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nanowrimo 2010


Diary of a Blind Madman

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Suicide *is* painless
Tuesday 28 May
A conversation with my boss filled with innuendo. A dreary day altogether.

     I never thought I would write this. Even in my more outré fantasies, it never occurred to me that I would survive a suicide attempt. My contempt for those who do is abated. I had always thought the "bid for attention" by an inept attempt at suicide the ultimately pathetic expression of ineptitude. It may be, but I have seriously under rated the difficulty of taking your own life without extreme violence. Perhaps there is no peaceful way to die artificially. Perhaps had I done things in my usual style, having done some research, I would have succeeded. Perhaps I would not have tried. Perhaps . . .

     Tuesday following Memorial Day I had one of those conversations with my boss. Nothing much was said, but a great deal was available to be inferred. When somebody, anybody, talks to you, under almost any circumstances, and uses phrases like "reasonable effort" and "about everything" it is only natural to believe that they are reaching the end of what they will do. I add the emphasis because what someone will do and what they can do almost invariably fail to coincide. I took it to mean that I was going to have to find a way to produce or find a new job.

     I suppose I must lay some of the blame for my attempt on that conversation. Not, mind you, that I have a tremendous terror of unemployment nor that I need the job (though, I do). I think rather that it just sort of set the mood for what happened.

     I made it through Tuesday night without a bobble. I slept poorly, but that is hardly noteworthy. I've been complaining on that score for many months (Roaring Chicken: Many, many, many moons! Wild Eagle: You and your moons! Enough with the moons already!) Wednesday I seriously considered not going to work. I didn't feel like it. I was not looking forward to a full day of trying to read COBOL and choking down frustration.

     I didn't make it through the day. About Noon I called for my bus to take me home. My immediate supervisor Karen wandered in and offered me some alternative activity for my time. It was a matter of typing up some "cheat sheet" style documents for how to access various programs, perform some simple tasks, in ISPF. I guess it was a sop to my situation, allowing me to do something relatively productive. I remember listening to her attentively and assuring her that it would be easy to do with complete sincerity. When the bus arrived, there was a certainty in my mind that I'd never have to bother with that assignment. No decision, mind you to commit suicide, just an abstract recognition that that task didn't matter. I got home, watched teevee for a while then went to my room and took a dozen hydrocodone that I had stashed there.

     Y'know, the funny thing about hydrocodone (pain killer) is that it is heavy in Tylenol. Chris has inveighed against Tylenol and it's liver-destroying potentialities that if I had know it contained the stuff I wouldn't have chosen that drug.

     It put me to sleep (sorta) before five o'clock that afternoon. That was the plan - just go to sleep and don't wake. Plans immediately went wrong.

     Around six o'clock my mother woke me up to come and have some dinner. I ate something, I am certain, but I could not tell you what it was. I lay back in my recliner and thought how obnoxious it would be that I was going to die in the living room with my mother in the same room. I couldn't manage to get up and go back to bed, though.

     My stomach did for me what my brain could not - it got my body to get up and go to the bathroom. I spewed a thin mist of whatever I had for dinner into the stool, trying very hard not to urp my hydrocodone away. I didn't bring up much. I wiped my mouth, and turned right instead of left - back to the bedroom.

     At three o'clock Thursday morning, I realized that I hadn't actually slept yet. I never did sleep save before dinner. I went into some sort of vaguely hallucinatory forced-draft mode in which my heart beat very rapidly and my stomach churned. I couldn't think, couldn't move, wasn't functioning at all. Over a period of about thirty minutes (I was lying face to face with my clock) I realized that my over dose wasn't working. Somehow that moved me. I cried a bit and sat up in bed. Staggering badly, banging into the wall a couple of times, and completely blind instead of my usual dim vision I wandered into the living room where the drugs are kept. I rummaged in the basket of pill bottles and found the biggest one. The hydrocodone were 500 mg tablets and came in a very large bottle. I dragged myself into the kitchen, poured a Dr Pepper and finished the bottle, some 20 pills. I made my way back to my bedroom irritated that I had to go to such lengths.

