Suicide and Why The Word Needs to Go Away


I was given this article from a coworker, and frankly, had to share.

It’s from a Christian perspective, but the least judgmental thing I have read since the passing of Robin Williams.

Moratorium on the word suicide, please.

To quote the “Barefoot Pastor”

Cardiac disease can be a terminal disease if left untreated.  And sometimes, even when treated, it still kills you.  The mechanism by which it kills you is heart failure.  You have no choice.  It’s never called suicide, especially not if a person has done everything “right” – eaten healthy foods and exercised etc.  Family and friends of someone who dies of cardiac disease get sympathy, not shame.

So too mental illnesses can be terminal diseases if left untreated and, even if treated, sometimes are too powerful to heal.  The mechanism by which some mental illnesses kill you is suicide.  Suicide is how an illness kills, not how a healthy person kills.   People who commit suicide because of mental illnesses are no more at fault for their deaths than people who die of heart disease are for theirs. Their family and friends also need only sympathy and not shame.

Mental illness is a big spot of debate in this country from various religions.  If left untreated, it can be as dangerous as cardiac disease.

Bipolar disorder makes me feel like a ticking time bomb sometimes.  I feel like the slightest thing could set me off into a downward spiral.  I am already the queen of self loathing, and wish beyond a measurable amount that I could, for once, see myself as the way others see me.  The way my husband sees me.

When I was untreated and barely holding on – even in recent years – while putting on a mask and being the person I thought I could hide the most behind (including on this blog at times) the thought and contemplation of ending my life was a possibility.  I lacked the key component of actually acting on it, but the idea of freedom from this mental anguish, and physical pain of bipolar disorder and depression seemed like the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now that I am working through things, like my medication and therapy it’s hard to imagine that hole I was in.  But that’s the key.  You need to be treating this instead of stigmatizing it.

We should have better drugs for mental illness and more research going to it, over how to grow your eyelashes longer, or solve the problem of erectile dysfunction.

Mental illness, to me at least, is like an infection, like a cancer that just eats away at you.  It can just be as deadly as both of those things, and suicide is not the real persons choice, but the diseased person’s killing.

Honestly: Response to the Matt Walsh Article on Robin Williams


I wasn’t aware the impact my post would have yesterday.  I received numerous messages from people I’ve never even met telling me how they were so calmed by someone being honest about depression/bipolar/suicide.

Depression does lie.  It does physically hurt.  It can drive you crazy because you aren’t in control of yourself.  You really aren’t.

When I was diagnosed with Bipolar I was ‘too young’ to be bipolar so I was given the label “Really Depressed”.  Okay, well at the time that fit the bill.  Then when I got older and my symptoms became more binary, I realized something else was up.  I was then told that my mania was actually normal and my lows were simply my depressed states.

Then, after a few years, the graveness of the situation became very clear.  I hurt someone, deeply, that I care about.  When this occurred I was at the beginning of my treatment.  I was newly diagnosed Bipolar I and was put on mood stabilizers.  My anxiety was still through the roof, I was self medicating by online shopping like I was Kim Kardashian, and eating food like I was Michael Phelps.  Since I am neither, my bank account crashed, and my waist expanded.  This didn’t help the anxiety or the depression.

It made it worse.

When I finally came to terms with the fact that depression and bipolar (among others) are diseases, I stopped.

Just because I don’t have a visible ailment, doesn’t mean I am not suffering and in pain.  Just because my pain can’t be fixed with advil or an antibiotic doesn’t mean it’s not real.  Just because someone else doesn’t accept it, or believe it, doesn’t make it a lie.  It makes that person intolerant.

Matt Walsh – apparently a well known Christian Blogger (I’ve never heard of him, and I am a Christian) – wrote  apiece yesterday entitled:

Robin Williams didn’t die from a disease, he died from his choice

When I saw this, I screamed.

Literally.

Also, incidents like this give us an opportunity to talk about depression, and we certainly should.  Only we shouldn’t turn the subject into a purely cold, clinical matter. “Chemical imbalances,” people say. “A man is depressed because of his brain chemicals, and for no other reason.”

