You're an Idiot

In the movie, The Grinch, the one with Jim Carrey, there is a scene where he is talking to his echo. The echo obviously repeats everything after him, and he becomes annoyed and says, “I’m an idiot!” so that the echo will call itself an idiot. Instead, the echo says, “You’re an idiot, you’re an idiot, you’re an idiot.” I call myself an idiot all the time, and then I find myself repeating it as the echo does in a humorous way.

I have been an idiot. I know, I know. I shouldn’t call myself that, but let’s be honest shame causes us to call ourselves all kinds of things. I noted in The Peril of All or Nothing Thinking that I tend to make bad choices when the stress of life begins to get to me. Recently, I had a very difficult therapy session and instead of dealing with it by talking about it I shut down (bad choice #1). I went home and used the coping skill I have used the majority of my life: self harm (bad choice #2). I then contacted someone from my past. The one who initiated the spark of shame in me to begin with (bad choice #3). I started self harming daily, a couple times per day actually. I thought I needed it to keep my head afloat (bad choice #4). I started restricting what I was eating (bad choice #5). I requested to reduce the medication I am taking. Recently I started taking 2mg from 3mg. I contacted my psychiatrist and requested to start taking 1mg instead. I was asked several questions about my stability. I was vague and told them I was facing situational stress but was fine (bad choice #6). Finally, I stopped taking time for myself. I am an avid reader. And obviously enjoy writing. I stopped reading and writing. I stopped doing anything for pleasure. I didn’t even go to Starbucks for about a week. I didn’t focus on my self care (bad choice #7).

When I finally opened up about all of these choices I was making with my therapist she informed me of a decision she had to make. An ethical decision. One I was devastated by. She was going to contact a professional ethics board and talk to them about sending me either to a facility for intensive outpatient, a residential facility, the hospital, or she was going to refer me. She gave no indication that there would be another option. Just terrible consequences. I don’t do well with a lack of control in a situation. I felt like the ball was completely out of my court.

That day I walked out of the office and threw my razor blades in the trash. I had no idea if that would even matter, and I knew I was about to fight a battle in my mind. That was a Tuesday. On Wednesday it hit me. Hard. I was thinking about death by suicide. Seriously. That one choice I made to discard my razors may have saved my life.

In those hours of despair I was afraid. Afraid to tell anyone. Afraid I would live. Afraid of the consequences of my choices. I knew this was not the kind of thing to talk with friends about because it is way too serious to put on people. I knew if I called my therapist I would be hospitalized. So, I sent a text to my brother’s phone. The person who had his number let me talk. Then they sent me the number for the suicide hotline.

Obviously I am not in the hospital or in a residential or intensive outpatient program. Consequences aren’t always what we expect. I have a therapist who works hard with me. I am grateful. But I can be a real idiot.

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