Eccles’ Run

I watched a movie a long time ago, “Logan’s Run”. It is still one of my favourites. In the year 2274, young residents enjoy an idyllic, hedonistic lifestyle within the protective confines of a domed city. The general belief is that when each person turns 30, they are reincarnated for another blissful life cycle. The truth though is that noone is ever reincarnated. 
Why do I like this movie? I have these very brief thoughts that I would not mind at all if I just wasn’t here anymore. I feel life life is to long and to difficult. The world of Logan’s Run seems ideal to me. Why do I think like this?

My friends and family know I suffer from quite a deep depression and anxiety and I am on an ongoing medicine/counselling regime to help me “be happy” and not want to kill myself. Well I don’t want to kill myself, but if I lived in a world where the choice to end this life was not my decision I would not be upset.

Over the past 10 years I have had three diagnoses as to what is ailing me; PTSD when my father in law died in my arms after I tried to resuscitate him, a long standing anxiety from my childhood that still haunts me, and a chemical imbalance in my brain. Personally I think all three inflict me. We are battling the chemical imbalance with medication that needs to be approved before I can get a script. The depression, anxiety and PTSD are being handled with counselling.

I have just deleted a paragraph. The paragraph was my thoughts about home life. I am glad I wrote it down, but I promised myself there are some things I would not publish on my blog. Currently only my psychologist and I get to see my private blog posts. One day I may publish them, but not today.

As a quick aside, I would encourage everyone to write stuff down; keep a journal, write a blog be it public,  private or both like mine. Maybe a video blog is more you. Whatever, getting stuff out of your head is a great release (he says with tears rolling down his cheeks).

I.must end this post and get home. In the words of two of my heroes 


A broken man trying to be better,

Eccles

Oh my God

I have two posts to blog. I thought I would start with the dark post first and then the lighter post. I have released them at the same time as they are related. These posts will show just how quickly moods can change in someone suffering depression, and at the end you will see why I think this happened to me. There will be no background for what I am saying here, if you need some background for this see the next post.

This afternoon I found myself at the “David Bowie Is” exhibition at Federation Square in Melbourne. All of a sudden I was crying. Not just crying, sobbing. Sobbing uncontrollably with my whole body and mind. As far as I can remember this had happened only once before when a very good friend had died when we were 28. I had a reason to cry then, but why was I sobbing now.

My depression had caused me to cry before but nothing like this. The tears were streaming down my face and falling to the floor. I couldn’t breath and my body was trembling. This was scaring me, but what came next was worse.

If you have been following my blog posts you will know I have two lives, one I have been living for the past 30 years, the other, which only you guys know about, started at the beginning of this year (although my other life has been around for years just inactive). I realised during this episode that the last 30 years of my life have been a lie and if I leave Melbourne I will be returning to that lie.

“I don’t want to do this. But what can I do? I have to go back to my lie, to my family, friends and job in Canberra. I have to, don’t I?”

Is there an alternative? Could I stay in Melbourne? It seems to be a nice city and I “know” some great people there. But how would I do that? Quick get outside and think properly.

Outside the sun was shining, it was raining when I went indoors. This is good, this will help me feel better. I looked around and saw Melbourne again, It still beckoned me to stay, it still said I shouldn’t go back to Canberra. If I stayed what would that do to the people I cared about in Canberra. Would I survive a change like that. Okay, I can’t stay and I don’t want to go back, what to do. Only one thing left for me. Time to stop this life, but how? Oh shit, the scary monster is back.

Put my action plan into action. Find a friend and talk. I got on a tram and sent a message to my Melbourne friend who had helped me out before. But he was getting ready for a night out and I didn’t want to bring him down. So the conversation was just a brief chit-chat. I didn’t tell him what was happening. I think he knew. Just having the chat with him was enough to distract me.

How quick did it take me to get into the scary state, about 10 minutes. How long till the end of the episode, 90 minutes.

Epilogue: I now know why my doctor keeps emphasising that I should not miss taking my medication. I was sitting at the airport later and opened my blood test kit so I could check my blood sugars. There, in my kit so I wouldn’t forget to take them, were all my medications for the last two days. I am hoping that forgetting my medication for two days was the reason for the episode. I will be visiting my doctor to find out.

