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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Suicide is Painless

This is not an easy blog post to write. I have started over multiple times as the subject is not one that people want to hear about. It’s one that many feels belong in the shadows, that the problem is all in someone’s head. The fact is, it is in their head. Their emotions are all over the place from any form of issues which includes, and not limited to, the short list below:

  • Grief
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Shame

The four simple emotions I listed above can lead to some of the most dangerous results in a person with DEPRESSION.  You will find that as I continue this I will be putting DEPRESSION in all capital letters, for the simple reason I want to draw attention to the word. I want people to realize how deadly it is not just to the person, but those around them.

You see contrary to a song that was popularized by a Movie and a TV Show, Suicide is NOT Painless. It impacts so many people in a person’s personal circle, but also those outside that circle. You see at one time many professionals thought the sphere of impact from suicide was on average six people. I have begun seeing new studies that say that the impact is much larger and I really do believe that is the case.

There are tons of arguments on what may be going on when someone commits suicide. They can be called selfish, heartless, loners, and even (by some) losers. The fact is that they let those emotions get to them and decided that was their way to end the pain. I will never attempt to get into the mind of someone who committed suicide as they all had their own personal reasoning’s.  All I can do is keep living and find a way to deal with those emotions.

Now I understand not all who commit suicide are doing it due simply from some behavioral issues, but some have diseases, mental or physical that causes them to feel that is the way out. Again, I will not attempt to get into their heads.

The fact is that many who do commit suicide are often deeply DEPRESSED and were unable, or unwilling to search out help.

I put a lot of the rise of DEPRESSION and suicide on our modern culture. We correspond over electronic devices without actually talking. A small pixel filled image, emoji, cannot take the place for a real smile, a real frown, or more importantly real tears. There are those who have gotten so used to this type of communication they cannot carry out a simple conversation if they had to.

We then add in the fact that many are told to hide their emotions. Keep them hidden do not share with each other.  If there is a problem, it’s probably all in their head. We adults can be just as horrible because who wishes to admit a child, a loved one, someone they care about has a problem. Very few as it can seem like it’s a reflection back on them for being such a horrible person. I got to say that’s bull crap.

You see, I’m going to get into my own past personal dark space here. I first and thankful for the help my parents was willing to get me. If not for them, and even my future, fiancé/wife, I may not be here to write this post. I can even say thank you to the great psychiatrist’s, and counselors I saw during this struggle.

You see I was in college, away from home for the first real time for a prolonged period. As I was away I was surely missing my family, and although a few hours away by car, they were away. This was also a period before computers where everywhere and texting was actually costly. I lost not one, not two but three dear family members within a year, and a couple just months apart. I started to struggle with my grades, fell into a deep DEPRESSION and at one point had a knife in my hand by the bathroom sink of an apartment I was living in. I looked at myself in the mirror, did not recognize the face looking back at me and realized, WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING!

So I ended up flunking out of college for a term. I was able to get some help during that period off and it was due highly to my parents pushing me to get that help. I got back into college and even attended therapy sessions while in school. I was put on medications, I took them, and I beat it. I beat the DEPRESSION and I’ve done all I can to keep that specter in the back of my mind.  I know it tries to emerge at times and really tried when Multiple Sclerosis came calling. I, however, have really changed the way I view my life and will NOT let DEPRESSION take me down that rabbit hole again.

What I learned out of that experience is that the male myth of not showing emotions is bull. Men can certainly show emotion and talk about their emotions. If someone sees you as weak, then they are truly the weak ones for not being able to handle the truth and who you are. We have to find ways to get a circle of people who care for us, and do not let petty disagreements come in the way of true friendships.

I now go back to that song, Suicide is Painless. I surely disagree with that title as it may be to the person committing the act, but those left behind it is a pain that may never go away. The pain of being a survivor, wonder what happened, blaming first the individual, and then maybe turn it back on themselves helps no one. What can really help is to stop and be there for those fighting DEPRESSION so it does not lead to suicide. This may mean you have to admit your own failure, but isn’t that worth saving someone’s life?

I’m going to end with that open question and hopefully my own story, and this article is found to be helpful.  I have a list of Helpful links below and I do want to add a caveat on one of those links. The link on Suicide Risk Factors and Civil Liabilities is from a law firm in California that reached out to me about collaborating on a link share. I am being honest as it took time to think on if I wanted to do it, but considering the topic I felt it was worth it. If they can help get my blog post out, and I can help them then why not.

Also, I own no rights to the song, “Suicide is Painless” is written by Johnny Mandel (music) and Mike Altman (lyrics).

Useful Links

 

Two Final notes

  1. The image above is owned by me. Anyone wishing to use the image should reach out to me as it is a photo I took during a trip to Upper Michigan.
  2. I am not a counselor or phsycologist. I do not claim to be one, and suggest people use the above links for help. If you wish to know more about my struggle you can reach me by email on my About me Page.
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Posted by on July 26, 2018 in Multiple Sclerosis, Personal

 

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My Answers to 5 Frequent Questions on Multiple Sclerosis

I’m one of those people who is not afraid to take time to talk to someone about the beast that is now part of my life. The beast is nothing that is seen upon my body. You do not see a creature hiding behind me, on my shoulders or hugging my leg. Granted at times it does feel like it is hugging both legs and even my arms. The beast is called Multiple Sclerosis.

I have blogged in the past about it and it is something I do plan on continuing to post new blog posts on in the future. I made it easy for people to find my older posts with a category titled Multiple Sclerosis.

