding it from everyone.  I knew for years, and other than a few attempts at therapy, I did nothing about it.  My mother’s attitude was, buck up and stop feeling like you do.  Oh, okay.  Too bad I didn’t think of that.  Unfortunately, that is the attitude of a lot of people.  If you were stronger you could do it.  It does not work that way.  If your chemicals are truly out of balance, no amount of wishing, hoping, talk therapy, exercise or anything else is going to change it.  You must get the help you need.  What made me finally break down and admit I had to go on medication was being in Key West, the sun shining and I was feeling nothing but darkness.  I thought, oh crap, my therapist is right, I do have to take something.  I was always able, when I lived in Chicago, to blame it on the weather and the lack of sunshine, which were definitely contributing factors.  But when I was in sunshine and warmth and still had such negative feelings, I knew the time had come.

When I got back to Chicago, I asked my therapist for a recommendation of a psychiatrist so that I could do what needed to be done.  When I first went to him (I do not even remember his name now) and he confirmed that, indeed, I needed medication, I asked how long I would have to take it.  He told me that usually a year, maybe a little longer was considered ‘normal.’  I said, “Okay, but that’s as long as I plan to take it.  No longer.”  He agreed, and I continued with my therapist and once a month saw him as well.  All I can really say about the drugs were they accomplished what needed to be done.  I have always described the process of being on them as hateful.  I was first prescribed Prozac, which just about killed me.  Every bad side-effect that was possible to get, I got.  Finally, he changed it to Wellbutrin and though I hated it too, it was not quite as bad as the Prozac had been.  In the end I took it for 14 months, and when I was done, that was it.  Luckily, he agreed, and I went off of it.  I felt better than I had in years.  At the time, too, I asked if I would ever have to take it again.  He told me that I might, that there was no way to really know, sometimes people did and sometimes they didn’t.  There have been times when I thought maybe I should probably be on something again, but until my attack, I never seriously considered it.

If you’ve been reading this blog all along, then you already know what happened when I attempted to take something for my depression, post attack.  Because I had had such a negative experience with antidepressants, even though they did help me, I really did not want to take one if I could somehow do it more naturally.  So, Suzie, my amazing therapist, recommended St John’s Wort, which is an herb.  I thought this was a suitable compromise.  Well, just as the prozac almost killed me, the St John’s Wort almost made me kill myself by jumping off the Coronado Bridge.  Thing is, I did not realize it was the pills, I just thought I wasn’t getting better.  I did not tell anyone, including Suzie, for a couple of weeks.  I finally told her and she immediately knew it was the supplement that was causing the problem.  I had to wean off of it, but because of that and the fact that every other thing I had tried taking and had had such a bad response to, I was afraid to try anything else.  I had to white-knuckle it the rest of my therapy.  As I’ve said before, my depression after my sexual assault was situational, not clinical, and I was able to do it.

Ask me if I’m happy now, and I’ll say YES.  Some times I am happier than other times, and I still have issues that definitely challenge me, but, over all, I am happy.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

 

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LEAP OF FAITH, PART 2

I wrote the following on 18 November 2000:

