(This isn’t my artwork and unfortunately don’t know who to give credit to)
I hope by telling you about a conversation I had, it may normalize things for you as well.
I went to my psychiatrist today. I haven’t truly taken psych meds in about 2 years, but as someone on disability, I have to have someone vouch that I’m “crazy” when I’m up for review even with all my physical disabilities.
I told her about my recent health crises. She said something along the lines of, “you’re so inspiring to probably more people than you know. You are a voice of hope. It must be exhausting. Who takes care of you?” By taking care of me, she didn’t mean my daily needs, she was talking about who listens to my fears and worries. I had to tell her besides a woman I regularly text in Florida, no one. I have fear about talking about how hard it is. Ever since they started using the cancer word in regards to my health and reached out to a dear friend about my fears and got rejected, I don’t like to talk about it. I understand why my friend can’t deal with it. She’s had family members die of cancer and admitted she can’t watch it. Understand yes, make me feel extremely abandoned, a definite yes.
I am in horrendous physical pain constantly and you add that I can’t share my true feelings with anyone about what I go through, it’s a recipe for disaster. I’ve been wanting to get the next statement off my chest and will preface this with I have NO PLANS TO DO THIS AND WOULDN’T. I next told my psychiatrist that with all the physical pain and isolation, I think about suicide a lot. Her response was, “sounds normal”. I honestly wanted to leap from my wheelchair and hug her!
Sometimes when something is so heavy on your mind but realize it’s not something you would do, you still don’t want to bring it up as medical professionals are trained to freak out. I also love and appreciate that my psychiatrist realizes I’m absolutely not depressed. My suicidal feelings are a result of being very physically sick and chronic pain, unless you live with it, is an extremely exhausting and overwhelming process. I still enjoy my good days like no other and when I’m having a bad day, I close my eyes and think about the good moments.
So not everyone has the ability to have such an understanding psychiatrist or doctor or even friend when it comes to suicidal thoughts, so I’m normalizing it for you. If you are managing lots of illnesses that have completely changed the trajectory of what you thought your life would be like, it’s totally NORMAL to get hopeless about it from time to time. Of course, if you feel imminently suicidal, please go to an emergency room or call a suicide hotline.
I am NOT imminently suicidal or even depressed. I just have a body that continues to fail me and it was an extremely hard couple weeks with IVIG infusions and subsequent side effects and not having the medical support of my neurologist.
Regardless, I’m still mostly grateful for every moment I continue to breathe no matter how painful it is.