Eccles

Down to the depths we go

cantdealBefore I get into the meat of this blog I need to warn readers that this blog post contains details that may upset you. This post comes straight from my heart and soul and involves many tears and just a few nips of whisky. I was not going to write about this subject today but it has been on my mind all day.

If you are feeling down, anxious, sad or depressed you probably may not want to read past this paragraph. If you need or want to talk to someone I strongly encourage you to contact any of the following Australian organisations. This may be the hardest thing you have ever had to do, but please do it. You will talk to someone who understands and the conversation will be totally confidential.

There are many other great organisations that can help. The ones above are the ones I have had contact with.

So what is this blog post about? What you read here are things I have never talked about, let alone written about. Never. Not even to my psychologist, my wife or my parents. It is not till now, 9 years later, that I am able to write about this. I wasn’t going to write about this but it’s been on my mind all day so I thought I better write it down.

I am writing about me when I was at my lowest. I have tried to kill myself twice – August 2006 and August 2007. I will not write about how I tried to kill myself, just know that I am glad I failed. I sometimes still find August a hard month to get through. I think this year will be different. I am a different person this year.

What the hell was I thinking? Why would I consider that I would be better off dead? How could I even think of doing this? What about my family? What about my friends?

If you have been reading my blog you will know that I now believe I have been suffering from social phobia and anxiety since about 12 years of age. I was diagnosed with clinical depression after my second suicide attempt but was well and truly suffering for many years before that. I can’t pinpoint exactly when but since at least the year 2000 probably earlier.

As a Christian I believed that God would not put me in any situation that I couldn’t handle. Regardless of what you are told I believe that killing yourself is not an unforgivable sin. So I would still be going to heaven. What bullshit that was. If I was considering killing myself, isn’t that a situation I couldn’t handle?

I was at the lowest of lows. I was so lonely. I lived in a city, I was part of a loving family, I was in a church of “loving” people and could name at least 100 friends. And yet I was so alone. And no-one knew. Even my wife and children did not know what was going on with me. Even after the first attempt. I recovered physically and no-one was any wiser. I was always smiling, joking, being a nice guy. No-one knew. It is that difficult to tell if someone is suffering sometimes.

So how does a person get into this state? It is very different for each person. For me, I was unable to live up to the standards that I thought I had to live up to. At the time I was not strong enough to see that I didn’t need to live up to anyone’s standards.

I have talked quite a bit with one of my new twitter friends about the church I was in; thanks for listening to me. This was one of the places that really oppressed me. I believed there was so much I had to do to be good enough and it crushed me. That was the first attempt. I have left the church. IF I ever return to the Christian faith I now realise all I have to believe is that Jesus was the son of God and he died for my sins. That’s it, nothing else. I don’t have to do anything to be worthy. But as I said … IF, and it is a very big IF.

No-one has ever heard this from my mouth before and there are tears on my cheeks as I say this. The second place that oppressed me and made me feel unworthy was my family. I had so many feelings of failure. That was my second attempt. This one crippled me. I still remember the night I decided to kill myself. I still remember my actions and my thoughts. I felt calm and that I would soon be at ease and my family would be so much better off without me. I was hoping they wouldn’t even want to grieve for me, I really was not worth it.

I woke up being attended to by two ambulance officers. I have no recollection of the next 48 hours. Even then no-one knew I had tried to kill myself. But at the end of that 48 hours I broke down and that was it. Talk to the wife, talk to the doctor, talk to the minister, on to medication.

Recovery is a long path, it is still going on for me. Every day is a struggle. I have stumbled a couple of times since that second attempt but have never gone close to wanting to do that again. Until a few weeks ago. My heart goes out to my good friend in Melbourne, thank you. You didn’t know it at the time because I think I lied to you about what was going on and what I was thinking. But being able to just talk to you was great.

I’ve said enough, for now. I have not written this for sympathy. I write this as part of my recovery and also to try and help people understand what others go through. I am happy, I have made some decisions lately that means I am now living my life the way I should be, not the way I am told I should be.

Thanks for listening to a man who was sad,

Eccles

I listen to the song that contains the following words a number of times a week. They are written by what is probably my favourite band at the moment, Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The song, Under the Bridge, talks of a time that the bands singer Anthony Kiedis considers to be one of the worst of his life. I don’t listen to feel down, I listen so that I remember what can happen.

I don’t ever want to feel
Like I did that day
Take me to the place I love
Take me all the way

beyondblue
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