This blog is going to be uncomfortable for me to write and maybe uncomfortable for people to read. However, I need to get it out.
DISCLAIMER: I have NO plans to hurt or kill myself so please do not misconstrue what I’m about to say. I am in therapy and I’m working on my life and if I was going to do it, it would have been done by now.
My intent is to make people understand why, in my case at least, that sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for not wanting to live. Stick with me until the end though, I might have figured it out.
When most think of suicide, they think that there HAS to be a reason. Maybe someone is in dire financial straits and feel like they can no longer support their family; they can be battling addiction; they can have an incurable illness that will eventually lead to death; they are mourning the loss of a loved one; they have suffered a painful divorce; they are jobless and feel worthless; they are inherently angry and evil and want to cause pain with their passing; they do it to make a stupid theological point; they don’t have family or friends; they were bullied; etc. Something life changing HAD to have happened, right?
I have everything, I am loved, I have family and friends, and despite encountering everyday stresses that we all deal with, I couldn’t ask for a better life. Yet, for some terrible reason, I live most days with a strong desire to end myself. I don’t know why. I’m told that it is mental illness and even though that should make sense, it doesn’t to me because I am truly aware of how blessed I am.
I always tell people that my daughter saved my life when I was 18. I don’t know if they quite understand what I mean when I say that. I know that I would’ve committed suicide had I not had her. She brought pure joy and purpose to my life and gave me something truly important to live for. That is a tall order for a child to be aware of and I hope she will never resent me for it. It’s just the truth. Subconsciously, I must really want to live because I’ve given myself two very important reasons to want to live; my children.
Yes, I have a mother and siblings to live for but it’s easier for me to think that they would mourn for me but eventually move on with their own lives. I know that my children would never be able to move on. Trust me; I’ve researched the hell out of the psychological damages to children who lost a parent to suicide. Not once, have I read that a child got through life unscathed.
I know that I could tell them a million times over that I love them and it’s not their fault but it wouldn’t matter. All that would matter is the heartbreak and loss that they would feel for the rest of their lives. Sometimes I think that if I could just write the PERFECT goodbye letter, they could understand and be okay, but I know that they would never forgive me and become deeply damaged human beings and it would be my fault. If by some miracle, I made it to heaven, I’d have to watch them mourn and be miserable.
I get told a lot that I can’t simply live for other people and I understand that. It’s just not my truth. Not to say that I don’t enjoy being in their lives or in Sam’s life or my mom’s life and that I don’t care about my friends. My point is all of those people, especially my kids, are my reasons to live. I don’t understand it but I need for those closest to me to accept that’s how it is for me and it needs to be enough for now.
I seek meaning in everything. I seek meaning in the sky and the beauty of nature. I seek meaning that there must be a God who put me here for a reason who I should be thankful for. I like to think that ladybugs are a gift from my deceased baby. I enjoy watching birds in the sky and I wonder if my grandparents have sent them to me from heaven just in that moment to say hello. I have many mantras that I repeat over and over in my head to push away the darkness like, “I love you God. Thank you. I love you God. Thank you. I love you God. Thank you” over and over and over again or I talk to my grandma in heaven and I ask her if she still loves me. I talk to my grandfather who passed before I was born because I heard that he was a wonderful man. I like to think that he knows me somehow and wants to protect me.
I try all of these things but I still wish that I could die. Sometimes I get resentful of everyone and wish that they didn’t love me. If they didn’t love me, I could leave this world with a clear conscience. Yes, I know how fucked up that is. It tortures me.
The truth is that these thoughts and this darkness are about nobody else but me and what goes on in my head. It has never been circumstantial. It lives inside of me and that is something that I can never explain because it doesn’t make any sense.
I feel ashamed whenever I hear about someone who killed themselves because I want to know all of the details. What happened? Were they sad? What made them do it? Is it possible that they were exactly like me and had absolutely no reason but succumbed anyway? I read books and I watch documentaries and it seems like everyone had a reason. How can I possibly explain the unexplainable? I don’t have a reason.
AGAIN: I am NOT in danger of killing myself. I will NOT do it. I am purging my thoughts.
In my quest to understand, I dissect incidences from my past or look to paranormal explanations. For instance, I was once told that my biological father conjured up Satan into his bedroom while we were asleep in our beds, was I cursed by this? I was once told that my great grandfather cursed us all on his deathbed. Did he curse me and that’s why I feel this way? I used to play with Ouja boards and try to speak to ghosts; did an evil spirit get inside of me? I’ve tried to pray all of that away. Sometimes I wonder if there is a person(s) in my life who hates me so much that their negative energy has somehow found its way into my soul and sub-consciousness. I’ve even gone to psychics and paid to have reverse curses done to rid myself of evil energy.
I’ve thought back to abusive incidents from my childhood or the bullying that I endured in school and none of that is cause for me wanting to die. In fact, none of those things made me want to die while they were happening. I dealt with all of that with self-harm which is a gruesome act in and of itself that I work on but none of that has made me want to die.
