Darren’s #MadCovidDiaries #MadDiaries 16.7.2020
TW: Suicide and Self Harm
Chronic insomnia is a real arse. ‘Real’ as it seems to be swept under every bloody carpet. I tell support workers, previous CPN’s etc about this problem and well they don’t want to talk about that they want to talk about anxiety or depression instead. I understand why, in terms of thinking insomnia as a comorbidity. But they can see on my notes Chronic Insomnia, 27 years of shit sleep, various addictions to cope.
Having my meds switched to Sertraline 3 years ago was pretty much the final straw and it led to constant suicidal thoughts and plans and one attempt where luckily I panicked and got emergency help. Constant suicidal thoughts are very painful, they knock all confidence out of you and fill you with shame. I remember longingly looking at the Tyne bridge and asking friends at the time ‘how do I stop having suicidal thoughts’…. it seemed like a reasonable question. Just it panics friends. I guess the affront to mortality is just a bit too much for folk and people don’t know how to respond. I don’t blame anyone for this, I understand it’s difficult. I intend to work very hard in trying to somehow find a way to open up more conversation around suicide/thoughts/ideations and self harm within communities. It’s very tough, I don’t want to talk to my GP or the mental health team with fear of sectioning and I don’t want to upset friends. I’ve used helplines before and found them pretty useless. I have three books to read on suicide prevention and self harm, these will help. I also trawl through survivor blog articles.
I got given Mirtazipine in a very small dose to replace Sertraline. It’s afforded me the best sleep in a very long time. 4-7hrs, it’s a dream. I used to draw cartoons of superheroes that had sleep as their power. I remain very angry at how insomnia has been ignored my entire life by professionals. It just doesn’t compute, when you experience it even for a short time surely it’s obvious how debilitating and painful it is. I know in my mind that if insomnia was to return to a level it was at before my medication change I wouldn’t be able to cope any longer. So this diary entry was just because I’m getting lots and lots of shitty nightmares and it awoke frustrations. I’m lucky in that I have one friend who doesn’t mind that I tell her each time I have nightmares and she knows how troubling they are and she listens. They tend to take a day out of me each time and knock all confidence. In the nightmare I cried at the end. I remember enjoying the crying only to find myself waking up and feeling sad I couldn’t cry in real life.
The suicidal thoughts I hope will pass. I’ve always had this thing where no matter at what point in life I’m in, there’ll always be an intrusive voice that tries to drag me down, it’s taken many guises over the years, so I’m hoping I’ll learn to manage it. I’ve started volunteering at a young persons crisis service again which I really enjoy, it will give me some consistency and I like helping people where I can. I also just hate the thought of others suffering in silence when it comes to suicide and self harm. I fear the next year or so there’s going to be such a huge crisis with society failing those who fall deeper into poverty and grief, and that many many people will suffer alone.