Friday, February 12, 2016


When your psychiatrist brings up electroshock therapy…  That’s when you know you’re super crazy!  No, really, has anyone done ECT?  It seems unlikely as it doesn’t appear to happen often.  I honestly doubt it’ll happen as I’m guessing my insurance doesn’t cover it.  But, we shall see.  If my current med change doesn’t pull me out of this, he wants to discuss ECT.

I’ve been in a really bad place and have been the last several months.  We spent a week in Austin for Christmas with Matt’s family.  We got back on the 30th and on the 31st Matt’s dad had a stroke.  He had to have brain surgery and was put on life support.  Matt flew back and forth several times, at one point he spent a week there.  His will made it clear that he didn’t want to be on life support and his doctors saw no hope of improvement so we went down to be there when he was removed from it.  God, it was painful and it hit me so much harder than I would have ever expected it to.  I mean, I barely knew the guy, right?  But still…  See, he was a good dad.  The kind of dad everyone hopes for and I was looking forward to getting to know him and being part of their family.  I wanted to have him in my life, I wanted him to be my father-in-law.  And I hoped, one day, I’d be able to call him “dad.”  I mean, he bought me books and asked me questions about things he heard on Savage Love and he called our kitties his “grandcats!”  How could I not adore him?!

When Matt and I were the only ones there, I asked for a minute alone with his dad.  I held his hand and sobbed and thanked him for raising such an amazing and kind son and I promised I’d take care of him and protect him forever.  I told him how badly I’d wanted to know him better and how much I appreciated how loved and welcomed he always made me feel.  I told him he was the father I always wanted and that I loved him already.

Monday morning the priest from his church arrived and prayed as his entire family and closest friends surrounded his hospital bed.  He was removed from life support that night and they expected him to pass within an hour but he hung around for a whole other day.  His funeral and wake were that Friday.  He was a lawyer so he took care of every detail in advance, wrote out specifically what he wanted done, what he wanted read at the funeral, what he wanted played at his wake…  That was his one demand, that he get a proper Irish wake.

The flags on the capitol building were flown at half mast and the wake was held on the roof across from it.  He got the proper Irish wake he wanted; booze flowed and everyone laughed through their tears while person after person stood up to honor him and share stories.  All these judges and high powered attorneys and politicians breaking down and being...human.  The very large church was standing room only and packed while there were so many people at the wake you literally couldn’t move.  Seriously, no joke, everyone loved him.

I reacted so strongly to his death that I actually felt really guilty, as if I were usurping his family's pain.  Like, I was sobbing so hard i couldn’t breathe.  For days and days since we heard.  Every time I thought of it, I starting crying uncontrollably.  I could barely function.  Honestly, I reacted harder than I did at my own dad’s death.  And i felt so selfish.  No matter how many friends and Matt said it wasn’t selfish to feel that way but…

I mean, I was going to finally have a dad, ya know?  I was going to finally have a kind and loving and non-abusive father.  Maybe in a few years i could even call him that!  (Though I was worried he’d think I was a weirdo if I did!)  We got along so well and I was looking forward so hard to knowing him, to being a part of a loving and supportive family.  The kind of family I never even dreamed of because it seemed so impossible.  And now it feel as if it’s been taken from me before I could even have it.

I’m mourning for his friends, his family, his wife, his sons, his siblings, all of them.  My heart breaks for them and I cry for Matt every time he breaks down in bed, in the dark.  To some degree, I’m selfishly mourning for myself too.  And I feel so shitty, making it all about me.  It just hit me so hard and I don’t know why.  It was partly that the timing was atrocious because I was already spiralling into a deep depression and being suicidal so this just pushed me over the edge.  I couldn’t stop obsessing over the thought of Matt or I dying, over the waste of my life, of leaving nothing behind, of existing instead of truly living.  I’ve stabilized over the last week or so (yet another meds change) but, god, it was a bad time.

I’ve just been so...blank lately.  And when I wasn’t blank, I was wanting to kill myself. I can’t remember the last time my depression was that severe.  I was obsessed with suicide.  To the point that I nearly asked Matt to lock up all the knives.  I can’t count how many times I thought I’d have to go to the psych hospital.  But, as I said, this last week has been a lot better, so I’m hopeful.

Books Read in November & December
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
Sweet Dreams Are Made of Teeth by Richard Roberts
Bird Box by Josh Malarian
The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch
The Dark Monk by Oliver Pötzsch
The Beggar King by Oliver Pötzsch
The Poisoned Pilgrim by Oliver Pötzsch
The Werewolf of Bamberg by Oliver Pötzsch
Glitch by Hugh Howey
Dark Destinies by Patrick C Greene
Suck My Cosmos by Steven Campbell
Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers
Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L Sayers
Unnatural Death by Dorothy L Sayers
Lord Peter Views The Body by Dorothy L Sayers
Strong Poison by Dorothy L Sayers
The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L Sayers
Have His Carcase by Dorothy L Sayers
Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy L Sayers
Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L Sayers
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers
Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L Sayers
In the Teeth of the Evidence by Dorothy L Sayers
Striding Folly by Dorothy L Sayers
Scabs by Wrath James White
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
Sick Bastards by Matt Shaw
SickER Bastards by Matt Shaw
sickEST Bastards by Matt Shaw
Snuff by Matt Shaw
Paralysed by Matt Shaw
Porn by Matt Shaw
WHORE by Matt Shaw
Home-Video by Matt Shaw
The 8th by Matt Shaw
Tortured by Matt Shaw
Behind Closed Doors by Matt Shaw
The Big Blue by Matt Shaw
Deathworld by Harry Harrison
Deathworld 2 by Harry Harrison
Planet of the Damned by Harry Harrison
The Mystery of the Fires by Edith Lavell
The Blue Envelope by Roy J Snell
The Cruise of the O-Moo by Roy J Snell

And that makes 240 books in 2015!


  1. Stay strong beautiful! Our plans got messed up and we won't be there until August. You better believe we will have a tea and chat date! <3

  2. Undercurrents is a book written by a person who underwent ECT for severe depression. The author, Martha Manning, is a practicing psychologist and said the treatment helped her immensely.

  3. I have not personally experienced ECT's, but working in a mental health facility I have come upon people who have. I'm very wary of them I guess. I can't speak for how they make the person receiving them feel, but I can say that in my interactions I didn't really see any improvement and also that memory loss is prominent. And by memory loss, I just mean remembering what they did that week, kids names, appointments, stuff like that. Just my two cents for what it's worth!

  4. I actually know a lot of people who have had ECT. But then I have been attending an Art Therapy group for a few years now and everyone there is under the care of a psychiatrist and most people have had at least several admissions to hospital for psych matters. It has worked well for some of the people I know and not so well for others but it is nothing like it is portrayed in films. Some of them have some short term memory problems for a little while after the treatment. Some have headaches and feel sore and spacey for a day or so afterwards. Some have no side effects at all. Most of the people I know have had ECT more than once. Most of them say it has helped with their depression.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was a great guy.

  6. I'm sorry for you and Matt. May his Dad rest in peace.
    Hope you feel better soon.

    You've talked about going to school, maybe online. Are you still planning to? It might give you a big sense of purpose.

  7. I'm so sorry Heidi.

    I have been following you for years and I never comment but I wanted to say that I process psych (and substance abuse) claims for a living and there are plenty of ECTs coming through. I have read that a lot of people feel like it acts as a reset button, but I haven't read anything about the cons (not to say I think it's all positive, just haven't researched it).
    I know what you mean about longing for a dad. That's powerful stuff. Take it easy on yourself. You're amazing. ❤