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OT - Mental Health Monday

Aniki's picture

A big THANK YOU to everyone who reached out to me about losing my cousin to suicide. I cannot express how much it meant.

Saturday, I woke up in a foul mood. I didn't want to wake DH (who works late shift), so I left the house and went to my favorite coffee place (cardamom lattes are comfort 'food'!). As I was standing in line (drive-thru was packed), I could feel myself getting more tense and more irritated. Voices overlapping, a parent hushing her child, an excited greeting from one who hadn't seen the other in a long time... I felt like I was going to run out of there, screaming. Honestly, it was all I could do to walk out calmly and get into my car. There was so much traffic, that my left turn to go home wasn't happening and I was getting more irritated, so I turned right and DROVE. Got outside of town and, still driving, SCREAMED at the top of my lungs, and started crying. So hard, that I couldn't see to drive and had to pull over. 

As I sat there, hiccupping through the sobs, I realized that I simply could not "people" this weekend. We were scheduled to attend an anniversary luncheon and the thought of going had me having a mental temper tantrum. Being around others, pasting on a smlle, and having to "people"... I couldn't do it.

And my phone rang. It was DH, asking where I was. Then asking if I was okay because he could tell I'd been crying. I told him how I felt and he said, "It's okay, baby. Let's just stay home. Text them, sorry, but you're stuck at work. It will be okay. Just come home."  The weight that came off of me was YUGE.  I didn't have to people! I could go home, lock myself away from the rest of the world, and spend time quietly with my favorite person. 

Yes, I lied. No, I do not feel guilty. I didn't want to be sociable. I didn't want to force myself to be upbeat. I didn't want to talk about my cousin. I didn't want to hear the condolences. And there is nothing wrong with that.

There are times when you need to protect your peace; your energy. 

It's okay to cancel a commitment.
It's okay to not answer that call.
It's okay to change your mind.
It's okay to want to be alone.
It's okay to take a day off.
It's okay to do nothing.
It's okay to speak up.
It's okay to let go. 
It's okay to NOT be okay. (Thank you, Panther!)

IT'S OKAY.

 

But if you're feeling suicidal? TALK TO SOMEONE! My cousin left behind an inconsolable wife. A weeks-old son who will never know him. Grief-stricken parents. Distraught and baffled family and friends. All who have a thousand questions and no answers. Only a note that says, "I can't do it anymore. I'm sorry."

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE

800-273-8255

Comments

lieutenant_dad's picture

Oh Aniki, I've been out of the loop and didn't see about your cousin. I am so very sorry for your loss. *hugs*

This message is so important for folks to see. I've been struggling the last few months and haven't been able to really put my finger on why. Peopling has been at the bottom of my list of things to do, and I've found myself getting super annoyed at things that would ordinarily not even register with me.

Especially during the dark and cold months around holidays, it's so important to take time to evaluate your mental health status and do what you need to do to function. There's nothing wrong with tapping out and taking a mental break.

Aniki's picture

Thank you, Lt Dad. xx

I'm an introvert and being social is WORK. By the time I leave an event, I am physically AND mentally exhausted. Ugh. The older I get, the more difficult it is and the longer I need (recovery time) between events.

Do you have SAD? I do, but I have Summer SAD.

Panther1's picture

I did the exact same thing.  I screamed and cried in my car driving to work after my son passed alot.

I will add my favorite phrase to the It's okay that you posted.

It's okay to NOT be okay

Aniki's picture

Panther, I cannot begin to imagine the pain you must have felt. {{{hugs}}}

I updated the list. Thank you!

BethAnne's picture

You give so much to us on here and have done for years. I can only imagine how much you give to those around you in real life. Taking time for you is vital especially in extreme times. 

I am so sorry that your cousin died, suicide always leaves so many questions and frustrations mixed in with the grief. 

Thank you for yet again thinking of others and sharing your pain with us. Keep making time for you and letting your husband help you. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I didn't know about your cousin! I'm so sorry Ani!!! Tha's so hard!!

I think one of the hardest things for me is cancelling or just being alone... I LOVE it, but there's so many expectations going around, that it's often chaotic and frustrating... So I feel like I'm letting others down by not being available... I'm working on it! But you made good points!

Aniki's picture

Thank you, PA! xo

I finally learned to look at it this way... It's easier for me to let others down on rare occasion than it is to continually let myself down and put myself at the bottom of the list time after time after time. Self-care is vital. You cannot pour from an empty vessel. <3

SteppedOff's picture

I am so sorry you and your family are in this situation....a most difficult time for family.

I lost a brother-in-law to suicide 2 years ago...the shock, anger, pain, should’ve, could’ve, what if I hads...release it. There is nothing to understand here. Allow yourself to feel every emotion...it is ok and a normal part of trying to see past the dark. There are no answers.

Love and take care of yourself, and one another.

