20/12/16 (Trigger Warning)

20th December, 2016.  This was the day I was meant to die.  Suicide.  I had it planned for approximately three months, and in those three months I knew that I was already a dead person walking, but wanted to know if I could ever feel alive again.

Growing up, I had always known that my life would end by my own hand, and the older I got the more certain this notion became.  I had always visited this option as just that, an option; a thought when life seemed unbearable, when desperation kicked in and I wanted the pain to stop.  Something always kept me alive though.  I always woke up the next morning and continued on in my misery because that is what I thought my only option should be.  That I should somehow retract and recollect all the volatile emotions from the cage that only I could see, and just keep moving like nothing had changed.  To others, nothing had.  In all of the times that I had wanted to die, it seemed as if my emotions took complete control, and during those times, I had never sought help from therapists to know what introspection could mean from a mental health perspective.

About three months ago, I started to question the notion of what I “should do.”  I learned in therapy that for my own sanity, as it were, I should try and not focus on what I think I should be feeling and doing, but rather address what I do feel and how I act.  Admittedly, I related this sense of mental liberation to suicide.  Taking encouragement from already making peace with my self harming rituals, I wanted to know the answer to one question:  Why was suicide so wrong?  I wanted to know why everyone wanted to save my life if I didn’t want to be saved.  Was it me?  Was it a personal thing?  Was it love and care?  If so, why would they want me to continue in such pain and grief and isolation as I was feeling?  My friends, I could understand, but what were the motives of my therapists?  Yes, I even questioned these.  For a while even, I was convinced, with absolute certainty, that they wanted to change who I was.  My entire personality – changed to suit the requirements of a conventional society.  They wanted me to conform.  I understand how that sounds, but a belief is hard to shake.  In all honesty, there are traces of it still.  The more I asked the question of why suicide was so wrong, and the longer I went without answers, the more certain I was that it was the only thing for me to do.  It was logical to me.  I was in pain.  A pain that seemed to take over every space of me.  My interactions were hurting me, my circumstances were hurting me, breathing was hurting me.  I didn’t want to live.  Additionally, I had tried therapy, I had tried medications, I had tried my own concoction of coping through self harm, alcohol and prescription abuse to numb it all for as long as I could.  Nothing was working.  I was stuck and my options ultimately boiled down to living in Hell or death.  I picked death.

For the first two weeks after making my decision, I was relieved, lighter somehow.  I felt good.  I hadn’t felt so good in so long, I just knew it was the right decision.  Eventually, that blackness crept back in.  It wasn’t enough that I had put suicide on the table, it had to happen soon.  I had to have it as a reason to get through my dismal days and angry nights.  It had to be more than just an idea.  It was more than an idea, it was an obsession.  So, I set the date.  There was nothing significant to the 20th of December, it just seemed like enough time to plan; my death and my goodbyes to the people I cared about.  At the time, I was ending a stressful part of my life, so the time frame also accounted for the possibility that I may feel better about life and living once this stressful period had ended.  I did tell my mental health team about it, my plans; not a specific date you see, just that I wanted it and I had a date and even a plan.  Telling them, of course, came with the promise that I would try my best to “live” again, so as to be convinced to make it long term.  One last attempt at living before I die.

I will concede that twice before this date I came very close to ending it impulsively.  An accumulation of depressive thoughts, hallucinations and sleep deprivation resulted in extremely overwhelming thoughts of immediate self-destruction.

That first time really destroyed my mind, my sense of self, my trust in myself.  I have always been a person who relied on herself and her own thoughts and decisions to get her through.  So, at first, when I wanted to end it, I accepted it.  I collected my things to just enact the plan from December.  While I was doing so, something was niggling at my brain.  Something wasn’t right about it.  And, I started crying.  For this, I was hard on myself.  Why would I cry if this was something I had wanted for so long?  What was the problem?  After some introspection I remembered a part of the me that I recognized.  You see, I have never been a person to believe in absolutes when it comes to a decision or a course of action.  There is always doubt and there is always more than one way and combinations of the different ways to reach a goal.  On that day, suicide was the only solution, and there was no other way to get better.  This shook me to my core.  I have never before felt such a schism in my mind, and I didn’t know which side was the actual me.  If there was a me in there.  Which side do I trust?  Which side do I act upon?  I lost myself so entirely that day, truly.  I don’t trust others easily, I accept advice but ultimately always made up my mind on the trust I placed on my mind.  To lose that felt like losing everything.

