Monday, June 30, 2014

Remember me?

So I've been told by several people that I need to get back to blogging. This is quite reassuring. I didn't realize anybody actually read this. Since about 2010 several things in my life have gotten very difficult for me. I've shared some of those issues on this blog but not all of them. Many of those issues will remain private, but this post is an attempt to be a little bit more forthcoming about at least one of them.

Last Sunday I gave platelets again. It's been about six months since the last time I gave. I had a little accident last time. The accident itself didn't bother me but my response did.
In early January I went in for my regular scheduled platelets donation. Everything went fine during the donation. But afterwards I really had to go to the bathroom before the drive home. That’s one of the side effects of pumping in a liter of saline during the process. Anyway, while I was in the bathroom I must've blacked out. I looked down onto the bathroom floor and there was a large puddle of blood next to my right arm. The technician who it taped up my arm had forgotten to apply the pressure bandages as well. The clot broke and I had started bleeding.
As I said the accident itself didn't bother me with my reaction did. Rather than bend my elbow to immediately apply pressure I simply sat and looked at the blood for a few seconds. Several things were going through my mind, a lot of unhappy thoughts. For the past few years several things had been drifting further and further from my control. Never before had I considered myself suicidal. I just don't think I could ever do that. But although I could never actively cause my own death for a few seconds while I was sitting on the toilet I entertain the idea of not doing anything to stop it.
It took quite a bit longer than it should have but eventually I did reach over with my other arm apply some pressure and try to stop the bleeding. I staggered to the door, called the technicians and they came and took care of me, stopped the bleeding cleaned me up.

Depression runs in my family and I knew I had some symptoms. That day was the first time I realized that I needed to do something about it and get help. It took me a while to get past the stigma of therapy. This event was the straw that broke the camel’s back and convinced me that if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t be around much longer.
It was very nice to just sit down with a therapist and talk about things that are going on in my life. She was brilliant and was able to show/convince me that my response to the stress was not normal and that I was being very unrealistic in my expectations of others and more importantly myself. I was able to learn some better ways to handle my stress, rejection, depression, anxiety,  PTSD, etc. And not just let them all define who I was becoming.
So why am I sharing this? Because I want to help remove the stigma of therapy for others. I have some friends, family members, and Facebook friends (whom I’ve never even met in real life) who helped me get the help I needed and I hope I can do the same for others.

PS. I promised my wife and a few others that  I’d get back into the habit of blogging. I’ll do my best, but I’ve made that promise before too. So we’ll see how it goes this time. Thanks for reading.