Wednesday’s Reflections: I created a support system of friends Day 3

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I am angry at myself for being a survivor. If I weren’t, I’d be long dead and at peace. I am alive today, not because of therapy or anything having to do with healthcare. If the system had its way, I would be strung out on heavy-duty antipsychotics and probably have had several electroconvulsive treatments and be at least brain dead.

My feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and not wanting to be a burden do not stem from mental illness or alcohol/drug addiction that accounts for over 90% of suicide deaths. It falls in the 5-10% category related to medication and the underlying physical medical problems.  

Before I understood what was causing recurrent episodes of self-sabotaging suicidal ideations and innuendos, I reached out to the family. I needed their help to ask me specific questions when I got in that frame of mind. Instead, my reaching out evoked hostility. They didn’t listen to understand. They smeared me with their opinions. I felt attacked when I only wanted to include them. It was a mistake that I will never make again.

One family member went as far as to imply I cried wolf and warned me to stop it or have no family. They felt I should pull myself out of it. When a family thinks like that, it’s best to maintain a distance. Their ignorance could wipe away my survival skills.

It’s crushing to know I don’t have family support, but I do have friends who can see the change and understand.

After living with such episodes since 2012, I realized a lack of restful sleep combined with stress and medications, i.e., Ritalin, triggered suicidal ideations. The latter I take  to get out of bed. Otherwise, I forget to get out of bed, and nothing gets accomplished. Without it, I drag, trying to think through brain fog. On the other hand, it causes anxiety that leads to suicidal thoughts, and elevates blood pressure. It’s a catch 22 for sure.

I took it last week. I did not take any on the weekend or today, but it felt like I had.  

Yesterday, after posting, I slept the day away to rest my mind. I was overfatigued. Today, I feel better though nothing has changed.

Life keeps throwing me breadcrumbs. I used to stack them up. Now, I walk past them. Could there be opportunities hidden in those bread crumbs?  

Author

  • Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

17 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Reflections: I created a support system of friends Day 3

  1. My friends, some mere acquaintances but angels nevertheless, helped provide insight. They noticed the behavior change and made the connection between sleep deprivation and behavioral changes.

  2. When family dismisses cries for help, what do you do? I can imagine that question yielded red flags. Those pivotal warning signs are often missed by those closest to you.
    Why is that so in some families?

  3. Talking about family is touchy support. Honor thy father and thy mother is one of the Ten Commandments if I recall.

    I have to realize the limitation of the family. Some say you go to the family when in darkness because they help you see the light. But what if they blind you so you can see neither dark nor light?

  4. My friends and good-willing acquaintances listened to my pain points. They quickly came up with simple solutions. Most tried without success, but they kept at it, and when I fell into one of those blue suicidal states, they asked me about sleep and medications. They were buzz questions that snapped my mind into remembering the current state of mind was temporary. Sleep was the best remedy.

  5. Good Morning Angela! I’m so sorry your family is treating you that way!
    Our Holy Father has kept you alive for a reason! You are a beautiful woman inside and out, also very intelligent!
    You ever thought about writing a book and self publishing. You can always call or DM me. We have our disagreements but I’ve never put you down at least I don’t think I have. 🙏🏾🙋🏾‍♂️

    1. Hi Rudy.

      Idk. Maybe they are tired of me. Perhaps they can’t see beyond their imagination. Some people do things that please them and get upset when you can’t appreciate an activity that’s not about you but them. In such cases, I appear ungrateful. It’s a red flag when a conversation ends with a person talking about themselves or an interrogation, not for your benefit but for theirs while you’re the one in crisis mode.

      They are set in their ways, and it’s not going to change, so I have to find ways of adjusting how I view things and know when to walk away.

      They think they mean well and don’t view it as putting me down even when I tell them that’s the way I view it.

      Our Holy Father kept me alive to torture me for the sins of others, definitely not mine. 🙂

      As for a book, it’s something I dreamed about doing. The blog is my way of capturing events. You could say it’s my first draft that I have yet to reread.

  6. Oh Shit! My father gave my mother a wedding band, who gave it to my sister (not his child), and eventually, I got it after a blowup. I have worn it since the day I got it about 9-10 years ago. I just noticed it’s missing. Yesterday or Monday night, I noticed it was loose and switched to another finger, but it was even looser, so I put it back on the 4th finger of my right hand. These are the things that send me into a panic. However, it will either show up or not, and maybe that means something. I am in tears. I will be told I lose things, and that seems to be the case these days.

    I pray it shows up before I leave. I have no clue where it could have slipped off my finger. I hope it is in the apartment.

      1. You really believe that the “Holy Father” helped you to get it back? Sent an angel or so?

        As for “family”. The belief that “family” is something great, is just another thing forced down your throat the time you grew up as a kid, and then internalized. It’s just another thing to keep you in bondage, to oblige you to always stand by them, and make you feel guilty, bad, angry, helpless, rotten, disappointed, sad, and blaming yourself, when you doubt their solidarity, love, help, or other stuff allegedly inherent to “family”. Let me tell you, though, it’s never a group of people, but always the individual that you can count on or not.