     I'm told that my mother and sister tried to wake me for work Thursday morning. I don't remember it. I have a vague recollection of bright lights. Eventually I woke up in the ambulance when they broke an ammonia ampoule under my nose.

     After that I was just tired. A doctor Rocket handled me in Emergency. He quizzed me about what I took (the EMTs did too) and was quizzical about the fact that I knew with some detail how many pills I took. He asked me if I counted them. Of course not, but what is difficult for him to understand about that my "stash" was twelve - a number one might be expected to know, I think. My estimate of the number of pills left in the bottle was an estimate, but what is odd about knowing that the bottle contained sixty pills when prescribed and that there was about a third of a bottle left. That's twenty pills. The math isn't that complex.

     Treatment consisted of making me drink liquid stench. The substance is called mucomist or something close to that. It smells like brimstone mixed with the worst hair perm you've ever smelled, the odor of rotten eggs, the aroma of a cheese long since gone to its reward and the stench worst fart you've ever been trapped in an elevator with. It tastes worse.

     You will never convince me that the stuff couldn't be cherry flavored and pleasantly aromatic. It was designed to be penance in a bottle. If priests handed out that stuff instead of Hail Marys there would be no venial sin. Liquid Stench bonds with Tylenol and flushes it out of your system. I had to take a dose every four hours 'round the clock for seventeen doses.

     I took two doses in emergency then got shipped off late in the afternoon to ICU. Not that I was all that near to croaking, it was a suicide watch. SOP. I actually felt pretty well other than when I had to drink that crap. My liver was on the fringes of shutting down on Thursday. By Friday morning in the ICU my blood tests (hepatocrit?) were coming back normal.

     I have to interject here that I met an unusual man in ICU. Father Rob, the hospital's Chaplain stopped by. He offered me a blessing. It was the first such offered me since my teens. It was interesting to me how easy I found it to "confess" to him, to tell him what I was thinking, to describe how I felt. I suppose I needed to do so and might well have unburdened myself to a social worker or whoever was about, but it turned out to be Father Rob. It is strange how the icons of our youth remain strong throughout our lives. Priests have a mystique that I thought I had long ago discarded. My suicide has stirred my mind, muddying waters that I had thought clear and sending bottom-feeders darting about like little shining fish scattered at the advent of a shark.

    I left ICU by four that afternoon. My destination was one that I hadn't thought about. Let me correct that ... it is one that I have thought about quite a lot. I was headed for 4 North - the psych ward. Until I saw the locked door, the restricted visiting hours, my family denied admittance, I hadn't realized where we were headed. I had supposed I was headed for something like PCU the post-cardiac unit.

     For long years I have had a fear of such a place. I've a morbid fear that I'll lose my mind. I can't prove I haven't mind you - maybe I'm still in that locked ward and pounding my fingers on the tray table of my bed. I hope not. There is no nightmare that strikes deeper into my soul than a fear of insanity. How hideous would it be to be so far gone from yourself you didn't know what you do? If you didn't know would it bother you? Would you know on some level? Would it claw at the under-edges of your mind scratching a little raw place in your consciousness? Or would you just be gone? Either way it terrifies me.

     I suppose I have watched too many horror movies. I expected a bedlam straight out of one of Vincent Price's flicks. Of course, 'tis not so. It was a fairly pleasant place. The staff was friendly and helpful. I got settled, got the first bath I'd had since Wednesday morning and collapsed into my bed. I slept until the wee hours. I woke early and stayed awake.

     That was probably my only really miserable time in the whole affair. Lying awake in the psych ward wondering how controlled my life was going to be and for how long. I have always been ragingly paranoid. I took it to new heights. They came in at six o'clock to give my morning liquid stench. They took my blood pressure. It was 191 /115 and my pulse was 124. It stayed over 150/100 and 100 until my release.

     The weekend in 4 North was not too bad. They did "group" all day which was nothing more than conversation. Nobody said anything significant, nobody said anything "personal" it seemed to me to be a vast waste of time. The inmates were interesting. I won't describe them nor name them even using the false names I give my doctors or any such. All were people with problems more dire than my own. I somehow failed to take any comfort in that.

