Sunday, November 11, 2012

Love And Suicide: Part Deux

First of all, I would like to thank all of you who read my last blog post, passed it on to a friend, commented on it or got in touch (or all four) so much. You really don’t know what it means to me. If it really did have the impact it seems to have had- I am glad I posted it. I thought it deserved a little follow-up, so if you’re interested, here goes:
I’m back in sunny Los Angeles. My doctors, nurses, family & friends who were with me during my treatment were all quite insistent that I stay on a little while longer to recuperate. I listened blindly and stared out of my window, reflecting the white walls of the institution. All I could see was the cold, grey, damp tempest announcing Sandy’s nearby distress signal- I knew that if I didn’t return to Cali soon, I wouldn’t be able to weather the weather. I realize that (especially being from Montreal & having toured Canada throughout the crux of winter) I sound like a humongous baby. I simply couldn’t bear it; especially knowing my lovely little apartment in Hollywood was waiting for me. I insisted on leaving. I should have listened to them. A concept I still can’t seem to grasp after thirty-five years on planet earth, is that when everyone around you is saying the same thing- and you know they’re all looking out for you and love you (or are getting paid to treat you/make you feel better)- maybe you should listen.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to hurt myself and I am still safe. I have however, been struggling quite a bit. It might have been easier had I stayed under the care of trained professionals and had my family close to me for a while longer. The comedown from the ECT (electrocution therapy) was brutal enough on it’s own, without adding daily anxiety attacks, nightmares, and (95%?) sobriety to the mix. Although my memory is improving day by day, my memory is improving day by day. (Just kidding!) It’s still a major pain in my ass. Every single one of my motherfucking passwords has been forgotten, I can’t remember where things go in my apartment, I’m not sure if I’ve called or emailed who I’m supposed to have contacted, I don’t know my way around LA anymore, I forget things/stories/important information five minutes after I’ve been filled in. There’s no point in trying to read a book. It’s also not a nice surprise to come home to two months of unpaid bills when I can’t work and don’t have a job. Then I feel sad or slighted that my far-away friends don’t care or don’t call and my friend Holly (who is staying chez-moi and taking care of me) will remind me that they called yesterday and I spoke to them at length. Woops.
*The short-term memory-loss & other side effects from ECT are supposed to subside after 6-9 months. In no way am I dissuading anyone from this type of therapy should they require it. It saved me.*
Boo-hoo. Poor me.
I’m trying my best to use my “coping-skills” and take it easy on myself. I’m taking my meds, hiking/walking, not drinking (but for 1 G of W/night) trying to sleep well, listen to my body and even drinking a glass of milk a day. I KNOW! BARF! They made us drink milk at the hospital because it “boosts serotonin in your brain”. Even though it revolts me, I’m doing it. My two year old niece LOVES milk, and no offence to her, but she’s two and doesn’t know anything. She seems pretty happy though, so what the hell.
I suppose this is all part of the stupid/awesome journey. I just wonder if I’ll ever really get “better”, if I’ll ever really learn to manage my disease. Maybe if I could just embrace it a little bit, instead of hating it…? It’s a huge part of who I am, so maybe that could help me not hate such a huge part of my own self? Maybe if I could just try to understand it and forgive it, just a little bit? If I could just come to some kind of compromise with it- know that it’s here and might

never go away- but deal with that (in the same way we do with the Kardashian family)?
At the end of Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 5, Buffy says to Dawn “the hardest thing in this world, is to live in it”.
I should have stayed in the hospital longer. I should have stayed at my mom’s longer. I’m okay and I’ll be fine. But I should have listened and I should have stayed.


joey k said...

your a lovely human being claire. i don't know what else to say. hope we can see each other in LA in Feb when I'm there with HollyO.

Renee Gold said...

Claire, home is never far off. You can always hop on a plane if that is what you feel you need to do. Remind yourself that love is all around you & that so many pple are suffering with your disease and that you are not alone. Re-read the letters you received from friends & strangers alike everyday. Drink a latte in the am if pure milk isn't your bag. Coffee boosts dopamime & the warmth is very comforting. Bring home a plant or a potted orchid that you can tend to every day. There is no rush to do anything but just be. Sit outside in the sunshine to get that needed vitamin d, and if you dont already, take a high potency fish oil, good for memory & anxiety. Sending you love. xo

Anonymous said...

Be well hon.XX

claire elyse said...

thank you SO much for these comments. from the bottom of my heart.

Kathy Murray said...

When I think of you, the image in my mind is of you on stage singing that song about the cute boy from the play Hair, back in the John Abbott days. I was watching you from the auditorium during rehearsals (that's not meant to sound creepy!) and I remembering admiring your beautiful voice, your kind and sweet personality, not to mention your beautiful smile. You were always one of my favorite people in that class. You were always so real. I thought that, with everything you're going through, you may like knowing that this who I think of each time I see a post of yours on Facebook. I was confused by your most recent post, and that's what lead me to your blog. I had no idea... I wish you all the best. Take care of yourself, Claire. I am sending you lots of love, Kathy xo

lmht81 said...

Sending happy thoughts your way. I'm all for embracing the crazy. I imagine it's gotta be easier to cope if you accept it for what it is, and as you said, it's part of who you are - the good with the bad!

I just read both blogs, as I hadn't realized all this was going on with you and what I've taken from it all is that it sounds like you have a GREAT support system, amazing friends and family and I'm so happy for you (and them) that you chose to focus on that and accept the help

Big hugs!

Anonymous said...

Mucho love to you, Claire. You are so incredible for doing what you are doing. Sending all my positive vibes, & well wishes to you. You are one of the most inspiring women I have ever encountered.

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