Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Wanted To Die

Oh such a touchy subject, one it has taken me a year and a half and some 400 blogs to get the guts to confront head-on, but here it is. That S word far more horrible than any S word I have mentioned so far. Suicide. It is the leading cause of death among Fibromyalgia patients. I know my personal experience with the beast and I also have witnessed a barrage of fellow patients succumb to the dark and hopeless thoughts that can infect and consume one's mind. It seems nobody is immune. Far too often I see many devastating examples of what happens to a Fibromyalgia patient with miserable medical care, an apathetic family/social support network and a job they simply cannot do anymore. I have seen others with entirely too much on their plate racing through life at top speed with no idea how to slow down, careening toward imminent disaster. And sadly still I have seen too many simply in too much pain that continuing to live does not make any sense. It just hurts so damn much. 

All of these are common triggers for Fibromyalgia patients to head down that fatal fork in the road. Living in constant and pervasive level 8 pain that everyone tells you to take Advil for is bad enough. But simply the fact you have been told to take Advil for level 8 pain just because they don't know the cause of it, now that is simply unforgivable. So we take our wounded selves to the corner and try and lick away the scars, the damage, the pain. But this is a pain that goes far deeper than muscle aches and stiffness and insomnia and all the other maladies that come with Fibro. This is total mental devastation.

I was the careening at top speed toward imminent disaster kind of Fibrate. And I sped, and I hit. It was 2006 and I had just been given the ridiculous diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. I broke because I was one sick girl still expecting, and expected, to accomplish what I had always done, but without the physical capabilities to do so. The entire medical system I had been raised to believe knew all knew nothing. I saw no other option than to get my husband to leave me so I could die without guilt. Nobody knew how to take my pain away, nor did they understand how bad it was. If there was no chance ever of improvement why on earth was I continuing to torture myself and those I loved with my pathetic, pain-filled presence? I was desperate, demolished, broken.

I can't tell anyone how to get out of that place, I can only tell you I was able to and I have seen countless others come back from it as well. Meds and therapy, lots of both, and that tiny little pit of Hope resurfaced in the bottom of my gut. It grew and grew because I watered her and fed her and verbally encouraged her to bloom. I ran circles around her chanting and praying and shaking medicine sticks in the air. Basically I told Hope she had to come back to me because it simply was not possible to live without her! Slowly, very slowly, I tried to figure out how to put my life back together again, but I knew that would not happen until somebody could figure out what the hell was wrong with me! So here we are five years later. I have researched it all and tried most therapies under the sun. And yes, there was actually something real wrong with me. I have improved but am still a shadow of my former self. Or am I? Am I actually discovering my true self, hidden and buried under all the junk life had thrown at me? Did getting sick slow me down enough to set me right? These are things we will never know but I am grateful to even be here today asking these questions. Hope did come back to hang out. Sometimes she comes and sometimes she goes, but her burning ember in the bottom of my soul cannot ever go out again, for I simply am not letting her go!

Thanks for joining,
Leah

11 comments:

  1. This post took a lot of courage. I applaud you for speaking up.

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  2. During the time of DeWayne's illness and then after his death. I would wake up and say, "I have Hope today." So, the other morning when I woke, I giggled because I had a visual picture of me in the future with a child and I named her Hope... I am not saying that is what the future holds, but it is a picture that I have a future and my life is not over... nor is yours.

    This past week I went to a friend funeral who shot herself because she was ill. It hurts knowing hours before that we were talking. I knew what she was facing. It is hard to think about how people deal with illness. I know if DeWayne lived any longer I wouldn't be here because my health was declining rapidly. Now I am healthy, I have Hope.

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  3. Yes, it did take a lot of courage! I have been in more pain for the last month, and during parts of it, I just wanted to die! It appears that Hope has touched me once again! As of today, I am feeling better! I have been following you for some time, and I so appreciate your words and sharing your Hope! Thank you!

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  4. this is a wonderful, courageous post. There are times, for me, the hope disappears and I do think about this. Maybe some day I will have that beast completely gone.