No, we are more than our brains and bigger than our bodies. Depression is a mental affliction, yes, but also spiritual. That isn’t to say that a depressed person is evil or weak, just that his depression is deeper and more profound than a simple matter of disproportioned brain chemicals. And before I’m accused of being someone who “doesn’t understand,” let me assure you that I have struggled with this my entire life.

AHHHH.  WHAT?  I mean really.  WHAT?

But, wait.  THERE IS MORE.

We are so trained to ignore differing perspectives that the minute a person opens his mouth with a view diverging from our own, we block out his words and fill in the blanks with some caricature we concocted in our heads.

I can understand atheists who insist that depression must only be a disease of the brain, as they believe that our entire being is contained by, and comprised of, our physical bodies. But I don’t understand how theists, who acknowledge the existence of the soul, think they can draw some clear line of distinction between the body and the soul, and declare unequivocally that depression is rooted in one but not the other. This is a radically materialist view now shared by millions of spiritualist people.

I’m not a doctor, and shockingly, neither is Matt Walsh, but to legitimately state with a straight face, that these illnesses do not have to do with brain chemistry is kind of well… the most ignorant thing I have ever heard.

And I have heard Fox News Anchors Talk.

So this, for me, is always the most essential moral at the end of these kinds of sad, terrible stories: we are all meant for joy. We are all meant for love. We are all meant for life. And as long as we can still draw breath, there is joy and love to be found here. I believe that. If I didn’t, I would have left a long time ago.

I agree that God put us here to love and be loved.  I also agree that everyone deserves joy.  I wake up some mornings and that breath he talks about us taking is the most painful, gut wrenching thing I have to do.  I’m not exaggerating.  I form masks so people – even my husband – doesn’t know the severity of my pain.  Then I go to Therapy every week and sob my eyes out because I have pent it up for 7 days.

Matt Walsh can state that Robin Williams made the choice and his depression didn’t make him do it, but when I have been in the same boat, attempting the same actions, it was not me.  It was my disease.

The part that was me, was working with the doctors and my therapist to get stable, which from the news Robin Williams tried.

I don’t think we should be judged on our pain, or actions for that matter, by anyone on earth, because no one is above reproach.  Whatever demons Robin was fighting are gone.  The disease can’t hurt him any longer.  While I don’t think that suicide is the answer, I wasn’t there in his mind.  I pray he is at peace.

This is proof that our mental health industry and the acceptance of depression is far from where it needs to be.  Think of that next time you decide to judge someone who is in invisible pain.

Depression Lies


Robin Williams allegedly took his life, and was found in his apartment yesterday.  The authorities have stated that it appears to be suicide but still inconclusive until more of the investigation is done.

Robin Williams suffered from crippling depression.

Having bi-polar/manic depression I can sympathize with the thoughts he might have had, the fight he must have fought till the end, the storm he was forced to weather.

I’ve been there, and still am.  I had the thoughts of wanting to end it, and sometimes, still do.  Mainly because Depression is not something that is rational.

My friend posted the following on facebook, and I think it is more eloquent than anything I could write:

Depression isn’t rational. Suicide isn’t rational. No amount of impassioned pleas to “ask for help” will change what this disease does to the spirit. It makes the person feel utterly alone, regardless of the reality. The depressed person doesn’t see anyone they can reach out to – you have to reach out for them. And be aware of how your actions (especially at work) affect people, because depression isn’t rational, and the smallest slight or imposition can become an unbearable fixation. If you’re wondering whether you should say something to a person – you probably should.

It becomes a battle, daily, sometimes minute by minute, to function.  You learn to build an array of masks to cover up the fact that you are deteriorating inside.  You could have everything in the world, all the friends, the best significant other, best job, etc.  You could have the ‘perfect life’ while clawing you’re way out of the hole you always are in.

I am a firm believer of nesting – and not the actions you do prior to a baby – but getting in bed, or on the couch and building a fort around you of covers.  Sometimes that is the only way I feel safe, not even joking.

I’ve never felt so alone than being in a room full of people.  There are times, even when being perfectly honest with my therapist, that I feel like she doesn’t get it.  I get angry because she suggests things that I am thinking that I am not.  I get mad because sometimes she is right, but depression is irrational.

Depression lies.

Depression tells you that what you are isn’t good enough.  Depression tells you that your husband loves you out of obligation.  Depression tells you that no matter what you do, you will fail.  Depression makes it easy to not leave the house, and ignore everyone and thing around you.  Depression tells you that your life means nothing.

