Monday, December 13, 2010


I've been living life in my not-so-favorite style, which (although it sounds cliche) is just trying to get through one day at a time. I don't know why it's so difficult. I really don't have any responsibilities other than keeping up with laundry, hanging out with MiniMan, cooking, and cleaning. Wow. I completely sound like a domestic housewife. It's funny how all of a sudden I'm living this life that I never could have even imagined for myself.

Last night my husband asked me what class I wanted to take this spring. I had originally planned to take some kind of science elective just to keep me engaged, since I'm pretty sure that the classes I want to take are not being offered out of the regular sequence (i.e. take ChemI in the spring, and ChemII in the fall). My reply instead was, "I don't really want to take anything." I wonder if I'll feel differently later. I hope so. Right now I can't even imagine leaving the house to buy groceries.

Instead, I've been planning. I set a deadline of being dead by the winter solstice. Part of me knows this is completely ridiculous and that I should just let it go, that it's disturbing, that of course I shouldn't do it, but the rest of me tells me that I have things to do: make sure that the Christmas presents are wrapped; that letters are written (I don't know how I'll ever explain my goodbye without being a completely hurtful and selfish asshole -- then again, it won't really matter, I'll be dead!); that I take most of my clothes to the Good Will; that bills are paid; that I make sure not to jump with my husband's engagement ring on (it was his grandmother's). I figure that if he gets married again, he should be able to have it without associating it with my shattered body.

I researched the bridge I chose. Apparently the university near me recently constructed some kind of net underneath the bridge, so now I have to navigate that, too. I think it's only enough to deter a drunk person from being impulsive, though, not someone who is really determined to die.

Just recently I started to feel guilty about destroying a perfectly healthy body when there are so many people who need organs. Maybe jumping is wrong. We had a student in her early twenties in the ICU who hung herself from a tree with a dog leash. Her family kept her on the vent long enough to donate her organs. Seems straightforward enough, but the timing would be kind of a crapshoot to coordinate. I hate the idea of my husband finding me in a tree, though, and I hate the idea of him seeing me brain dead in the hospital. The girl I took care of -- she looked terrible. Her entire head was swollen; her eyelids bulged out from her head like a frog's.


  1. please get some help. you have a wonderful son and husband and you are young, healthy and smart. i know it feels like there's nothing out there for you, but you just have to hang in there and be strong. if nothing else, do it for your son. you can call a hotline if you need someone to talk to. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. i'll be praying for you.

  2. I'll also be keeping you in my prayers... If what you do truly comes to life (reversably speaking), I am going to be very sad for your husband and your son. They will be devastated and sad. My best friend's older brother killed himself in their house when he was 14. This life was so wonderful, yet without him her whole family has been devastated every since and it has been over 20 years ago. Those scars will never be erased from your husband's or your son's memory. Truly. Please get some help. They need you. They will always need you. Start this process of healing by doing it for them and not for you since it doesn't matter to you.

  3. Please think of the long term and be there for your son. I'll be praying for you

  4. If you choose to do this, no one has the power to stop you...however, you last act will be the single most selfish thing you have ever done. Is this how you would like to be remembered? Is this the legacy you would want for your child?

  5. "(I don't know how I'll ever explain my goodbye without being a completely hurtful and selfish asshole -- then again, it won't really matter, I'll be dead!)"

    This struck me, because for all of the rationalization and planning in your post, you have overlooked a basic truth. It WILL matter. Maybe not to you if you are dead. But it WILL matter to your baby. It WILL matter to your husband. It WILL matter for generations to come. Your son's defining childhood moment will be your suicide. This will affect him forever. You can't let your son's life--how he feels about himself, who he chooses to love, who he allows to love him--be defined by the time you are spending now in the darkness. We are all dealt so many hands in life we can't control. Choose to walk away from the darkness and toward the light. Show today's blogpost to your husband. Ask for help. Choose your son over the darkness. Remember his laughter. You CAN get past this with help. Your son will never recover. You will change who he is forever. He will always wonder why you chose not to stay. You owe it to him to exhaust all of your possibilities for treatment before choosing the irrevocable.

  6. I can't say I know how you feel, but I have had similar feelings in the past.

    Though I have been horribly depressed myself, I have no idea what to tell you or someone understand that things will be better in the future. I know no one could ever convince me of the same...I don't know how to communicate this to you but please try to understand that things will get better. It feels impossibly hard now, but someday you won't want everything to stop. This is a dark time, but you just have to go through it. It is hard, but endurable.

    If you can't survive for yourself, please, please do think of your son. My grandfather hung himself. Sometimes it seems to me that all the good and wonderful things about his life are overshadowed by the way his life ended. My mother and her siblings were devastated. You can never make up for this, never. So do whatever you have to do to keep living.

    I am praying for you.

  7. There are people in your life who care about you, who need you to get through this. You are not alone. You are going to feel better. Life isn't always going to be so dark. I know you don't think so now, but you do have a lot to live for.

    Get help now if you can't get these intrusive thoughts of self harm out of your head. Seriously. They are intrusive thoughts that aren't who you really are. That is all they are.

    I look forward to reading your next post.

  8. I do sympathise. I have struggled with depression on/off, and I know how when it hits, thinking rationally becomes extremely hard. Even though I know I'm more scared of oblivion than life, I end up thinking a lot about death, about physically hurting myself, and it can get to the point where I 'know' that is wrong, but I can't 'feel' why it's wrong.

    So I do understand, but I have to say, your son would miss you for the rest of his life. He needs you more than anything, and he'll always regret that you didn't stay with him. Please don't leave him.