Summary of My Process

Before actually beginning, or even being aware that such a possibility existed, my little voice that over the years, I believe, has kept me from doing anything I would truly regret, was once again screaming, and I do mean screaming, at me to listen.  It started in August, and, as usual, at first I discounted what it was saying.  I just couldn’t believe it was true.  However, over the course of a few weeks of really listening to and thinking about what had been said to me, I realized it was right.  A chance rental of the movie “28 Days” got me thinking that rehab was exactly what I needed; something so intense and concentrated that I could not walk away.  I asked my therapist if such a thing existed since I had never heard of it for emotional issues, only chemical ones.  She told me that, yes, she did know of a place called the Hoffman Institute that had a branch in Wisconsin and that she much respected the work that they’ve done.  She got the number and I called that day to have the information sent to me.  It didn’t arrive for a week and a half, which stressed me out since I wanted it instantly.  Once, in my own mind, I’d made the decision that it was for me, I wanted concrete facts in from of me.  I wanted to know when and where and how much.  When I finally received the packet, I glanced over it, and my first thought was, oh, this isn’t me for.  J read it more thoroughly, and later that evening, he told me he thought it was perfect for me.  I re-read it and began to think that maybe he was right.  Still, I had my reservations so I asked Cate the next time I saw her.  She again told me that she thought it would be very good for me.  I thought about it a little more, then made the decision to do it.  I called and made the reservation.  After that, I felt a little scared and a little excited, too.  The next day when Fed-Ex brought my enrollment package, I wondered what I had gotten myself into.  I knew, though, that I had to do it.  I felt, really, as though my life truly did depend on it.  I had made a promise several years earlier to my mother that I would not kill myself, but my spirit (which I know now, saved my life) was dying.  I was dying, and if I didn’t do something drastic, my life would cease to exist in any kind of meaningful way.  The time had come to take real action or I was finished.

A note before I continue — some of what I will be copying won’t make a lot of sense, unless you’ve actually done the Process, but it is more the feeling of what I’m saying than the specifics of what we were doing in the Process.  Also, because I wrote a little over 7 1/2 pages, I will break this into a Part 3.  You have to remember this was 2000, and laptops, if available, were not readily used, so everything was written by hand.  Of course, I still write in my journal by hand – no keeping it on my computer or iPad.  Okay, back to the summary of my Process:

My experiences in the Light Journey, my spirit guide, Child, Intellect and Sanctuary were all so foreign to me.  At the end of the visualization, I was more exhausted than anything else.  I also felt a sense of fullness, that here are parts of me I never even suspected existed, let alone knew of.  I felt as though a lot of missing, very scattered pieces came together at last.  I saw lots of colors swirling around and was amazed at the beauty of it all.  At times it felt awkward as my emotional child has never had that kind of love and attention that my spirit was paying it that day.  After I was able to put those feelings aside, though, I felt very grateful that I could help my emotional child feel loved and whole.  My intellect has done a good, no, make that a great job of helping me deny my true feelings about most everything in my life.  Having to allow my intellect to actually feel was liberating.  It gave me hope.  It made me feel as though I CAN DO IT.  Whatever IT is.  The vision of my sanctuary was very beautiful.  The was a huge hammock that my trinity came together in.  A place where the sun always shines, even as a gentle rain must sometimes fall to water the giant live oaks that support my hammock.  At the end of those visualizations,  I felt relief.

I think some of the most destructive patterns I learned from the major females in my life are self-doubt and never feeling good enough, and a sense that joy and happiness are for other people, not for us, or me. After dis-identifying with those patterns through the exercises we did, I felt a sense of freedom and forgiveness.  And relief that I am not the patterns I learned.  I felt that there is hope.

My experience of using my addictions in the Light also provided hope.  I realized that my addictions were, and still can be if I let them, just ways in which I isolate myself from everyone, including myself.  It has to be a conscious decision, daily really, not to allow it to happen.  In my fantasies, isolation is a wonderful thing, but in reality, it doesn’t really provide anything useful to my spirit or soul.  It actually keeps me from the very things I truly crave: love and a sense that I do belong, that I do, in fact, matter.

The most devastating and destructive patterns I learned from the male presence, or lack thereof, in my life are fear of men, of love, of being abandoned and of commitment.  My experience of dis-identifying with all those patterns through the exercises was similar to that of the female energy.  I also felt a profound sense of relief and lightness.

The compassion session was a sad, but incredibly moving experience.  For as long as I can remember, before this week, I have never viewed death as anything other than freedom from pain and the shitty word we live in, and because of that, it turned out to be harder than I would’ve imagined.  What made it ‘real’ was going to the cemetery and re-living it again there.  That was extremely difficult.  For me, just walking into the cemetery was hard enough, but what we did in the actual exercise was very real and sobering.  I still don’t believe that death is a bad thing, but I can finally see reasons for sticking around now.