     Saturday night was horrible. The mucomist kicked in big time and gave me horrible diarrhea. In conjunction with that the anti-depressent-cum-sleeping-pill left me so very groggy that when I had to shit I couldn't get out of bed. I finally roused myself too late and made it no farther than a trash can near by. It was an incredible blowout. I won't describe it. After falling asleep on the toilet where I was trying to clean myself up, I wandered back to my room and collapsed until awakened around two o'clock for more liquid stench. Shockingly I went back to sleep and didn't wake until the 6 o'clock dose arrived.

    Time in the psych ward was measured by intervals of stench. I can't begin to tell you how foul the stuff was. The nurse brought a dose into the day room and people got up and left. Seriously, no exaggeration, they left.


      At the end of the day Saturday I begged a pen and paper and began a diary. It will be found one day soon in a community I am going to create called 4North. It will be for anyone who has ever been an inmate in a psych ward. I don't know if it will be interesting or not.

      Sunday found me conversing at length with a number of people. With some I hit it off and with others I did not try. Several people there listened to me rather more avidly than I liked. I am incessant and implacable when it comes to offering unasked advice. This was a place that wanted more than I had to give. One of the inmates actually held me up as an example of what a counselor should be in group and lambasted the facilitator that was present. I don't know what to do with that.

      It was, and is, disturbing to me that I fit in so well in that environment. I don't know if you're supposed to enjoy your time in the psych ward, but I actually did. It was an angsty, hyper-ventilated sort of forced-draught pleasure but it left my mind more rested than the hours of snoozing that I wanted.

      Monday brought a long talk with my psychiatrist. They were considering releasing me (the health insurance was getting antsy). Did I want to go home? No, I didn't. I asked for another day and got it. I can't tell you why. I'd have stayed a month if I could have. Protected environment? I don't know. As well as I fit in and all, I can't say that my enjoyment of the situation made the place at all attractive. You can see I am ambivalent on the subject. I can't figure out how it is that I relaxed there and never calmed down.

      On Tuesday I left around Noon. I gave a couple of people my number. They haven't called. The psychiatrist made me an appointment with a psychologist, one George Blender. My session with him was uninteresting. We talked about anything but suicide. I don't know what happened. I've never actually discussed the whole thing with anyone - not my family, not the shrinks, nobody.

      My homecoming was not notable in any way. Supper and teevee and to bed early. Not any sort of discussion. There was really nothing to say.

      Wednesday was dull beyond toleration. Westerns on teevee and nothing to do. My computer, once my friend, has become a tool. My interest in many things is altered by my stay in 4North. The only event of the day was a phone call from my work. I felt incredibly stressed by the call though it was utterly friendly in tone and conveyed needed information. Somehow calling CORE (the people who handle time off and such) seemed a nightmarish chore. I didn't get around it for another week despite being urged to do so quickly.

      Thursday brought a visit from my aunt. I was terrified of the visit. I know she has had problems with her grandson since his suicide attempt. I didn't want to hear recriminations from her, they would have crushed me utterly. She was so much in my life as an infant that she was "mommy Muriel", a definite surrogate mother. She has said nothing. I wonder if she knows? I don't want to find out. There's another stress point.

      On Friday my sister's boyfriend (it seems to call quadra- and quintra-generians "boyfriend" and "girlfriend") showed up. He is a real relic of the 70's, a quintessential biker with the big beard, the tattoos the do-rag and the whole schtick. I have had only a few days of exposure to him but he is a man of considerable depth. He stayed at the house a few days and was on his best behavior, trying to make a good impression on the family of course. It worked. My sister says he has had little education, but I know an educated man when I talk to one. If he's done it himself, it speaks well for his intellect and for his character. I like the guy.

      I visited Doc Pontiac on Friday as well. Our resident biker was a little miffed that I called my bus instead of letting him take me to the doctor. I wanted to see the bus driver. We are becoming friends. I don't know if we will stay that way. The doctor gave me some extra time. We talked over my medications at some length. and I got to describe to him my heart problem. My pulse has remained high and my blood pressure high as well. Neither is extraordinary but both are high for me. It might be my anti-depressant or a left-over from the hydrocodone. I hope it goes away and doesn't come back.

