Fibromyalgia & Suicide

fibromyalgia-its-symptoms-and-causes

Add 10% higher risk of suicide.


I read a post on The Mighty¬†yesterday that really disturbed me. The topic was about how fibromyalgia and mental illness coincide, which I’ve already been aware of due to my own personal experiences.

But the part of the article that bothered me the most was the statement that “Fibro sufferers commit suicide at a rate of 10 times that of the general population, according to a report in Psychology Today.”

Just fucking wonderful.

It upset me so much, I got the shivers after I read it and then shared the link on Facebook, which only a handful of people reacted to, since it’s a taboo topic that is mostly avoided.

I told my boyfriend (he’s fully aware of my mental health history) and I asked him to read the post himself. As usual, the scary “S” word makes people uncomfortable. It happens every single time.

Even my beautiful mother, who always fought for and fully supported me while she was still alive, hated to say the word itself.

It’s not a pleasant topic, is it? No, it most certainty is not. Yet every 40 seconds, someone on this planet decides to end their pain and leave this brutal, yet wonderful world behind. It’s the truth and it’s happening. There’s an excellent chance that each one of us will be touched by it in one way or another.

Steven hadn’t really said much after he read it, so on the way to our Thursday evening couples bowling league, I asked him what his thoughts were.

“I don’t really know what to say,” he replied quietly.

Ah yes, ding ding.

“Yeah well, most people don’t,” I said knowingly, with a twist of snark in my comeback martini, on the defense.

Then I sighed, feeling quite defeated.

“It scares the fucking shit out of me,” I revealed, trying to honestly explain my feelings further. “It’s scary. Actually, it’s fucking terrifying. And I’m so afraid that it’ll happen again. I’ll live with that fear for the rest of my life.”

I noticed him squeezing the steering wheel a bit more tightly than normal.

“I might not understand it, but I’ll never run away with my tale between my legs.”

I made the noise I make when someone mentions asshat, a sort of disgusted snort.

“It didn’t help that you had someone constantly putting you down and abusing you, treating you like a worthless cripple and saying that maybe you should’ve just done it, after all! The fucking dirt bag.”

Another snort from me.

“I won’t let anything like that happen to you, not on my watch. I’ll do everything in my power, honey.”

I smiled and patted his leg, then left it there. He took his hand and started stroking my hair. We didn’t talk for a few minutes. I just closed my eyes and enjoyed the sensation of his strong fingers comforting me and listened to the windshield wipers whisking away the chilly rain.

“I want you to be able to talk to me about it, to tell me when you start feeling like that,” he said. “That way, we can get you some help.”

I nodded and kissed his cheek. “Thanks for rubbing my head, that felt nice.”

“Anytime, my love.”


As most of you already know, my soon to be ex-husband (hooray!) decided to stick his dick in the mashed potatoes instead of coming to the ER to be with me on that shitty July day in 2015 when I tried to overdose on my pain pills.

My mother was the only one there and she was already beginning to show symptoms of her “mystery” illness. Now we know what it was that took her from us, an extremely rare medical condition. (A little too late, but that’s for another post.)

My boyfriend hates to discuss asshat and I don’t blame him, but I felt from the beginning that he needed to know my prior background in order to help him understand me better. We’ve been together for over a year now and the last thing I want is for him to someday exclaim “I didn’t sign up for this bullshit!”

And now that my precious mother has passed on, I hope that if I ever lose my battle with my suicidal thoughts again, I’ll have Steven to love and support me.

If I really have a 10% higher risk of suicide because I have fibromyalgia, then I better start praying hard and hope that I have a few compassionate people in my life, beginning with the man who plays with my hair.

Advertisements

The Touch of Your Hand

alzheimers


I was afraid to go up to my father’s casket and say goodbye. I was a kid, having just turned 12 years old the day before he passed away from a sudden heart attack on a family trip to an amusement park.

From afar, it looked to me like he was just taking a nap on the couch, but the problem was, his chest was no longer rising and falling.

My mother put her arm comfortingly around me. “Come on,” she’d said, “I’ll go with you. It’s okay, honey.”

I was so scared, but I trusted her without a doubt.

We knelt there together, the two of us. I stared down at his handsome face, a slight smile playing on his lips, like he was planting green peppers and tomatoes in the most amazing garden up in heaven.

“You can touch his hand.”

