better than i can explain sometimes.

i don’t usually post stuff here that i haven’t written, but i wanted to share this with you all.

it’s a bit long, but don’t worry. it never gets boring. what i really like about this is that the guy is so honest that it almost hurts.  as i read more- and i’ve read it quite a few times so far – it made me tear up because it was so accurate. i know a lot of people with various versions of depression and bipolar disorder – but i don’t know if i have ever read one that i could relate to on such a high level.

trigger warning – almost everything. be careful.

he posts on reddit as user  ‘surger1’

and his website is :

i want to thank him again for allowing me to post this on here.


It’s not “Government” support that she needed. It is support in general. I am mentally ill. I have some combination of postraumatic stress, bipolar and borderline personality disorders. These things are complicated and that’s why they are in need of understanding.

I want to preface why I write this, because the internet is complicated and people are very partisan. I write this because I have a compulsion. I simply must share my experience and hope that it gives some insight into why this woman did this. I am trying to get treatment for my mental illness and it is a miserable failure in every way I can think of. I can say in all seriousness that since going on OW it has been a direct cause of at least 2 very dark suicidal moments.

I am not uneducated or incapable. I am a skilled software developer who cannot find a manner in which my mental illness and my skills makes me a viable employee. It’s not that I can’t work, it’s not that I’m not skilled. It’s that the current job market and attitude is very cut throat. If you are mentally ill it bleeds through in everything you do. People don’t mean to judge you but they do. I am subconsciously relegated in peoples minds because my mental illness makes me act like a lazy useless employee if not accommodated for, I will get depressed, anxious and it will destroy my ability to work. All of this offset by the fact I have worked on robots that did stroke research with ultrasound technology. I have completed a program that only 15% of entrants graduate from. I have evidence that I am not a lazy idiot but at work it’s what I get treated as at worst and at best a diligent and unrewarded worker bee that has mental breakdowns.

I had a moment where I was standing beside an overpass in London Ontario debating on which truck to jump down in front of to end me. Because I had realized that even getting educated and getting skilled I can’t escape poverty. I was born into such poverty, only had a woodstove to heat my house. Water would freeze in my bedroom during the winter. We ate the choicest pig scrapes for several years when things got really tight. A dutch farmer would let my dad go through what he got from grocery stores before he gave it to his pigs. I can build a 3D printer and have worked on government web pages. And my mental illness chains me to the poverty I was born into.

Because I can’t always be cool. I can’t always be calm. I try very hard but I get pretty fucking angry at times. I was so badly teased in a little rural Ontario school that I was driven to attempt suicide at 11. Not my parents, teacher, pastors fucking anyone even realized. I do not trust people for pretty good reasons. But I love people at the same time and my inability to let people close to me is maddening. I can’t talk to my bosses if I think they will judge me. Because my nervous system was so fucked up from the constant bullying. I can’t separate that reaction. The mild social anxiety everyone experiences when talking to a superior is full out lion in the grass for me. And it’s like that not because I was sheltered. But because the switch was flipped so hard and so many times that it stuck.

And being mentally ill in this society is the worst fucking thing I have ever experienced. I have had to stop lying to myself about myself. I have had to admit as part of my therapy that I am this way. Everything I had read about working through my problems involves taking the time to address how I think. A majorly effective treatment for PTSD is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or changing how we think. We change how we think by realizing how we think. So I find there is a lot of worst before it gets better as I sort through the emotions. I’ve withdrawn from society and have depression issues.

After losing work I went on EI. Which gave me 800 dollars every 2 weeks. I worked long enough to qualify for the full 42 weeks. But medical is only 15 weeks. After applying it took 3 months to finally get paid. I was essentially homeless during this, couch surfing mostly. But since my wife and I still technically shared an address I wasn’t allowed to collect OW. I leaned on the remainder of my sad savings and wound up taking some cards people offered at stores. Living off those. After about 6 months of being unemployed my EI ran out (The website clearly stated that my claim expired in May 2014, which is true if I was on regular not medical, super awesome finding that out). I called them and 0 sympathy. I hadn’t eaten and was telling the operator that the system was leaving me in the lurch like this. She was kind enough to go off script and insinuate I should stop being lazy and get a job if I want food. I kinda lost my cool and told her to go fuck herself.

So if I wanted my EI I would have to go back to work. If I wanted to do that I would need to get a doctor to say I could go back. It took 3 months to get one to say I couldn’t work. I had not even gotten into a pretreatment program. I was still waiting. My EI money, that I get because I fucking worked and paid into it. I was not allowed it because I wasn’t working. I wasn’t working because I was seeking treatment for a mental illness that keeps me from being an effective employee.

So luckily there is Ontario works. Where I get $626 a month. I pay $400 a month for an all inclusive place which is insanely cheap. My mentall illness means that I am in fight or flight most of the day. I have to live off of $226 a month. The stress from having to live off of so little ensures that I am in overdrive trying to think of a way out of the situation. I cannot seek employment because it would both not work out within a few months and doing so would end the benefits I am using to seek treatment. I cannot get paid myself because my pay is obligated to those I owe debts to. Debts I took because I was going to be a big shot programmer without PTSD BPD and Bipolar disorder. Turns out that I’m not that and now I can’t make good. But I can’t declare bankruptcy because that costs $1800. So until I go ahead and come up with that much money no bankruptcy trustee is going to help me. I am too poor to declare bankruptcy. Soo I can’t earn money, I can’t be lent money and I come from poverty so anyone who I could ask for money has very little money.

