Tuesday, October 16, 2012

LOVE LETTER INSTEAD OF A SUICIDE NOTE

I’m writing this from the inside of a mental institution: CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health) in Toronto. My plan was to be worm-food by now, but loved ones & doctors intervened & here I am- reluctantly healing my mind & my soul.
I was all prepared to die: I had written out plans for my funeral, letters to all my closest friends & family explaining why there was simply no other alternative & an eternal dirt-nap was the only cure for my unyielding malaise. Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, mood-stabilizers and anti-psychotics were no longer helping & I found myself turning to narcotics, booze & weed to soften the edges of my brain. Guess what, everyone? That stuff makes everything WORSE in the end! Now, don’t get me wrong, pals: I LOVE drugs & booze & I’m not getting on my high horse to preach… I’m simply talking about myself, here. If balance & moderation is a concept that you grasp, quit braggin’.
So, I’ve been here for three weeks (as of this Thursday).
As some of you know, I’ve suffered from Major Depressive Disorder for all of my adult life. This isn’t the 1st time I’ve been hospitalized & truthfully I should’ve been committed long before the last lunar-cycle. This past year in LA has been extremely difficult for me even though there’s no place I’d rather be. As I’ve been planning my death over the past few months, my very close friend & (1 of my 2) mentor(s) passed away from Cancer & coming home to her funeral was a massive wake-up call for me. As I walked into the funeral home, the sadness hung so thick & heavy in the air it made it difficult to breathe. I looked around at her devastated friends & family & I knew that I could never purposefully cause my loved-ones such sorrow. One thing I have never doubted is how much I am loved: I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have the best friends (& family) on the planet. I never wanted to hurt anyone (but myself) & I’m so sorry for causing anyone any distress. I realize that by me wanting to harm myself is just as terrible- but please keep in mind that it’s a disease… All of the letters I wrote were apologies & explanations, none of which would have made up for the heartache that my permanent absence would’ve caused & I know that.
Once I had made the decision to keep on living despite my natural instincts, I knew I couldn’t/wouldn’t do it alone. I flew back to Canada, & went to my doctor straight away. After she assessed me, I was immediately admitted to this hospital where I have been recuperating ever since. Initially my plan was to live out the rest of my days here, but with the help of daily therapy (psychiatrist/social worker/psychiatric nurses/therapists), new meds & sobriety (barf) I have been getting healthier despite myself. I have also been undergoing ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) treatments, and despite what image “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” or “The Princess Bride” may have conveyed, it isn’t nearly as barbaric or inhumane. It does, however- really fuck with your memory. Mine was never great to begin with, & now it’s a flat-out joke. I’m trying to exercise my brain with memory-games on my phone. It does little to pacify friends & family who explain concepts or confide in me much to my consistent inability to remember.
My mom doesn’t think it’s a great idea for me to publish this. In no way is she ashamed, but she’s concerned & protective. She doesn’t understand that if you think I’m “crazy”- I couldn’t give a fat, steaming pile of shit. I have more amazing friends than any one person deserves. If you’re wondering if you’re one of them- you probably are. I have a short temper with people I can’t stand, & really love (until it hurts) the people in my life who are fucking awesome.
If you take anything away from this, please make it: CAMH & Canadian Health Care have done extremely well by me & I’ll never forget it. My memory is like “Memento” so don’t take it personally, & anything I ever did had only to do with my own lack of love for my own self. I’m trying to get better.
Also, thank you for reading this.



39 comments:

Anonymous said...

This shows an astounding amount of courage. I'm in awe.

Anthony P said...

You are brilliant, Claire, and beautiful and funny as hell. My daughter only loves the best people, and she adores you. I look forward to sneaking a butt with you outside a celebrity bash in the very near future. Love, Anthony

Anonymous said...

i know your pain. i have felt the same way too many times the past 2 years. Your words resonate. Stay strong.
kay ess

Paul Forget said...

