Ok, well, I notice in April and May of 2005 I was having a distinctly dark time of life. I felt as though I was staring into a deep, endless void of darkness, and sometimes lost in it. Barely able to reach the shore, and really struggling some days to get out of bed. A feeling of wanting to stay under the covers all day, where I'd be safe and warm. Other days, on a euphoric high, out running, laughing, enjoying life, losing weight, and running a 10 k, and a half-marathon race. A friend said to me, online, "Deb you seem to go from really low to really high in your emails. Maybe you should get that checked out". So, yes, I read up on the web, and thought, "you know what? I think I may have bipolar". So, got to see my family doctor soon. He agreed and put me on drugs right away. And got the appointment for the psychiatrist in July. What really, truly motivated me to stay on the drugs was shortly before my diagnosis there was the shock of hearing of Paul Hester. A talented drummer/musician with Split Enz and Crowded House, he'd hung himself in a Melbourne, AU, park with the dog's leash. Everything to live for, with a radio show, a wife, two beautiful daughters, and he killed himself. "Why?" was the question I read that people were asking. "Why?" I thought of my girls losing me at that point. How they would ask "why?" for all the rest of their lives. That scared me, deeply. That is why, to this day, I don't muck about with this disease. If it can take him away, it can take me away. And I'm not going to let that happen, I assure you.
Getting back to Paul Hester as I read his obit I couldn't help but think: that's so much me. The bon vivant, laughing, joking, life-of-the-party, and inside? A small, scared, timid person who hurts. Never bleeding on the outside, but hurting on the inside, badly. According to this article he'd been suffering from depression for years, and was noted for his extreme mood swings. As I sat there thinking, I thought, what place does a person have to bottom out to decide to do it? I mean, physically stand up, throw a dog leash, or a rope, or load a gun and then actually "do it". Jump, kick over, shoot, whatever. Just how much pain must they be feeling at this moment? I'd guess there is no thought of what will the family think and/or feel. Maybe they just want a release from the pain? I don't know, and never want to know the actual feelings. But I can empathize with them. So sad. I hate to say it too, but a very selfish move, on their parts.
Lately I've had a string of deaths that I've heard of. My mother-in-law Phoebe, and my best friend Pam's uncle that I knew well, since childhood. A lady at church whom I spoke with, and then two weeks before Christmas more bad news. A friend whom I met in the online game Uru, spoke to me in an email about his step-fathers suicide the week before. How the shock, the anger, the tears hadn't stopped at all. How he'd told few about it, not even knowing how to talk about it. Not knowing if he was crying too much or too little. How does one go about saying that they're sorry to hear that? So sad. But, somehow, amongst the tears and the feeling of "why did he do that?" I replied. Hearing his grief just reinforced the reminder to be strong. To never give up, as Sir Churchill likely said.
And then the article that I linked to in the title. Where it says that Mr. Kirby will be the head of a Mental Health task force, similar to the Canadian Cancer Society. Well, bravo to that.
Quote from him here
He always keeps in mind the stories he heard when the Senate committee first held hearings. In particular, he recalls a young woman from a rural community who took the microphone in Newfoundland and spoke about her family, who responded to her depression by telling her to "buck up," and the long weeks when she couldn't get out of bed.
"The punchline was when she said, 'I really wished I had breast cancer instead — I wouldn't have lost my friends. I wouldn't have lost my family. I wouldn't have lost my job,'" Mr. Kirby recalls.
Sounds similar to my father, and his attempts to get me to clean up my act, my house, and my life, and my weight. Doesn't matter that I do a damn fine job of keeping care of my daughters, my husband, the dog, and getting them all off to their various places, and managing my best to keep up with the daily stuff. No, gotta have a pin-tidy house + lose some 50 odd pounds and oh, get a job too, maybe huh Deb? So discouraging, in a word. Just so a way to get me down, when I'm feeling up. Would we tell a child who's just walking "you're not steady enough, get better!" No! Why would he tell somebody who manages to get by without falling apart, "do better!" I sigh heavily.
So, yes motivations to write this blog came about from many sources. I do hope it helps at least one person. If so, maybe my feeling of being a completely self-centered person who babbles on and on about her sick head may go away. But, as of now? I feel very silly writing this blog.