Aftershow for S1:E7 - The Pod Of Alan

You can listen here or on Amazon, Apple, Audible, Google, Overcast, Spotify, or pretty much any other podcast app. (Please let me know if you find an app that doesn't have the show.) If you need the raw feed, it's here.

Topics Include:

  • 1-800-273-8255 - The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • Continuing the story of the music that saved my life
  • Breaking down and going into the hospital for a second time
  • The door to the psych ward
  • Thinking I was going to be cured
  • Sliding into suicidal ideation
  • Music is my savior
  • Consider making your own suicide prevention playlist


NOTE: This is an auto-generated transcript. Sometimes the computer borks it. let me know if you see anything weird

00;00;00;05 - 00;00;12;16

It looks this episode deals a lot with trigger warning and content warning that we need to throw out, which is for my suicidal ideation, my suicidal planning and attempt. That stuff messes with you. Skip this episode and we'll see you in the one after.

00;00;14;03 - 00;00;27;18

The other thing to put in here is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, that's one 800 273 8255. You can also call 911 at any point. I keep the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as the top contact in my phone.

00;00;28;13 - 00;01;05;15

Once again, that number is one 800 270 38255. And aftershow, OK, picking up where we left off. So that was my experience with depression and suicidal ideation and a short circuited attempted suicide. I'd gone from suicidal ideation to suicidal planning to physically moving my body to do it, but then stopping.

00;01;05;26 - 00;01;18;07

I don't know what you call that in-between space where I was making the actions, but I stopped myself from making the action in my brain. I did not make an attempt on my life. I almost made an attempt on my life.

00;01;19;01 - 00;01;34;03

Whatever that word is, I was at that place. What's wild is after that night, I didn't tell anybody and by anybody. I mean, I didn't tell my therapist. I think at that point we had had some conversations about suicidal ideation.

00;01;34;03 - 00;01;47;19

Maybe. But I know that I didn't tell her that I almost made an attempt on my life the next time I saw her, or the next time I saw her after that because I was through it, the wave had kind of broken and I was still standing.

00;01;48;07 - 00;01;59;27

The thing that I locked into my brain was, I don't have a will, so I'm not going to commit suicide because I don't have a will. And like, I don't know the financial implications of that for whoever I would be distributing my health, my bank account to.

00;02;00;21 - 00;02;14;26

After a few weeks, the thoughts did not let up. The thoughts absolutely did not let up. They weren't as intense as they were that night. I wasn't just so steeped in it that I basically didn't exist other than those thoughts, which isn't actually a bad way to describe that.

00;02;15;04 - 00;02;30;07

I really was nothing but those thoughts, but the thoughts kept going. They weren't as intense, but they were there and they were constant and they were constant and they were constant. And finally, a couple of weeks after that, I was going in to see her and I actually was like, I don't really know how this is going

00;02;30;07 - 00;02;37;28

to work, but I'm just going to pack a bag. I'm going to go to the hospital. I actually don't even know how I got the idea to go to hospital. I guess maybe I'd heard that people do that.

00;02;38;16 - 00;02;49;20

I don't remember. I decided I was just going to go and I packed a bag at Windsor and completely broke down. I was talking with her. I was like, I'm going to go into hospital. And so she actually called a friend of mine because I was gonna drive myself.

00;02;50;06 - 00;03;01;09

But she was like, Let me, let me call a buddy of yours and we'll get you there, but let us get you there. Also, I couldn't ask for a better friend. I can't tell you how lucky I am for that, because I know that that is not always the case.

00;03;02;23 - 00;03;17;18

I still have some weird memories, not weird, but like weird memories of going into the hospital because this was my second time in the psych ward. I knew the people that were there. Oh hey, yeah, you. We talked about podcasting last time I was here, and how I was could do a podcast, which is super ironic.

00;03;17;18 - 00;03;33;16

I just realize that I'm actually doing the thing that I talked about when I first won last bit of my manic episode. So that's hysterical. So I went in and like one of the wild memories is the door into the psych ward is a door that you can wheel beds through because you need to be able to

00;03;33;16 - 00;03;46;19

move people in and out. So it's pretty giant. And when it closes, you know, it closes. And the memory that I have the first time I went in for the manic episode was when that door closed and it was just like, Oh shit, right?

00;03;47;01 - 00;04;03;23

I don't get to open that door. Somebody else can. I cannot like, I'm here. I basically just stayed in the hospital for a few days. I was still depressed, but I was being depressed and the psych ward. I felt a sense of relief because it was like, OK, I can't kill myself here.

00;04;04;10 - 00;04;22;19

That pressure went away after I left the psych ward. I got advised to go through this thing that was called a partial hospitalization program or HP intensive outpatient therapy or something. So I did that, and basically what that was was seven weeks of group therapy for four hours a day.

00;04;23;14 - 00;04;36;19

We had to go through these exercises, and one of the exercises was what they called your tent pole. They wanted to have this thing where it was like, What are five things that you can do if your brain starts doing the thing that puts you in danger?

00;04;37;14 - 00;04;45;11

An example is like somebody just does jumping jacks. At one point, they told us that they were going to go do jumping jacks and they'd had to stop their car and they got on do some jumping jacks because exercise.

00;04;45;12 - 00;04;58;09

The thing was like, That's cool. I'm not doing jumping jacks at all. I went with music. I have no idea what the other five or seven things were. But my tent pole, the thing that they were like out of four, five or seven, you have to have one.

