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I cannot forgive myself

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I attempted suicide ago one week ago exactly. It wasn't a cry for help and I did not tell anyone; I wanted to die. In the week since, I became very productive and hopeful. I finally got over my two-year plus creative block, drank massive amounts of coffee and wrote and began producing several new works simultaneously. I did one interview for a major publication (pre-recorded). It was not good but maybe not a total disaster (though I'm not sure), but I feel that I came across as highly disorganized and incoherent. I am in a creative field and the audience familiar with what I do generally encourage this as part of my character, though I feel it was clear something was wrong with me. That said, I could have been better than I thought and made total sense: I don't know. My trouble now is that I released the preliminary version of one of the more original pieces to the public, and it was generally well received if not slightly controversial but resulted in me being invited to do a live interview with a major UK media outlet. I'm terrible live even when I'm doing ok, but this was absolutely awful.  I said things I don't actually believe, I let my audience down, I let everyone down, I came across as incredibly stupid, I misrepresented myself to an international audience of people I respect and who maybe used to respect me, I fucked up in front of powerful people in my field and in front of people I desire sexually. It was so much pressure, to do a live interview and be expected to be entertaining and charming and physically attractive and smart for an international audience a week after a suicide attempt. People on social media were making fun of my accent (I'm American but have been living abroad for seven years so my accent has changed some), which usually wouldn't bother me, but coupled with the sense of total failure, of going blank during a very intense live broadcast, of misrepresenting myself and everything I believe in, I just can't live with it. I hate myself so much for it and I'm feeling deeply ashamed and suicidal again. The idea of waking up tomorrow and living with this performance immortalized is not something I feel I can do. This follows a week of finally feeling the clouds clear and being able to do things again. For a very long time I have lied to everyone and said I was working on a longer term project to ward off questions about why I hadn't put anything new out there, but finally I felt that clarity again. But I fucked up in front of an international audience and I cannot forgive myself. I'll never get my confidence back. 

I am in a foreign country outside of the EU where the health care system is so bad where the minister of health flies to the EU for health concerns. Hospitals are not sanitary; I have a friend who contracted Hep from the hospital and the 5-year-old daughter of a french diplomat died a few years ago after she had her tonsils removed and the doctors used unsanitary equipment. Conditions are not good. I went to a psychiatrist this week to explain everything that was suddenly happening again after ten years of (manageable) instability that is now unmanageable. I asked her what I should do if I felt suicidal again and she said to make an appointment for two weeks time after she returned from Geneva. I understand now that suicides are often impulsive however, and her suggestion was the opposite of comforting. 

I do not have a psychiatrist and am not taking medication. I'm supposed to be a high functioning minor public person with a successful career and I'm torching it. But in between torching it, I'm doing good work that is receiving a lot of notice and that is paying me well. I do not know what to do. I cannot forgive myself for letting everyone down. I won't do anything to endanger my life tonight but the prospect of waking up tomorrow and remembering this interview is horrible. I spoke to a few friends/acquaintances about it afterwards, who know I am in a suicidal state and have in their various ways been helpful. But I often feel there is also a tension given my (very minor) position as someone who is in the media sometimes/recognized as a creative person and their own insecurities. I feel they put me down. I was supposed to hang out with a friend after tonight's interview and she cancelled afterward saying the interview was too intense. No one cares if I live or die yet there's this invisible audience of people judging me, hating me (rightfully so) or liking me for things that have nothing to do with me but everything because of my mental illness. Every person I talk to keeps asking me when was the last time I slept even if they know nothing about what I'm going through.

I know the lows have gotten too low now. But I'm so afraid i'll never make anything good again, and that I have forever ruined the only thing in myself that I was ever proud of, and that meds will further degrade this part of myself. I'm not sure what seems more frightening: dying or waking up tomorrow to a new day. I can't possibly make anything anymore after humiliating myself live, before such major media. 

If anything, please send me good thoughts. The field I'm in is not healthy for people like us; it encourages wild behavior, erratic hours, perfectionism, paranoia. But I don't know what else to do.

Is it possible to feel all of this in one week? Am I manic because I'm on Wellbutrin for a few months (not prescribed by a psychiatrist; there are no rules in the countries I've been living). I can never forgive myself.

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The treatment for bipolar disorder is treatment.

If you had a suicide attempt and are still unstable, I'd get home and to a hospital right away. Your career can be put on hold. Your priority now is taking care of yourself.

And the wellbutrin may be making things a lot worse. Antidepressants w/o mood stabilizers have seriously fucked me up in the past before I got my diagnosis, and rule 1 of treating bipolar is not to give antidepressants without stabilizing mood first.

I'd also suggest you reach out to friends or agents or anyone to help you get home and to the hospital. 

and if it's any consolation, I didn't see your interview and am much more concerned that you be safe. 

best of luck to you.


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Welcome to CB, Henrietta. Glad to meet you.

Do you have a relationship with a mental health professional outside the country where you're currently living? Someone who was your provider before you moved, and whom you could email or telephone now for advice? 

How close to your beginning Wellbutrin did your symptoms start? Ovoid is very right that giving bipolar people AD's is a highly dicey proposition, and I gather you aren't on any mood stabilizers, which makes it worse. What was going on that the GP thought you needed Wellbutrin? 

If you have any questions about how the site works, feel free to PM me or one of the other mods.

Gearhead (admin)

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