Okay, this is where I am going to stop with the summary today.  I have not read this since I left Hoffman and it is kind of hard to take in.  I can see so much more clearly now, and I am able to see just how close to the edge I really was.  Scary!  The good news is I came through it and even now when I start feeling less than good, I have the tools to get myself back to where I need to be, where I prefer to live my life.  I learned so many of those tools at Hoffman, and as I have already said several times, Hoffman truly saved my life.

A LEAP OF FAITH: Part 1

I met my friend Shannon in 1988, while living and working as a model in Greece.  In 2000, I went to visit her in Vancouver, where she is from, though she lives in Barcelona now with her husband and two sons.  On the way to the airport I kept saying to my (then) husband, “I don’t want to go.”  He said, “Of course you do.  You always say this before you are leaving on a trip.”  True.  Did I know something subconsciously?  Did I sense that this trip would change the course of my life?  Maybe, but maybe it was just me not wanting to leave my comfort zone, the comfortable bubble I existed it at the time.  Whatever the case was, I did go on my trip, and my life did change.

As I said before, I had known Shannon since 1988.  I had met almost everyone in her family, everyone, that is, except her youngest brother, who I will call D.  When I met D I had a physical reaction to him.  This was strange because he was not my ‘type.’  He was tall and extremely fit, he participated in the Scottish Highland games and was really attractive. So what in that description is not my type?  All I can say is he just wasn’t.  That’s why the reaction I had to him seemed like it was coming out of left field.  I remember thinking, ‘oh, no, I thought that part of me had died.’

When I met my husband, I was a mess.  I had been back from Spain for about a year and a half at that point.   People thought I was anorexic because I weighed only 125 pounds.    I wasn’t, I was extremely stressed and just could not gain weight.  (By the way, I do not have that problem anymore.)  Then I met J.   He was a good guy; kind, nice-looking, though not in a pretty-boy/model way that I preferred.   He had a real job and a normal life.  I had retired from modeling by then, but it is a very hard business to leave, and I was still getting used to living back in the States.  I was clinically depressed and made decisions and choices that I never would have made had I been emotionally healthy.  There was one ‘problem,’ which in the end, turned out to be something I simply could not live with for the rest of my life.  I was not attracted to him physically.  At the time, I thought, well, I’ve had the bells and whistles before and because he’s a good guy, and there must be more to life than mind-blowing sex, I think I can do this.   The moment I met D it became very clear to me that I couldn’t.  Well, crap!

I couldn’t, wouldn’t, do anything about what I was feeling because, after all, I was married.  On the plane back to Chicago, I realized I was going to have to get a divorce.  I so did not want to tell J, and after I was home, I got sick from holding  it in.  I wasn’t sure how or when I would tell him.  I think I kept hoping that somehow I would be able to go back to how my life was before I left for Canada.  I think I was in bed for a week, and then one morning, without meaning to, it popped out of my mouth.  He asked if we could go to couples/marriage counseling.  I said yes.  I forget now where we found this therapist, but she was great.  It became very clear very quickly that this wasn’t going to work.  I had never really let my husband know who I really was, and, consequently was unable to talk about much in therapy.  We decided that I would continue to see her on my own, and go from there.

At one point, I saw the movie “28 Days” with Sandra Bullock.  I thought, ‘oh, my gosh!  That’s what I need.  I need rehab, but for mental stuff.’  At my next appointment, I asked if there was such a thing as mental rehab.  She told me yes, and there is a really good place that is based in Northern California, but they have a location in Wisconsin.  She got the phone number for me, I called and got the information sent, and two weeks later, I went to Hoffman.  When the brochures first arrived I read them over and then told J I didn’t think it sounded like me.  He read them and said to me, “Read them again.”  Oh.

