Supposed to Be Better

The last time I made a Safety Plan I did it in an appointment with Sadie.  She had asked me to bring in some possible templates to use, and the one she preferred started with 3 lines for listing “Warning signs that a crisis may be developing”.  One of my warning signs is “start making suicidal comments to mom”.  The day before I overdosed last year, mom asked, “What am I going to feed you?” and I replied, “You could feed me all my pills.”

Last night we were in the car on the way home from a family event, and the topic of death came up.  I’ve been feeling a bit hopeless about the possibility of life ever improving enough to be worth living, and made some comments about not wanting to outlive mom.  She said, “You’re going to outlive me by 20, 30, 40 years.”  40 years, even if she died right now, would make me 75 years old.  I’ve never wanted to live past 50.

I didn’t tell her that I’m feeling down, but I got home in the evening and wrote in my journal about how there’s a month’s worth of Wellbutrin on the kitchen table that hasn’t been locked up yet, and I don’t understand why I’m not just swallowing the whole bottle.  I don’t feel depressed.  The two stressors in my life are my work and mom’s health, and both are in a state of wait and see.  I’m not curled up in bed or pacing the walking trail while I sob and ramble incoherently to myself.  I shouldn’t be thinking about death, but I am.

I can’t imagine a future in which I’m worth anything.  I can’t imagine having strong friendships, a romantic relationship.  I can’t imagine accomplishing anything of value.  I can’t imagine feeling joy to counteract the accumulated misery of the past.

It’s almost two full weeks until I see Sadie again.  She asked me a few days ago if the two-week gap between appointments was okay.  She mentioned having a few openings this coming week.  I told her I could wait until the one we already had scheduled.  Here’s the problem: I don’t feel like I can ask for help anymore.  Waiting two weeks makes me feel like I shouldn’t need help at all.  If I can do two weeks, why not three or four?  Why not discontinue therapy altogether?  I certainly can’t contact her in-between appointments and ask if she has an opening.  I’m supposed to be better.

We took the goal of reducing risk of self-harm and suicide out of my treatment plan, because it wasn’t a concern anymore, but that’s a lie.  It’s always going to be a concern.  It doesn’t matter how well things go in my life, I am always going to consider suicide an option.


5 thoughts on “Supposed to Be Better

  1. I too have struggled with suicidal thoughts/attempts for as long as I remember. I have also always assumed that I would die by my own hand. But there were two things that happened in the last week that have begun to change my thinking on that:

    1. I learned that long-term treatment with Lithium can get rid of suicidal ideation forever. I cannot begin to fathom what a life without suicide in the back of my head would feel like, but I certainly hope that’s true.
    2. A psychopharmacologist told me that suicidal ideation is a symptom of depression; that is, it is not an illness in its own right. Treat the depression, and the suicidal thoughts go away. I blogged about this experience, as well as my controversial views on suicide at Please have a look. I would also be grateful if you followed my blog because I do try to post non-medication coping mechanisms.

    Have you considered that Wellbutrin may not be the best medication for you? I am new to all of this, but if you are bipolar, why are you on an SSRI without something else (like lithium) to keep you from having a manic episode?Do you have a good psychiatrist/psychopharmacologist? Have you asked them these questions? Sorry if I’m going back over anything here you’ve already discussed. I only just started following your blog.

    You can live a better life, make lasting friendships, have a healthy relationship. You just need to find out the best way to treat your illness…and it’s not all through medication. Meditate, do yoga, take up painting—another way of expressing how you feel but non-verbal and pre-verbal….meaning it works that part of your brain that talk therapy can’t get at.

    Please stay away from that bottle of pills. We need you here.


    • Wellbutrin’s not an SSRI. It affects norepinephrine and dopamine and usually is less likely to cause mania. I’m also on an antipsychotic, Latuda, which many people have said won’t prevent mania but it has been very effective in that regard for me. If I don’t take it, I’ll be hypomanic within a few days.

      Wellbutrin has been really good for me. I went off it for a while last year and became so depressed again that I nearly ended up in inpatient. So we started it back up again and over time have worked up to the max dose. The last dose increase really helped, but that was back in April. The thing is, I’m genuinely not depressed right now. The only two stressful aspects of my life are my mom’s health (which I’m using Radical Acceptance on) and my job (which I resolved by arranging to work fewer days in a row).

      I’m up and doing things and not staying in bed trying to find motivation. I’m not dwelling on negative thoughts. I don’t think suicidal ideation is tied strictly to depression for me.


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