Aniki's picture

Thank you, SteppedOff. xo

I'm so sorry about your BIL. I know there are no answers. And while I understand that, I also know that is no comfort to his wife or his parents. Like me, he was one to hold most things in, try to work them out alone, 'make sense of things' without asking for input. I get it. Sadly, for whatever reason, something(s) was troubling him so much that he believed the only solution was death. I only wish he would have realized that death is not the only answer. Only the most final.

futurobrillante99's picture

"Yes, I lied. No, I do not feel guilty. I didn't want to be sociable. I didn't want to force myself to be upbeat. I didn't want to talk about my cousin. I didn't want to hear the condolences. And there is nothing wrong with that.

There are times when you need to protect your peace; your energy. 

It's okay to cancel a commitment.
It's okay to not answer that call.
It's okay to change your mind.
It's okay to want to be alone.
It's okay to take a day off.
It's okay to do nothing.
It's okay to speak up.
It's okay to let go. 
It's okay to NOT be okay. (Thank you, Panther!)

IT'S OKAY."

This is beautiful!! Thank you for sharing with us. I'm so so so very sorry. ((hugs))

Sending love.

Aniki's picture

Thank you, FB. xo

I wish I could take credit for that, but it's not mine. It's a meme I found just last month. A bit ironic...

 

tog redux's picture

I'm so sorry about your cousin. The dramatic increase in suicide in the last few years is nothing short of a public health crisis, in my opinion.  

SteppedOff's picture

I agree. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I'm so sorry about your cousin, Aniki! 

Sending you a great big boob squishing bear hug.

advice.only2's picture

Sorry to read this Aniki. It's devastating to lose a loved one. I hope the calm weekend brought you some peace and your DH is a catch.

Kes's picture

I am so sorry you lost your cousin to suicide. It's so hard on those left behind - my elder brother took his own life aged 27 when I was just 13.  Even now I still feel the horror of it all.  

I am so glad you were able to say no to the social commitment and that your DH was sympathetic.  At times it is just too much to expect ourselves to operate in the social sphere - we need to withdraw all our energies into ourselves in order to process what is going on for us.  Three years ago I became abstinent after a 17 yr addiction to prescription meds.  That was Sept 2016 and I am still processing - I have hardly done any socialising in the last 3 yrs - I just can't.  It is OK to be alone and cosset yourself for as long as it takes - hugs to you ((((Aniki)))) xxxx

Aniki's picture

Thank you, Kes. I'm so sorry about the loss of your brother. How awful.

The older I get, the lower my tolerance for the noise and the BS and many things required to socialize. It takes too much out of me and too long to recover. With DH working a different shift, I typically spend Monday through Friday alone - I've become a bit of a hermit - and believe it would be very easy to withdraw even more from people.

Lady... congratulations on getting past your addiction. That is YUGE.  {{hugs}}

thinkthrice's picture

Nobody can fault someone for not wanting to be sociable at a tragic time like this!

Iamwoman's picture

Oh man Aniki,

I am so sorry you and your family are going through this.

My cousin killed himself 28 years ago (we were 12), and to this very day I think about what he would be doing with his life and where he would be right now if he hadn't.

Its hard enough to cope with death in general, but suicides are extra hard. We feel guilt that maybe we should have called or said something... but how could we have known? We feel intense grief for the inner pain they were going through all that time. We feel anger that they didn't reach out to us or anger at the general selfishness of suicide. Then we feel guilty for being angry at someone we love who is gone.

Just take it one day at a time. I have no good advice.

My heart goes out to you.

Aniki's picture

Your cousin was 12yo?! Oh, I am so sorry, Iamwoman. What a blow that must have been to you, at that young age. And your family. {{{hugs}}}

Thank you, hon.

Simpleton21's picture

I'm very sorry for your loss.  I'm glad you have a supportive husband.  I cannot imagine what you are going through.  I'm glad that you stayed home and took care of your mental health and didn't "people".  Some days that is all you can do.  

Aniki's picture

Thank you, Simpleton. It's times like this when I'm so very thankful that my husband is aware of my mental health - sometimes more than I am.

theoldredhen's picture

Aw Sweetie,

It’s such a bitch, when bad things happen to good people and you, my dear, are one of the best. You spend so much of your time being kind and supportive to so many that I’m relieved to see you taking care of Aniki for a change.

IMHO, taking cover and snuggling up to your excellent husband are the best remedies for your current misery. 

And by the way, if you could clone that guy of yours,  you’d never have to work another day in your life!

Aniki's picture

Thank you, Redhen. You humble me. xoxo

I'm going to be extremely selfish and keep my husband uncloned and at to myself. 

NjororsDaughter's picture

I am thinking you are such special woman. Even while you grief you thinks of others. Please accept my sympathies. 

shellpell's picture

So very sorry. You're one of the lights and genuine hearted people on this board that keep me coming back. Be strong and don't apologize for saying no to commitments.