Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade: Fighters

“If someone were to die at the age of 61 after a lifelong battle with MS or Sickle Cell, we’d all say they were a “fighter” or an “inspiration.” But when someone dies after a lifelong battle with severe mental illness and drug addiction, we say it was a “tragedy” and tell everyone “don’t be like him, please seek help.”

Sorry, but that’s bullshit. Anthony Bourdain sought help his entire life. He struggled for decades. He saw a therapist. He quit heroin and cocaine. He went to rehab. He did this for decades. That’s HOW he made it to 61. For some people, 61 is a miracle. I know so many people who didn’t make it past 31 and I’d do anything to have 30 more years with them.

It was almost me. Before I started doing comedy, I was depressed, anxious, confused, and without a purpose in life. Now I am…still all of those things…but I do have a purpose. The past 5 years have been a gift from God, and have not been possible without constant struggle. Every day is a decision to not give up.

So thank you, Anthony Bourdain. Thank you for making it to 61. Thank you for sharing decades of your life with us. You truly were a blessing.

And for all of those who are staring into the abyss and want to give up, don’t. Struggle. Get a purpose in life. Reach out to friends and family. Go to therapy. Stay alive and give all those extra years to the world. We need you.” – Jeremy McLellan

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Take your medication without shame

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I’ve seen a few articles pop up on my news-feed about the cons of psychiatric medication and it is making me angry. One talked about how they’re addictive and another discussed decreased empathy in patients taking anti-depressants.

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First of all, depression decreases empathy because you’re enveloped by your own guilt and self-hatred. Therefore, it is possible that the decreased empathy is not a byproduct of anti-depressants, but a symptom of depression. I did not even open the link, much less read the actual journal article. So , it is possible the journal article addressed this confound.

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Regardless, my 2nd point is more important. I, along with many others, would be dead, in a long-term institution, or thanks to deinstitutionalization, homeless,  without psychiatric medication. As much as I talk about suicide, I haven’t attempted since I was 16 years old. Before finding the right combination of medication during inpatient, I attempted multiple times.

Because this idea is SO IMPORTANT, you might need to see this image again: stigma-associated-with-mental-health-quote - Copy

I often struggle with the idea that I *shouldn’t* need psychiatric medication. My thoughts range from “I’m weak and if I can’t handle life without medication, then I don’t deserve life” to “It is just a placebo”. Whenever I stop my medication, my life spirals downward. The times I’ve been closest to hospitalization since eating disorder inpatient, were all times I was messing with my medication.

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Don’t Trash Other’s Work

I am friends with my main NICU nurse on Facebook. When I got out of the hospital, she babysat me a few times because I still had specific medical needs and I needed a medically competent person to watch me in case something went wrong. Today her random post popped up on my newsfeed and it got me thinking weird existential thoughts about throwing away the work so many put into my life. If I give up, their hours, months, and years of struggle, time, and effort are wasted because of my actions.

My favorite therapist said: “Caring for yourself is investing in everyone who loves you”

Self-imposed isolation is boring. I made a picture…

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Medication Experiment

It didn’t last long. I took my medication today. I couldn’t sleep last night and I need to study today. More importantly, I had a passing homicidal thought. I’ve never been tempted to act on those thoughts in the same way I’m tempted with suicide at times. However, they still terrify me! I know most people have passing thoughts when angry at loved one, but it still scares me.

In my case, I’m not angry. I think about it when I’m suicidal because I know my death would destroy my mom. Therefore, in my darkest moments, I (rarely) contemplate murder-suicide to solve the guilt over leaving my mom. I know it is messed up and irrational and wrong, but nonetheless, it comes to mind. So, back on meds I go.

Sometimes I think I’m doing the world a favor by hurting myself. My self-hate keeps to preoccupied. What if my self-hate was projected out?

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Suicide Attempt Anniversary

I just realized, for the first time in 10 years, the anniversary of my last suicide attempt past without notice (December 23, 2006). I guess my inattention is a good thing? It means I’m not focused on that moment in the past?