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Knowledge is Necessity

Is it worth it, the vomiting, the migraines, the hair loss?

"I went into this world kicking and screaming, I am going to leave it the same way."

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Sophy's Story

Prelude and Few

Sophy's Miracle

Dispatch From the Abyss

Dead People Don't Bleed

Walking to California

Scars on My Soul

Losing It

Moment of Truth

Barbara's Story

Wanting To Die

At Hell's Gate

Where Are You, God?

An Appeal From Hell

Showing the Beast Who's Boss

Colleen's Story

Doomed for Life!

Picking Up the Pieces

The Endless Battle

Looking Back, Looking Ahead



 Sleeping in the Bathroom

I am dreaming. I dream I am dead. I see myself, in the coffin, in the ground. Something comes out of my mouth, and ears. I wake up screaming, as I always do, praying I will be cremated. I realize I am alive. My heart is racing, my breath is fast. My cat stirs looks at me with her big copper eyes and closes them. It is 2:15 am.

I hear a knock and a doorbell ring about 20 minutes later. I look outside the window, and see a police car, the lights flashing red in the darkness. I realize the police are at my door. I don a bathrobe, and close the door, leaving the cat to slumber on my bed uninterrupted, and climb the steps downstairs to my front door. I am tired. I open the door, leaving the chain on. The cops shine their lights on me. Can we come in miss?

I open it wider to make sure they are police officers. They are. I close the door, remove the chain and let them come upstairs to my apartment. One starts talking to me, the other one takes the flashlight and starts poking around, ďDonít let the cat out! ď I scream.

ďWhat the blue blazes is going onĒ, I want to say. The constable seems to read my mind. We had a 911 call that there were loud screams coming from this apartment. Are you alone?

Just me and the cat.

No other people, you arenít hiding anyone?


He asks me to show him my neck. I do. I am fine.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Not at the moment

Did anyone hit you tonight? Hurt you?

No, I had a bad dream and woke up screaming.

The other cop tells his partner, no one else is here, and I checked, no alcohol. No drugs.

It was a bad dream. I dreamt I had died and there were worms. I am afraid of the worms.

They leave, assured that I am OK. And I am embarrassed. And wish the floor could swallow me. The love of my life was a constable, the one person who tore my heart asunder. I respect policemen, but they make me nervous.

I am on a ledge. I am afraid I am going to fall.

I drove home from my parentís house the other night, with a notion I wanted to take the car off the road and swerve it into a tree. The whole way home a police car was behind me, passing me about 500 yards from my apartment. I was mad.

Last night was the worst. Earlier this week I noticed my hair was coming out from the Lithium, or the Tegretol or Wellbutrin I am currently taking. A visit to the hairdresser confirmed it; I have lost close to 40 percent of my hair. It was shorn - I lost over a foot. It had always been my pride and joy. Now it lay on the floor discarded. I spent the day after it was cut in bed, afraid to look in a mirror. It is hardly on my back now. I washed my hair today, more in the drain. It looks like I will be totally bald soon. At least my insurance pays for a wig.

I was too depressed to want to off myself. Today I felt good. And decided to try to hurt myself. I tried to get my boom box into the bathroom plug it in and drop it in the bath. To my dismay, it didnít reach. I couldnít get the blade out of the safety razor. So I did something I had promised a good friend I would never do. I went to an office supply store and got an exacto knife. And slit my wrists. Maybe with all the medication the blood didnít come out. It didnít. Or maybe I didnít cut deep enough. It hurt like hell. I had a fantasy of perhaps saying ďF**K YouĒ in blood, I am mad.

I am PO'ed that I missed a promotion. That was given to a girl ten years younger than me who rumor has it slept into it. It makes me so mad, because she didnít even swallow. I wanted it, worked as hard as her. It is not fair. Some people just have life fall into their laps and other people keep getting sh*t thrown at them. I am tired of shoveling sh*t. I am so tired. I want to sleep. I am so angry. Why do I have to have this?

A friend of mine, this webmaster who I have gotten to know through emails since Sept 11, has told me I cannot get well until I accept I am a manic-depressive. Bipolar. I cannot accept it. I am fighting it, I have been fighting since I was born, being shoved in foster homes until I was adopted. I fought back when I was raped, and probably lived to tell the tale because of it. I fought the entire time I was living in my car, after being tossed out of my folks house when a roommate blew my entire life savings up her nose, going to a battered womenís shelter to shower and change. I could probably knock the s**t out of Mike Tyson. Perhaps not.

I am getting more and more acutely suicidal. Do I want to hurt someone? No, but I want to scream. I have never tried to electrocute myself before. Would I have done it if the cord had reached? Yes. Would it hurt? Absolutely.

I have always fantasized about wrists and hanging. Obsessed. I finally gave into the fantasy, to that last taboo- and tried that. Obviously, it didnít work, I am still here. Damn. Why?

