First of all, let me apologize for yesterday’s bogus title and picture. I had very little mental energy, which no doubt was obvious, and I just felt that I was wasting what little effort I could bring to bear by choosing a quote from Shakespeare to adjust with some form of the word “blog”, and then to find and modify a picture of some kind so that it matched (at least roughly) the subject or the title of the post. If anyone was looking forward to seeing what “clever” thing I’d done this week, I’m legitimately sorry to have disappointed you.
I think all my posts this week have been dreary, even for me. I’m gradually approaching the point of just giving up completely. People usually say that they give up well before they really have. I know that’s the case for me. I’ve felt like I want to give up for some time now. I have also asked, even practically begged, for help—though I’m not sure what form such help might take—on numerous occasions through this blog (and elsewhere), hoping that someone out there might have some ideas, or some resource suggestions, or even some words that I hadn’t read or heard or thought of already, but I’ve found nothing that’s really useful.
I’ve even gotten suggestions to read one of the psalms. I’ve read all the psalms before, but I went and read it again. Though they’re nice poetry, it didn’t inspire me in any way. Sorry, person who suggested it, but I’ve read through the entire Bible at various times, and—though I appreciate your intentions, I really do—it’s not a source of consolation for someone like me.
I’ve thought over and over again about calling the “crisis hotline”, especially now that they added the 988 number to it, but then you read all about those warnings that, yes, they do track your location when you call. I myself have previously, through a call to the hotline, had a run-in with the effing Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department in which I got nerve damage in my left hand because I was handcuffed—because, of course, a suicidal person is dangerous to two armed PBSO deputies. Then I got brought to a facility so bleak that I would almost have preferred the mass holding cells in Gun Club Road jail.
I suppose that story does highlight something that’s been in the news: the fact that police are not trained or equipped to help people going through psychological crises; to be fair to them, it really isn’t part of their job description. And if you can’t trust that you won’t be kidnapped by “the man” against your will, how are you supposed to be able to trust the crisis hotline?
Not that I don’t think the people who work on it are sincere—I’m quite sure they are and that they really want to do good. But as I’ve said many times, good intentions are not enough. Good intentions are just the beginning, and they are only barely that. It’s not enough to mean to do good. If you want actually to do good, you’re going to have to figure out how to make that happen, and adjust your approaches and improve them over time as you learn.
I wonder if one of the VPNs your keep hearing about might be useful enough that I could at least use the crisis line “chat” function without being tracked and hunted down by police officers (who are also, I’m quite confident, desirous of doing good, but are not equipped or trained to do so in a psychological or psychiatric emergency situation). Would just “going incognito” on Google Chrome be enough? Does anyone out there know?
Sorry about the interruption just now, though I know you didn’t actually experience it. I suddenly started getting some esophageal spasm, and I had to rush to get a drink from the fountain at the train station to help relax my esophagus. It’s quite painful, and it’s disconcerting, and the first time you have it, you feel like you must be having a heart attack or maybe an aortic dissection, but it responds to warm water (at least in my case) which is basically like stretching and warming a charley horse, and heart attacks don’t do that, and neither do aortic dissections.
So, where was I?
Oh, right, I was wondering about ways possibly to get in contact with the crisis hotline without being in danger of getting abducted and taken to an involuntary mental health facility—getting “Baker Acted”, in other words. If anyone out there knows if just “going incognito” is enough, please let me know in the comments below, NOT on Facebook or Twitter.
I think I’m quite a bit past those first, heady days of thinking that I want to give up, and am really near the point of actually doing it, of actually not caring at all about trying to continue. I guess I do care about not wanting to be incarcerated, even if it’s in a mental health facility. The public ones I’ve seen around these parts are just dreary and, well, depressing.
It would be nice to have someone to talk to about these kinds of things, someone I felt comfortable with, someone for whom I don’t have to try to put on a happy (or in my case, probably just a blank) face. Apparently my face is not very expressive at the best of times. Certainly nobody seems to pick up on the fact that I’m horribly depressed a lot of the time, most every day. I think I’ve been trained too much—partly by myself—to pretend. They call it masking. Also, it turns out, I’m just not able to express my emotions well, and often not able even to realize what they are from moment to moment.