      Saturday and Sunday were boring days. I spent a lot of time sleeping. I have been sleeping about twelve hours a day just out of boredom. My nights are erratic so I nap frequently during the day, snoring in my recliner. My pulse and BP remain high. It is uncomfortable to awaken with pulse racing as though after a bad dream. My dreams have been epic. I will put some of them down in baddreams but have not done so as yet.

      Monday brought a letter from my other aunt. Filled with Jehova's witness references and an offer of video tapes and the like, I found it most unpleasant. I could not avoid her by ignoring the letter, she phoned a few days later. Ick. This is the woman sent twenty-five dollars a week to Oral Roberts for over a year to pray on my behalf. This was at a time when I was living on skid row and twenty-five a week would have more than doubled my income.

      Tuesday morning was bad for me. I realized that I was going to have to go back to work at some point and it spiralled me into a bad place. My conversation at three o'clock with George Blender picked me up quite a bit. I enjoyed his discussion of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming - it has nothing to do with computers) and Ericksonian hypnosis. I didn't know anyone besides me knew who Erickson's protégé's were. Riding home on the bus my funk returned and turned blue. I enjoyed my conversation with the driver (a different one) but it was so "ordinary" it bothered me. I can't say that is a problem. I think that I somehow feel that I have been cheated out of a life-changing event. Somehow killing yourself unsuccessfully should have more impact on your life. I'm just back to the same old shit.

      Wednesday Dr. Pontiac called with my liver-test results. All good. I am in no more Tylenol danger, it appears. We also adjusted my diabetes meds. I have been rather badly out of control for a while, though the haemoglobin a1c came out 7.9. They like it to be under 7, and 7.9 evidently indicates an average blood sugar around 170 (80-160) is "under control." The rest of the day was spend dozing and crying. I keep doing that. I just burst into tears at any sappy movie moment or just for no reason. It is become a bore.

      Thursday was the day I could finally put this together and begin writing about it. I don't know why this has come out now or in this way. I am really reluctant to post this in my diary but I can't see the point of doing it at all if nobody is to read it. Certainly it doesn't feel at all therapeutic to me save that it is good for me to write at any time.

      I went for another MRI today (Friday) and am finishing up this text. I don't know if the formatting will be a pain or not. I am not sure who I will allow to see this. I'm on the fence about the whole thing. I expect it will be all or nothing.

Wednesday 29 May
Half a day at work and a sop to my vanity that came too late. The day of the long sleep.
Thursday 30 May
"Try, try again . . ." The day it didn't work. An awakening in the ambulance.
Friday 31 May
A day in ICU where I met Father Rob. A night in the psych ward.Relax! There's no religion involved in this post at all.
Saturday 1 June
My first day as an inmate of the psych ward. A day of "group". The night of the blowout.
Sunday 2 June
I began to fit in on 4 North. It's a little disturbing to enjoy your visit to the loony bin.
Monday 3 June
I begin to think of going home. I stayed an extra day, though. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Tuesday 4 June
Homecoming. A conversation with George Blender. Why didn't we discuss the whole thing?
Wednesday 5 June
The phone call from work. The pressure starts to build.
Thursday 6 June
A visit from my Aunt. A day of floating. Heart and pulse problems.
Friday 7 June
Bikers in the house. A visit from Jim-Bob. A trip to Dr. Pontiac. Pulse Racing.
Saturday 8 June
Pulse still racing. A quiet day.
Sunday 9 June
Loafing with a pulse of 110.
Monday 10 June
The letter from my other Aunt.
Tuesday 11 June
A time of hideous reflection. An unpleasant realization. A pleasant conversation with George Blender. A conversation on the bus.
Wednesday 12 June
A call from Dr. Pontiac.
Thursday 13 June
The day I could write about it.

  • 1
I for one certainly understand where you are coming from.I never could understand suicide until the night I was driven to the brink.I think until youve been there,you never know.

Its also an issue which I will have to comfront in the future.A prospect I am not looking forward to.

I for one am glad you are still here.

I am glad I am still here and simultaneously find myself disappointed that it didn't work. I've got to keep on keepin' on ... a daunting prospect but one that lacks any terror for me now.

