Phoenix describes how he feels on a bad day...
|Phoenix woke to the sound of his phone ringing yesterday. It was his case manager's office calling to tell him that his case manager would not be in to the office and would have to cancel their appointment that afternoon. Phoenix went back to sleep, disappointed. When Phoenix next woke, he and his spouse went to the post office. Phoenix was sure his Invega would be here by now. It was not. No medicine in the mailbox for him. When they got back home, Phoenix called the mental health clinic nurse to make sure that the prescription had gotten to the VA. He was sure it had, but he had to start somewhere because it should have been here by now and he was running out of samples. Phoenix also needed to get the late Thanksgiving card to his doctor's office sometime that day, but he decided to go over to his friend's house and seek some support there for a bit. After he got back home, Phoenix laid down in bed for about 20 minutes, until his spouse suggested that they go for lunch. That seemed like a good idea. The two of them went for lunch and then Phoenix went for a haircut. After the haircut, he went out alone for a bite to eat before his supervisory meeting and then went to his meeting at 1700 hours. While he was eating, the nurse called him back and said they were looking into the cause of Phoenix not having his medicine yet. When Phoenix got home from his meeting, he went straight to bed.
Those were the events of the day yesterday. Today? Well, it was a continuation of yesterday so far. He could not sleep and had nightmares. For that reason, Phoenix got up at 0445 hours and ate breakfast, showering afterward. He fed his gecko, checked his e-mail, hugged his spouse, and drove to the university to study. He got to the university at 0600 hours.
Events are one thing, but how we feel about them is quite another thing. Phoenix, when asked to describe how he was feeling, replied with the following: "Well, first of all, I have that burnt feeling. My eyes burn, my chest feels caved in, and I don't feel like breathing. I feel it in my mind. The illness. It is a fever of the mind that pulses and it's connected to my heart. My heart hurts, like when you're pining away for a lover, but instead you're just trying to hold onto a promise that you made not to kill yourself. Why isn't my antipsychotic here from the VA yet? What's the hold up? It's been two weeks. I realize that Thanksgiving was in there, so that might've messed things up a little bit, but it should be here by now. I need it. I'm not out of medicine yet, but I'm getting close. And I'm afraid my doctor's mad at me. Maybe I said something wrong or did something to hurt him on accident. But I need help and now I don't know if anybody cares enough for me to call and let them know I'm having a hard time. I don't want to bug people. I need to know they care, though. I dropped that card off to my doctor. I didn't know what to say in it because I don't know if he's mad at me, so I kept it simple. I put an elk sticker on it because I know he likes elk. He goes elk hunting every year. My heart hurts and my mind is sick. I need help. Going for a drive helped a little bit, and so did dropping off that card, but I don't know...I just don't know. I need help, but I don't feel like anybody cares right now. I feel like I would be a pain in the butt and that nobody would get back to me. I'm just trying to keep my promise not to shoot myself. For my doctor. For my spouse. I know they care. That's the thing. I know they care. I just don't feel it right now. I have to do what my doctor says all the time. I have to look at the evidence. Feelings are misleading, but they sure are strong. They are so strong that they are hard to fight and impossible to ignore. And this fever in my mind, this madness - when will it calm down? When will it end? Will it end? Ever? I might have this my whole life. Then what? I have a bracelet on my wrist that has the suicide hotline number on it and it also says, 'YOUR LIFE MATTERS'. That's a hard thing to remember sometimes. School? I don't want to be at school today. I don't know if I can handle school today. But I need to be here. I can't afford to miss any more school if I want to have a future. My doctor would want me to be at school, and so would my spouse. But I can't concentrate. I have to get through today and that's it. Tomorrow, I have an ECT treatment. That will take up the day. And the next day, I see my doctor. Then I can talk to him and make sure everything is okay between us. In my rational mind, I think everything is okay between us, but my feelings just won't let me believe that. My feelings are terrible. I just need him to tell me it's okay, and that it's going to be okay. Maybe I should go over to the mental health clinic this morning during my first class and let them know that I need to talk to somebody. But then I'd be missing class, and I can't do that. But what I can and can't do is based on what? What is it based on? I have to take care of my health first. My mental health is very volatile right now. Unstable. What do I do?"