I hesitated for a moment, but then I went ahead and tentatively touched him lightly with my fingertips. His skin felt like cold marble, icy and extremely disturbing to such a young girl who loved her daddy as much as I did. I quickly took my hand back before I started crying.

“He’s so cold,” I’d admonished to my mother, a bit queasy.

“Yes,” she’d replied softly. She didn’t need to explain further.

I’ve never forgotten that significant moment in my life, going on close to 33 years ago.


Now at the adult age of 44, although her hand was indeed bitterly cold, I hadn’t wanted to let go of it. I was the last one to leave my mom before we journeyed to the cemetery for her interment next to my dad.

Someone called my name, I don’t recall who, but I hesitated before I finally placed her hand back where it belonged and somberly walked away.

The emotionally distraught part of me wanted to jump inside the casket with her, but the logical part instinctively knew that I had to continue to live my life.

My job here isn’t done.

I’d promised her before they took her back to surgery, which I think we all knew wasn’t going to end well, that I’d fight my fucking hardest to stick around this place, even when my mind lies, telling me that everyone would be better off without me. She truly understood that it wasn’t my fault, but an unfortunate symptom of my mental illnesses.

If she could suffer as she did for so many years and could continue to keep breathing for over 12 hours without machinery, how could I not see that as a clear indication (sign) that life is precious and worth fighting for?


I asked my daughter if she wanted me to go up with her to say goodbye and to hold the gentle hand of her gramma one last time. She shook her head.

“I held her hand while you went to go rest in the family lounge,” she’d replied, tears welling up in her doleful blue eyes. “I even fell asleep for a bit. I’ll never forget how she felt, like I just couldn’t get her to warm up.”

Lukewarm is better than glacial, isn’t it?


Life is often filled with full circle moments.

A mother comforting her daughter decades later, offering to go up with her to say a final farewell to her beloved gramma. To protect her by offering solace and unconditional love during such a grief-stricken time, even when her own heart was pulverized.

I’ve never realized until now how much we must have given our mother a renewed purpose in life after my father passed away, leaving her with two young children to raise by herself. I’m sure that she must’ve had a desperate moment or two of wanting to give up, but she stuck around because it wasn’t her time to go yet.

I’ll strive to carry on her legacy of grace and courage.

Knowing Him Now For Who He Really Is

I think the realization of why asshat went totally berserk with the abuse and cheating hit me hardest the day that I received the divorce papers.

One of the last things that he said to me was a clear indication and I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said it, almost regretful. (Not quite, just almost.)

“I missed the way you used to be.”

Ah ha! Before I got knocked over by a feather.

He missed healthy Merry. The woman who had her shit together, a mostly upbeat, energetic, humorous person, who could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. He wanted his old Merry back, the one who didn’t cry constantly or think about killing herself, the person who didn’t sleep during the day. The person who could walk long distances without needing someone to push her in a transport chair. The human who wasn’t always in pain, who didn’t stare into space with a brain full of fogginess and fear, who didn’t have constant panic attacks.

That was his excuse…and for someone as empty as him, that was all of the fuel that he required for doing so many despicable things, especially leaving me in the ER after my suicide attempt in the summer of 2015 so that he could go fuck his whore.

Imagine that, if you can. There you are, puking liquid charcoal into a garbage can all alone, wondering why your husband/wife decided that you weren’t worthy enough of their love and support during such a frightening and lonely time in your life.

phadm17ick2qbwe

No hand to hold, nobody to wipe your tears away…

As if I had asked to become sick, having no other choice but to quit working and apply for disability at the age of 37.

He always fucking knew that I had depression and fibromyalgia.¬†I told him everything about me when we first met in 2002, only a few months after I left my first abuser, my now 22-year-old daughters father. It wasn’t like I had tried to hide it from him. He knew the risks of being with me. I had been an open book, candid along with my signature humor that I’ve always strived to use in order to lighten up unpleasant circumstances.

My 2nd anniversary of Discovery Day is coming up on July 31st. I’ve come a long way since that soul-crushing day and I have no plans on ever wishing him well on the rest of his journey here on earth. It wouldn’t be Christian of me to wish him pestilence, however I do hope that he never gets a full nights rest ever again.

Although knowing him now for who he really is, I bet he eats his hot wings, then falls right to sleep like a baby who had just been fed his bottle and gently burped.

How nice it must be to have no morals, conscience or self-realization. I’m not perfect by a longshot, but at least I have those three things going for me.