I have thought about suicide almost every day for the past thirty years.
Does that sound a mite dramatic? Sort of a Heathcliff-on-the-Moors, seventh grade, will-he-ever-notice-me type angst?
Because that’s not what I’m going for here. But if we’re going to be honest as fuck honest(and let’s, shall we?(Aside: are you supposed to punctuate between parentheses? Capitalize? I spend far too much time being concerned about this issue although I have no problem whatsoever using a double, or even triple, parenthesis. (Plus, I think you can safely throw all rules and reason out the window when you realize that no one is reading this any way.)))
*one solitary tumbleweed bounces in slo-mo down a lonely, dusty, sepia-toned highway*
So, if we have thusly agreed to be honest as fuck(and we have thusly), then I’m sorry Miss Jackson, I am fer realz. I have honestly, actually thought about suicide on most days in which I have existed between the years of approximately 1980-ish til now-ish.
When it occurred to me as an angry and epically depressed 12-ish year old that suicide was like, a thing that some people like, did as a means of alleviating the agony that is existing a shiny little light bulb appeared over my introverted, book-obsessed, romanticizing, hormone-clouded, serotonin-deprived head and it was all eureka up in the house. Control at last! The road less traveled! The mourned departure! The chicken exit! An alternative!
I’m not sure how long it took me to realize that it wasn’t really a desire to die or even to not have ever been. It was the pedantic desire of every person ever to be more, be better, have more, have better. By the time I realized it, it had become one of those permanent pathways, a subterranean trench I trudged each day. Eventually it became a comfort, a smooth stone to run my thumb across when thing were tough. An option in a option-less world.
Along the way, friends and acquaintances opted out. I was devastated, saddened, confused, angry and a thousand other unnameable emotions. One of them being something approximately jealousy/wonder/urgency.
One day I upended a bottle of pills down my throat. I pretty much immediately called my dad, screaming GESTURE! HALP! After my stomach was pumped and I lay in a hospital bed in Olympia, WA over a thousand miles away from anyone who knew or loved me(that + depression + massive amounts of cocaine = GESTURE! HALP!), the social worker-ish asked me to sign a no-harm agreement and released 24 year old me to the wilds of my own damn mind. (PS, btw, future social worker-ishs, DON’T DO THIS.)
I realized then that I was miserable and I can’t change my brain chemistry adequately on my own or my life without some sort of competent assistance so I began the road that took me to rehab, halfway house and the (mostly) sober lifestyle I’ve lived for the past 18 years.
I still thought about suicide.
Then I had a kid. And I didn’t think about it for a while. Because ZOMGS, THE WONDER AND AWE OF THIS PERFECT AND AMAZING THING I HAVE CREATED WITH MY BODY AND NOW HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER. Not to mention the bodily fluids flying fore and aft, boobs on deck round the clock, nine…ten…never sleep again.
But then like, I did. And I was all WHAT THE FUCK YOU SELFISH ASSHOLE YOU ARE A MOTHER FER CHRISSAKES, STRAIGHTEN YO SHIT UP AND FLY RIGHT, MOTHERFUCKER.
Because now, it’s not just my life I have to worry about ruining.
Now I have to mourn the thought of suicide. There’s no escape hatch on life, no chicken exit before you get on the scary ride. There’s only the scary ride over which you have no control. Which is overwhelmingly crushing to an in-your-head kind of gal like me.
Not only do I have to mourn it, I have to feel heavy, cloying guilt when my thumb returns to the edge of the stone as is its way. What kind of fresh hell is this?
Or maybe the thought is okay as long as there’s no action? I always told my clients that thoughts, no matter how twisted or unseemly, are never bad, only acting on those thoughts. It’s a twisty, unseemly place, the human brain, and we live inside of it without escape for as many years as we get. Inappropriate, unseemly thoughts crop up. It’s a wonder that we aren’t all slavering psychos or heroin junkies.
I’m feeling rather GESTURE! HALP! these days so I’m putting it down here instead of leaving it to fester inside my cavernous brain. I’m hoping leaving the words here will be the equivalent of an emotional neti pot, let the old nasties flow and let them go.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
If I’m hanging around, you’d better too. These peeps are kind and will help. So will I if you want anything to do with a introverted depressed girl who fancies herself funnier than she probably is and really, really wants a donut right about now. Or any time. Let’s be real.