The Hoffman Process saved my life.  I felt hopeless, that I was hanging on by a mere thread, and the 10 days I spent in Wisconsin changed everything.  What J actually said to me was, “If we can’t fix our marriage, can we at least work on fixing you?”  I was 99.98% sure I wanted  to get a divorce, but for the .02% chance that our marriage could be saved, and because I was so unhappy, we decided I needed to go.  Hoffman was, without a doubt, the most difficult thing I had ever done in my life.  There was 10 hours of pre-Process work, and I was on the phone with someone in the office more than once while attempting to complete it.   That was a clear indication of just how hard it was going to be.

I cannot even remember exactly where in Wisconsin it was held.  All I know is we were at a B&B and completely isolated from the outside world.  There was no TV, no radio, no phone or cell phones.  We were there to work, and work we did, for many hours each day.  When we first arrived, they gathered all 21 of us together and we each had to introduce ourselves and say why we were there.  I said, “I am at the end of my rope and since I promised my mother I would not kill myself, something has to change because my life depends on it.”

And so the adventure of the Hoffman Process began…

 

MY VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT

The following is the statement I made to the court on 25 June 2012.  My intention was to read it directly to cockroach boy, while looking at him.  Ha!  I couldn’t even look up from my paper to read it to the judge.  I was so nervous and my mouth was drier than the Sahara.  I think, in a way, that this actually helped me because it forced me to speak slowly.  Otherwise, I may have raced through just to be done with it.

I have mentioned many times how traumatized I was with every contact I had with anyone associated with this case.  The exception was a woman in the probation department.  She was kind and compassionate and helpful in ways that no one else was.  She encouraged me to be brutally honest about the effects of the attack and how my life had changed.  She told me I could talk as long as I wanted to.  She said it was important that the judge and the court hear and understand from me what I thought should happen to cockroach boy.   It was the first phone call I had with someone other than my therapist who was on my side.  Anyway, writing my statement was not easy, but this is what I came up with:

“Your Honor

The actions of the defendant have greatly affected me, and to a lesser degree, everyone in my life.  Before the attack, I was a happy, positive person:  I had a successful business; I was very physically active; I lived on an island that I loved and considered magical; I was 6 months into a new relationship with a wonderful man.  In other words, I had a fairly regular, normal life.

A little before 6 AM on 24 September 2011 all of that changed.

That Saturday morning I was engaging in my daily exercise routine of a seven mile walk when I was viciously attacked.  The attempted rape took place IN FRONT of the Hotel Del Coronado along the ocean sidewalk/path, not in some isolated portion of the island or on a dark street or under the bridge.  No, it occurred in a well-lit, populated area.  Of all the places I would have felt safest, this was one of them.

Completely unprovoked, and in the most cowardly way possible, the defendant ran up behind me and rammed both his fists into the middle of my back, and using the momentum of the rest of his body, slammed me to the sidewalk.  My telephone, which I always carried for safety, flew from my hand as my body propelled violently forward.  As I skidded along the pavement, my hips, hands and face sustained injuries.  Before I knew what was happening, he aggressively flipped me over onto my back and hooked his finger in the waistband of my skort and underwear, and I felt the terror rise within me as he ripped them off, for now I was naked from the waist down.  I kept fighting and screaming, but this did not stop him or even deter his efforts.  All I could think was, ‘there is no way I’m letting him rape me.’  I kept fighting, knowing that I was literally fighting for my life.  Then I saw his fists getting ready to punch me in the face to shut me up.  At that very moment, I heard someone yelling at him to stop, to get off of me.  He did not stop, nor did he get off of me, but it startled him enough that the expected punches did not come.  The man who was yelling got closer and closer until he was yelling in the defendant’s face, “GET OFF OF HER.”  Finally, he stopped, got off of me and ran up the sidewalk towards the street.  I immediately jumped to my feet and pulled my clothes back up.  I was later told that the man who saved me, and who I refer to as my guardian angel, was a guest at the hotel.  Instead of chasing after my attacker, he walked me into the Del, got hotel security, who then called the police.