This all culminated in a very interesting episode a few months ago. I went full manic. The constant day to day stress has pushed me into a very very manic episode. I can’t fall asleep often times, I am up for hours and hours doing anything that I think will help my condition. I have become completely withdrawn. I do not have the will power to fight the social anxiety. As such I can’t market any of the skills or work that I do. My therapist knows this, my councilor knows this and they have no help for me. They schedule the next appointment and in the meantime I spin and spin and spin.

I get more manic as time passes. It is breaking my view of Canadian society. I was just a little fucking boy who wanted to make video games. I lived through the beatings, I lived through the teasings, I lived through attempts on my own life. I went to school and I did everything I was told you were supposed to do if you wanted to not live in impoverished hell. But it gets into your brain, it breaks you.

And I feel like a dirty secret. I’m offensive, people don’t like what I have to say and how I think. I’m too angry, too naive, too ideological, too unclear, too stupid, too ranty. If I act how I feel then I am ridiculed. People like me best when I parrot their desires and don’t upset them. When I pretend like I don’t have a mental illness.

Me existing means Canada is so fucked up that it is possible to grow up in an average community and come out with fucking post traumatic stress disorder. I wasn’t abducted, I wasn’t imprisoned. I grew up in fucking Lambton county in southern Ontario.

This woman killed herself for the same reason I make attempts on my own life. You guys collectively make life not worth living in this country. You partisan mother fuckers. It always has to have some fucking angle, some reason. Anything that would change my condition is so fucking politicized as to be impossible. We have let the financial economy creep into everything. Meaning if you want to participate in society is becomes a reflection of your ability to show restraint. If you spend money too much you are a fool, too little you don’t get to participate. If you have no money you are unwelcome. I can’t afford to fucking regularly go get a god damn coffee. I instead need to make the economical decision to stay in my little fucking room and drink my grinds because I can get enough cups for $8 a month. To even get 1 coffee a day that I could share with other humans in a room would cost 23% of my spare income.

All of this pushes me out to the fringes, and because I have no ability to fight back no one listens. I stopped caring who knows I am suicidal no one can help me. Because when people try they just show how hilariously ignorant they are to my condition. Anyone I have ever met who is empathetic enough is also too crazy to help.

TL;DR There is no such thing as community for many Canadians, those who are mentally ill are exceptionally ostracized. Inequality and politics hamper recovery and increase this ostracization. So long as politics and inequality rule Canadian communities increasingly more mentally ill and those who are affected by them will kill themselves.

~ by alltheavenueslookugly on 2014/04/25.

10 Responses to “better than i can explain sometimes.”

  1. Wow! I absolutely agree and your chosen title is exactly what I would have labeled this piece as well..Better than I can explain sometimes. It is heartbreaking to read and know that what is being shared is so true. No chance to be seen for who we are no matter how hard we try because stigmatizing is everywhere and no matter how hard we try to be what society expects us to be, with all of the intelligence that we may have, we aren’t seen as the rest of the world. Profounding piece written with pure honesty! I salute ‘surger1’ for sharing this. Hopefully this will go viral and society in general will begin to wake up and realize just what we go through on a daily basis as individuals dealing with mental illness.

    • we are stuck in a strange place because our illness isn’t something that everyone can see – like a broken arm, or somebody in a wheelchair. it’s hard for them to see how much we are suffering. that’s one of the reasons i started this. i just want people to think twice about the way they treat us, and to know that depression isn’t something we can just snap out of.
      just have to keep going. thank you much for reading.

  2. Wow! Just freaking wow.

  3. I can really identify with that. I’m American, but my situation on disability is much the same. I’m frequently suicidal because it feels like most of my government and my society view me as a worthless taker and want me to shut up and starve to death quietly.

    • i’m an american too. and even worse…i live in texas. we’re so screwed.
      yeah, it’s hard to imagine that people like us were at one time just tossed into some smelly, drippy psych-ward until our brains either melted inside of themselves or we just kill ourselves.
      i think it is easier for them to just write us off, because very few people can imagine what it’s like for us. they cannot see it most of the time. they can’t see the worst.

      take care. 🙂

      • Oh, man, TX. I grew up in Alabama, so I know how terrible psych services are in the South. Now I live in Massachusetts, one of the most progressive states, especially with healthcare, but our mental health services still leave MUCH to be desired. Some of that is because I live in western Mass–there are far more resources for people in eastern and even central Mass–but that’s still a crappy excuse for providing crappy support.

  4. Thank you for sharing this heartbreaking story with us Sean, it’s to the point of unbelievable that in this day and age so many of us with “invisible” illnesses can slip through the cracks so badly, I have had healthcare in both Canada and the US and both leave so much to be desired. Finding someone who even works in the mental health field who is decent and empathetic is almost impossible. It makes me sick the stigma that is still attached and the complete lack of understanding…sometimes I feel like an alien from another planet gawking at these humans who breeze through life like it’s some big dumb useless party, and only those who are devoid of any kind of emotion are invited.

  5. I so enjoyed your blog and honestly felt the same way for a very long time – until very recently in fact. It is a “label” that society puts on us – mental illness – as if it’s something we can just snap out of. It’s not that simple. It’s so complicated and I wish more people understood and that more people could communicate it so beautifully as you did here. I wish you the best.

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