It’s interesting that people will sometimes send you things like “hugs” on Facebook or through text messages and things, like the hug emojis, you know what I mean? Now, being apparently an Aspie, as I guess they say, I’m not great with even real hugs from most people, but e-hugs feel peculiar (albeit in quite a different way). I guess they’re a way of showing that the person cares and “wishes” they could hug you for real. That’s legitimately nice, and I wouldn’t want to discourage it.
But, like I said, I feel reticent about even real hugs, though from certain people, at certain times, hugs have been great. Apparently, I’m a bit like a cat in that. I really don’t even like it when people I don’t know well come up and, while talking to me, put a hand on my shoulder or something. Though, in the right circumstances, a shoulder and neck massage can be great, preferably when it’s something I’ve sought out.
I don’t even like going to the barber shop, because having strangers touch me even to that degree is just uncomfortable, and that’s gotten worse over time. You can imagine how much fun it is to be handcuffed and chained and all that. I’ve had more than enough of that crap for the rest of my life, I can promise you; I would be tempted just to force police officers to shoot me rather than let myself be handcuffed again if the situation arose.
I may just be out of luck here. There may not be resources to help someone in south Florida who is an “ex-con”, a disgraced doctor, divorced, alone, with chronic pain and, apparently, autism spectrum disorder, as well as dysthymia/depression, who is a long way away from most of his family (certainly those who would want to have anything to do with him), and who doesn’t want to cause any of them trouble, anyway. It’s frustrating, sometimes, to know that there are resources for people with drug and alcohol problems, there’s public and private support, and people are even celebrated (justly so) for their struggles to defeat them, but if your problems are not with substances but with a fucked up nervous system, then it’s hard to find resources, and humiliating to seek them out. The world just kind of blames you for the problem. You’re weak. You’re defective. You’re inadequate. You’re just faulty.
To be fair, though, I don’t like myself enough to be proactive about my mental or physical health much anymore. I’ve used many different antidepressants and related meds and therapy of various kinds; I’ve tried to see if there’s any religion or philosophy or technique that gives me comfort*. I just keep coming back to as bad or worse states.
It’s been said by some (usually quite successful) people that being happy is a choice, but that strikes me just as a way for people who happen to be happy to pat themselves on the back while they blame the unhappiness of the unhappy on the unhappy themselves. They can feel that they deserve their own happiness, and wash their hands of the problem. “If you’re unhappy, it’s your choice. Choose not to be. Get over it.”
What utter bullshit. You didn’t build your brain or your body or your background, and you can’t “freely” choose what its set-points are. The workings of the brain and mind are not understood well enough for us to know what “buttons” to push or “dials” to adjust to achieve, reliably, a desired state. Believe me, no depressed person, if suddenly fully cured of depression and all its causes and sequelae, would choose to feel horrible and wishing to die again. If they “choose” to be depressed, that’s part of what depression is.
Anyway, I’m not getting anywhere with this…probably because I’m not going anywhere with this. It’s also getting too long. But I am despondent, and washed-out, and just getting apathetic about it all, mostly. I really think I’m near the stage of just letting go. I want to stop trying to “cry for help”. It doesn’t do any good, and I don’t see any signs that anyone out there knows any answers that are better than the ones I already know, which I know don’t work.
No one has mastered the merger of quantum mechanics and general relativity; if they had, it would probably soon become self-evident. And no one has mastered the art of repairing the dysfunctional mind. It would be too obvious if they had.
If I’m wrong, please tell me. I could use the knowledge.
*Nope. Nothing I’ve encountered so far has done the trick, and I am a widely and eclectically read and educated individual. Most of what I’ve found is puerile. Let’s be honest, if there was some method or insight or spiritual factor that reliably worked to make life better for people who tried it, it would rapidly become glaringly obvious, and would stand out among all the various treatments and philosophies and religions and pills and machines and other substances. It would be clear that the people who applied it were better-adjusted and healthier than most others, and they would probably happily share the insights. True insights, like addition and subtraction, are usually logically demonstrable. If someone has to sell you something, to give you a pitch and try to convince you with rhetoric rather than with reason and evidence that it’s good—if they sell it with pictures of models and shots of beautiful homes and flowers and all that—it is unlikely to be all that it’s cracked up to be. You don’t have to “sell” people on antibiotics if they have a bacterial infection; if anything, you’ve got to prevent them from overusing them.