Welcome to A Life WIth Mental Illness

This is a record of living with mental illness and its effects on all aspects of my life.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I have lied - not told the truth - for most of my life. These range from the big lies - crime, mental illness - to the small - saying "I'm fine" when asked how I am. I have dedicated myself to be more honest this year. It is not easy. I am so afraid of disappointing people and being attacked, swallowed by their anger. I imagine that if I told the truth to someone and they become upset about it they will stab me (repeatedly) with a long knife. I will die. I know this is crazy, but it's reality for me. Every moment that I'm honest in an uncomfortable encounter is a huge risk for me. I'm working with a friend on this and his help is invaluable. I call him and tell him what has gone well and what has bombed during the week in terms of my honesty. He lets me know that he works on honesty too and that it is a challenge to stay with the difficult feelings and face the consequences of speaking and acting truthfully. I am terrified of not pleasing the other person. If I don't please you, I will die. And I should die - this is the added kicker to my situation. I believe that I am not worth the truth. In fact, my truth is that I am not worth anything. This truth harms more than just myself. It disallows open, compassionate relationships. It strangles love. It makes me an impossible person - all bad and worthless, a type of negative narcissism. Why do people loom so large and menacingly for me and why do I believe I am important enough to upset them at all? I don't know. The only truth I know to combat this is love. Love for others and love for myself. Love is not fear or hope. Fear and hope are traps, deadly holes with spikes of steel and wood. I impale myself on a death by impossibilities. I need to learn that love = honesty.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Waiting For Disaster

I'm catastrophizing yet again. This time I am focused on something awful happening to a family member. I believe that if I act and think in certain ways then the disaster won't happen. Crazy attempt at perfection and control. Narcissism that I have that power over events and lives. It makes me sad too. I don't really enjoy much in life because I'm always anticipating bad news or making a mistake that will have dire consequences. I didn't have the suicide question when I woke up this morning. Maybe I'm just prone to being a glass-half-empty person. It's strange because I also have confidence in my hp, which should translate to confidence in myself. But that's not the case. I separate myself from my life so much that I don't ever really connect. My life will be miserable but I'll get by okay. That just doesn't seem right to me. Maybe it's as simple as detachment and believing that I will be able to live with pain and loss and shame and grief and self-hate. I have for so long and there's no reason to believe I won't in the future. I'm definitely more comfortable and forgiving of myself with regard to sadness, shame and self-hate. I'm learning to detach from my negative self-harm. I let it happen without grasping - sometimes. I'm really just making progress toward this, but it's progress that matters.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dangerous Thoughts

For some unknown reason I'm beginning to have suicidal thoughts again. I try not to hold onto them, just let them pass. I meditate and pray and these help, but I would like to know why this is happening now. My medication is the same. I've started exercising at a gym. Work is going pretty well. Home life is okay, too. Still, I wake up again with the question "Is today the day I kill myself?" I always answer "No," but just having the thought is disturbing. I know I won't commit suicide because I don't want to hurt people I love. So why even ask the question? It adds stress and sadness, which I don't need in my life. I need to turn this over to my HP and begin to build trust in myself that I'll be okay. Okay is my goal, really. Anything more than that sort of scares me. I believe I'll only be disappointed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sirius Self

I'm being crushed down into my sirius self, pounded by steel waves. Decades of guilt and fear and shame and self-hate overwhelm me. And I dive into these emotions as my first therapist suggested. Dive in, be overwhelmed, come up for air and dive again and again. I have no eyes or ears or mouth. I struggle to gain my footing, to overcome the waves, but I cannot. I lose. There is no resting place, only death. My constant companion now. No arms, only leg and feet. I cripple myself with self-loathing. Dying seems better after this.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Just finished reading "Resilience" by Jessie Close. Really good and helpful. She went through a long, difficult period and has made an amazing turnaround for herself and her family. I definitely related to her own struggle and that of her son, who is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder (which is one of my diagnoses). It made me think again how I want to find a therapist who is knowledgeable about my diagnoses so I can have a conversation about how best to handle my symptoms. I didn't find CBT all that helpful. I'm a meds guy. I really rely on my psychiatrist and his diagnostic and prescriptive skills. Anyway, the book is great and I recommend it for anyone living with mental illness, either a consumer or a family member/friend. It would be good for therapists and psychiatrists too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Waking Up Thinking About Death

For the past couple of weeks or so my first recognizable thought when I wake up is about death. It is either about someone already dead or about someone I care about dying unexpectedly. Mornings are already difficult for me and these death thoughts add another load to my depression pile. I tried listening to music as a way of distracting myself from these thoughts, but it didn't work. Prayer helps sometimes. It circumvents the death loop. When prayer doesn't work I write in my journal, putting down all of my death-related thoughts and feelings. Then I move - just move, do anything. Change where and how and why I do anything. This really is just a way to run from the thoughts and eventually they diminish. I'm not waking and asking if today is the day I will kill myself, which has haunted me several times in the past. It's just death. The end.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Last week I experienced a few days of mania and enjoyed dissociating from my body and flying everywhere. Soaring over rivers, through valleys, above the ocean - it was wonderful. Reminded me of when I would do this as a child. Such freedom. I wasn't completely manic, but my mood was definitely elevated. Now, just a couple of days later, I'm back to the regular up-and-down of daily anxiety and depression. Regret, shame, embarrassment. Keep moving.