        Btw, there is another basic lie brought to you as the truth. God is not a male, but a woman. How do I know? She told me so. She also told me, it was the male of the species, being afraid of women, who firstly spread around that Yahweh was both feminine and masculine, and later even kicked the feminine part (Shekhinah) out, demonized it, and told the next generations that their god was only male. And the gullible sheep went with that till the current today.

        “Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.” Not me, though, I descend from The Other People. But you knew this already 😈

        1. Roald, I believe the universe sent it back to me quickly to avoid my panic. It’s a bad habit of mine to use him and God in the same line. To me, God is energy inside us and around us.

          As for family, some people luck out. I wish my kids had. My family doesn’t have good role models. Communication and unconditional love are lacking. I maintained a distance between myself and them because I did not want their toxicity. But distance didn’t make a difference. I knew no better, and the toxicity became my default when I was overwhelmed.

  7. Again….oh my. So. Many. Similarities. After TBI my family literally asked to remove me from the family..and did. That was after 2 head injuries (I’ve had another since), which were before 6 from over a decade ago via electric shock treatments designed to make me more religiously submissive to my then husband. We divorced 7 years ago. He still interferes with my medical care, human and civil rights. Just over a year ago, a doc instructed me to flee solo during the pandemic to have any chance to recover from head trauma after financial devastation, due to his family court machinations. I left my daughter in this. He said it was necessary and I know he saved my life. She still doesn’t know why. My family has in their continued vengeance now used that abuser to also fill my daughters head with more brainwashing. It’s worked. I also take adderall to wake up. During my marriage to him, I learned I could refuse antipsychotics…but boy life has been rough. I am alive but exhausted and never suffered through stress and lack of sleep like the battles the Commonwealth brings in the daily fights for justice …or rather, survival. I don’t have anything profound to say but I didn’t find the strength to write as you. KEEP WRITING. JUST KEEP WRITING. Please…and thank you. 🙂

  8. And, put the electric fences up with toxic family: it’s the only way. Even if it’s your own offspring at times. No one needs to understand. But you need to be here on planet earth …warts and all. 🙂

      1. Sometimes that includes us. I don’t mean that in some half-crazed sense….I simply mean that, at times, our bodies know before our minds, and at times, our souls… before the rest. Does a divorce begin when the papers are filed at the courthouse ? Hardly. My separation from my family was one they started..I didn’t want to believe it true, for the cruelty of it all. Then brain injury divided the world into assets and liabilities for me ….I needed that. What fight I had left, I deserved to use for my health. It needed that. I needed it. Whoever couldn’t understand that seemed to also be doling out toxic in my direction. Perhaps it’s not always that obvious but in my case I simply found myself having had enough toxic for 2 lifetimes. And when I looked for the good, the good got better. In their case, looking for the good meant overlooking the daggers in my side. I was tired of being a casualty and I needed to redefine what loving myself looked like. I started there. And the rest is history. And I’m okay with that. 🙂 The heart can only take so much ….when you have your own brain fighting against you at every pass and telling your body to follow suit? Life is tough enough….it’s time to start living. Love couldn’t grow for the weeds they kept planting ….and it was choking the life out of me, just when I needed it most. In my case, that was quite their point. We don’t all get the blood is thicker than water families ….and that’s okay too. At least, for me, it has been. My family forced the most painful decisions of my life. And that’s just what it was. I can’t emphasize enough that the post-Injury life is not a road for the weary. So if they are trying to toughen you up, and make it harder….that shit’s gotta go. IMHO To me, there’s just as much value, if not more, in knowing when to walk away. Hell, that’s what the stock market operates by….not that money motivates me, but knowing what to do when is worth its weight in gold x infinity. Knowing what not to do can be the same difference. To me ….that’s my mother, my sister…..and an eschalon of their compadres…I don’t need someone tipping me over the edge as I live there, ijs.

        1. I get that! You’re strong and know when to protect yourself. With my fam, I believe they know no better. It’s cultural. They have big egos and too much pride. I thought the distance would spare me the toxicity, but it was already in me. Now I walk away when I sense a conversation might tip me over the edge. They can’t stand it. They can’t just agree to disagree. They want to change my mind, and that means arguing, which I don’t enjoy. They think we can argue it out, and that means spending hours arguing the same things over and over again. Things from post-head trauma that I don’t even remember are held against me.

          1. Word. I’m part Italian. Lol ….but still, ain’t no one got time for such shenanigans post-TBI. Too much circus, and no paycheck…plus headaches. My family tried to sabatoge my business …as it ran on fumes. #whitepeopleshyt sorry, but it’s true.

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