I thought it was time I shared with you where I have been for the last few months. Very serious trigger warnings for violence, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. I am being graphic about what was happening in my head because I think I need to be.
I know my psychological issues are nothing compared with many of my tweeps and those who read this blog, but to me, I kinda hit a crisis point.
It really goes back several years when, every time I crossed a bridge – over a river, railway lines, motorway – I had an overwhelming urge to jump off. I didn’t want to, but I felt compelled to do it. It progressed to where the urge was to take others with me. And eventually I really was no longer sure about reality. Was I simply feeling these feelings? Was I actually doing it? Because the sensation was so strong I felt that I was climbing over the edge. I often had to shake my head as if to shake away those thoughts or make sure I was awake.
I just figured it was “one of those things” and all I had to do was ride it out. And it did go away. Sort of.
More recently, those urges returned. A compulsion to drive into an oncoming truck, off the edge of a cliff, at the top floor of a parking building to set up a ramp to drive off into the next building or just crash to the ground below. For quite some time, this compulsion to drive full-speed into something has remained. Like I said, I don’t want to die, or hurt anyone else, but the compulsion was always there.
And that is about the point when things started to get worse.
There were compulsions of stabbing and cutting. To kill and hurt those I loved. Strangers. Anyone. Everyone.
When I came in the front door, I would often feel a strong impulse to pick up a Stanley knife and just cut my throat. At other times, it would be an impulse to fake my death and move somewhere noone could ever find me.
I stopped thinking I could just “ride it out” when they were almost constant. That was around the time when I started feeling terrified. Not of anything as such (although you can pretty much guess what I was afraid of), just afraid.
Finally, I decided to see my GP and get an EAP referral to a clinical psychologist. I’ve had my GP appointment, and my psychologist appointment is soon. As my GP said, this wasn’t “nothing”. By the time his patients come through his door about psychological issues, it is serious. And that was good to hear. I knew I was in trouble.
I have been on low dose of anti-depressants for years – just 20mg fluoxetine. Probably for over 20 years with a few short periods of trying to come off them. I figured that they were no longer working. My GP did exactly as I expected – doubled the fluoxetine and prescribed some lorazepam with a review in 2-3 weeks.
Typing this, I feel scared again, but only because I am looking back at what was going on. The quiet in my mind is simply blissful. There was just so much noise before. I guess I had become used to it to a certain extent.
I think I have a long way to go. I have been very grateful first and foremost to my wonderful, beautiful wife. We haven’t talked much about this, and I don’t know if she knew what was going on, or if something was wrong – people are very good at hiding what goes on inside. But she has been there. And in her arms, there are no thoughts, there is no world, there is just a universe of light and love.
I want to thank all my friends – particularly my Twitter friends. Your support has been wonderful. And I thank you so much.
One other thing that kept me tethered to reality was an unshakable belief that I am a good person. I know I am capable of doing all these things – we all are. I have known the deepest darkest nature of my inner beast since I was 15 years old when I first faced it down. But I also have an unshakable knowledge that all these things are just thoughts. They are just fucked up brain chemicals.
There are many things that could have happened in my life. But without any one of them, I would have been a different person. And I firmly believe that without them, this blog post wouldn’t exist. Instead you would be reading about this in the papers.
I think I know the trigger point of this collapse. And it was about 4 years ago. But I guess that is another story for another time.
For now, I just want to say thank you. And I love you all. And how amazingly great it is to feel better. Not entirely well, but definitely better.