Taking the Plunge and Being Vulnerable
Trading sex for death.
What does that even mean?
Frank M. Ligons discusses in his book IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Depression: Why I Tried It, What It’s Like, and If It Worked the balance between the helpful and undesirable effects of psychiatric medications. Taking medication is a dance where one extracts the benefits of medicine while managing side effects, for example, a lack of sexual pleasure.
Sometimes you take the medicine and feel better, and your libido dies. Or you don’t take medicine in order to feel something, anything, and then you fuck yourself all over again. Seeking sensation in either way continues the suffering.
Ligons’ words hit me.
What’s the right balance when either scenario is oppressive? Should I trade some sex for feeling suicidal? (p. 36)
He’s right. That’s exactly how it felt for me. I alternated between desires for death through suicide or feeling alive with sex. My battle with depression has been a constant negotiation between sex and my own death. I feel I’ve always ‘been like this,’ but I can’t remember.
In December 2021 everything changed — for the better. This is my story of how I unfucked my life through ketamine IV infusion therapy.
And why? Because… I was tired of trading sex for death. Dying seemed like an achievable and near possibility. But I couldn’t pull the trigger, metaphorically speaking. I couldn’t even do suicide properly. My nieces were no longer a reason to wake up in the morning. There was no reason to leave the house. I was in a terrible mental place and knew I had to get out. Somehow, pragmatically, the decision to commit to seeking help seemed like an equal amount of work as planning to kill myself. And maybe, just maybe, I had a second chance at life. Because I wasn’t living, I wasn’t even surviving.
I sit here now with a warm cup of tea in my hand, watching the light shift in the room as the clouds drift over and obscure the sun’s incoming rays. What a metaphor for the process of life. Sometimes the light is there, and sometimes it persists even when it seems dark. My face is dry. My eyes, glazed over from the tears shed during therapy today, attempt to remain open despite whatever crusties have accumulated in them. I sucked it up and texted my boss about the thing. And today I said “Fuck it, you’re slipping, write it down.”
I can’t share these stories with just my journal anymore. There are many people in the world like myself who struggle daily. Some of them might have similar struggles to me. Some people might feel like they have no way out. Maybe if more people shared their stories for how they are working to get better, then we can see we are not alone in our struggles and that healing is possible. Maybe if we all loved ourselves in a way we never have before, and see others doing the same, maybe we can create change in the world together.
I’ve avoided sharing my story on a wider platform before. To open oneself to the world seems more akin to slicing myself open for the world to see. I’ve always been a rather private person. My suffering might help you. My journey might resonate with you. You might struggle the same way I stuggle.
The road to recovery, healing, and wellness is possible. But I’m not here to convince anyone of that. I’m here to share the story of how I started to believe that my own second chance was possible. I wish you all peace. Thank you for being on this journey with me.
Baby steps, my friend, baby steps. Do the work, but take baby steps.
#mentalhealth #depression #ketamine #ketamineivinfusion #healing #wellness #mentalstability #recovery