Welcome back from the brink, it's a scary place to visit, been there a couple times (though never to the psych ward (though quite a few of my friends have been there)).
I'd found that the feeling of "rest" felt for me like after not taking that (or succeeding at taking) that final leap over the edge, you kind of just sit there looking over, thinking, "Oh, hmmm, the abyss, perhaps I won't go after all," before turning away and getting back to more level ground.

(I believe I may have stretched the metaphor thinner than bubble skin now though.)
Welcome back.

      "The abyss" has been much in my mind of late. I keep writing about such things and their antithesis, mountaintops. I wonder what cultural context the whole abyss thing springs from. There's always been a big hole in the ground in our mythololgy be it Christian's Hell, The Norse Maelstrom, the Greeks Elysian Fields or even something as obscure as ERB's Pellucidar.

Thanks for your comment. It's a long climb back (all these stairs! gasp, pant, wheeze!)

Wow. How terrifying.

I've only experienced psych wards from the other side. That was more than enough for me. My husband's mother tried to kill herself about once a month for half a year.

I'm glad you are here to tell us about it.

(PS -- Frivolity: I really enjoyed the formatting.)f

Y'know. The only really enjoyable thing about writing that down was picking a format.

I noticed you hadn't been around for a while, but I didn't know the reason. I've been there too, sometimes it was the "pathetic bid for attention" but sometimes it was real.
It's good to hear from you again, very good indeed. The news that you tried has hit me, even though you are a guy I don't know in real life, living pretty much on the other side of the planet.
Thank you for letting me read what you had to say about your experiences.

I noticed you hadn't been around for a while, but I didn't know the reason.

Well, the actual reason is that it is getting harder and harder for me to type. My typing speed used to be over 60wpm composing but is now more like 20. I'm using a screen reader (JAWS 4.02) and it holds me down. If I don't use something I have no feedback and my accuracy stinks.

I've been there too, sometimes it was the "pathetic bid for attention" but sometimes it was real.

For some reason, you are the last person I expected to hear "been there" from. I am fascinated and much envy your "boring" life. You seem to have found a sort of paradise in New Zealand, though doubtless it seems anything but to you. It is the way with paradise, we only know we had it when we get banished.

The news that you tried has hit me, even though you are a guy I don't know in real life, living pretty much on the other side of the planet.

True enough, but we do know each other. We share quite a lot though at several removes, as it were. We have each seen the other's web site, shared Opticalallusions, watched the now defunct Badvogato go down the tubes, and have exchanged posts of a nature illuminating to such as we who can read a little between the lines and get a peek at the face behind them. I know people who "date" by phone and learn less of one another than people who exchange in LJ.

Thank you for letting me read . . .

You are the only person to have thanked me for afflicting them with my mopery. I suppose you are more than welcome. My thanks to you and many others for the kindness of your posts.

I can relate to the issue about typing slower: I still type at the same speed, but I read less. My sight is deteriorating too, and I get frustrated at getting tired after reading lessa and less.

Well, I struggled hard with various things at high school and at university. I'd be hard pressed to say which was worse. The support of friends, unacknowledged and unrecognised at the time, was what made the difference.

Part of the reason for the illusion of a straightforward paradise is knowing that, among others, my audience consists of my father-in-law, my wife's best friend and my parish priest. So here are some things I might mention that I simply omit. I've been thinking about putting "other stuff" in another journal. If I do, I'll let you know.

Yes, you are right. Most of the early part of the relationship with the person who is now my wife was formed by mail.

Well, one man's paradise is another man's perdition... see any episode of the twilight zone or night gallery.

Write what you like is what I think about this journal. Anybody who doesn't like what I write doesn't have to read it. Anybody who reads my journal has to take it for what it is . . . the musings of my scatterbrain . . . and just deal with it.

(Deleted comment)
Well, you are a do-do poopeyhead, so there.

End of line.

Hi. You're on my friends list, although i must concede we haven't had much direct contact. Sadly.. there are a lot of people on my list (over half of them) whose entries i will generally read, but i don't know all that well.

