Following on from a recent story line which dealt so well with male suicide, I guess I’ve been revisiting with some old friends of mine.
Friends, demons, it’s all interchangeable right?
Some people would say it’s not healthy to focus so much on what they see as “depressing” or “weird” (usually the same people who post those twee little things on Facebook about Mental Health issues, and conflate depression with feeling sad, or assume everyone who is a dick has a mental health issue, news flash: you can be just be a dick). Personally, I think to pretend they never occurred ; or to shy away from confronting them, is to deny who I am. Denying my history. Denying my past.
It is not self indulgent to contemplate my attempts of suicide. Nor is it wrong to speak openly about it. One story told, can be one life saved. I do it not to garner attention nor sympathy. Rather, because I’m still processing it, still learning from it. Still growing. And lets be frank here shall we, I never thought I would still be here to do that.
I’m trying to reconcile what I did then, on each occasion, to who I am now. What changed for me to stop suicide being a viable option? What changed in me to allow myself to see a future?
Well, nothing. And yet everything.
I had a child. Ultimately, that’s what it boils down to. When we remove the whole dressing up of the situation, it’s because I had my daughter. I’m a people pleaser, down to my core. I shy away from confrontation and hurting people. I’d rather be unhappy and displeased, than cause one moment of discomfort to someone else. So how could I possibly bring a child in to this world, and then cause that amount of trauma?
After all; every child is born wanting to love it’s mother. Needing it’s mother. How could I take that away from someone so innocent? I couldn’t cause that child to live with the consequences of my actions. My last suicide attempt came merely weeks before finding out I was pregnant.
That didn’t stop, or change the way I felt though. It merely changed my responsibilities. Changed my direction. It became my beacon, my guiding light out of the maze my mind had become.
But, even to refer to is as a maze seems disingenuous. It implies I was lost. But to be lost, you need to have had an end destination, and know you were off course. I didn’t have that. I had; well, nothing.
In my own experience, on neither occasion did I want to “die” as such. I don’t think my brain processed any thing in such terms. If it had, perhaps I’d have been more aware then, that I was wired incorrectly. I just wanted it to end. The loneliness. The sadness. The fog. I just wanted it to stop and go away. I wanted the pain to ease. I couldn’t breathe. Every moment was suffocating me. It just wouldn’t go away, and I was so exhausted. I couldn’t get over how strong other people were, feeling like that and continuing anyway. Retrospectively I realise other people don’t feel like that. Now, nor do I. But then, I was so exhausted, to my soul. And yeah, I wanted to not be here. But it was more, I wish I’d never been here in the first place, that I’d never existed. Not that I wanted to die.
Even trying to explain it now, seems impossible. So how did I stand a chance when that feeling was wrapped into every fiber of my being?
And then, even if I had been able to articulate this to people, I know the responses I would have received. I see it now. “It’ll be okay” “We all feel like that sometimes” sometimes. Fucking sometimes. “You just need a hobby.”
Which is why I don’t offer those responses. If someone opens up to me, and tries to talk, I sit. I listen. I hear. Then I ask them what they want from me. It is not my place to offer platitudes.
Because that’s what they are you know. They’re pithy little phrases people offer when they have fuck all else to say. When they think they’re helping, but all they’re doing is emphasising how alone you actually are. It’s not their fault. They’re trying to be kind. Trying to help. But they don’t get it. They shy away. Why do you think I’ve not discussed my attempts in the last few years?
It’s a horrible feeling you know. And it doesn’t just happen. The final decision might be a snap choice, but the build up has been there for months, years even. It’s such a lengthy and destructive process. Not only to the victim. But to everyone surrounding them. That guilt others must feel when a loved one takes that step…..but it’s not their fault. It’s not the deceased’s fault. It’s …. well. It’s a blameless thing.
I talk about my current situation, the one with the BPD, a lot. But not so much the suicide attempts. Yet I remember them like flashbulbs. I’m not ashamed of them. I’m saddened I ever came to that point. I’m saddened I nearly took a vibrant life out of this world. I’m saddened I didn’t have the words then, that I do now. I’m saddened that it’s taken far too many years for me to learn a bout myself in this way.
And I’m sad you know, I’m sad for all those other souls that feel like that. Hopefully, they’ll be like me. Be unsuccessful. Learn why they did it, and how they can be healthy and, stable in the future.
I’m pleased, obviously, that I failed both times. But I also appreciate now, that if I hadn’t attempted to kill myself, and goddamnit I meant for it to work, each occasion, I appreciate that it didn’t. I’m pleased I’m here.
I’m happy. I’m happy I’m here, and still annoying people. Happy I failed. And here’s to my future.
And to you, to have found this, you’re at some point of your journey. I promise you, you too can find your stability. It is every bit as bad as you think it is, but I promise you, it can, and will get better.