    Heather

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  5. This truly is a wonderful post. I too have know the monster of suicide, been there, tried, failed because I found hope also. It was little at first and a long fight of many years later that I have no fear of those feelings again coming back at me. I think thru the struggles we truly may just be finding who we really are. I get so tired of being tired, tired of being in pain, tired of waxing and waining medical support for fibro, but I will not cave, as I understand it really is a real syndrome, I am not alone, and it has been a tremendous help for me reading the blogs. I think the more we can associate with others who feel the pain, know the ups and downs of it, it becomes easier to accept this is what life is for me, and I know I will accept each day for what it will be, and deal my best with it. If it is one the very overwhelming days, well I know I will quietly exist in my home, avoid taking in negative stuff I don't need, and if I have to, block out some people that just can't be in my day. The worst struggle I still find is getting my physician to embrace fibromyalgia for what it can be in any one of his patients. Tends to think one therapy that just happens to work so well for another patient will help....but then the light bulb goes on for him as he remembers me - the patient who is intolerant to most anything there is pharmaceutical, all natural. Some checkups I still feel like I am back at square one, even after 9 years under his care. I hold hope more education hits home to our physicians, unmistakeably, undeniably, fibromyalgia is real and complicates one's life big time, for lifetime. Thank you for all the blogs.....I am gaining back more and more of me, :)

    Mary Linda James - Facebook profile
    10/20/2011

    P.S. love my wristband - some ppl will ask what it means - HOPE!

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  6. It's really hard when fibromyalgia patients have no one supporting them. You are constantly changing moods and aren't able to do much sometimes. I'm lucky enough to have a husband who supports me no matter what. My advice to other sufferers is to get involved in a great church group. This also helps.

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  7. I have had chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia for most of my adult life. I am very tired of TRYING to find ANYTHING that will help me with my fatigue, headaches, body pain, jaw pain, joint pain, stomach problems, muscle weakness, and everything else that goes with it.
    Five years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and would have died, if I had not gone through chemotherapy, surgeries, and, radiation. I only did it for my loved ones. I wish that I had NOT gone through treatment and I would not be suffering today with fibromyalgia. I am in recession from cancer now. But, I am not exactly happy about it.
    PEOPLE JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND.

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  8. Oh, no, there seems to be no way to explain what it does to your mind and spirit and heart to know that, even as you have been in pain for 15 or twenty years, that is just how you'll feel for the rest of your life. Many of y'all are hanging in for people you love, as I am. I hate thinking of anyone else feeling this way everyday, but it inspires me to see how many people make it a good day anyway. Thank you all!

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  9. Oh, no, there seems to be no way to explain what it does to your mind and spirit and heart to know that, even as you have been in pain for 15 or twenty years, that is just how you'll feel for the rest of your life. Many of y'all are hanging in for people you love, as I am. I hate thinking of anyone else feeling this way everyday, but it inspires me to see how many people make it a good day anyway. Thank you all!

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  10. I can relate to this post so much. I am in that hard place right now, and I have been for a few months. I am just so sick and tired mentally and physically of my health problems and doctors and meds and just everything. I'm only 16 and have dealt with mental and physical symptoms all my life. I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia maybe two years ago. But everything has gotten worse lately and I want to die. I've wanted to die for a while. And lately... I really want to die. I've started a suicide note and am just... The only way I can describe it is I am so tired. Just tired. And knowing that I have decades, a whole lifetime of suffering ahead of me makes me just want to die even more. I don't want to live if I have to keep suffering so much. I don't want to. I can't. I'm not strong enough.
    If you met me in person, you would have no idea that anything is even wrong with me. Being a teenager, having an outgoing personality(most of the time), and being active(I love gymnastics but I had to stop due to my stupid health) makes it hard to explain that my body just doesn't work right. Both my body and mind don't work right and it never will. I don't want to live. If I died, I would go to Heaven and see God and finally be healed, and then I would see my family and people I love again eventually. I wouldn't have to suffer anymore. It just seems so good of an option. And I still struggle with my faith and whether Heaven is real...
    Death gives me hope. Hope that I won't have to suffer forever, that it can end and I will be healed.
    Sorry if this is long, I needed to get it out... No one knows that I am very suicidal. My family knows I used to be, but to them I seem fine, just a little depressed. Which I am very depressed.
    And this comment is super late, but whatever.

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  11. I too feel no hope as the deep, crushing pain is is relentless. Will I ever NOT have pain? I don't know if I have any fight in me. I am slipping away from others. The pain is winning!

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