Getting the best of you.

Guilty For Saving My Wife's Life

"If you had any compassion you'd let me kill myself." "I'm dialing 911." Wednesday was hard, but the guilt today is crushing. I love wife, I try to be compassionate, I just don't really disagree with her. Let me be clear, my wife has had years of chronic, deep depression mixed with anxiety and flavored with a healthy dose of suicidal ideation. She first tried to kill herself at nine years old and has tried multiple times since. The marvels of modern medicine seem to have focused on her having some kind of "attack of the sads." That's super helpful, and totally makes me feel better about that grades school letter I wrote to NASA about them have an attack of the boom-booms.

I am familiar with fates worse than death. I've seen them up close and from far away. I just cannot draw a distinction between mental and physical pain. I mean, the neurons aren't working right —that's kind of physical, defacto. I ask myself —if this were cancer, would I move to Oregon? The answer is yes. Days crying, worrying, balling so hard she dry heaves or vomits. Regularly throwing up before work. Yesterday deciding that she wanted to kill herself in the tub —to contain the blood. A nice thought. How many moments of joy did euthanasia girl need to be outweighed by a disease that will eventually kill her. Just like depression will kill my wife through suicide or neglect.


My wife "Allison" has severe mental breakdowns mixed with general malaise —like the victim of a Jimmy Carter money shot. She is not miserable quite a bit. If I had to chart it, though, I would put it at less than 50% of the time. She's tried a boatload of legal and illegal medications to feel better. Therapists' histories roll out like drug histories: so many nouns, so little meaning in the world. The world is all verbs. She is begging to take action. I feel so selfish asking her not to do so, but I cannot disagree with her reasoning. Your life is all you really have. She did decided to share that life with me, but at what point does one of the compassion and mercy to allow someone out of promise that is making many miserable?

It's also just not the actual disease, but the treatment. We went to the ER around 6pm and didn't leave 2am. I headed home, she headed three or four towns down to a hospital that was 90 minutes and miles away. That's across the pacific when I just used change medicaid prescriptions and gas money. She was told there were no bed for her in our local hospital (in a town that has over 100k), even though I sat with her —in a room —with a bed. In the past, at asylums, I've seen orderlies tease patients with their personal mail or other "privileges." Everybody readily admits about holding somebody for 72 hours to alleviate any liability —not suffering. Treating, curing, ameliorating of symptoms ranked no where on the last of reasons given for her imprisonment. More nouns, less verbs.

If the problem isn't really different from non-curable physical ailments, if life is a terrible exercise and treatment isn't really for treating, what's the point? I love my wife so very much, and I see her suffer everyday. Hours of crying, worrying, panicking, vomiting; seeking treatment; getting dehumanized; repeat. That's not life, that;s punishment. How can I not have compassion? I feel so guilty asking her to continue the wretched existence with paradise always lost. What are your thoughts on the compassionate thing to do?

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