I want to talk about something hard today. I want to talk about suicide and suicidal ideation. It’s where I got the name for my blog. It’s the one thing that I have the hardest time sharing with real life people. It’s the reason why I wanted my blog to be anonymous. For my sister’s sake.
Suicide. I think about it all the time.
In high school freshman year, I was thinking about it every day. But I wasn’t just thinking about it. I had reached what I thought was my breaking point.
I made a plan. I chose a method. I wrote out a note. I picked a day. It was only five days away.
I had to make sure I did it on a day where there was no possibility of my body being discovered by my little sister. It was literally the only thing stopping me. She was going to be spending Friday night at a friend’s house and I knew I could do it then. She would be safe from finding me.
I even did a test cut to see how much it was going to hurt. It turns out, not as much as living did. It was the only time I’ve ever intentionally physically harmed myself.
On the Thursday before the big day I ran into a guy I knew after school. It was urgently hot that day and he was wearing a long sleeved shirt. I asked him if he was cold. He shook his head and said he was embarrassed.
He pulled back his sleeves and showed me the bandages on his wrists. We weren’t close friends, and I’ll never know why he opened up to me that day. But he told me all about how he had tried to kill himself. He told me that he knew he was going to try again.
I convinced him to get help. We spoke for several hours that day. And I think, in convincing him, I somehow convinced myself to stay alive too. Though it would be another 14 years before I got any kind of help for myself.
I heard, several years later, that he had successfully committed suicide. I still think about him from time to time. For as long as I live, I will never forget, sitting on that stone wall, sweating in the hot shade, the empty hallways of the school like a ghost town, talking things out.
But, I still have those feelings inside me. I still feel hopeless sometimes. I wonder why I am alive. I wonder why I bother getting out of bed. I wonder if anyone would truly be affected by my death. Or even care.
I start thinking about death and dying. Is it the long dark sleep I imagine it to be? Does it hurt? Is it scary? Is there anything else? Is there even a point to life if it is so easily and quickly ended?
I don’t think about committing suicide the way I used to. But I still think about it. All the time.
Now I think about things happening to me. Intentional accidents. Like stepping in front of a train. Driving off a bridge. Falling off the roof of a tall building.
I think about them abstractly. Figuring out the mathematics. Wondering how it would feel. How high is high enough? I don’t WANT to do these things. Most of the time. But thinking about them is oddly soothing. Like a bizarre type of meditation.
It’s like a brain teaser I turn over and over again in my mind. A puzzle. The intention is long gone, most days.
It makes me feel better to know there is an option. A back up plan. If I need it.
I mostly feel happy. I mostly feel grateful to be alive. I mostly want to live. But I can’t stop those other feelings. The rise up from the depths, like corpses. Haunting me. Demanding my attention.
I know it isn’t good. I know it isn’t normal. I know I can’t stop it. And I know it isn’t my fault.
In the words of one of my favorite bloggers, http://thebloggess.com/: “Depression lies.”
Sometimes that’s enough.