Nine months later, I am still haunted by both the physical and psychological effects of the sexual assault.  I am in therapy and have been since a few days after the attack.  I have a strong support system but each day has had its share of challenges.

I have now experienced first-hand the roller coaster of shock to anger to depression, each phase accompanied by its own share of anxiety and fear.  Living in Coronado for 9 1/2 years prior to this vicious attack, I walked every day before dawn.  Since my attack, I still cannot walk near the Hotel Del Coronado or the beach and never walk before dawn unaccompanied.  As a result of my depression, which I am dealing with, I became suicidal; I came very close to jumping off the Coronado Bridge and might have actually done so had I not seen a friend’s car on the bridge behind me.

I now want to move away from Coronado because it no longer feels good to be here. I no longer feel safe.  I look at most men now as potential threats.  Walking 4 blocks to the store  if it is nighttime is no longer possible.  So many things have changed.  If I allowed the sadness for all these changes that are a direct result of the attack, I am not sure I would survive.  I now approach life in a very different way.

Perhaps the most starkly evident effect of all this has been my ability to work.  I am a self-employed seamstress.  I make custom home furnishings: slipcovers, window treatments, pillows bedding, anything for the home.  Since the attack, it has been very challenging to work as my concentration and focus are affected.  Jobs that would normally take several hours, now take several days, if not longer, if I am able to do them at all.  There has been a substantial loss of income, as a result.

There is no doubt in my mind that had my guardian angel not shown up when he did, the defendant would have beaten and then raped me.  No doubt at all.  In addition, there was absolutely no hesitation on his part.  He knew exactly what he was doing.  The attack was more violent than any photos or police reports, or even my own words, can convey.  He may have been on his best behavior while in jail, but that’s because he is monitored, forced to take medication and there are no women for him to attack.  Statistically, chances are the defendant will never be ‘cured.’  Even with medication compliance, the chances of another vicious assault are very high.

Given all this, I believe he deserves and I am requesting he be sentenced to the maximum time allowed under the California statute for the crime of attempted rape.  We all know he would have completed that rape given a few extra minutes.  I can tell you, without hesitation, I might not be here any longer if he had.

The 24th of September 2011 was, without a doubt, the worst day of my life.  I may have been a victim of a crime that day, but I am NOT a victim.  I WILL get through this and in the end will be a much stronger person.  You are NOT worth my life.

Sincerely,

Tamerie Shriver”

Although, as I said at the beginning of this post, I was not able to read this directly to cockroach boy in the manner I wanted to, I did say to him while looking at him and he looking back at me, You are NOT worth my life.  And when I sat down, I asked my boyfriend if he (cockroach boy) had been looking at me the entire time.  He said, no, that he had only looked at me when I looked at him and told him he wasn’t worth my life.

Next post I’ll get into the details of exactly what happened in court and, even more interesting, what happened after, which was even more upsetting than being in court.

PUSHING THE ENVELOPE

Before I get to my journal entries, I wanted to tell you that I have been pushing the envelope of darkness, so to speak.  I am still (mostly) afraid of the dark, and going out into it to walk, unless I am walking with someone, is not possible.  Or is it?  Lately, as it gets lighter earlier, I have been going out before it is actually light.  Okay, only by a couple of minutes and only because I know the sun is coming up and it will only get lighter and lighter.  And when I walked at 4:30a the other day with my friend Mike, I was able to meet him part way down my block.  Of course, I watch out the window and can see him turn up my street.  Still, it feels like progress.  I also remind myself of my friend Erin, who was raped 30 years ago in an attack that was similar to mine, in that she passed him, spoke to him and then he grabbed her from behind, and she walks in the dark, sometimes alone, almost every day.  And then there are the odds.  I mean, really, what are the odds of it happening again?  As they say, lightening doesn’t (usually) strike twice in the same place.  I am still very cautious, though.  I expect that at some point I may be able to walk in the dark again.  But maybe not.  And maybe I’ll just continue to push it a little more each day, but never too much.

