Tag Archives: side effects

Dark Day of the Soul

I don’t want to be here at work right now.  Actually, I don’t want to be alive right now.  I was fine when I left my family this morning; my two little boys were standing in the yard, waving to me as I drove away.  But when I get like this, nothing seems to cheer me up; not even my little sons.

I can’t believe — well, yes I can — that I have a class in 30 minutes.  Today is the first day of the second summer term, so this is a brand new English class that I’m teaching at my college.  I haven’t prepared anything yet — just the syllabus.  I can always let them go early, though.

Usually I try to add some wit and humor to my posts on this blog.  You know, “make it interesting and amusing so that readers will keep coming back for more.”  Sometimes, however, I say screw it.  No offense, WordPress Advice People.

I haven’t been taking my medication regularly because I’m sick of living in a fog, and I don’t have the luxury of taking naps whenever I want during the day. I am, after all, a teacher, so there are always things to be done and courses to teach.

Last year, I went to the campus nurse and told her that I was feeling extremely tired.  I didn’t dare tell her about my mental health; if word got back to the dean, I would be forced out of my job probably.  She told me to take it easy and go back to my office.  Well, I went out to my car (because I couldn’t keep my eyes open) and passed out for about an hour.

Somehow, the dean of Liberal Arts is into micromanaging some of us, so of course she wondered where I had been since it was too early for a lunch break.  I told her I wasn’t feeling well and that the nurse told me to lie down (I know.  I lied.  And this blog is supposed to be my Catholic ministry to help people. *sigh*).  She made me fill out a leave of absence form, so basically I had to take an hour of sick leave.  I suppose that was only fair, though.  I’m still upset that she was on my case that day.

When I get depressed, it’s not just a “woe is me” emotional moment.  It’s as if a dark cloud is enveloping me, sucking out my soul and leaving me empty and in agony.  For all you Harry Potter fans, it’s the equivalent of a Dementor’s attack.

dementor

Dementor

I can finally feel my Xanax (my emergency drug) kick in.  But the problem is, after a few hours, the drug leaves me with such little energy, and I end up falling asleep on my desk.  It’s nothing but a vicious cycle: I need the Xanax to rescue me from doing anything stupid while I am down in the dumps, but the effects are difficult to deal with later on.  I suppose it’s better to be drowsy in the afternoon instead of jumping in front of a train at the nearby rail station.

I guess I’ll just fake it until my class is finished and then see about going home for the day.  It’s summer semester, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Speaking of teaching, so many people ask me why I got into such a “social” field; wouldn’t standing in front of  and educating 25 to 40 students at a time be the worst kind of job for someone like me who is often afraid to show up at parties when there are more than three people present?

I have shortened my response to just one word:

performance

Jim Carrey is a goofball on film, but he’s extremely shy and moody when he’s not in front of the camera.  Kurt Cobain was a very talented, interesting frontman on stage, but as soon as his set was over, he retreated into his own private world.

Now that I think about it, tonight is our monthly council meeting at the Knights of Columbus hall.  I have to speak to the brothers about the summer youth event that I’m coordinating and my idea for a men’s accountability group since neither our parish nor our Knights council has one.  Plus this will be the first meeting since I was installed as an officer last month.

The words of former therapists and psych ward aides suddenly zoom through my head:

Fake it ’til you make it.

God is great.

Don’t give up. 

Then I remember a fellow patient, a large African American woman, that I befriended in one of the psych wards getting in my face one day after a group session.  “You’re Catholic, so that means if you kill yourself, you’ll go to hell.”

“Yes,” I had answered.  “But I don’t care.”

“Well, then I’d have to come to hell and save your ***.”  She glared at me before continuing.  “And I don’t like heat.”

I had to peel my eyes away from hers.  “I got it.”

~topaz


Having a Bad Day

mental illness

Well, as you know from the title of my blog and from previous posts, I suffer from various mental issues.  Looking back at the blog post from yesterday, I’m like, “Did I write that?”  It seems so polished and… encouraging.  I’m not saying that I faked it or anything, but I’m not typically a motivating person.

My brain is in a constant fog due to my meds.  I also think it’s a long-term effect from last summer when I attempted to end my life (the first of two attempts that season).  I hit rock bottom — actually, the bottom fell out and I fell down even further.  I didn’t expect to mention this so soon on my blog, but what the heck.  Due to various problems and things that I was dealing with at the time and things that had been building up, one event triggered me to attempt suicide.  I drank about five margaritas, each with extra tequila shots.  I then stumbled to my car and swallowed a full bottle of Xanax — about 40 milligrams.

By the grace of God, I survived and suffer no physical repercussions to this day; however, I really think that the experience left me with a permanently clouded mind.  Even at times when I don’t take Xanax or my other meds, I still suffer from incoherency and mental aloofness (as my wife says, it could just be due to my being a male).

For the past couple months, my lower lip has been feeling numb to the point where it’s sometimes difficult to talk clearly, and there is a constant ringing in my ears.  (Which reminds me: I need to tell my doctor.)  Even if these are a result of my suicide attempts, I try to keep a positive attitude because it could have been A LOT worse.

You’re probably thinking, All that tequila and 40 mg of Xanax?  And you’re still alive?!  You must be fat as hell!  Actually, I’m quite tall, and my weight is proportionate to my height.  I believe, though, that God wanted me to remain alive to carry out His plan in me.  Why else would I still be on earth, typing out these coherent thoughts?

Anyway, I’m up and down.  Today happens to be a down day for me.  I am teaching a morning class during my college’s first summer session, and my mood was so bad this morning, and I felt so destructive and enraged that I almost cancelled my class.  All I can say is thank goodness for medication.

What made me feel destructive and enraged?  Last night I got tired of all the liberal crap that my “friends” (Ha ha.  Right.) on Facebook were posting.  I am very shy, quiet, and introverted.  I am not affiliated with any one political party; it depends on the issue.  However, I am pro-life and support other “conservative” issues.

Speaking of being conservative, I was pretty much “in the closet” about my political views up until yesterday.  I reached that breaking point, though, and felt the time was right to rant — which is something I never do on Facebook (I try to be as professional and benign as possible since I’m an educator).

After ranting against a “friend” who always posts pro-abortion propaganda, I lost it (my temper, that is).  I confronted him, and…

Nothing.

The ultra-liberal New Yorker backed off by stating: “I’m not getting into a debate.  You have your beliefs, and I have mine.”

Damn.  Talk about feeling like a jerk.

The Holy Spirit whispered to me and said, Topaz, you should have been the one to be cool and let it go.  Why couldn’t I do that?!  I was so angry at myself!  He is the baby-killing atheist, and I’m supposed to be the practicing Catholic who is also a fourth-degree Sir Knight.  WTF?  (Sorry to any Evangelicals reading this — we Catholics throw around potty-mouth words sometimes.  At least I didn’t spell out WTF.)

Hulk

O David Banner, pray for me.

When I get angry, it’s pretty bad.  I feel like a monster is inside me, and I’m terrified that it will burst out.  I know how David Banner feels when he’s about to turn into The Incredible Hulk.  Not a good feeling at all.

Yesterday I felt like I was playing the part of Super Christian.  Today, I am the polar opposite.

Welcome to my mind!

~topaz