Suicide Shaming

I was scrolling through Instagram recently when a picture popped up of a musician who had done a charity event for a friend who had died in a car accident. He didn’t do much performing from what I understand he mostly talked. There were other musicians that performed but his name was more recognizable. I read the comments which I usually don’t like to do but I’m a glutton for punishment.

The musician I’m referring to had made comments about how his friend deserved a tribute unlike the “cowards who took the easy way out” these may not be his exact words because it’s been removed from Instagram in the last few hours.

He’s known for putting his large foot in his mouth and not really caring until it starts to interfere with his ticket sales or Social Media numbers. Then he back peddles.

I’ve always admired his vocal range and song writing. I read several interviews where he said he was sober. They were from reputable sources and he also said it on a TV interview. When another musician overdosed he had said that he didn’t understand because they had just had dinner together and were both sober.

This is a case of people in glass houses. Unless you’re perfect keep your comments to yourself.

I’ve met you, watched you drink from a bottle of Red under your chair, recognized the bluish-purple stain of your teeth, talked to you while you were drunk in the last 2 years. I don’t think you’ve ever truly been sober for any length of time. You belong to that secret club that believes you can drink as long as it’s “controlled”. There are other people in this club I know and it doesn’t work.

You have no right to say who deserves something and who doesn’t. You’re drinking to mask a pain you don’t want to face. These people were trying to face their pain but combined with mental illness it was maybe too much. I don’t know and you don’t know what was going on. I do know the pain, shame, and hopelessness you feel while at your lowest point. You don’t even think of reaching out. Some of us don’t have anyone to reach out to. We fear hospitalization because honestly it’s horrendous.

There’s no simple answer to this subject. It’s complex because every human is different with different brain chemistry, genetics, environment, life experience, you can’t predict or pretend to know what a person is feeling or how they will react.

I see more and more self-help propaganda that frustrates me to no end. We are talking about the brain. It’s so complex that the top scientists in the World admit they just don’t know when it comes to serious mental illness and brain disorders. THEY DON’T KNOW.

But go ahead and take advice from a person with no degree in Medicine, Psychiatry, Neurology or Neuropharmacology because they would know right?1037361horace-poet-it-is-the-false-shame-of-fools-to-try-to-conceal-wounds

WHY DO I THINK I’M AN ATHEIST?

I’m not doing this to offend anyone I’m trying to understand myself. It’s odd that someone from a Religious Organization just started following my Blog and I haven’t even posted this yet. lol I had an epiphany of sorts. I’ll let you in on it later. First I will tell you that my family is Catholic. I think. I know that on my brother’s dog tags from the Army he’s listed as Roman Catholic. My mother has a Bible that has been passed down in her family and 2 sets of Rosary Beads. I know I was Baptized and my Uncle Anthony is my Godfather (sounds very mafia) and my Auntie Barbara was my Godmother (she passed away 7 years ago). I never made Communion or anything like that.

I have studied different religious beliefs out of curiosity. I’ve studied how different cultures have their own versions of Hell and it’s origins. Fascinating stuff. I’ve read some material on The Vatican but it was mostly about documents that they have with specific teachings or thoughts that they didn’t want known to the public because it would decrease the amount of money coming in. It may have been a conspiracy theory but the Scientist doing the research had found legitimate documents that were verified by experts.

Other than those few things and what I’ve picked up here and there I wanted to know more accurate information. For my own reasons.

CATHOLOCISM

The Word of God should include the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible is the inspired, error free, and revealed word of God.

BAPTISM~ the rite of becoming Catholic is necessary for salvation whether it is done by water or blood. ( I don’t think they use blood anymore )

TEN COMMANDMENTS~ provide a moral compass or an ethical standard to live by.

HOLY TRINITY~ embraces the belief that God is made up of 3 persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

PENANCE/CONFESSION~ a spiritual healing of a baptized person where there is a confessing of their sins and then a penance.

I’m pulling a few relevant passages to help explain where I’m going with this.

New Testament Scriptures: Mk 7:20-23~ “And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, theft, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

1Co 6:9-11~ “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the Kingdom of God.”

Mat 6:14-15~ “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

SOME OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS THAT ARE RELEVANT TO ME MAYBE

3. You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.

5. Honor thy father and mother.

6. You shall not murder. Hating someone violates God’s law by attitude and intent so it counts.

7. Adultery

8. Stealing

9. Bearing false witness. (lying)

10. You shall not covet. (wanting what belongs to another, envy)

SO WHAT’S MY EPIPHANY?

For some reason we are constantly asked about our Religious affiliation on various forms and applications. I personally believe it isn’t anyone’s business. I know you can’t be discriminated against because of your Religion but once they know people will keep it in the back of their minds. It’s the same with disclosing a Mental Illness, Addiction, or Sexual Preference.