A friend of mine, a wonderful man on the other coast told me if he had one wish in the world, he would wish that I could finish a novel, get it published, and live off the money from it, get famous, or slightly famous and live happily ever after. If he had one wish. He is a good friend. He could have easily wished that his children get full scholarships to his Ivy League Alma Mater. He could have wished for money, which I know he could use. He wished for me. He is one of the few people who have not left me during the last two months of hell during my leave of absence. Instead he calls me daily, letting me cry, as I rapid-cycle, up and down as often as 47 times in an hour.

And I repay him back by slitting my wrists. Nice one Sophy. I should care. But I donít I am in so much pain. I just want it to end.

Make peace with this? I went into this world kicking and screaming, I am going to leave it the same way. Why does so much bad things have to happen to me.?

Why canít I be like everyone else? Why canít I have the little white house and the picket fence and 2 children, 2 cats and a dog? Why canít I be a soccer mom? All the women I know my age are soccer moms

I am a failure. I am the opposite of King Midas, instead of everything I touch turning to gold, everything I touch turns to s**t.

I want to curl up and die. I donít care about work. I am sick from the medication. Is it worth it? Vomiting constantly, migraines, and hair loss? Rapid-cycling as often as 47 times in an hour? I lay down to sleep and I have nightmares? The sweats? I am keeping my apartment at sixty degrees and I still am sweating. Sleeping in the bathroom because I cannot stop vomiting. All to be normal?

But donít we all want to be normal?

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Catherine (March 22, 2004):  Society tells us that "normalcy" is what we should "strive for" but I say that it is stability that we strive for. I will say that there is a bell curve-created range for which the population falls wherein certain characteristics denote a "norm" but I do not believe that any individual on this planet can be called "normal." We all have idiosyncrasies. I feel that it is ethically right to make sure that we harm no one else in society, and that any behavior which is damaging to vulnerable populations, that is destructive to society or is severely maladaptive should be quelled or controlled. I believe that it is important to be able to function within society, but I  also believe that every person has a right to be an individual, and I think often that the approach of such severe control over people via medication is very harmful.

I believe that medications can help, but only in a limited fashion. I believe that some medications, as tailored to a person's own tolerance level, etc. (physiology) helps in maintaining balance or helping to prevent psychosis. However, medication is NOT the end all and be all of treatment.

To understand the whole perspective of mental illness, I have read accounts of psychiatric survivors, or people who have had horrific experiences in the mental health system. Whereas I do not believe that ALL mentally ill people should be medication free, it IS my belief that some people with  mental disorders should take medications. There is ONE thing that the psychatric survivors and I do agree on, which I will share in the next paragraph.

I am a major proponent of  facilities in which consumers can live independent and structured lives with support from staff and other consumers.  This form of housing allows the consumer to have a semi-independent lifestyle with another weapon against mental illness: SUPPORT, STRUCTURE AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!!  These three components are sometimes more powerful than medicine!  I believe that if the government had any sense, then grants would be given to build and/or create these facilities which would be partially state sponsored, or private facilities that would help with vocational training, job location, and pleasant, quiet and positive surroundings which would mainly be created by and heavily contributed to, by consumers themselves.

In your story, it sounded to me like this would be the perfect place. If I were single and not married, I personally would seek such a facility and live there!!  The medication issue for you may be a very iffy one. If you really have to,  I would try to take a medication which would not have as many side effects and I would also attempt to look more towards a holistic model of wellness for you. I would look at where I lived, what type of job I had,  what nutritional deficits I might have, what hormonal imbalances I might have and what traumas have  happened in my life.I would also look at optional treatments. I don't know much about optional treatments, but I would do research and I would find a doctor who was innovative and enlightened.  I would then seek therapy in both group and in talk therapy, and try for a low key, highly structured lifestyle and pursue a creative venture in art, or I would go into sales or maybe even get disability and do volunteer work.

Your stability and happiness is the most important thing, not whether or not you are "normal" in society!!  You may just be the type of person who like many of us, can't fit into this awful world that has been created where people are thoughtless of one another, people like to run over you on the highway, and people betray you at work.

You might be a consumer and you might have depression or whatever, but also I believe personally that our world today has become tainted and rude, and I feel that  some part of what triggers mental illness is a natural and justified reaction to a chaotic world that has succumbed to greed, selfishness and cruelty. I am aware that mental disorders are partially caused by genetic factors, but I also believe that these factors are brought out through traumatic events in our lives.

I am sorry that these events have happened to you, and I would heed some of the things that I have said here. Remember that medication is not all of the answer, and learn to accept yourself for who you are. Maladaptive behaviors can be quelled or stopped also through intense talk and group therapies. Emotional, psychiatric and spiritual growth can be fostered  through environments which are calming in combination with rewarding volunteer or paid work or hobbies.

Good luck

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