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Pain Exceeding One’s Ability to Cope, aka my daily life

by ca-rifka

The definition of overwhelming pain is when pain exceeds one’s ability to cope, aka my daily life.

I’m talking just the physical pain, too…there is almost always an accompanying existential crises about self-worth and chronic illness. 

As someone living with multiple chronic illnesses, including endometriosis and chronic nerve entrapment, the story of my daily life resembles both that of a heroine in a gothic horror novel and that of a golem girl made of glass. And to me this makes sense, the mood of my body oscillating regularly between two worlds – stuck in the middle just like everything else in my life.

And so goes the story of the golem girl made of class, the “cheerboxerina,” and the forever in-between-er: (1) born a patrilineal but not enough for either religious world or cultural identity; (2) discovered a budding bisexuality at an early age yet never queer enough to earn my gold star status; and (3) found a new gender without enough dialogue to talk about it.

It’s not been an easy road for me, despite my privileges, and apparently, you must be thankful for those even immediately after a suicide attempt. Although I truly wonder about those privileges, at least sometimes, because it feels like the notion of them applying to my life is an attempt to silence me, especially at this point in (my) history. Besides, with all the advances in mental health treatment in the last century, medical staff should know more about intersectionality and stop belittling patients about their privilege before treating them.

Part of the reason things got so desperate for me (this time) is that there was no where else to turn, and that’s for someone who is even comfortable checking herself into the emergency department for suicidal thoughts.

However, at a certain point, when you have non-mind-body conditions (plus some mind-body and mental health conditions), the emergency room just stops treating you, or they start treating either the mind or the body. As you can imagine, none of those options goes well for the pain patient with mental illness and suicidal feelings – and leaves them feeling very trapped.

Very, very, very trapped…

Very trapped in a system that doesn’t care.

And surrounded by caregivers who are burning out (but love to self-congratulate) – or who have already burnt out and disappeared (but still love to self-congratulate  about “the one time” they helped out) – and are not capable of providing the mental health crisis support needed after an attempt.

So, here am I. But who am I? And how will we (my partner witnessed my last suicide attempt, which happened in quarantine) survive the recovery period? So far, it’s been hard to improve my mood and environment during the pandemic era. Complicating the matter, and maybe it’s odd to say this, but the feeling of “wanting to die” is comfortable because it’s always been with me.

However, thinking that you actively want to die isn’t conducive to a stable, or healthy, relationship in the long-term, so things need to change. If not for me or my loved ones, then for our cats.

No matter how depressed or suicidal the now feels, my thoughts can always turn to my household’s past, present, and future cats, and how much they love me. And besides, thinking about our cats almost always takes my head out of the clouds and grounds my body back into the earth, thanks to some targeted hypnotherapy sessions.

Also, hmmm…

Guess this suicide project idea worked, like science says it should, because my mood is much better after writing this post. And that’s even with burning out before writing about the attempt.


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