Depression is what tells you, sometimes, to end it.

I pray that Robin is in a better place, and that he has finally found peace.  I pray for the comfort of his family and friends.  I pray for the state of the mental health practice in the world, that we will work harder to get medications to work, and to get people better.

I just pray.

So I Joined Meetings


I changed my account to Monthly Pass yesterday, and will be going to my first meeting tonight.  I’m nervous as a hooker in church, but I’ll get through it.

I’m leaving work at around 3 to get home and get my run over with so I can be at the center by 5.  I’m thinking this will hold me more accountable than just online has.  I think the idea of going each week will keep me on track.

Just have to get in the door.

Menu:

  • Breakfast: 3 eggs, zucchini, bell pepper, onion; coffee w/ milk
  • Snack: water
  • Lunch: Chipotle – lettuce, veggies, medium salsa, corn salsa, barbacoa, cheese
  • Snack: more water for my run
  • Dinner: Pork tenderloin with zucchini pasta

Activity: 3 miles this afternoon.  I should have done it this morning, but sleep was needed.

I’m missing Moody something fierce right now.  I keep thinking his little 11 pound body will be next to my bed.  I keep thinking that I have to mix his food.  I keep thinking I have to get his shot ready.  I keep thinking he’ll be asleep next to me on the couch.  I miss his presence.  I miss his fur.  I hate that I know I won’t ever hold him again.

Moody and Jason

Moody and Jason

Breaks my heart.

I’m hoping that this new turn I am taking in my life will be exactly what I need.  I hate waiting, even though I think I am being really patient.  I’m fighting really hard, I’m trying to be strong.  I’m trying to see the progress, no matter how small.

I’m really trying.  In running and mental stability and weight loss, really trying.

How Grey’s Anatomy Put Me In My Place


exactly

One of the main things that people who have bipolar disorder have to deal with, aside from the actual symptoms, is getting their medicine regime right.  I’ve been working with a doctor since August 2013 and we are still tweaking things.  I am told it can take up to 2 years (or possibly more) depending on the level of bipolar disorder that the patient has.  I got a bit anxious and annoyed with the process and decided that I needed to seek another opinion.

I went to another doctor (well, Nurse Practitioner – if someone can explain the difference, that would be swell) yesterday and while she was easy to get along with, I felt that it still, after much deliberation, that she was not a good fit either.  She was too laid back.  She said that “We can try whatever you want” which at first sounded great.  But then she was like “If you hear of a drug on the internet you think might work, we’ll try it out.” Um.  Wait.  So you are going to let me experiment on myself.  You are the person who is went to medical school to learn these things.

While some might not see this as a big deal, it was a red flag to me.  I also realize that I am currently in a pretty fragile state when it comes to accepting my disorder, and accepting the fact that medicine will be in my life forever.

I was feeling all types of pity for myself, and then I was watching a rerun of Grey’s Anatomy last night.  It was one where the narrator was stating that we all have had days where we think it’s the worst.  We spilled our coffee, we were late to work, we had to work through lunch, etc.  But then, when something actually horrible happens, when a tragedy strikes (in the case of this episode it was three kids losing their parents and their grandmother in an accident) you wish for those little issues.  You begin praying for your situation to be anything else than what it is.

It made me sit back and think for a moment.  I know.  Meredith Grey made me think.  While this is extremely hard, painful, and feels impossible at times, I will get through it.  It is nothing in the grand scheme of the world.  I am lucky enough to have health insurance to cover these issues that I have.  I am lucky enough to have a supportive husband.  I am lucky enough to have a flexible job that when I can’t leave the house, I don’t have to.

My problems, although are still important, are my problems.  The storm I am weathering will pass.

Quotes, Life Quotes, Love Quotes, Best Life Quote , Quotes about Moving On, Inspirational Quotes and more -> Curiano Quotes Life

I know I am pushing the limits, but I have to.

 

Another Post About Starting Over


Here is my broken record…

I’ve hit rock bottom.  I didn’t think it could go much farther below hitting the scary number on the scale that I swore I would never get back to.  But, here we are.