In a sort-of related note, it strikes me how much apathy i have for the people around me. I'm not inferring anyone in specific.. but maybe just the population as a whole. There are a lot of things that make me think this world is headed to hell in a handbasket. I watch a lot of history channel. Initially, it's worrysome that most people have little to no interest in knowing about the events that've shaped out world as a whole.. but it's even more worrysome what i see on that same channel. I see civil war documentaries, with poorly-dramatized recitations of civil war letters written by soldiers to their mothers, or brothers, or sisters, or wives. Here is a good example, the excerpted from the second site i chose after doing a quick search on google.com. This letter (or the portion i will include) was written by Mjr. Sullivan Ballou, to his wife...

"The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up andburn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claimsupon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me -- perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar -- that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name."

I hear recitations of letters like those ALL the time, on the history channel. And i have to wonder if the common foot soldier in the 1800's, a man with no more than a 10th or 12th grade education, can write something ten times more profound than your average citizen today. I hope that perhaps i'm mistaken.. but i doubt it. I had a point to all this rambling; i don't know you particularly well, yet what you wrote stroke me both as articulate, and well written... something most people wouldn't be able to write.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding.. i read your whole entry.. i even re-read several paragraphs.. I have ADHD, and rarely stop to read anything for more than 5-10 seconds, unless it's extremely captivating. I know plenty of intelligent people off of livejournal.. but you managed to put things in a perspective i, perhaps, wouldn't have expected. The last person i met (and in fact, the only other livejournal person who has actually made me step back mentally for a second and really consider what they've just said to me) who did this to me was laleche. I can't remember if the LJ name tag has a hyphen or not.. and you can't edit posts.. so i just used a hyperlink there. Anyway, i suppose the point is.. kudos to you for writing such a coherent and profound entry.. too often mine consist of "hey i went 170mph on my motorcycle today, wow look at all this great internet porn i found, okay goodnight."

I'm going to continue my second topic in another comment.. because i suspect this one's getting near the limit for comment lenth...

After quickly re-reading my first post.. please disregard my utter lack to write anything with a level of perspicuousness beyond that of a fifth grader. I type like shit, it's 3am, and often i meant to type one word (for example "our"), and end up typing another (for example "out"). Plus, i smoke a lot of crack.

My second thought drifts along the topic of failed suicide attempts. At various points in my life, i've had a fair amount of contempt for those who seek nothing but attention, and feel the need to do it by "trying" to kill themsevles, rather than just seeking the help they need in the first place. Often i find myself too quick to judge others. A good example.. riding a motorcycle without proper gear (doing bareshirted wheelies and stuff like that) is often known as being a "squid." I'm quick to dismiss any other sportbike rider i see on the freeway in a t-shirt as being a squid, while i tool along merrily in my race suit. Then, today, as i rode along the freeway in a t-shirt (one of the few times i've done this) in the sun, it occured to me how stupid and hypocritical i can be.. mostly because the line between those i seem to judge, and myself, is so very thin. I vilify eating meat, yet it's something i did myself just a few years ago.

Back to the subject of failed suicide attempts... there was a time when i judged this kind of thing pretty harshly, but it's really hard to know the cause of things.. peoples' motivations, and why events unfold the way they do. Not everyone knows how to ask for help, not everyone knows they need help, some people are just inept, and yet others discover the radical priniciple that thousands of years of evolution have made our bodies fairly resilient. i think this last principle is case-in-point everytime we launch a multi-million dollar missile at some middle eastern nation and few (read: 2-3) if any people are killed. Plus, i'm still here, and i'm sure i was probably dropped on my head a few dozen times as a kid.

I know how you feel about the psych ward. Specifically the mention of a "locked door" caught my eye. I very briefly had a brush with the pysch ward at the county hospital here, when i had just turned 18 (3 days after my 18th.. actually). The details are fairly unimportant... (here's a quick run through, just to make this the longest possible series of posts ever, and to also prove that i'm just as immature and fucked up as about any other kid out there).. I had a huge crush on a girl who was my friend.. one of the few female friends i'd had. After several years we slept together once, and immediately it was obvious this was a messed up situation. She said something about never being able to speak to me again, etc etc. I think the next night i went over to her house, we talked for a while, she was immensly high on crank, i did everything in my power to pretty much say i'd kill myself if she stopped talking to me, eventually it became hopeless, and i went to leave. I drive like a jackass.. or at least i used to. I still do stupid stuff, but i do it when the freeway is empty, and i only put myself at risk. Back in the day, i drove like a total retard. Her neighbor hated my loud car, and occasional burnouts in their street. He picked that night to be on his porch when i was leaving, and that night to pickup a rock to throw at my car. At this point i saw him about throw a baseball sized rock at my classic muscle car, and decided since i was already going to kill myself, why not make a few years worth of kung-fu study payoff.

