Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

My family is louder

pre-3-month photo

I really couldn’t come up with any better photo–but I have my three month check up and ICD interrogation appointment this week, so a heart tshirt photo is appropriate.  The appointment should go well.  I haven’t noticed anything odd, and I’m usually a little hypersensitive when it comes to my heart.

SO where the hell have I been?  I got home on Tuesday.  (Today is Saturday) I was in the hospital for two weeks, on the good old psych unit.  I’ve been doing ECT, but the suicidal thoughts and feelings were getting a little too strong for my comfort level.  Being Bipolar Type I is such a freaking joy.  (And please tell me you could read the sarcasm in that statement.)

A certain song in running through my head: Everyday by Toby Lightman.  Really, the whole freaking song.  But the chorus: “But I’ll see better when the smoke clears / When the smoke clears inside my head / And I can listen when the screaming doesn’t repeat everything I’ve said / And all that remains is me and who I am at the end of the day  / And this happens every day.”

I can listen when the screaming doesn’t repeat everything I’ve said Yuppers.  If I could only silence the screaming.  Clear the smoke. But I guess that wouldn’t make it true life, now, would it?  Life comes with the screaming and the smoke.  It’s our job to manage them.  Walk despite them.

While I was in the hospital, I was faced with a particularly loud scream.  My dad’s side of the family is not all that close.  But I’ve gotten to know one of my uncles and his son over the years.  My parents called to let me know that my cousin was found dead of an overdose of heroin.  I wanted to go to the funeral.  I wanted to take my mourning and place it within some type of ceremony.  I wanted to hug my uncle and aunt, my cousin’s parents.  I wanted to hug my own parents.  But if I’m completely honest, it was probably a good thing I was on the psych unit.  I could curl up in a ball and when I felt like cutting, I could walk out of my room and find a staff member.  Or, they would find me while doing checks.

What I’m feeling is powerless.  And I realize that I would have put the rest of my family in the same exact position of powerlessness if I had attempted suicide.  And I realize my family was in a powerless position when I was sick with my eating disorder.  And I know that I cannot do that.  I am not saying that I will never be tempted again with suicidal thoughts.  I’m Bipolar Type I; they sort of come with the territory.  But I don’t have to entertain those thoughts.  I know there are people out there who are willing and ready to help me, who want to help me.  Accepting help is my challenge.  But even if I am “only” accepting help to avoid hurting other people in my family, that’s enough of a reason.  This is a case where the ends really do justify the means.

Recovering from an eating disorder can be a similar thing.  How many of us do it for our own self in the beginning? I did it for my nephew for a long time before I believed that I was worth it just the way I was.  I don’t care if you do it for your cat or your parrot.  It’s a reason.  A reason that you can always add to.

Right now?  The screaming is still quite loud in my head.  My family is louder.


February 26, 2011 - Posted by | bipolar disorder, death, depression, Eating Disorders, feelings, recovery, relationships | , , , , ,


  1. I could have written this entire post. I’m sorry to hear that you were in the hospital, but I’m glad to know how cautious you are with your safety. I think that I’ve come to accept that suicidal depressive periods are just going to be a part of my life. Around twice a year I start contemplating my death and not wanting to get out of bed and crying a lot. Like you said, the best thing I’ve learned to do is accept help and try to remember that it passes eventually. During it, I just feel so hopelessly stuck in the cycle and even though I know it will fade, I get angry that I’m just as sure of it’s return. You know? Suicidal thoughts are… draining, frustrating, exhausting.

    My reasons are the people who love me too, and the people that I know I get to help because of the way I struggle and eventually grow. Using my experience to change other people’s lives reminds me that pain can be meaningful.

    Comment by Amanda G-M | February 26, 2011 | Reply

  2. Such a good post. I’m sorry too that you’re having a hard time lately…I’m in the early stages of recovery, on a pass visiting my parents from treatment and discharging in a little under a week. I’ve been there for quite some time. And right now it’s for my family and loved ones, and it was good to be reminded of that.

    Comment by Sofia Benbahmed | March 28, 2011 | Reply

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