I think it is very important to state that this was a post I made prior to a suicide attempt. And obviously, I did survive luckily. And I am leaving it on here because it reminds me of my mindset. I was in high pain that night. High pain just plummets my mood and spirals my thoughts downward. I am at high risk for suicidal ideation at that point. Unmanaged pain is a suicide risk factor.
Time for plan B. Plan B takes a lot of time to prepare sooo I will just go with the standard goodbyes. I can cope like the best of us. But at work, where I feel diminished ashamed about my own illness, hurt about how management only cares that I am there and not about the pain they are causing me. Granted all this pain, plus work, plus lack of sleep is not putting me in the right mind. But I am tired and the thought of going to work with list pain one more time freaks me out. I can’t do it anymore.
So suicide note:
It’s not you, it’s me. It is not about some sort of depression or ennui that comes and goes. I am not depressed, I am just shoved into a corner. This about the loss of hope. This as about a workplace that would get up a cheer if your quite (not the workers… the management, saves them all that plotting to get me out of there legally). This is about someone with chronic pain that fought the fight, fought the battle, but lost the war (hey, it was a long out over a decade war). I have fought the fight for a very long time and done well. I laugh things on and pretend they are not as bad as they are to make others happy.
So don’t blame yourself. There is no point to that. I did none of the standard suicidal things. I did not act depressed I did not start giving away my belongs. This is not about depression this is about pain tolerance and I just plain ran out.
Hell, when I took forty sleeping pills my aim as for a coma. I thought just a little break was all I needed to survive the pain and work again. Seriously, who would have thought 40 sleeping pills have little effect on me except make wobbly on the feet. Still. I wish I could figure out a sure way for the coma thing… I don’t want to break any hearts.
The thing is I have to go to work tomorrow. And I can’t do it. I can’t face working another day ins such pain, while management has one of their talks some about how I am not getting this target and not available enough. At first, they threaten to fire me, made me come in with horrific migraines and told others to not let me leave, now (suppose because legalities) they now just threatened by work position. Whether they created a hostile work environment…. Not the staff by the way, who have been wonderful to me and a sympathetic ear. The area manager would not accept my compromises and that was that. I was left with coming in every day, missing no days, which is fine for them torment for me. So they defeated me. And when they did I felt dead inside, honestly just numb… like they had taken the only thing that could have worked for me, I was in the same situation and they could not care less unless I was productive.
I feel shame and guilt for not going in…. even damn it I am the sick one. Damn them. Maybe they think I am lying and that migraines are not a disease and maybe It is my fault for not changing my lifestyle. Fact is, it is a disease. And with chronic migraines statistically, we get most beating with the stigma stick. I think also that more chronic migraine suffers die from suicide than they do by stroke, heart attack and seizures. They don’t know shit. They mad me feel like my ‘problem’ was my fault. Then forced me in every day with their veiled threats of a possible demotion, plus demanding I get my audit scores up and god knows what else while working with migraines, migraine-related drugs and painkillers. I felt humiliated, frustrated, embarrassed and angry.
I gave up a social life. I gave up extracurricular activities. Martin does the shopping and the cooking. This is because working with migraine and chronic pain takes everything else I have to give. He fills the gaps because he loves me and I love him for it. Work does not care about that, that my life has been whittled down to making through the work day and then collapsing. And that is hard on my man, but he is a good loving man. I kept working like that for him because I wanted to put my share in and did not want to be a burden to him.
I am left feeling trapped. I have to go into work, I have to suffer, with no sympathy from the higher-ups and the benefits are all there side, with no consideration or accommodation on my side. I know I can’t make it in every day. Not with those killer five-day migraines. So they win, who is to say what the result will be. It is funny though, or so very funny… if only I had a mental disorder then I could have all the time needed. Chronic pain is a disability, but not according to them. What do they have against invisible disabilities? Don’t we suffer physical, mentally and emotionally?
Fact is I have fought long and hard. I had to give up getting my Ph.D., a dream gone by. I tried to just find a ‘a job’ and those did not work either because of the shift work. Then my current employer hired me even when I told her I had migraines and just came off a leave of them. Point is I gave all those dreams and goals up in order to survive. And survive I did and developed some awesome coping strategies. But we all break under torture. That is a fact.
But I can. I am tired of this constant battle between good pain day at work to a crippling pain wish I could die pain day. I am tired of doctors who can’t help me fast enough since I am the one that has to work when the migraines go out of control.
I wish I would be killed in a car accident or have a fatal stroke or heart attack. You may think that sounds odd…. But everyone with chronic pain has the same wishful thinking. Dying, just dying but not at our own hand so no one would feel guilty about it. None of our families would suffer more than our death would cause. That is not suicidal thoughts.. That just a trick we use to get through the day. I wished for it endlessly when I was in so much pain and at work… I just wanted my heart to give out… because then that would be a ’valid leave of absences.” My writing has always been a way to distract me.
What can I say this is a half-life I live. It is torture. But I like living. I love Martin more than he knows it. He is a good man who would help me at the drop of a hat if I needed something. He is sweet and goofy and smart. I will miss him terribly. He has ways been my strength, my comrade in arms and the love of my life. I love slurpies and thunderstorms and good books… Hell, life is worth living. This existence I call like is not. I don’t know what to do about work anymore. I can’t do what they expect of me.
I am sorry Martin- I can’t do it anymore. For so long I did it and laughed about it… but work is killing me. Bad enough to have migraines ruin our social calendar and my life outside of work, but work is too painful and I know they want to fire me and makes me feel so useless so guilty and ashamed. And I think that is the way at home too… work takes everything I have, including all the med I need to take, and then there is nothing left over by the time I get home. I love you and I always will. I will miss you so much. I don’t want to do this to you. I don’t want to die, I just can’t take the pain anymore. It is one thing having migraine at home… but at work, it is horrific… how could they torture me like that? And it is a burden to you, even if you do not know it. Chronic pain does not just affect me it affects family as well.
I sorry Dave- You have always been there for me, thick and thin. My best brother, and my best friend. You make me laugh and then sometimes I forget the pain. That is like a superpower. I could thank you a thousand times for making my mood better when it was otherwise not.
And to everyone else. I am sorry I can no longer fight the good fight. I feel selfish and cowardly. But when I think about working tomorrow I, well I would rather be dead.
I was deeply depressed. Pain unmanaged. Untenable work environment. And on a medication called Cymbalta that increased my suicidal ideation to suicidal intent. It was the perfect storm. It will haunt me for the rest of my life what I did to my family that night. What I could have done, even more so. Please talk to someone before you cross that line between thought and action. Trust me when I say it helps. My pain psychologist helped me immensely.