Although I understand your mother's desire to shield you from possible stigma, I thank you for sharing your story. My wife has suffered from bipolar for many years now, and I know how dark it can get. For those of us trying to educate a less than receptive public on these struggles in order to lessen their ignorance, we thank you for your willingness to go public with your story. You certainly sound on your way to recovery, I wish you the best. I hope to one day soon come to see one of your stand-up routines, and laugh with you once again.

A twitter friend, @paulforget .

Marilla Wex said...

Hey gorgeous face

Just wanted to say good on yer for posting this. My family is riddled with mental illness (surprise!) and we have all been down the road you're on. My doctor wouldn't even prescribe me anti-depressants because I'd had suicidal thoughts. I was lucky - I managed to fix myself through a combination of diet, exercise, getting sober and writing. But my sister is medicated for bipolar disorder and I would take meds and have myself put in CAMH at the drop of a hat if I felt like I was getting close to the edge again.

You are tiptop and anyone who treats you any different because they don't understand mental health issues is a jackass.

#my2cents

Anonymous said...

We all love you over here in Montreal... please please never forget that!!
Thank you so very much for sharing with us your journey.
Love Lisa P.

Darren Pyle said...

Claire, I've only met you a couple of times...and based on this blog entry, you may not remember me. However, I do remember you and this post caught me completely off guard. It also spoke to me so directly and I thank you for your bravery. I have thought of suicide so many times over the last 8 years, I've lost count. My 3 kids are the only reason I haven't followed through on my desires. This post has opened my eyes, once again, making me realize that, although this is 'my' life, it goes much further beyond just me. I hope that you emerge from your stay with a love for life and a renewed sense of purpose. I offer my most sincere wishes for a life full of happiness.

Marnie said...

Sending you much love and positive energy Claire. xox

Simon Rakoff said...

Stay strong. I too battle depression. I think it is a common disease among comedians. Please know you're not alone. You've shown courage publishing this and in seeking help. Much love and respect.

Anonymous said...

WOW
I never met you and found your link via a Facebook post. Just wanted to drop a quick note to say I admire your strength. I find it both odd and powering that someone thinking of ending it all could also be so positive and encouraging. I truly wish you well and thanks for making a difference in my journey.

Chuck said...

Thanks for sharing this.
I know you know how many people love you but you've got one more here.
xoxo
LCP

joey k said...

You're lovely and brave and astounding. And I think you writing and sharing this ain't just brave but generous. I very much look forward to seeing you soon man. Joey

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, but I am so happy for you for identifying that you needed help and asking for that help before making the suicide attempt. It is really, really hard to have the insight and ability to do that when you're down that deep. I've never managed it myself, I've only tried to die or been apprehended by the police and brought by force to hospital. (Now I am treated and in remission, thankfully, so I am in no danger.) Being alive is great and it's such a wonderful thing when you come out of a suicidal depression and realize that for the first time in weeks/months/years.

Thank you also for "coming out" so unabashedly with your illness. I have bipolar and it's my life's great secret because I fear the stigma would kill my career in a conservative profession. One day I'll risk it, hopefully. In the meantime, you are an inspiration to all of us.

AC said...

We've never met but we're friends - and have mutual friends - on facebook. I've followed you since your manbattical and find you to be a strong and passionate soul.
I've suffered from my own personal highs and lows but I'm sure it's nothing compared to what you've experienced. And all I can say is, I wish you so much health and success because the world needs strong and passionate people such as yourself. And I hope some day we actually cross paths and get to know each other.

Matthew Strong said...

Shit Claire, I brag about all the cool and talented people I knew when I lived in Montreal. You're on the top of that list. I think of you often. Thanks for making my time there that much better and well done for not killing yourself.

Matt

Kathleen McGee said...

You already know how proud I am of you for getting help. I'm even more proud of you for being brave enough to share the truth with everyone. You are very loved thank you for staying with us.

Kathleen

Bob Moore said...

Thanks for sharing this and being who you are Claire! You're brave, insightful and pretty fucking funny in all situations.
I'm reminded how nice it is to hang out with you and hope to do so again soon.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for letting this out here Claire, I'm in awe of your bravery and strength. Thank you for staying, life's certainly far more interesting & funny with you in it. Much, much love.
XXX.

risa said...