Back in 2010, I drank myself to the brink of death. I forget what my blood alcohol level was but it was a point away from death. I didn’t do it on purpose, I was just being stupid. I stopped breathing in the ambulance and ended up in the ICU with a breathing tube. Am I glad I lived? Hell yes! What a terrible legacy to leave behind. That’s worse than doing it on purpose.
“Oh no! How did she die?”
“She was bragging about how she’s the queen of doing vodka shots then went outside to pee because the bathrooms are too dirty for her. The bouncer found her dead against a dumpster with her top button unbuttoned and she had pissed herself”
“Wow, how tragic. What a dumbass though”
Yeah, no thanks. What continues to fascinate me about that experience were the hours of darkness and peace when I felt absolutely nothing. There wasn’t any kind of crazy dream or anything; just tranquility and it was one of the greatest feelings in my life. If I was a drug addict, that’s definitely what I would be on the hunt for. The waking up part sucked, I was humiliated, so now I don’t drink like an asshole frat bro anymore.
I think of that darkness a lot and I crave it but I’m proud that even though I know what death could feel like, I’m still strong enough to avoid it.
Through therapy, I’m learning to feel pain and move past it. So I keep saying that there’s no specific reason for me being tempted by death but it’s very possible that my reason is that I don’t like to feel. Feelings hurt and crying is weak and I don’t have time for that. That peace and emptiness that I felt in ICU? That was great, there was no feeling. So although I can’t pick apart my life and know specifically why I would want to die because my life is SO great, there’s probably some underlying shit that I need to put to bed. Even though my outside circumstances are great, my internal treasure trove of angst that I pretend doesn’t exist could be the real problem.
I avoid confrontation and “drama”, I feel like I am above that. When I do lash out or get angry or upset, I get disappointed in myself because it makes me feel weak and I want to be strong. I get overwhelmed during arguments with my son so I give in to what he wants so I don’t lose it. I begin to apologize immediately to people or crack stupid jokes if I sense tension or think that a fight is about to occur. Then I pop a Xanax for good measure. My therapist told me that my coping mechanisms are inappropriate humor and rest and avoidance. I laughed when she said that. It’s so much easier to think that I’m this evolved species that doesn’t have time for the “nonsense” that is life. In the meantime, I numb myself with television and books and finding reasons not to spend my leisure time around other people anymore.
I’m beginning to try to understand myself and I want to let myself feel. It’s easy to only let in the good stuff, but by not letting myself feel the bad things, I’m slowly taking away the life experiences that will lead me to more happiness and peace. Maybe that’s why I don’t want to live, because living is fucking hard. It’s such a cop out for me to say that I only want to live so I don’t damage my children. I hope I can fix that someday. I’m not there yet but I’m going to try.
Recently, a lost friend reached out to me (sort of) and sent me a silly text. I had a dream about that friend the night before I got the text. Then, when I got into my car to go to work, a song on the radio came on that reminded me of that friend. I burst into tears and I cried all the way to work. Then I continued to cry in the parking lot until I was done. I never would have done that in the past. I would have told myself, “this is stupid”, pushed the sadness away, and walked into work seemingly unscathed. Instead, I let myself cry it out and holy shit! It felt good when I was done. After that, I reached out to two of my dearest friends and my daughter and let them know what happened. They chatted with me about it for a bit and then I felt better. There were no more lingering feelings of sadness. It was done.
Yesterday, I was feeling awful and I got on my treadmill because I know that I need to make a serious attempt to start exercising regularly. I was angry the whole time I was on that stupid treadmill. Sam came into the room and I ranted and raved about how unfair it is that I have a mental disorder and why can’t I just be normal and blah blah blah. I had planned to do the mandatory 30 minutes of exercise that experts on bipolar disorder say you should do but time went by quicker because of how angry I was. When I finally stopped, I didn’t feel so angry anymore. I let myself be angry and yell and bitch even though none of it made any sense. Instead of rationalizing that my anger didn’t make sense, I just let myself feel angry and pissed off until it subsided. I don’t understand why I have myself convinced that there’s something wrong with that.
I’ve recently started scooping up the dog shit in our yard. Anyone who knows me well knows that’s a big deal for me. I hate poop and the smell makes me gag and throw up. My son is supposed to be the shit scooper but he never does it. A couple of weeks ago, I came home from work feeling stressed and something compelled me to go outside and scoop up all of the dog shit from our yard because it was disgusting and out of control (instead of yelling at my son about it which would have stressed me out even more). We have two big dogs. Anyway, I was hot and sweaty and irritated with my son but I just got to shoveling all of the shit from the yard and put it all into a garbage bag. I gagged a lot but I just kept with it. It took me about an hour but I was damned and determined to get rid of every scrap of poop from our yard. Bizarrely, I felt less stressed and felt a weird sense of accomplishment when I was done. Wow! So now I’ve made myself the designated poop scooper, much to my son’s chagrin.
I can’t help but feel that my newfound chore is a metaphor for my life. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, it can be shitty and sometimes you just have to deal with it instead of pretending that it’s not happening and wish it away.
I hope to stick around for as long as God lets me.