So I had a brief encounter with Specter last night. [JOURNAL ENTRY]

23 Feb
So I had a brief encounter with Specter last night. [JOURNAL ENTRY]

NOTE TO READER: This post mentions suicide. If this is a trigger, please do not read it at this time.

This is what I quickly typed on my computer through a bucket of tears while my daughter was getting ready for her mother to pick her up…

“No Lexapro for 3 days. Weepy and emotional. Swirly headed (from withdrawal?)

“I don’t feel like writing.

“My daughter is in the shower getting ready for her mom to pick her up.

“I’ve been weepy all day…at church…when she got up from the dinner table. Do I talk to her about this? Do I let her know that her dad has a disease? I want her to know that it’s okay. I want her to know that she’s NOT going crazy if she feels like me. I think I  remember reading somewhere that scientists believe that clinical depression is hereditary.

“Her mom may try to take her away from me if she thinks I’m not stable. ‘Mom’s House. Dad’s House.'”

I promised myself that I wouldn’t go back and change anything I wrote last night. And I know the last line…the book title, may lead to some confusion. But I’m going to choose not to explain it because it is a deep-seated source of resentment I have. It may however, be a possible book review for a future post.

I sent a couple of texts to my girlfriend last night, explaining the situation, and that I wanted to be left alone. One of the texts didn’t send. She was worried and tried to feel out the situation as sympathetically as she could. She knows my history with Specter. And probably learning a little more about me each day. And I am doing the same with her.


I gave her my voluntary psychological evaluation to read yesterday. She was there the night I tried to kill myself. During my two-week stay at the hospital and psychiatric center, she came to visit me as often as she could. She has been a faithful and unconditional supporter.

Unfortunately – because of mixed texts, a choppy phone call that was cut short, and incoherent communication on my part – she was jack-knifed by the effects of Specter’s visit. Because of the holes in communication, I had gone from teary-eyed to angry and exasperated after my daughter left. Specter dug his stiletto tipped nails into my flesh. Dragging me down. It ended. Thank God it ended. After some time.

Here’s what I learned from my experience…

1.  Keep track of your medications. I got lazy. I got tired with life, and I fell behind with tracking my medicine. I’m on a high deductible health plan so I’ve opted to do the 90 day mail order prescription option. Money was slow. Medicine was low. Two negatives resulted in a negative – an algebraic conundrum. Specter saw that and came out of the shadows. He slashed. My emotions ran high. My tears ran dry. Thankfully I wasn’t suicidal. Or drinking. When I was walking around corners today, my life slipped in slow motion. My brain lagged behind my body and caught up milliseconds later in some odd Scooby-Doo cartoon fashion similar to when the bad guy is chasing the protagonist. This was as good as it got.

It could have gotten MUCH WORSE. I remember when my health records were summoned before the divorce proceedings and I quit cold turkey because nothing I did seemed good enough.


I had suicidal thoughts when I did this years ago. Not making the point clear enough? I don’t think I am.







A couple days after I stopped taking my medicine, I got the same swishy feeling in my head. Sometime later that week, I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed with my pistol in my hand, crying. Finding myself too chicken to put it to my head and pull the trigger. At the same time, visions went through my head of slitting my wrists up my entire forearm and writing in blood on the bedroom wall, “”THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT.” I thought the reason I felt like this was because of the trauma from the divorce proceedings. It wasn’t. It was chemical. Please, PLEASE learn from my ignorance – this was because I had quit ALL my medications COLD TURKEY. No one had told me what the consequences would be. The warning was in size 6 font buried six feet deep in the legal garble of the medicine’s medical warnings. I would never have found it. This is a serious message. I wouldn’t be as transparent if it weren’t.

2.  Accept compassion. I did not accept my girlfriend’s compassion. I wanted to be alone. I was selfish. Our friends and significant others will want to help us. That’s their reward. We should let them. That is ours.

3.  Humility. As soon as Specter had loosened its grip I needed to apologize to her. I messed up. I chastised her verbally and she didn’t deserve it. Here’s what I knew I needed to do:

♦  Say it sincerely. I needed to make sure my apology was from the heart. Pure. Of honest intention. I know I messed up. Specter chose me. But I chose my words. I chose my actions. Not him.

♦  Say it quickly. I needed to apologize as soon as I knew I could say it sincerely. Honestly, I was still upset in the morning. I expressed that to her in an email. She responded. With empathy. She gave me grace. I didn’t deserve it. I knew I didn’t want to lose this blessing in my life so I said the words that were there six feet under the emotion. I said the words I would have said in two days when my anger wore off. If I waited for two days, she probably wouldn’t be here to say them to.

What do YOU think? How do you deal with your Specter? Thank you for your courage in sharing your valley.


Posted by on 02/23/2015 in Depression, Journal


Tags: , , , ,

3 responses to “So I had a brief encounter with Specter last night. [JOURNAL ENTRY]

  1. Harry P. X. Frost

    02/23/2015 at 22:35

    I feel your pain of crashing into another dark episode (they come out of the blue for me too) and share the relief that you’re effortfully recovering from it. Maintaining such (potentially) complicated relationships as you do can be quite challenging – as I have, in the past, regrettably burned bridges in moments of temperamental volatility followed by periods of deep depression – so I commend you for strongly valuing the people in your life and communicating with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Surviving the Specter

      02/24/2015 at 08:22

      Thank you, Harry. It does take a special person of understanding to be with a depressed soul. Having someone who has been through similar and not-so-similar valleys, is empathetic, understanding, and full of grace is priceless.

      Liked by 1 person


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