This post is going to go into what I consider the five most frequent questions I get when I tell people I have MS. I will warn readers that I use humor, sarcasm and at same time I can be serious. You will find that within this posting and hopefully it opens your eyes to what some, not all may go thru with MS. I know from my point of view this is what I go thru. You are as always welcome to share this post if you so wish.

  1. What is Multiple Sclerosis?

I always am tempted to go with the medical explanation of how immune system will attack the Myelin around nerve cells, and blah blah blah. I can just picture the glass eyed look of how I could lose someone going into that so I often explain it in this way.

“MS is like your computer, brain, giving orders to your body telling it how to do everything from breathing to walking. It controls so much of our body and many of those orders go thru the nerves. Sadly MS is like when somehow, and unknown, those commands don’t fully work. It causes all types of computer issues when you get a virus, and MS can cause all types of problems with the body. Sadly it’s not a virus it’s something science hasn’t figured out yet.”

  1. Did they give you a time frame on life?

This one gets me to laugh a bit. I say that as really there is no expectation on when you’ll die due to MS, if it is even the cause of your death. I mean if you think on it the moment we are born we start by taking a big breath into this world. Every single breath after that first one could be our last.

So, we have to stop worrying about when it may end but instead worry how we spend that time. Do we worry about things we cannot control? Do we let a disease dictate our life expectancy? I say NO, as for me it’s a ride and I hope to enjoy it, stay within the law, and hopefully leave a mark of positivity. If I’m remembered for anything I just want it to be that I cared, I listened and I tried to help if I could.

  1. Do I get depressed, or was I depressed?

You know, I think those I first told about the diagnosis where more depressed, and unsure what to do then I was. To me it was a part of life, and I was not going to let it change who I was on the inside. This comes from a battle of depression in my early college years. I learned so much about myself and add in psychology course I took I learned to let things go. Sure I can get upset at times, who doesn’t. The main difference is I at least have learned what to do to overcome.

The biggest thing about depression, in my opinion, is not to run from someone looking to talk. Do not judge them, the best thing we can do is just listen. Let them express their emotions, the suffering that has put them in that bad place. Let them give you hints on how you may be able to help instead of just saying they need to do this or that. The biggest step for someone with Depression is the fact they talked about it.

  1. What are some of the symptoms of MS?

This is one that is hard to answer. You see we have heard that life is like a box of chocolates as we never know what we’ll get. MS, to me, is a chocolate store. I say that as there are various versions of the disease and each has its own symptoms that can impact a person totally different then the next person.

Me I had severe nerve pain and muscle pain in my arms and legs. My arms would suddenly start contracting in on themselves and was very painful. I got to a doctor and after many tests the diagnosis came back. I still have some of the common issues that come with MS.

  • I get pain at times in both my arms and legs.
    • Some refer to this as the MS Hug as you get a sense someone is hugging you deeply and won’t let go.
    • I also get a tingle feeling in the arms and legs.
  • Fatigue is the worst one to me. You get tired and really you can’t fight it.
    • I think of it as if you stayed up for over 24 hours and body is demanding sleep. No matter how much caffeine you may take to stay awake the fatigue is going to claim you.
  • Vision Issues
    • I have had a small loss of vision within in my left eye. I can see out of it but imagine looking thru a piece of paper with tons of little holes punched in it. There will be spots you can’t see and that’s my left eye.
  • Concentration Issues
    • This doesn’t happen all the time, or too often. I believe this is why I am one who enjoys the challenge of multitasking. It helps me bounce from project to project and back again. It can be a pain though and when it’s bad, well that’s what a “To Do” list is for.
  • Others
    • There are a few other things like I’ll get some numbness in my right leg/foot at times. It’s nothing to major but it does happen from time to time.
    • Emotions can be impacted as I have found I tear up while watching a movie for no reason. It maybe something I’ve seen for years but boom it happens.
    • Bowels, well I won’t go too much into this one as don’t want people running away going…..”EWWWW”. I’ll just say that when I have to go to the bathroom, sometimes it’s important I get there. Thankfully I have not had to buy a lot of new underwear or pants. HA HA
  1. Anything I can do to help?

I do like this question but I got to say it’s the hardest to answer.

  • I mean those who ask I’d love to tell them sure, take this thing from me. However, I know they cannot and to be honest would not wish it on them.
  • I’d like to go sure, got some money I can have? I mean before I got good insurance bills hit hard. Those I have joked with about that will say set up a Go Fund Me page or something. I just can’t do that, I think it’s my pride and well I keep finding a way to make sure bills, and mortgage are covered. Granted got to say at times…….well…..yeah. (Insert a smile here ha ha)
  • What can they really do most is do not feel sorry for me. I try to lead by example. I do not want someone feeling sorry as its life. As I mentioned before I am still taking a new breath and my time has not come. We live in a world of challenges and do not let the petty and stupid guide your life. Agree to disagree and continue being a friend. Agree to know what topics may be off topic and leave them out of conversation. Most of all understand I never been one to really put myself out there. In truth this blog is my way to do that, and I know I’ve lost many of friends in my life due to this part of myself.

I’ll add that MS is like many other diseases in the world. It does not matter who you are, where you are from it will impact people of all kinds. Some are more than willing to talk about MS, and others treat it like depression and hide the diagnosis. I personally do not care how one deals with the diagnosis as long as they DO NOT GIVE UP.  I’ll end this very long post with the one quote I often say to people.

“I may have Multiple Sclerosis but is DOES NOT HAVE ME!”

Helpful Links:

**Please note all copyrights/Trademarks are owned by their appropriate person, company. I make no claims.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2018 in Multiple Sclerosis

 

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