Passively Suicidal

Oct 27, 2018 by

Passively Suicidal

Passively Suicidal–That’s a new term I’ve learned, something I’ve become because of the pain I’ve been in the past two and a half years. Mental health professionals who are treating me say I am at risk.

I am not having ideations, I don’t have a plan, I don’t want to harm myself or anyone else. That’s what makes it passive. I’ve just been through so many surgeries, procedures to evaluate what’s causing pain in my back, had my hopes raised and dashed, had epidurals, rhizotomies, an ENG, a needle while I was conscious put into my Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve, haven’t been able to walk 15 yards without wanting to cry out in pain, (I can go about 100 yards at present), can’t stand up without being in great pain, can’t roll over without pain shrieking around from my T9-10 discs around my rib cage making me not want to breathe, and then this week, after a colonoscopy last Friday–one I had to have again this year because last year I had a ¬†large obstruction and we had to do it again this year to ensure I didn’t have cancer–my doctor found I have a new problem, Crohn’s Disease, one that explains the incredible fatigue and lack of ability to concentrate that’s been increasing in recent months–well, all that is what makes it passive.

That is what led me to get in the car Wednesday of this week and drive to a local psychiatric hospital in Dallas and ask whether or not I needed to be admitted. They decided I didn’t since I’m not having ideations. Since I have no plan to harm myself or anyone else. Since I just feel hopeless and helpless.

In February of 2017, a psychiatrist interviewed me before they put in my pain stimulator and said he was surprised I wasn’t depressed already.

“Welcome to the party, pal,” said John McClain.

So Why Should I Share This With The World?

Wouldn’t it be better to keep all of this private? Well, maybe. But here’s the thing. God has me on a journey. I’m supposed to be learning from all of this. And what good is all this knowledge if it is kept secret? The whole point of learning and telling stories is for them to have some meaning. For the person on the journey to have gained some knowledge and to share some secret elixir gained from his/her quest.

A few years ago I lost a brother-in-law who wasn’t passive when it came to suicide.

My precious sister still struggles with the mess of his decision. Her kids, too.

November 11, my sister Kim is having a walk in her neighborhood as part of a national program to raise awareness about Suicide Prevention. If you’re in Montgomery, Alabama you can sign up at

Now that I have seen the light of this darkness, I feel obligated to share.

I am in a scary place.

I believe in God. But I have been so ill, sore, hurting, and tired, I’ve not been able to make it to church in months. My sleep schedule is shot to hell and back. Last Sunday I got up on time to go. By the time I was shaved and showered and ready to get dressed, I was still in the window of time where I could make it to first services. But I was exhausted from the exertion of getting ready. So I got back in bed. And slept. I got up at 11:30. Ate lunch. Read a little. And then slept another two or three hours. Read some more. Had dinner. Read some more. Then went to bed.

But here’s the thing. When I sleep, I don’t sleep for more than two or two and a half hours at a time.

A Hard Thing To Do

Getting out of the car Wednesday and walking into the hospital was hard. I kept hearing the voice of my father, a former Air Force instructor pilot scoffing at me. An Air Force pilot would, in his days, never have been caught near a hospital like that. When I came out afterward, Dad had seen the group texts and called me. Said he was proud of me for going to the hospital.

Regardless, it was hard to go in there. Would they keep me? What about my dog? Who would take care of her? What about all the other doctors’ appointments I have scheduled? How would I get to them? If they took my phone how would I schedule the mylogram (spinal tap with dye and then CT scan of my spine) I have for this coming Wednesday? I could think of so many reasons not to walk through that door.

But I knew the depth of the tunnel was getting further and further from the light.

Don’t Be Afraid

If you are in the same place, (maybe not in the same pain, but discouraged–not wanting to kill yourself, but wouldn’t be sad if you didn’t wake up tomorrow) I encourage you to be brave and take the step toward the light. The medical professionals whom I have met all have been kind and caring. I’ve yet to meet Nurse Ratched. They want to help. In my day program yesterday, even the other clients/patients were friendly and wanted to help. At first I had trouble deciding if they were patients or therapists they were so helpful. I was overwhelmed with kindness.

Take the first step if you need to. Please. Don’t live with this elephant on your shoulder. Get some help. Your family needs you. That’s what I have kept telling myself all along.

And somewhere in all of this, God has a plan for me.

And as my friend Kim has told me from Bible class, I have a biblical name I’m supposed to adopt from my trials. At this writing, it seems like it must surely be Job.


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