Feelings of suicide are terrifying, knowing that the darkness comes without warning or prompt.
Trigger Warning: Suicide
What. The Fuck. Is wrong. With me. What the fuck is wrong with me. I spend an inordinate amount of time with that as the sound track of my mind. Some days aren’t bad, others too awful for words.
I spent the past few days thinking of ways to kill myself without having it ruled a suicide. I decided that the best course of action was to push too hard on the treadmill and hope for a heart attack. I am getting older and have a nasty habit of exceeding my maximum recommended heart rate, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. It sounds pathetic and stupid and weak. It sounds like a person who doesn’t want to be alive anymore. I’m ashamed to admit that most of that is true. Maybe all of it.
I’m getting pretty tired of the endless cycle. Recently it’s the cycle has gained momentum. Not long ago it was a week or two on the good side, a couple of days on the bad. Now I’m sitting in what is at best a 50/50 split, and there needn’t be a trigger. For the uninitiated, that’s pretty fucking scary.
It’s typically pretty crappy being depressed, but at least, we can often point to a triggering event, something that nudges us over the edge. It’s terrifying knowing that the darkness comes without warning or prompt. Nothing causes it. Imagine losing even the illusion of control in your life.
Worse yet is knowing the good days won’t last. I’m exhausted by it, by all of it. The endless days and sleepless nights. Even when coping well, I am disheartened by the knowledge that it’ll be short-lived. I don’t think the darkness will be forthcoming. I know it with every fiber of my being. I know it like I know the sun will rise tomorrow morning and set tomorrow evening.
I asked my doctor for a higher dose of the drug that is supposed to help me regulate. For the past 18 months or so, I’ve been on a dose that worked, but recently something has changed. I’ve completely lost the ability to cope or maintain. I thought by now I’d be far enough along to begin weaning myself off that cursed pill. I thought I’d find a way to cope, some kind of mechanism to ‘cure’ me. I wish I hadn’t been so wrong.
Now I’m two days into a dose that’s been doubled, and I’m left hoping again. I’m on a waiting list for a therapist I probably can’t afford, and I’m unsure of how long it’ll take to see her. I waited too long I guess, and that’s one more thing to add to my mounting list of failures.
Asking for a higher dose feels like another capitulation. Asking for it in an email instead of a phone call or office visit feels cowardly. I look at the larger pill, double the size and don’t see anything more than another loss. I see a second, larger failure. That’s pretty much what I see in the mirror all the time. One mighty fucking failure after another.
A few months ago I had hope that I was on my way out. I was trying to put together a book, revamping a website and working to launch a speaking career.
A few weeks ago I had hope that it was only a rough patch, and things would return to normal. I hadn’t written in weeks and had begun withdrawing from everyone.
A few days ago I was looking for ways to make a suicide look sufficiently like an accident that my insurance would still pay out.
Today I’m just here, exhausted and tired of fighting. Am I at risk? Not immediately, but I can’t help but feel like something needs to change. I can’t keep enduring this cycle. It’s too much to bear.
So tonight I’ll go to the gym and hope for a runners high. I’ll push myself and check my pulse often. I’ll be tempted to go too far. Ultimately, I’ll shut it down and move on to something else before it gets dangerous. I’ll go home, cook dinner and feel the high fade into melancholy once again. There is no fun in a story when you already know the ending.
“When the mystery fades, what is left is a broken person.”– Matt Croyle
If you’re dealing with feelings of hopelessness or thoughts of suicide, help is available. In the US 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is on-call 24/7 if you need to talk, or reach out to a friend or health professional in your life. In Canada, click here to find a crisis line or The Canadian Mental Health Association.
Originally published in rawwords.
Photo by Anne-Lise Heinrichs