It is safe to say I didn’t recover from that day.

I have been going through life as if a shell with an emptiness inside.  Sometimes existing – though mostly disbelieving this, sometimes knowing of the people I have in my life but not quite connecting, always forcing myself to act or interact.  For the most part, I was a shell that could not reignite any spark that I once had.  In anything.  Stuck in the limbo between knowing I am capable, that I once had passion, and not obtaining any emotion from anything that I used to have that passion for.  I had no desire to do anything, and if forced to do something, I would get no feedback from it.  It would simply be a waste of whatever limited energy I had.  And the days would go on like this.  On and on.  Then, the second time.  The second time I did show emotion.  Violence and anger.  I needed to just explode.  Die violently.  Rip myself apart as much as I could hold out for and let everyone just deal with whatever remained.  What stopped me was the knowledge that I wasn’t home alone at the time, and would have been caught in the act, and that would have lead to too many questions that I just didn’t want to answer.  Very unsatisfying.  My shell continued.

As the days got closer to the 20th, I decided not to tell anyone about the significance.  I was getting very bitter at everyone, friends and therapists alike.  I continued to function as I was, not caring about anything, and all I got told was how great it was that I am making progress, that I am doing things, I am functioning, I am achieving.  Over and over.  I didn’t see it or feel it, so how was I supposed to believe it?  Everyone pointing me down the road of getting back on medication, everybody on this one track and me feeling like I was living and acting and trying because of all of these people.  No more me in my own world, and pushed into continuing on anyway.  Truly, I was that shell; no person inside.  Is that living?  Is that even being alive?

When the date came, I needed to just retreat from everyone and seriously think.  I needed to choose to trust my mind again because there is no life for me relying on others to show me a way of living.  I needed to rid myself of the input from others, irrelevant of their good intentions for me.  Ungrateful as it may seem, I needed space with as little extraneous emotions involved.  I knew that I could not just deny my suicidal thoughts – my desire for action upon it – as my depression and anything good I knew of myself to be the real me.  If I deny one, I deny both and that is death.  If I accept one, I accept both – I have to -and that is the high-wire of potential of both life or death.  Intellectually, I knew that I did (and still do) have a tether to this world.  It is the new people in my life who I am very slowly beginning to believe and trust in – that their intentions for my life and their care for me are genuine, and my care for them is the same.  I know my thoughts obfuscate these very tangible and positive things, but in general I can see that they exist, and I have grown to appreciate them.  Logically, I knew I had just started new medication, so there was potential for change given patience on my part – a tall ask, but at this point everything is.  Finally, I noted utter disbelief and wondered whether, after having lasted so long in this Hell, and the chance to get out being closer than ever; was I going to let go now?  Especially, under these newly changed circumstances?  I can tell you that on this day, my logic saved my life.

Obviously, I granted myself a stay of execution.  I cannot tell you that at the snap of my fingers I trust my mind again, my actions or my decisions.  I cannot say that I am even living my life for me again, because I am not.  It is a big thing for me to trust my friends when they tell me I am worth life, and I admit, I am alive still for them and my therapists; beholden or obligated to them somehow.  I cannot say that I want to be alive even.  I don’t.  I am still that shell that walks around trying to figure out how to keep functioning when I have no reasons to; when I don’t feel there is a me that is functioning.  I cannot tell you how much all of this knowledge pains me everyday, or how beaten and defeated by life that I feel.  As such, I cannot guarantee the continuance of my life.  I am still that dead person walking.  On this side of the 20th though, I have no more time limit to feel alive again.  I think that might make all the difference.

 

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3 thoughts on “20/12/16 (Trigger Warning)

  1. You are very brave for what you’ve been through &so openly sharing this with the world. I completely understand how you feel, I’ve been dancing around the same idea all month. I wonder if I’ll make it to New Years. Your story puts so many questions in mind.

    Like

    • Hi JJ, thank you for saying so. You are just as brave to read I think. Reading what you can resonate with is quite confronting. I too have been wondering about making it to next year, or to my birthday which is just a short time after. I have been asked a lot of that same question the past few months. I will be writing a bit more on this, but from the side of my emotions. That will be a bit more challenging I think.

      I think my contact info is available, if not I will make it so, if you need to talk to someone. Thank you for reading, I really do appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

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