Every single time I am asked what my Religion is I answer “Atheist”. Every single time the person asking says “Really? Are you sure? You probably just think you are.” I get really exhausted with this. I have to go through it every time I have my stents changed which is every 4 to 5 months or any time I have a medical emergency. I’m at the point where I want to make stuff up. Nurse asks “What Religion are you affiliated with?” I answer “My Master Lord of The Flies”. Of course they would send me directly to the Psychiatric floor so I won’t.

I love Religious artifacts and paintings. Some of them are stunning. I can appreciate the beauty of old churches and the statues surrounding them. It’s everything else I have a hard time with.

If I believed in God along with all of the rules or how you should live to be received in Heaven I would not be going there upon my death. I would never see my mom again. This is what bothers me the most. It rips me apart. There is no way around it. There is no penance to get me there. I would rather believe it doesn’t exist. The other thing is my belief in Science and Evolution.

I don’t want responses about how I can be saved or what church I could go to.

I’ll start small. I can’t forgive a few things. I’ll never be able to. I have hurt my Mother and Father beyond what any other parents would forgive. I have taken what some would consider a life. I have tried several times to take my own life. I have taken part in adultery. I have stolen small things like office supplies from work years ago, some hair color, nothing too big that I remember. I am an envious person. I won’t make excuses for anything that I have done. I was drunk for most of the big ones or because of my drinking there were consequences. When you are Bipolar and undiagnosed it doesn’t help. I can link 3 things that are part of Bipolar behavior. It isn’t an excuse. I’m sure I’ve done things I don’t want to remember.

I’ve never had any need or desire to go to Church or practice a Religion. My parents left it up to us. I can’t believe in anything that would keep me from my mom, that would consider effeminate, homosexuals, and drunkards as vile. I know thoughts have evolved some but only in a few places. There are still too many that think this way.

It’s all too much for me. It also might have something to do with J. He was a Born Again Christian. This left a bad taste in my mouth and some anger at him. He would quote passages and then interpret them to suit his needs. It pissed me off.

The final biggest thing is when I look at Gorillas and compare them to humans. If that isn’t enough to convince someone of Evolution I don’t know what is. I find it to be one of the most fascinating subjects.

Like I said I don’t want to offend anyone. I’m trying to work out some stuff in my own head. I think I have.1979209_903471546381316_2376864659380596718_o

 

 

YOU DISGUST ME

When did public shaming become acceptable in our society? I have never found it to be a useful tool in any situation. I’ve witnessed it and had it done to me in many ways.

What about thinking your son is weak? So you make him wear his mother’s dress and make up while mowing the front lawn. Yes, this too I’ve seen.

Now in the digital age we can be haunted 24 hours a day with our past, shame, and indignities.

I have received numerous emails with the words YOU DISGUST ME as a heading. At first I ignored them. Then they came daily. I noticed I started getting emails saying someone had accessed my public records. I didn’t think anything of it because I didn’t think I had one.

I was wrong.

As quite a few of you know, the man I drank with for years(I’ll refer to him as J.) had beaten me up one evening. J was not arrested. He drove me home, carried/dragged me to my parent’s front steps. My father opened the door and saw me. He could also smell the alcohol coming off of me. J. said “I fell”. I kept saying I didn’t fall that he broke a big wooden chair over the back of my head and neck, sat on my chest and arms, repeatedly punched me in the face with his skull rings on, and then threw me down a flight of stairs.

The problem was I was drunk and badly injured. My parents didn’t think the police would believe me and frankly my dad didn’t believe me until my mom told him J. had called my brother before he even brought me home to tell him that no matter what he heard “it wasn’t his fault”. This made J. look guilty and later on he actually bragged about it and did it to someone else.

A few years after it happened I was drinking and happened to run into one of J’s friends. I admit that I was nice on purpose. I told him I wanted to “forgive and forget”. I didn’t. He was living with J. so he took me over there so we could work things out. What happened was I took a baseball bat to all of the windows in his car and the lights. I may have tried to swing the bat at J. also but of course in his case he had called the police and they showed up in minutes with guns drawn. How fun for me. I having nothing against policemen/women but the ones that were on duty around J’s house always knew what was going on there. J. had underage girls drinking there constantly, he sold drugs out of the apartment for years, he bought underage kids alcohol in exchange for money (he made an extra $250/week just doing this), there was always an ex-con living with him breaking parole at some time or another. They would let all of this slide for years. It had something to do with his father and grandfather. They had no love for J. but they were not going to see his name in the paper.

So I was arrested for Drunken Disorderly, Destruction of Private Property, a Restraining Order was issued, Resisting Arrest (don’t remember that), Restitution to the Victim (I laughed when the judge said this and was yelled at), Probation for One Year, and Alcohol Counseling for one year.