I've always found you so inspiring, sparkling, exuding strength, so beautiful and brave and funny. Thank you for staying with us and being with us as honestly and lovingly as this.

Sarah May said...

I'm not so good at words of encouragement & although we are not close I want to tell you I am so very happy you are still here and working to heal yourself. Thinking of you & sending you much love. Xo

Alan Park said...

Claire, you will likely never know the full extent of the positive impact this post has created and will create. Your courage is astounding. You are a very strong, beautiful and wise woman. You are loved. Thank you for staying.

Lil Fists said...

Sending you love Claire. You are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just, wow. I don't know you either but we are facebook friends and when I see the odd post from you I think, 'oh man, this girl is so hot and funny and she has so many friends.' blah, blah, blah.

Having read this blog post I feel like I know you a little more and I would like to add to that list of things I think about you...brave, honest and astounding. I'm so sorry for your suffering but please know that you are not alone and sharing this note makes me feel less alone too.

Ja Bless

Megan Fraser said...

Thank you so much for posting this. So many people suffer in silence (especially in our field) and to come out and write about it will help so many.

You are wonderful Claire and I'm SO glad that you're still around to tell your story.

Shannon Fradette said...

You are amazing, and strong...xxoo

Anonymous said...

Claire,

Is it wrong that this post makes me AUTOMATICALLY think you are AMAZING even though we have never met? We too are friends on Facebook and I have also suffered from clinical depression-and I totally empathize. Thankfully medication has helped me, but I know it can poop out for others. So thankful we live in a time where there is always support out there if you are brave enough to ask for it. I will tell me story eventually; as well as my gripes with SSRI's that are almost impossible to get off, but until then, G-d bless you! xo

Lisa said...

Lots of hugs. I love you & am thinking of you.

K Trevor Wilson said...

I'm glad your still here Claire. I'm even happier that your treatment is going well. Stay awesome

milf said...

You are very brave and courageous. Keep swimming Claire.

Christine K. said...

I love you Claire! You're tough as hell and kicking so much ass right now. Keep it up! I'm glad you posted this actually, information coming from the source tends to be the most accurate. Thank you, and I hope to see you soon.

Anonymous said...

Hey dollface,
Its Richard the comic with a voice even stock therapy couldn't erase. i want you to know that. although this is unique to you, it is also very common. As I approach my third year of sobriety I have a BUNCH OF FRIENDS i would love for you to meet. Call me when yr ready. A beautiful happy life awaits, and u deserve it! XO dicklett
416-316-7730. (anyone else can call too. Stop treating depression with depressants.)

Colin Joseph Wolfgang Mahar said...

Hi Claire,
We met only once and it was brief, so you're off the hook if you don't remember me. ;) but I liked you right away and very much. So thanks for sticking around.
love,
Colin

Anonymous said...

Hi Claire,
Just wanted to drop a quick note to say I admire your strength and your story helps all of us suffering from depression.
Sending you loads of positive vibes

Anonymous said...

Claire, You're amazing. Your humour and your honesty are what keep me checking up on your blog and your twitter. Needless to say, I've been a tad lax at checking your updates, so I was a alarmed when I read this post. But once again, the humour and the honesty I enjoy so much from you shone through in your writing, even in what is likely one of the darker (darkest?) times in your life. I'm glad you chose to get help, and I'm glad that things seem to be getting better and you are taking time to heal. I wish you all the strength and courage and love you need. Get well! A Fan Girl who thinks you're great!

mark breslin said...

Love you, Claire. As do so many others. Never forget that, especially in the darkest moments.

Amanda Newman said...

I've always envied your humour and now I admire your courage. Xo

Kevin Foxx said...

Your honesty is inspiring. All the best to you Claire

Megan Davies said...

Touching story! Please take care!
Xo

Anonymous said...

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!!! I hope you make many new wonderful memories and live a long and meaningful life.

Post a Comment