 

Back to the past and my journal entries:

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Feeling rather crappy today and I’m not sure why.  There is no rhyme or reason to the ups and downs of my emotions.  I walked 6 miles and still feel bad.  I feel okay as I am actually walking and then when I stop, all the crap comes back full-force.  I just want the pain and awful feelings to stop.  Why are they being so difficult to release?

10:25a  Had my shower and cried the entire time.  I can’t believe how bad I am feeling.  I’m back in bed, hoping I can sleep and wake up feeling better.  The thoughts that keep running through my mind are disturbing, to say the least.  It’s like I am in a battle with a part of myself that is determined to make me give into it.  I feel like I cannot not tell anyone this, even Susie, but Monday when I was coming home from therapy, feeling really, really, really low, as I was coming across the bridge, I actually considered stopping, hell, I almost stopped and, well, at the very least would have caused the bridge to be shutdown.  As it turned out, Mike was 2 cars behind me, which I didn’t know until he came up right behind me at the light at Orange.  As far as I can remember, I’ve never come so close to doing something that I don’t think I really want to do.  I continue to fight that annoying part of me that just wants to leave, to check out.  I am trying so very hard not to give in.

11:20a And now I just feel like I’ve been beat.  The feeling of complete hopelessness goes away to be replaced by a feeling of overwhelming exhaustion.   All I can do is sleep.

 

Monday, 23 April 2012

“8:15a  It’s another marine-layery day.  How delightful.  Oh ,that’s right, not so much.  Like I need depressing weather when I am already in a depressed state of mind.

And the big question is – Am I being completely honest with Susie about how I am really feeling?  Not all of the time, but more than I think I should be.”                                               [ Note- I’m not sure what I was thinking when I wrote this.  And I wrote this prior to seeing Susie on this day.  At this point I had not told her what happened on the bridge.  I had not told anyone, including Bill.  And as a matter of fact, I did not tell him until some weeks later.  I was always afraid that if I was completely honest with Susie, she would have me committed to a mental hospital.  I did not write that afternoon when I got home from therapy.]

 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

“5:30a  Had another very fast walk with Mike.  13 1/2 minute miles, which is pretty dang quick.  I’m planning on the 7:30a yoga class, so I am resting until it’s time to leave.

I am very hopeful that, once all of the stuff (SAMe, St. John’s Wort, and whatever that other pill I’ve been taking) is out of my system, Wellbutrin won’t be necessary.  I guess it’s a good thing that I told Susie what’s really going on with me since, it appears, the pills I was taking, at least the St. John’s Wort, was making me worse instead of better.  I just want to not feel like I do”.

 

So, the St. John’s Wort was making me suicidal.  I should clarify that.  It was making me even more suicidal.  Although I am not bipolar as my brother and my uncle are, it turns out I am in the bipolar spectrum and what that means is, just as there are certain drugs and/or supplements a person with bipolar disorder should never be given, someone who is in the bipolar spectrum has to be treated in the same way.   Had I not told my therapist what happened, there is no telling what I might have done.  As I said, I do not remember ever coming so close to doing something about my desire to leave this world.  It’s not like I ever had a plan or have ever thought much past the idea of not being here anymore.  This incident really scared me, and even though I did not tell Susie right away, I did tell her the next week.  She immediately knew it was what I was taking; something that was supposed to make me feel better, was making me so much worse.  I couldn’t just stop taking it, either.  I had to taper off of it.  Eventually, all of what I was taking got out of my system.  At that point, I was afraid to take anything.  My body has such weird reactions to medications and after this horrible episode, I didn’t trust anything.  In the end, I decided to go without any kind of medication.  Should I have tried a ‘real’ antidepressant?  Maybe, but I chose not to.  As I said in an earlier post, I thought that  I was not clinically depressed, but situationally depressed.  It was what I was going through and I felt like once I got through the therapy, I would be okay.  I was, however, open to it if Susie really thought I needed it.  I was lucky that I was being monitored and that I was finally honest with Susie.