They said after 7 years it would be off my record.

After my mother died I didn’t deal with anything well. On the one year anniversary I was drinking. For some reason I decided to leave my friends house. I didn’t know where I was going. I hadn’t even gone 2 streets down when I decided to turn around and go back. I knew I shouldn’t have been driving. My car died in the middle of the road. Like an idiot I was outside the car trying to push it out of the way. A police officer stopped and asked what I was doing. I told him I was trying to get back to my friends house because I realized I shouldn’t be driving. I didn’t want to lie. Now I looked in the driver’s side window and saw that the car keys were on the seat and I was trying to push a car while it was in park. Stupid, on all counts. I was arrested for DUI and given a $250 ticket for PARKING WHERE I WASN’T SUPPOSED TO. Now I know I was wrong but the cop couldn’t have it both ways. You charge someone with driving under the influence when they are not in the car, the keys are out of the ignition, and the car is in park. You then give them an outrageous parking ticket that confirms it. I’m lucky that I had a good lawyer because I blew a .34 and just for that would’ve lost everything. I’ve been sober since. All charges were dropped but it shows up if you look up my public record. It isn’t supposed to. I was never convicted. Something else happened that evening that made them drop the case and made me a little more frightened of men that I feel could do harm to me.

Someone gaining access to my public records and calling me disgusting isn’t that bad. It’s when you have to see it everyday. Day after day you are reminded of your drinking, how you hurt your family and people hurt you. You are also reminded of your damage. How you flinch at loud male voices and startle easily. How you stutter if confronted in an aggressive way. Most of all you feel angry that someone is trying to use what they perceive as your shame to discredit or hurt you. That is the part that I can’t tolerate. I won’t tolerate.90187c6f4365a5d308d28df32ad4b59d

 

BIPOLAR LOVE, IT’S A BITCH

When you find out you are Bipolar and it truly starts to sink in, you look back on your life. If you were diagnosed later in your illness there’s a lot of looking back to do. I could see so much behavior that now made sense. It didn’t make me feel better it made me feel kind of empty. For a long time I thought staying alone was the way to go. I go to the extreme in all that I do. When I think of men that I thought I loved it makes me cringe. The things I did so they would love me back or give me scraps of attention. And someone help them if they didn’t and I was drinking. If I was drunk and thought I saw one of them looking at another girl or if I didn’t think I was being paid attention to there was trouble.

It was unusual for me to start fights with women. I didn’t think it was fair because I was bigger than most of them. I also thought it was the guy’s fault. 99% of the time I have to tell you that I was not officially “dating” or “with” these men. Sleeping with them? Yes. But that’s all you could call it. My brain didn’t know the difference. My mother had always told stories about how she literally had to chase my father from bar to bar until she finally caught him. This stayed with me for some reason. I thought it was how you started a relationship. Not a few dates first with dinner and a movie, meet the parents eventually, get engaged for a year or so, marriage, save for a house, then children, etc. Nope, not me.

Sex came first, maybe their name if I was lucky, and I would see them around later. There were 3 I thought I loved and I thought had feelings for me. When you’re all drinking no one is capable of telling the truth or capable of love. They are capable of incredible pain and humiliation to prove they don’t love you.

Even sober I fell in the trap again. I can’t keep doing it. Rage bubbles just under the surface sometimes but with it is this constant need to know what’s wrong with me. To ask specifically these people why did you do what you did? What makes you think it’s ok to hurt someone that’s already been hurt more than you could ever imagine?

Instead I sit alone and I give up on that part of me, the one that wanted love.

The Meaning of Shame

I came home from the Hospital late Sunday afternoon. I didn’t get a chance to speak to my dad until today about an hour ago. I kind of wish I hadn’t.

The dictionary lists the meaning of the word “shame” as a feeling of  “embarrassment” and “humiliation”. I feel this way about my room. I have never eaten in my room that is the good part. I have never had a “tidy” room. My appearance will always be impeccable unless I’m sick. My hair will be clean and styled, my make-up will be applied with the utmost of care and I’ll have a nice outfit on. Most likely I will smell like expensive perfume.

My bedroom on the other hand will be a mess. I don’t mean a normal mess. I mean like a hoarder mess. There are piles and piles of clothes I no longer wear. There are empty CD cases mixed in along with hair clips and I don’t know what else. There are also gigantic piles of shopping bags filled with empty soda cans and cigarette butts. These bags take up most of my room and bathroom. I didn’t want my dad to know I was smoking in my bathroom so I would throw the butts in these bags with the empty Ginger Ale and Orange Soda cans and when he wasn’t home try to find a place to dump the bags. My dad is a fanatic about smoking. He used to smoke and my mother had lung cancer. My doctors have all said that my 5 cigarette a day habit is the least of my worries at this point. If I had a $1 for every time I was laughed at when I give this history on a new Doctor’s visit I would be rich. But still out of respect for my Dad I hide it.

