Tag Archives: suicide is not an option

I Am An Adult Now- Misery, Whimsy and a Dash of Hope.

I have a lot of moments where I think, fuck it, this is too hard, I’m sick of this, I want this to end, I want to die.

What is ‘this’? It’s having to look after my body, to self-care. Sometime’s it’s the realisation that I need help, and I don’t want to have to admit that, so I want to run away/ hide/ put the happy face on. ‘This’ is having to be alive, contained, having to keep on going when I feel like I missed out on getting a copy of the ‘how-to’ manual, when I don’t know what’s around the next corner, and whether or not I can cope with it. ‘This’ is living with uncertainty, being vulnerable and open to life rather than killing myself.

I spend far more time thinking about death and dying than I do about life, both current life and also what I want to do in the future. I talk about the future, big things like finishing my degree and having kids one day, and smaller things like I’m going to a music festival with a new friend and it’s going to be awesome. But I don’t really feel committed to it, like I’m always carrying around the thought of, ‘well I don’t want to invest my energy/ time/ emotions in X because I’m going to be dead soon anyway’. My mindset is not, what’s going to be next and how do I get there? It’s more, at what point this week/month/ year am I going to pull the plug?

I feel so out of control and overwhelmed by the things that have happened to me that I want to reclaim some tiny little bit of it by saying, I am the one who gets to choose when and how I die, I can choose to do it at any point. But conversely, what is stopping me from spinning that around and instead putting energy into choosing to live instead? What if I’m not really happy with only having choice in death, no thanks, I want more than that. Because I do want more than that.  

I want to be more than the scared little kid who had no choice about what was done to her. I want to do more than play to the roles of ‘peacekeeper’ and ‘sacrificial lamb’ and ‘good girl’ and all the other things I had to do just to survive in my family. I want to do more than just survive, damn it. I spent the whole time surviving and thinking, today she really is going to kill me, and always being on edge and waiting for it and it never came, but that was always the feeling, I’m going to be dead soon, either she’s going to kill me or I’m going to suicide to get the fuck out of here. And I’m nearly 24 now, not ten or twelve or seventeen, but I still slip so easily back into that mindset.

I am an adult now. I did survive and now I am here and it’s my life that I have control over, not my death. I think I’m still waiting to be told that by my parents. Hey, thanks for copping all that shit, sweetheart. You can get on with your life now. Knowing that my parents won’t, can’t, ever do that is really hard. I feel like screaming at them, You didn’t help me! You just LET her do all those things! And now I’m alive and I don’t know how to be alive as an adult because I never got the space to even think that I would be still be here!’  But what would that achieve? I’ve kinda missed the boat on the ‘being an angry teenager’ phase, and they missed the chance to intervene, to nurture and protect me. They still want me, or need me, to be that person I was, that quasi-adult, good-little-girl, not making a fuss, not questioning, taking the crap, no boundaries. Looking to them for nurturing, understanding, acknowledgement is like looking for fish in a desert- not going to happen, I just get hot and frustrated and ultimately sick, waiting and digging.

So I have to commit to being the adult now.  I have to find other family figures, role models, mentors, friends, people to support me. I have to learn to trust people. I have to learn to look after myself rather than continuing the hurt. To write my own stories, my own future, instead of trying to adapt myself to theirs. To be authentic and true to myself. I’ve talked before about it being like walking in a black maze with only a tiny spark of light, only really seeing the tiny space in front of you but having to keep going anyway.

It’s scary. So scary. No certainty, lots of worries. Anxiety dreams and lots of nights laying awake thinking I can’t, I can’t, what if…? And then sunshine and moments of happiness so wonderful that even the Negative Voice gives up and admits, hey, this is pretty sweet. And the extraordinary everyday mashup of life, each day in between those hard nights, and I never think I can do it no not me not ever surely not- but hey, would ya look at that, it’s already mid-Feburary.

Now, my dear reader, well done for getting through that ramble of misery, whimsy and a dash of hope. Watch this awesome short film! It is full of six-year-old wisdom and beautiful imagery. And cookies! 