00;04;58;09 - 00;05;07;25

That's the tent pole that you can always go to no matter what. And I was like, it's going to be music. And they shot me down at first. They're like, Well, if music's the thing or whatever. And I was like, That's the thing.

00;05;08;01 - 00;05;21;28

Believe me, as soon as you said that, I understand that that is what I need to have. And they're like, Well, what if you don't have music nearby? It felt like one of those things in a movie where I kind of just lifted up my phone pointed at it like, if this thing isn't close to me.

00;05;22;17 - 00;05;34;29

Something weird has already happened. I will in fact, make sure I have my phone even more so now because like everybody carries their phone all the time regardless. But like, I'm going to make even sure I have it because this is my tent pole.

00;05;35;00 - 00;05;48;02

This is the thing that I go to. If I am having a problem where my brain starts spinning down into the point where I am having suicidal thoughts. I am going to play music and I'm going to put music in my head.

00;05;49;07 - 00;06;02;23

And it's going to there's going to be all right. They gave me some shit for that right now, my response to those people is just like, Go fuck yourself. Especially because I knew that that was the right thing to do.

00;06;03;09 - 00;06;15;20

And I know with evidence now that that is the right thing to do. As I went to this IAP thing, I was thinking when I come out of this, I'm going to be cured, which is not how that works.

00;06;17;12 - 00;06;32;06

I'm used to solutions, ideal and solutions, and I make solutions and solutions are a thing in my world and that is how my world works. We see a problem, we fix it with hospital and professionals and this intense outpatient thing.

00;06;32;25 - 00;06;47;20

I just expected at the end of this seven weeks, I would just be back. That is not what happens and that did not happen. There's a time period where I was suffering from depression and still had the brain damage from the manic episode and the depression.

00;06;48;01 - 00;06;57;15

And then the depression kind of went away, but the brain damage was still there and then some healing through that and we finally get the stability way down the road. But at that point, there was still the brain damage and there was still the depression.

00;06;57;28 - 00;07;12;08

There was still that inability to think that was the key and the trigger for the spiral of suicidal ideation. While I was there, it was kind of an anchor, especially the early times it felt like I'm going to be fixed when this is over.

00;07;12;08 - 00;07;28;20

Like I still didn't realize that at the end of the seven weeks, I was still going to struggle with suicidal ideation. As I progressed towards the end of that week, six, I'm kind of looking around and going, Oh shit, I'm not done with this and I'm not going to be done with this in the next eight days

00;07;29;19 - 00;07;44;28

. And sure enough, that's what happened after that, I would still struggle and I'd lost that anchor, so I started going back to work, but I still was having that problem where I still couldn't think. And so now I'm in the environment where I can't think that I'm worried about it because I can't think, which means I can't

00;07;44;28 - 00;08;01;25

work. So and I was kind of working and I was actually kind of getting stuff done, but not to my ability or to what I thought I should have been. Huge thanks again to my coworkers and boss, recognizing where I was struggling and helping me out with that, that wasn't helping the in my head part of the

00;08;01;25 - 00;08;14;10

thing, the in my head, part of the thing. We're still struggling with this idea that I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up. And I still remember lying in bed one night and I got into the whirlpool again.

00;08;15;14 - 00;08;23;02

I can't think if I can't think I can't learn, if I can't learn, I can't do my job, if I can't do my job, I'm going to lose my job. If I lose my job and lose, my house will lose.

00;08;23;12 - 00;08;38;28

I'll be on the street and then I don't know how that's just going to fall into nothingness. So whatever. And I was in that spiral for about five cycles. I slid into it in a way that I didn't recognize.

00;08;39;23 - 00;08;53;24

I don't know what kind of triggered me into it. I was just thinking like up at one level and then all of a sudden I was down another level, but not all of a sudden it's like you turn, and all of a sudden the background is different, but you don't totally notice it and you don't notice why

00;08;53;24 - 00;09;13;19

. But it's different. It feels like change blindness, where I didn't notice the change immediately, but realized later that like, Oh, this is very different. There's that probably apocryphal thing about a frog and really hot water boiling water of the frog jumps out if you put a frog in cold water and then slowly turn it up, you can

00;09;13;19 - 00;09;30;04

cook the frog without them knowing it. They're boiling. That's a pretty good description of this, where I didn't realize I was boiling until I was boiling. That thought went around, that thought went around, that thought went around. And then I just reached over and grabbed my phone.

00;09;31;08 - 00;09;55;04

And picked the first playlist, which is called Adobe, was uplifting, I just turn it on and I just drowned out. Everything. But drowned isn't the right word. It just pushed out everything, it just expanded in my head. Until there was only the music.

00;09;56;26 - 00;10;20;13

And because there was only their music, there wasn't space for anything else. Those thoughts could not be there because there was no room for them. There is just the tunes. And that's fuckin magic. I think that's a good place to end this one.

00;10;21;17 - 00;10;47;10

I'm going to put the. Did I put the national suicide hotline number on this episode to so? Yeah. Shit, I don't know, man. If you're struggling. I never called them, but like people talk about calling them so. Another thing I would offer that has worked for me is find the music that you love.

00;10;47;11 - 00;10;55;22

Have it ready to go. If you hit the point where you're struggling, just turn it on and will do its thing.