---- continued in next reply ---

I got out of the car, he approached me kind of holding the rock half-recoiled.. as if to throw it, but paused in time.. when he was about 2 feet from me, he was looking me in the face saying some bullshit, and i was telling him to fuck himself. At this point, i had my spyderco out at my side, and unfolded, in my right hand. I kind of feigned the beginning of a punch with my left, to see what he'd do. He winced and stepped back. At that point he saw what was in my right hand, dropped the rock, and backed further away. Somewhere along the line the shouting of obscenities had drawn the neighbors.. who now appearantly saw him (unarmed) in the road 10 feet from me.. and me pehaps a bit less than unarmed. He was shouting about "911" and things of this sort to them. I told him to eat a dick, and got back in my Mustang. A few minutes after i had, the police arrived at my house, and arrested me. I guess the rock-wielding neighbor had neglected to mention the whole "rock-wielding" aspect of the incident, and simply told them the other part. Whatever the case, about that time, Jessica (the girl i was smitten with) showed up. She told them how i'd been threatening suicide, and to look at my arms. My arms were cut to shit.. self mutilation was a big thing for me when i was younger. I suppose (read: know) that was my attempt to make my two obstinately ignorant suburban parents to notice that i had a lot of problems. It never worked. It did however make the police think i had a lot of problems. An ambulance arrived and off to the hospital i went.

I remember signing a bunch of forms that were stuck in my face, and being wheeled past the first set doors that didn't look like regular hospital doors. being asked to walk into a room at the end of the hall.. a small room with a deadbolt on the outside, and a very tiny window in the door. Thankfully they never closed the door. I sat in the room nervously tapping my feet, waiting for a psychiatrist to come evaluate me. I lamented how i would almost certainly have a break down if they closed the door.. if i was in a situation i couldn't leave, didn't have an immediate escape from. Even now, i can't deal with situations where i don't at least have a modicum of control. I can't ride rollercoasters, or deal well with confined spaces. Working as a mechanic a few years ago, it took me a long while to be comfortable sliding underneath a car that was up on jacks. They never closed the door, thankfully. A psychiatrist came, and i said whatever i needed to say to cinvince her i wasn't a danger to anyone. Eventually they released me to my parents, who were waiting in the lobby with my brother the whole time (at 2am). My parents drove me home, and very little was said about the incident, except me feebly saying how Jessica was crazy and must have made it all up. My parents didn't really ask anything after that, and never mentioned it again. Ever. This was December 8th, 1998, my brother's birthday. I've never loved someone as much as i love my brother.. and him having recently turned 18 (well, 6 months ago), i'm very sad to see how much of me there is inside of him.

These posts were long, and kind of pointless, but these were the thoughts your entry raised in my mind, and i felt that both because i was having them, and because you'd bared a uniquely exposed part of your life to me, it wouldn't be unfair of me to write what i was feeling in response. I hope i've made some sense, and on a personal note, i hope i'm correct in my belief that i'm not the same person i was in 1998.


a couple of weeks ago, I would have been hard-pressed to explain why you are on my friends list.

Simply put, I saw you post in some group we have in common (I don't remember which) and liked your picture. I followed it to your journal and liked the entry that day enough I added you to my list.

Since then your posts have kept me watching but have not inspired many comments. You don't often leave much to say or really invite much in the way of commentary.

Your repllies to my post are as meaningful to me as anything anyone has ever posted in my direction. I could understand fully what you had to say and did not find myself distracted by the negative shit with which I am afflicted by most of the rather peurile posts that come my way.

What can I say. I like your style. Thanks for writing.

I had no idea, honestly, when I replied to your other posts, I had not read this. I decided to come here and read a bit of your journal and quite a first entry to read.