I don’t think I was really fooling anyone. While I was in the Hospital I guess he went in my room. To say he was angry would be an understatement. I think I was told I would have to leave if I didn’t straighten out. I knew something was up when I heard him muttering under his breath “it would be a shock if you did anything”. While he was at dialysis this morning I swept all the hardwood floors, disinfected all countertops, cut the Pomeranian’s nails, I may have passed out for just a little bit I’m not sure, and picked up the pee pads that he had let sit there for a couple of days and washed the floor.

I’m not suppose to be doing any of this. I just had surgery. I feel sick to my stomach, I can’t eat, I have a low grade fever, my stents hurt, I can’t take pain medicine, my vision is blurry, my sister is back to not taking calls, no one on Facebook cares I almost died again, I’m talking Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc. and I’m tired but can’t sleep.

So bring it on, this shame of mine. Put it on the pile with the other shit I’m dealing with. I just don’t care. I’m more worried about vomiting. I hate it. That and if I told some people I loved them lately. The kidneys really mess up your brain function. I’m so confused and can’t remember things. I do know I still have to do a Living Directive or Living Will. I keep getting asked about one. The transporter bringing me ONE FLOOR DOWN to get a test done asked about it and if I wanted life saving measures taken if something happened. I was like “Buddy we’re going ONE FLOOR DOWN if I can’t make it that far I belong in the ICU”.  He just laughed. I thought it was weird. I couldn’t make up my mind. I didn’t know. How do you make that decision when you’ve spent most of your life not wanting to be on this planet but not wanting to necessarily be dead either. It’s a tough one. Any input would be good on that one.

 

Falling Off The Wagon

In your quest for sobriety it will most likely take you more than one try. I could string together a few months, a year, and at one point 2 years. When I would slip up the shame and guilt was overwhelming. I figured what the hell I might as well keep drinking if I’m going to feel this way. If the people around me are going to monitor everything I do and everywhere I go I should give them a good reason. Who could blame them? I had destroyed all the trust they had in me.

It shouldn’t be this way. Yes, you are probably going to relapse a few times before you get it right. You shouldn’t have to feel overwhelming shame about it. Shame to the point where you feel you have no place to go but down. So you do. I didn’t expect hugs and kisses when I relapsed. I think talking about it would have helped. Talking about why I felt the need to drink at that time. What was going on in my life. I had not been diagnosed as Bipolar yet so maybe it wouldn’t have made sense but usually there was a trigger. A big one was the feeling that I was missing out on something. I didn’t know what it was, it was just a feeling that things were happening and I was not a part of them. This was bullshit. There was nothing important going on it was just my brain and self-esteem.

When you feel isolated and like the Black Sheep because you screwed up once again you think “who will understand”? My drinking buddies of course! They really don’t. They’re just glad to see you back in the muck with them. Misery loves company.

So it’s up to you to put away the shame and guilt and speak up. Tell the people around you that you are doing the best you can and keep trying until sober periods get longer and longer. Is it easy? No, of course not. I had to sever ties with all of the people I knew except one. I didn’t go out at night for the longest time. I know you can still drink during the day but I never did. I avoided any restaurants that were more like bars, I stopped going to concerts because I always drank at them.

Eventually I’ll ease back into some activities. I was invited to a Christmas party tonight but it was at a Salon with mostly young women. I knew I would feel uncomfortable and I didn’t want to put myself in that position. I would have only known one person. She knows my history. I went early and gave her a gift and a hug. She understood without any explanation. It’s what I like about her.

It’s starting to get easier. I’m used to going places on my own. I know my comfort zone and what I can handle. It’s a start. Just because I’ve been sober for over 6 and half years doesn’t mean I don’t have work to do. Half the battle is knowing my limitations and taking into consideration that I’m Bipolar makes it harder and easier at the same time. I know why I drink and what triggers my drinking. It helps to know that.

What’s hard is when people ask why you’re not drinking at a social event. I never know what to say. The truth? Lie? Just smile like an idiot? Say I’m allergic? It’s awkward and I hate it. 99% of me wants to tell the truth but it makes people uncomfortable. Why bother asking if you don’t really want to know? You have to have some clue in the back of your mind when you ask that it’s for a personal reason. Unless you expect everyone to say that they are the “designated driver”. You want to know the dirt but when you hear it you wish you hadn’t asked. Idiots.

Back to shame. Don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed for your mistakes. As long as you are still willing to try and you didn’t hurt yourself or anyone else you have nothing to be ashamed of. Keep going. Start again until one day you see a person that’s been drinking and you feel relief it isn’t you. The desire and the need is no longer there because you know the consequences and you don’t want to disappoint YOURSELF.