I’m not going to commit suicide

There’s another aspect to the general concept of not talking about suicide, and that’s the total freakout that sometimes ensues. I’ve been told very clearly on more occasions that I care to remember, not to mention suicide.

I can’t listen to this,
You shouldn’t have said it.

One person just said I can’t, and stormed off.

Funny thing is, none of those who reacted that way to me have had any experience with it beyond that. And I haven’t threatened suicide dammit, I’ve said

I want to die,
I don’t want to be alive,
I can’t cope with life.

Those are not statements of intent. The upshot of negative reactions is me keeping quiet about those things. It’s a nasty, twisted, frightening, lonely, painful silence too. And now even I feel selfish, petulant, fraudulent about the fact that all I want is an ending. There is no fucking empirical evidence for any of it getting better and while there’s no evidence the other way either, I do have a solid 45yrs of experience that says I’m worn the fuck right out and that the odds of a vastly improved future just aren’t encouraging.

I’m sick to the gills of the slogans too –

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

No. It’s a desperate act in the face of a  hell that, frankly, you might not ever be able to understand.

It’s just a cry for help.

Oh yeah baby that’s it, it’s just a cry for help from a society that thinks crying = weakness. Strangely, the very society that sees suicidality as weakness, sees failed suicide attempts as weakness too.

Here’s what I want. I want assisted suicide to be option, a safe and careful one. And not only for those with allegedly more noble and valid physical issues either, I’d like society to admit that we the mentally neurobiologically ill also have the capacity to measure our own pain against our quality of life.

Or, you know, as I’ve said about 45481845 times already, how about working on some better palliative care for us, so that suicide would be less of an issue in the first place?

I’m not going to commit suicide. It’s 04h17 and I’m going to the beach.

la thérapie par électrochocs

If you see someone riding a stick, imagining that it’s an animal, tell him “what a lovely horse”. (Tunisian proverb)

Here’s another thing I appreciate about our tribe, when I said that I was going to be having ECT, not one of you reacted by saying EEK HORROR, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST etc. Of the people I’ve told irl, two were calmly supportive and the rest went into panicky caps lock on the spot. Autocorrect on my tablet responded by going on strike, claiming that having to differentiate between ECT and etc constitutes untenable working conditions. One said, “don’t be a guinea pig,” which I don’t really understand, but I will admit to a sudden urge to pee on hay. One said, “I was quite freaked out, so I googled and read a bit and now I understand,” and I doubt that she has any idea of what an amazing reaction it was or how good it made me feel. I’m still waiting for someone to say they’re shocked, so that I can say, “Oh you’re having ECT too?” I’ve found myself educating people about it and it’s starting to feel as though I’m an ECT salesman. It’s alright to some extent; if my mother was alive, we’d be sitting discussing it and I’d be educating her – I’m just tired of doing it now. What I need to do, of course, is remember that it’s their issue, not mine. I could choose not to tell them at all, or I could simply leave them to their reactions of YOUR BRAIN WILL BE TOAST, WHAT NEXT, A FRONTAL LOBOTOMY!?!?!?

Continue reading la thérapie par électrochocs

Coming Back to Life (Part 1)

This post gets deep into my heart and for once, I have no qualms about saying that it made my eyes leak. Please reblog it, if you wouldn’t mind, and comment too. Thank you very much. And to mothers everywhere, much love and respect, you are beautiful people. Strongs!

Our Lived Experience

Today’s post is a particularly heart-rending one. The subject is absolutely not specific to parenthood where there’s mental illness involved, and it’s very much about motherhood universally. It’s brutally honest yet beautifully written. It’s also incredibly brave – by being so open with us, the author has made herself vulnerable, it’s a big risk to take emotionally. Usually we’d welcome debate in our comments; this time, if there’s any trolling, I will delete the comment/s as swiftly as possible. That said, I’m hoping for lots of comments. (blahpolar) 

Coming back to life

The road from Saldanha Bay to the Northern suburbs of Cape Town was a long one. For someone going through their fourth onset of depression this year, it was even longer. My husband and I were en route to a clinic I hadn’t  been to before, but was promised the support I needed. We stood outside the entrance of the clinic for…

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Review & Interview: Beautiful Wreck – Sex, Lies & Suicide

Isn’t that a great title? I’d pick that book up regardless of its bipolar content. 

I felt as if death wouldn’t be a shock because I had already died and was only shambling through the motions of living and relating to others, as if I were a robot or a zombie. (Stephanie Schroeder)

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This is not your conventional bipolar memoir; if you want a book with solid linear progression, featuring bipolar every step of the way. If you want to get to know an interesting woman who can make you laugh and who doesn’t blame it all on the bipolar, read this one. And halle-freaking-lujah it’s written by somebody I can relate to in more depth than previous memoirs, a lesbian. (okay, there’s ‘Marbles’, but there’s not a lot of actual reading in that.) There aren’t many places you’ll find the words bipolar and butch cock together and believe me, that fact made me grin. The author’s creative writing career began with erotica and her skill and ease with the genre shows in this book. Having said that, if you’re expecting something lasciviously detailed to jerk off to, this isn’t it. Unless you’re maybe, you know, the speedster type.

It’s a damn fine read and it was the tone and quality of the writing that hooked me – my only niggles are some shifts in tense that threw me a bit, but then, I’m an editor and therefore nitpicky as hell. The presence of domestic violence (by the loathsome Lauren) may upset some, but it’s expressed fairly briefly and in a matter of fact style. In fact, the entire book is matter of fact – even the parts that will make my heterofriends’ eyes bulge a bit, avoid cheap sensationalism (but don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty hot). Her voice is strong throughout and hindsight has clearly taught more than its fair share of lessons. Suicide is (obviously) one of the book’s major themes and the journeys to and away from her attempts are well illustrated by journal entries from the time – and her suicide notes.

If any of you read it, please get your asses back here afterwards so we can talk about it some more. In the meantime, there’s an extract here, and have a look at the Q&A with author Stephanie Schroeder below.

Continue reading Review & Interview: Beautiful Wreck – Sex, Lies & Suicide

regretting the earth

“Do you know a cure for me?” Why yes,” he said, “I know a cure for everything. Salt water.” “Salt water?” I asked him. “Yes,” he said, “in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.” ― Karen Blixen, Seven Gothic Tales

It pisses me right off when I’ve been for my sunrise beach walk and the day goes to hell anyway. I mean, honestly, it’s bs. I wake early, I exercise, I photograph and identify stuff, I get fresh air…. I go home and potter about (because I’ve reached the age where doing that and using that word to describe it fits) and then something happens or doesn’t happen and I’m slammed

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