Although something did strike me in your entry.

"Treatment consisted of making me drink liquid stench. The substance is called mucomist or something close to that. It smells like brimstone mixed with the worst hair perm you've ever smelled, the odor of rotten eggs, the aroma of a cheese long since gone to its reward and the stench worst fart you've ever been trapped in an elevator with. It tastes worse..."

I laughed my ass off. I'm sorry, I know it isn't funny. But, one night I was actually sleeping well for a change. I was dreaming my husband and I were on our first date and as we walked, we noticed a faerie ring, both being horribly superstitous walked on either side of the faerie ring, well in my dream we didn't let go of each other's hand and as we crossed the ring we were sucked into the Otherworld. As we were walking through we saw phooka's and red caps, faeires and goblins. We were then sucked into the Underworld where we saw demons and devils sitting about playing card taking their coffee breaks. We joined up with a tourist group as they were taking a look about. We came to this section where the tour guide said we were going to be looking at the deepest darkest hole in the entire world, this was where the BIG guy lived...I peered over and my nose was assulted by the most horrible stench, I could feel the nose hairs burning, my throat constricting against the odor. I have NEVER smelled anything like this. Sulphur, horrible rotting stench. It was worse than cleaning the traps at the meat market I used to work at. I fought to wake up, I couldn't get to consciousness fast enought hoping to find relief from the stench. When I did, it was still there, I frantically searched for the source of this foul FOUL smell....I found it...sleeping calmly next to my bed...it was my dog...Frodo. Blissfully unaware of the foulness coming out of his butt.

Karl's advice to those who sleep with dogs on the bed: Never, never, never, let them eat eggs.

I'm not sure what to say here... I'm not on your friends list, but I would gladly add you to mine, and the only reason I'm in the no_pity community is beacuse of my bf, hellonwheels. But I read your entry, and I want to say I understand. I'm sure you've heard all the cliche remarks, but here's another one. I've been there, I woke up in the emergancy room and I was so pissed I woke up at all. My mother worked at the hospital they took me to, so everything was covered up quickly. I didn't go to pysch but I should have. What they called a "attention cry" was in actuallity the begining of my life as being diagnossed bi-polor. And I totally agree with you, the stuff they make you drink is horific!!! Did you know it's basically liqud charcoal? Anyways enough babling. I'm sorry if I've bored you to tears, but I felt I had to respond. Blessed be my friend, it gets better.

Liquid charcoal. I'm somehow not surprised to learn it.

Thanx for writing.

I am not quite sure how I stumbled into your journal, I was reading through my friends journal, and sometimes I click here and there and I don't know how I end up in certain places, but I believe I was meant to read your entry today.
First, thank you for sharing such personal and painful details, I for one, do not think I could even share what I have been through in a private, hand written diary.
I was wondering if all of the psych units all over the USA are on 4 North? (I had spent a couple of brief "visits" to 4North when I lived in Illinois)
I could relate so well to everything you wrote about, and like you said, it wasn't a cry for help, you just wanted to end the pain.
I've been to the brink many times, before recently being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, and being on medication has helped me a lot, but it doesn't stop the stress of dealing with life's problems, (darn!)
I also have other physical problems, and my husband has been battling colon cancer and just finished his LAST round of chemo.
So it seems as if it is always SOMETHING, doesn't it?
I have learned that I can do no more than take one little step at a time. That is MUCH easier said than done!
Again, thank you for sharing your experience, it has made me stop and think about all the times I came so close to leaving this world, and how much I would have hurt the people I love. I hope you are feeling better, and you mentioned that you like this new doctor.
That is so important, and so hard to come by. I lucked out this last time in finding a doctor who really LISTENS to what I am saying, (of course, that is what she gets paid to do) it is also a great help to me that she specializes in pharmacueticals and psychiatry. She knows what will work with what and what won't.
God Bless you, I wish you all the best in the world!
Love & Prayers,

I don't know. Maybe all psych wards are 4 North. I've created a community to discuss it - 4north and maybe we'll find out.

Thanks for writing. I wish you the best too. Maybe we can all pull together and pull ourselves out of trouble.

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