Suicide, Depression, and Triggers

The title should make it obvious but in case it’s not I’m going to be talking about suicide and depression so please skip this if you need.
I’m also going to mention pregnancy so if that’s a trigger you can skip this too.

Several bloggers I follow, both infertility bloggers and others, have posted about depression in the wake of Robin Williams’ suicide. Many have said far better than I the things I want to say so I’m going to keep this brief rather than cluttering everyone’s feeds with more talk of this subject.

I have a history of depression and suicidal thoughts as well as self-harming behaviors. I have never attempted suicide although I have been so close that I’ve been handcuffed and taken to the hospital against my will.

I have suicidal thoughts. Sometimes they are rare, sometimes they are frequent. They are not something I am in control of. They just are. When I tell this to people it scares them, they hear suicidal thoughts and think suicidal intent. For me, they are two very different things.

I currently have no intent or desire to hurt or kill myself, but lately I’ve had suicidal thoughts daily.

I have a great deal of guilt around being depressed while pregnant. I don’t want my depression to cause any harm to this baby, but it’s not something I’m entirely in control of. I have taken steps to manage my depression including medication and therapy with a social worker. The other night during a really difficult talk with my husband I sobbed into his arms swearing that I didn’t want to hurt myself or this baby and that I was scared they were going to lock me up again.

Since the death of Robin Williams I have had an extremely difficult time being on social media. Facebook has been the worst but Twitter and blogs have also proven triggering. I made the big mistake the other day of reading an article which included some details of the manner of death and the way he was found. I really wish I hadn’t because I can’t get the pictures out of my mind.

I’m choosing to practice self-care and stay away from these places as much as possible right now. I was already in a fragile state before this. I wanted to explain in more detail why I’ve been so absent. It’s just too hard right now. I’m sorry if I’ve missed important posts about things going on with everyone but I have to take care of myself first.

Think of it like infertiles unfollowing or muting those who become pregnant or even stepping away from the community altogether. We all have to put our own oxygen mask on first before we can help others. Right now I’m just trying to keep breathing.

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Still Here

It’s been over a week since I last posted anything. Between traveling for the wedding last weekend and then school starting I’ve barely had time to think, much less write. I’m overwhelmed and I already feel like I’m behind in my classes. Not only did I miss the first day because we were traveling back from the wedding, our second flight was delayed and we didn’t get home until 2am. I woke up the next morning for my early class exhausted and jet lagged and there was just no way I was safe driving, especially in rush hour traffic. So I missed that class too. I managed to make the first day of 1 out of 5 classes. Senioritis?

I have so much I could talk about but I can’t focus on anything right now so I’ll just hit a few notes of importance.

The wedding was wonderful. Even though it started an hour late. The bride, who I totally adore, is not the best planner ever. So some things were kind of a mess. But it was beautiful and the two of them are so in love and happy together. And my husband did a kick ass job MC-ing the reception. But perhaps the best part was that I was able to get past my usual crippling social anxiety and actually talk to strangers. I don’t know what it was, but I think it was just that the other guests were so very genuine and friendly. I had a great time.

I had two interesting interactions with professors this past week. The first happened on the second day of classes, which was my first day. I was driving up for my afternoon class and looking for parking. I saw a spot but getting into it was temporarily blocked by two women walking, one pushing a stroller. I was annoyed and wishing they would walk faster until I realized that the one pushing the stroller was my women’s studies professor from last fall. I pulled up, rolled down the window and said hi. She was just on campus to “show off the baby” but told me to email her and we would get together and catch up this semester. She asked me how my summer had been and I straight up said “horrible.” Because it had, and she’s not someone I felt the need to lie to about it. Hopefully we’ll find a time to get together this semester and I can catch her up on everything. She’s good people.

The second was very similar. The art history professor whose class I ended up signing up for at the last minute after another class got cancelled is really nice and really likes me. I spoke to her after class on Thursday to thank her for understanding about my missing the first day. She also asked me how my summer was and I was not quite so dramatic, I just told her it’d been “rough.” But I also told her it was behind me and I was focusing on this semester and moving forward. Because I am. Because I spent all damn summer feeling sorry for myself and I’m over it.

Then I got on WordPress today and got caught up on some recent entries and everything was so very triggering. I haven’t had time to think about infertility lately, which is good in a lot of ways, but as soon as I did I wanted to cry. I am still frustrated that I couldn’t have the HSG this cycle and wondering when I will ever fit in it this semester. And I’m worried that I’ll never get pregnant again. Or that I’ll have another complicated loss like the ectopic but this time it won’t be during summer break.

I just feel really lost again. And like I don’t fit in anywhere in the infertility community. We sort of have a diagnosis but there seems to be more things going on than just PCOS. After the ectopic I’m more and more concerned that the endometriosis my former primary care doc suggested is a very real possibility. And we aren’t doing medicated cycles, or IUI, or IVF or anything right now. Because my body won’t cooperate. Because the clinics have very particular schedules for HSG. I’m in limbo again.  I want to give up. Forget fertility treatments. Maybe I’ll get pregnant naturally again. Maybe this time it will be successful. Or maybe I was never meant to have a kid.

I have so much guilt about the fact that it’s my body that is preventing us from having kids right now. My husband really really really wants kids, maybe more than I do. And his stuff is fine. I’m the one screwing it all up.

I’m going to stop here. What was a relatively positive post just got way dark and I need to walk away.