  9. Please, please, please don't do this. Your "Mini-Man" reminds me a lot of my son (4 months old). I have been struggling with post-partum depression and I don't know when I will feel like myself again. I am in my early 30s and just found out last week that I was admitted to medical school for next fall.

    Before I knew my husband, he tried to kill himself twice. He is glad every day that he failed. I showed him your post and we are both desparate for you to get help. Please do this for your son: he will never, ever recover from the loss of his mother. Knowing someone who commited suicide will incease his chances of being suicidal exponentially. I know that you aren't thinking straight but HOLD ON!

  10. Tell someone you trust you're thinking about suicide. If no one comes to mind, try: 800-273-TALK (The Samaritans). They are not a religious organization and will not trace the call under any circumstances.

    I've lost a relative, a high school friend, a client's teenage son and a colleague to suicide. If you're determined, I know no one can stop you, but sometimes it helps to talk about options first.

  11. Dear E. Greene,

    This is the first time I've read your blog, but a friend of mine sent me the link after reading your recent update. I am a third year medical student and looking back I remember many depressed times in my premedical years. I don't know exactly what the stress factors in your life is right now. But I can imagine how much you have on your plate with a family to take care of and a job to commit to on top of the already daunting task of making the grades for medical school. Believe me you are not alone in this feeling. And believe me, like a gray rainy cloud it WILL eventually pass.

    Firstly this is the time of the year when due to the weather many people drop into the abyss of depression. I am doing my psychiatry rotation right now and I've seen so many patients who complain of hopelessness, low energy, low mood, loss of interest, decreased sleep and suicidal thoughts around November-Feb. Come March/April so many patients feel so much better and stronger. Think of yourself in the sunny spring months of April. You'll be so glad then that you didn't make any rash decisions today. And those who love you will be so glad too.

    As for medical school, there's been many a times as a premed when I doubted my decision to pursue this decision and just felt like the whole cause was hopeless. These feelings of defeat and low self confidence were especially strong during times of fatigue and high stress. Christmas happens to coincide with final exam time in university. Do you think you need to take a break to put things into perspective?

    Lastly I just want to encourage you that if you know that medicine is really what you want to do, make a plan, follow the steps and you will meet this goal. It sounds like you're walking down the right path already with taking the prerequisites. Medical schools as you know also love diverse and well rounded backgrounds like yours. In my class there are people from political science backgrounds,environmental science, business backgrounds and engineering backgrounds. There are people as young as 19 years old and those who are more than 40 years old and have a family. People in my class are more than just medical students, they are marathon runners,guitar players, singers and painters. Its a very diverse group of people and it sounds like you'll fit right in! :)

    Hang in there and don't give up!

  12. As for what I said above about "just making a plan and following it", I hope it doesn't seem I am overtly simplifying the process of applying. This is just a thought that I encouraged myself with during the process and I feel is true for many people. There are many schools in the US which equals to thousands of openings in each year. Many people I knew who were going for medicine eventually got in even if it took more than one application!

  13. Please talk to someone.....anyone. Please don't leave your son and husband. They love you, as do many others. YOU matter!!!! You make a difference.

  14. I am not going to say this nicely and so here it goes:

    You are selfish, by committing suicide you will ruin your son's life and also your husband. They will both hate you. And your son will never forgive you. My aunty who turns out is actually my cousin, her mother killed herself and you have no idea but my cousin is so screwed up. She has good things going for but she is always in pain and always blames herself for her mothers death. She is married but fights with her husband over the most dumbest thing every single day. She is so insecure and always wishes her mom was there to take care of her.
    Also long before I had my kidney transplant I was so much in pain emotionally and mentally that I did not see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am glad that I didn't do anything stupid. Because even though life is difficult right now its worth it.
    And im an undergrad who had to change her major from bio to psych because I knew that with my science gpa no med school will accept me and so I decided that after i graduate I wil do post-bac. You have no idea how down I was cuz of my gpa. My dream was to graduate with 3.8 and a bio degree. And that dream was broken but thats okay because I made my plans. No matter what I will be a doctor in the end of the day.
    So before you decide to kill your stupid self, think of your son, dont ruin his life cuz you hate yours. You are a mother so try to be one. A mother is never selfish unlike you. If you couldn't be a good mother then why the fuck did you have a son? Dont RUIN his life.

  15. Oh hun, please get help. You're wonderful... back this summer you were happy and full of optimism, things will go back to normal if you just give it time. Just take it a day at a time and think of all the people who love you.

  16. The anonymous commenter above, who was "down" because of their GPA, is obviously is immature. Don't take your hate and anger out on someone who needs help. Guilt-tripping and telling horror stories to someone who needs help and support won't make them less depressed.

    I'm worried about you, E. You haven't replied to my last email and you haven't blogged again. I just hope you are in the midst of talking to someone you trust.

  17. EG -- You really need to moderate your comments. There is no reason you need to be putting up with this anonymous verbal abuse. Yeah premed with the low GPA -- that means you. And the one right after that one too.

  18. Still praying for you and your family.

  19. i hope you are still with us.

  20. I'm hoping you are in a hospital and/or getting the help you need. I'm hoping you make it through this Christmas.

  21. I just wanted to say that I hope you've gotten and will continue to receive help with what's going on. As a stranger, I find it frightening to read what you're writing and I believe that at some level, it must frighten you, too. Please do not stay on this road. If you haven't already done so, please tell someone you know in real life everything you're thinking. Please embrace the help and treatment you need to feel good about life and about yourself. There are other, better futures that you can have. I know that if you're still in the place you were when you wrote this post, you may not be able to picture them, but truly, they are there. Talk to someone. Get help.

    You'll be in my thoughts.