Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Those thoughts

Intrusive thoughts. I've written about them here before. They are strange, usually violent, often scary, sometimes shocking thoughts which occupy space in my brain out of the blue. These thoughts are a symptom of my depression and usually occur when my mood is low and things aren't going so hot. But my mood is good right now. Nevertheless, I've been having intrusive thoughts for the last 48 hours. It's been a little disconcerting.

When the thoughts began I, of course, tried to figure out what was going on. I was having random suicidal thoughts, but I'm not suicidal. It was very strange. I spent a day trying to ignore the thoughts, carry on with my routine, and at the same time figure out why I was having the thoughts. One possibility finally came through.

Today is an anniversary, of sorts. On January 30th, 1985, at the age of 17, I attempted to end my life. It was a serious suicide attempt; the culmination of a 2+ year battle with severe, debilitating depression. Thankfully, despite months of planning, I didn't succeed in ending my life. In fact, the suicide attempt actually led to me finally getting the help I so desperately needed. After being released from the hospital I was sent to an adolescent mental health unit for 2 months. My journey to healing began there.

Perhaps the recent intrusive suicidal thoughts were meant to remind me of this 32 year old life event. But for what purpose? January 30th, 1985, is not a date I wish to forget, nor is it a date I go out of my way to remember. Sometimes I've remembered this anniversary. Sometimes I haven't. I guess this year was my time to remember.

Remembering January 30th; it's a day which reminds me of an extremely painful, lonely time in my life. But when I reflect upon this anniversary, I'm also reminded things got better. I got better. Eventually I healed, and I went on to live my life. I think that's where I'll keep my focus today. Living. Life.

4 comments:

Rachel T. said...

Thanks for sharing. I suffer from intrusive thoughts as well. It's very upsetting.

Kate said...

I have thoughts like these all the time. They've almost become less intrusive and more mundane, no different than thinking about running errands or doing chores. Fortunately, I've never acted on these. I don't think I could.

Etta, I'm doing a small personal project based around women with depression keeping blogs about their experiences, and I wanted to ask you a few questions pertaining to the subject. Such as:

1) What do you consider your relationship with this blog to be? Is it more of a journal for you, or do you consider this blog a kind of refuge?

2) Do you believe that self-disclosing on this blog has had any effects on your depression? And how so?

3) Would you consider self-disclosing on this blog to be a therapeutic experience?

4) Do you feel that there is a difference in how women with depression are perceived through the Internet, compared to how they are perceived in real life? Do you feel that people are more accepting over the Internet?

I understand if you do not have time or simply do not wish to answer these questions. As someone with depression myself, however, I am interested in understanding the role blogging plays in helping people manage their mental illness. I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you, and take care.

-Katie

etta said...

@ Kate: My blog is a journal. I use it as a tool to educate and support others, but I think I actually benefit more from the comments, education, and support I receive from my readers than they do from me. That was a nice surprise.
As far as how women with depression are perceived, I have no thoughts on that whatsoever. Internet versus in person? Never crossed my mind. I'm open about my illness with those around me, but it does not define me or my interactions with them. I am a friend, co-worker, sister, daughter. I am a person first, a person who happens to have a chronic medical condition. In fact, nobody close to me, friends, family, or professionals even read my blog. They trust I'll let them know what's going on, I guess. And I do.

Kate said...

Etta, thank you for the response. I admire that you are open about your depression with others, without letting it obscure who you are as a person. Sometimes I worry that it will taint other peoples' perceptions of me, but at the end of the day it's just something some of us have to deal with like how other people deal with their own problems. Nothing to be ashamed of. Thanks again for answering! Have a wonderful weekend.



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