Weight loss humor

I’m passed the scary number.  The majority of my clothes don’t fit anymore.  I feel like a hippo.  I am being uber negative about everything.

One of our dogs, Schnoozie, ate something bad yesterday and  as a result had to be at the vet all day.  Last night, our other dog, Moody, continued to get sick.  So I was up and down with him all night, and now, I am sure that we need to prepare ourselves for the worst.

It’s been a shitty year so far, and we are only half way through it.  I know that God only gives us what we can handle and then he carries the rest, but I really feel like I am being pulled through the wringer.

I know I shouldn’t complain.  We went to Italy, I have done really well in school, we are both healthy, we have a roof over our heads, food in our fridge, and jobs.  I feel like crap for complaining, but my pain is my pain.

This Bipolar Disorder isn’t helping.  My meds still aren’t straight, I keep going for low to numb.  I haven’t hit Mania in a while, and really, I miss her.  I miss the positive, bubbly, energetic me.  I can’t have her though,  she makes horrible decisions.

So here I am.  Starting over.  I had a good day yesterday food wise, and I’ve tracked today already as well.  I know it’s a start.  I just feel like a failure.

I am trying to let go of some of the anxiety in my life because it’s causing me to overeat and being irritable, but as my therapist says, it’s your brain chemistry that is attacking you, not you.

I wish I could believe her.

Bipolar disorder

 

 

MRAs & #YesAllWomen


I am unsure how to broach the topic with an introduction, so I will simply jump right in.

My name is Bethany Burroughs and I was raped on March 21 2005 by the guy I was dating at the time.

Why I am Mad:

Men’s Rights Activists or MRAs.  If you would like a funny take on the facts we have go here.

In response to the Hash tag “YesAllWomen” I was met with some shocking responses.

I tweeted #YesAllWomen Because I shouldn’t be told I could have done more to stop my rapist.

I was met with responses like “Not all men are like that!”  “Not all women have been victimized!”  “You’re dividing the genders!”  “You’re ignoring crimes against men!”

Um, what?

I should feel bad about breaking my silence about my rape because I am not taking into the crimes against men?  I should feel bad because this hash tag has given a voice to women who have otherwise remained silent?

I was told I couldn’t change anyone’s mind on twitter.  That was not my intent or the intent for many of us.  Our intent was to empower ourselves and break down the walls we’ve built to hide our pain and anger.

At least that is how I was seeing it and how I was using it.

I know I talk a lot about myself on my blog (it makes sense) but there are some things I don’t divulge.  The details of my rape is part of that.  Mainly because I have done such a great job of blocking them from my memory that to begin to write them out here would be incredibly traumatizing.

I am not yet ready to open that box.  I am however ready to state that I am not a victim or a survivor.  I am a human.  It happened.  It doesn’t define me, and in fact, I am the only one who defines my rapist as such.

I was raped.  It was horrific.

What is more horrific is having my moment of being honest with myself and showing others that have gone through similar things that they are not alone (I received over 40 direct messages from girls ranging 14 to 38 thanking me for being so open in a public setting, and for fighting back against the assholes that were trying to beat me down – most of wish were 16-18 year old boys, so take that for what it’s worth).

1 in 6 women will be victims of sexual assault and that is too much because the number is not zero.

1 2

 

Hard to read, I know.. but this is what I got as some of the more tame responses.

Do I think all Men’s Rights Activists are horrible people?  Not at all.  Do I think the ones who are yelling the loudest are idiots?  Yes, most of them.  I’ve never been so offended and angered in my life since the whole “Legitimate Rape” scandal occurred.

The fact is:

  • I’m scared to run in my neighborhood because I was jumped by two guys trying to get my phone
  • I’m scared to go out alone anywhere (even therapy) because I am terrified someone will follow me
  • When I am running outside I will continuous cross streets if there is anyone else on the side I am on
  • I can’t trust people
  • I can’t sleep most nights and when I do I have nightmares

But what it should be:

  • I shouldn’t be afraid to run in my neighborhood
  • I shouldn’t be afraid to go places
  • I shouldn’t feel the need to avoid all people
  • I shouldn’t have a fear of everyone hurting me
  • I should be able to sleep
  • I should not see the worst in everyone
  • I shouldn’t be victimized again for feeling this way.

Comment if you want.