Tuesday, August 09, 2005


"Thinking about suicide is a potent consolation: it helps us to get through many a bad night"
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Last week was a tough week. The rejection was hard to take. I realised how fragile everything is. Everything I’ve tried to build shattered so easily. There is no permanence, no guarantee. That’s a fact of life I struggle to comprehend. It’s simply difficult to accept.

People could make decisions that affect our whole lives. People could make choices that turn our entire world upside down. How does that make sense? That to a large extent, our lives are made or destroyed by somebody else.

If I practiced my DBT skills, I could say that things don’t happen to us so much as things just happen – it’s how we react to the situation that affects us negatively or positively. Last week I didn’t react very well at all. In fact I wanted to simply walk away from it all. It was too hard to get myself right back on the horse. The bruises from every time I fell just seemed too much to bear. It didn’t seem worth the fight when you’re fighting a losing battle. Who wants to lose all the time? The game just didn’t seem fair.

Depression set in, I think. I allowed myself to feel sorry for myself. I took a good look at the big picture and realised how little life appealed to me. I looked at how alone I have been all my life, and how alone I will continue to be (probably) for the rest of my life. So do I want a companion? The answer is NO. I don’t even believe that will bring me joy. I don’t believe anything will ever bring me joy. That this life will be the same grey world that straddles life and death. And that the end and relief will only come in death.

I’m not suicidal anymore though. I talked to V at the end of last week and she persuaded me to try some of my DBT skills. If nothing else, at least her strong belief that she can help me build a life worth living, is something I can cling onto like a life preserver in this sea of misery. I’m not sure if I completely believe her sometimes. But I know I want to. Badly. And maybe that wanting to is enough for now…. I don’t know.

I had a dream, though, on Friday night. I dreamt I went through with my suicide plan. I walked down this beach and into the surf, until the water swallowed me up. It felt so real, I woke up crying. I woke up crying because I didn’t want to die, but I also knew that there was no solution to this. That to get that peace of mind I strive so hard for, death was the only way.

Surely it’s not wrong to want to have some peace of mind? A moment, or a day, or a week when everything isn’t such a struggle, when the world isn’t tinted with this greyness, when the warmth of the sun can be felt on my skin, instead of this numbness, this feeling of deadness….


JC said...

Ah Bear,
I can so relate to how you are feeling from past experiences with depression. I know that I don't expect to be happy all the time, but a little while without the grey cloud would suffice. I think that it is great you are working on DBT skills. I haven't worked on that, but for folks with BPD it seems to be the gold standard in psych care.I would also tell you to keep trying new meds...sounds like what you are on is not working. I am glad to hear you say that you are not looking for a mate. I think that lots of folks look to someone else to make life better and that is setting a relationship up for failure, so that is truly a healthy outlook on relationships. Lets hope the elusive grey cloud shifts and then you meet someone wonderful, that you want to spend time with because you enjoy it rather than need it.

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Radin said...

Wish you up out of it soon. All people Bipolar or otherwise go through different moods all the time I realized but ours is the big wheel of the funfair of life and we are alone in it. I have been having dreams about death for a month and almost every night. It is both interesting and weird, not frightening though. But I didn’t find peace in death either. Once I dreamt I was dead and I was arguing with my wife for choosing such small gravestone for me. It was very small and looked like a baby’s grave. I was laughing about it next day. It was so funny. And there was only my name on it with date of death. Nothing more. Life is a mixture of everything there is but we can only see them one at the time.

disso_k said...

That's an interesting quote by Nietzsche. For me, constant thoughts of death can be downright exhausting sometimes though.

I agree. Wanting peace of mind definitely isn't wrong. There has to be a time where the colours and the warmth returns. I hope that time comes for your very, very soon, Polar Bear.

Vixen said...

Being suicidal is never an easy state to overcome. I know of many times where depression also got the better of me. However, I do know that with a good support system of friends and family around, it is possible to get through it all.

Geisha_Girl said...

Hey Polar ...

I know how you're feeling.

It doesn't take much to spiral downwards when our sense of self and capacity to sustain ourselves is so fragile and so readily affected by external set-backs we encounter.

But you're right about the DBT side of things and the need to examine and own our responses.

The idea of release by suicide is a seductive one I can relate to (in fact it was my first thought this morning),

BUT I think if we try to manage the low points and the hurt and if we try to strengthen our acceptance of ourselves and to find some purpose and enjoyment in simple ways, the emotional load becomes lighter and things *do* improve ... although I suspect this is an ongoing battle for some of us.

The way things are going for me at the moment, I'm inclined to think the most valuable thing I can do for myself is to focus on self-empowerment and to forget about relying on approval or comfort from outside sources.

By that I mean not to allow outside factors to have such an impact on my emotional state.

Some things don't work out as we'd hoped and things can be hurtful ... but that's really a given I suppose seeing the world and all in it is never going to actually conform to what we need or would like for it to be.

Life's fairly random, I think. But there is definitely a locus of control within when it comes to processing how we feel about things.

The tricky part is engaging that part of ourselves enough for inner strength to become a habitual way of being and seeing, so that disappointments or frustrations slide like water off a duck's back.

Anyway, thanks for sharing ... what you've described is something I can most definitely relate to, Polar.

:-)) Jane

sansanity said...

wow. that quote from nietzsche says everything. and you left a comment on JC's blog about hope and i knew exactly what you meant.

Yuki said...

((((((Polar Bear))))))) My cyber hug to you!! I love you!! Hang in there!!!

borderline savvy said...

This is from the Distress Tolerance section of DBT on Radical Acceptance:

-Freedom from suffering requires ACCEPTANCE from deep within of what is. Let yourself go completely with what is. Let go of fighting reality.

-ACCEPTANCE is the only way out of hell.

-Pain creates suffering only when you refuse to ACCEPT the pain.

-Deciding to tolerate the moment is ACCEPTANCE.

-ACCEPTANCE is acknowledging what is.

-To ACCEPT something is not the same as judging it to be good.

If you have your DBT book, this is Distress Tolerance Handbook 5. There is more to Radical Acceptance. This is only the first part of it.

I hope it helps.
Big hugs,

JC said...

I am here rereading this post and I have to say that reading the book "don't sweat the small stuff" may be in order. I don't know if you have read it or not, but it has helped me tremendously. Basically, it is all about our ability to decide how we react to people and events. We can decide to let something be a crisis or simply decide it is dissapointing and move on. We are the same whether we are in good circumstances or bad. We jsut need to realize that when things don't go the way we wish, when we screw up or when someone else screws up, that it doesn't change who we are. We are the same good and bad. It sucks when someone else can impact our life, but I tend to try to maintain the thought that I am exactly where I am supposed to be all the time. That there is a plan for me and I am within the plan. Sometimes it helps when I think I haven't gotten something that I wanted....the thought that maybe I wasn't supposed to anyway?