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Wednesdays are very important days for me. This is the day that I meet with my case manager. This is a licensed social worker who comes by to check up on me. He makes sure I've been taking my medication, that I'm still stable on it, that I haven't been doing anything stupid, etc. I see him weekly, because of my past history of instability means I must be closely monitored. I used to see him twice a week, but budget cuts cut it down to one. I'm one of the "lucky" ones, most under case management only see their case manager once a month.

Today was doubly important because today I also checked in with my medication nurse. She is a licensed Nurse Practitioner who is in charge of my current drug "cocktail." Between my NP and I, we decide on a monthly basis as to how well my medication works and if any changes are warranted.

Without my medication, I would be dead, literally. When I am not on the correct medication (or none at all) I have an overriding urge to blow my brains out. A constant mental picture of pointing a gun at my head and pulling the trigger. I have been ill for five years now and it has only been the last year that this urge has been under control. I stopped counting suicide attempts when I hit an even dozen. I have tried hanging, pills, guns, even a half-hearted attempt of suicide by cop. I've had the SWAT team out to the house twice that I can remember. Just think about that. Average one suicide attempt every four months for four years. Not good. I never really wanted to die, I just wanted the urge to go away. That was how desperate I was.

Now imagine what kind of pressure that puts on a wife and child. My wife has PTSD from all of the out of control meltdowns that I went through before trying to kill myself. To this day I cannot raise my voice for any reason in front of them. The pets are even scared of me when I raise my voice. I am separated from my family for just this reason. I do get to see them, but it's as a visitor, not as a true husband and father.

So you see, it is very important that I have the correct medication and stay on it.

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