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Grasping at sparks

rainbow road

So…I haven’t been writing for a while. Since August last year, apparently. I’m not really sure how it happened. I still had all the feelings and thoughts that I had previously been pouring onto these pages, they just stayed inside, churning, repeating, wearing away at me like endless waves onto an already fragile and crumbling rock.

The last time I wrote I was just about to leave for Nepal, for a study tour. I wanted to be changed over there, I wanted to come back a very different person, physically as much as mentally. I wanted to ditch the Negative Voice, prove to myself that I could live without being disrupted by all the head crap, be present and immersed in a new place. Spoiler: it didn’t happen.  I spent so much time up in my head that I feel like I missed a lot. I got on a plane to get away from all the shit but it snuck on board with me and lingered inside of me, still does.  This is not to say it wasn’t a beautiful, challenging and enjoyable trip- it was all those things, and more- I just wasn’t fully ‘there’.

I’ve been struggling on, since then, to be here, alive. I think about suicide every day, or more correctly, every night. I think, tomorrow, no next week, no I just have to finish my placement first. I propel myself from one day to the next, thinking not of the future but instead of when, when when when can I just let go? And it takes over, those waves again, crashing, blocking out the light, am I dead yet, no, just drowning, endlessly, gasping for air.

And then I wake up. And (most days) I get out of bed, and go to placement, get engaged in the work, enjoy it even. Most days I talk to people and they talk to me, laugh with me, don’t look disgusted at the sight of me, and so goes another day that I thought I wouldn’t be alive to see. They contrast so much, the person I am and the person I become when suicidality and depression take over. I know this, and try to hold onto it, but it’s like trying to chase a tiny spark in a dark maze where you can only see immediately in front of you, into blackness so terrifying that to continue on seems futile.

I guess it’s just about trusting that the spark is there, even when I can’t see it, or feel it or find it. Trusting that people are being genuine when they say that they want me around, that they want to help me stay. Trusting that change is possible. Trusting that reaching out into the unknown tomorrow is a better option than giving up today.

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Because…

TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide talk. Yup, I know, there’s been a lot lately. I’m going through a hard time, but I’m not going to kill myself and I really hope you won’t either. Get help now and don’t read on if you think it may be harmful for you.

 

I’m not particularly keen on life right now (*cough* understatement of the century *cough*). There’s been the usual Negative Voice noise but it has been turned up by a few notches. Last Saturday I was put in danger by a guy who’d obviously missed the ‘consent is sexy’ lesson and was trying to get me to do things that I wasn’t interested in. I was scared, it triggered lots of memories and it gave me a shock that I’m still reeling from. Then on Wednesday a particularly insecure girl thought it wise to tell me to die because she didn’t approve of my body. So things have been harder than usual. I have to do lots of work each day convincing myself that life is awesome and worth sticking around for.

I need to keep living because…

Circus is fun

On Monday I really, really didn’t want to have to deal with getting a train out west in peak hour. I didn’t want to expose my body in public or in class. I was shit scared about waiting in the dark getting home. But the tiny part of me that is fighting 100% to keep on keeping on whispered, you will feel better if you go. And she’s right. Throwing myself into crash mats is a great release from my head. Trusting that somebody else can hold me with their feet is a great fuck you to the Neg Voice. And so I will force myself out of bed tomorrow, and I will go to class again, one foot in front of the other until I’m there, having fun, and I don’t even realise until it’s over.

The internet is helpful if I allow it to be

For years I have used sites like Tumblr to reinforce what Neg is saying- that I’m too big, taking up too much space, worthless, unlovable, and on and on and on. There’s good stuff on the web, sometimes it can be harder to find but it is there. I spent a sleepless night downloading inspirational pictures and quotes to my phone so I can scroll through them whenever I need to. Highly recommended as a distraction from suicidal thoughts, and to light (or re-light) the spark of hope in humanity that is in you, in all of us, somewhere.

Example A:

Example B:

Beds are comfy and warm and safe

When I got into shit last Saturday and was shaking and freaking out and having flashbacks, I was able to find safety in my bed. My warm, familiar bed with soft sheets and scruffy velveteen toys and the hottest hot water bottle my body could tolerate. This is my space. In my home, that I have created and made safe from the demons of the past. I choose who comes in to my room and my bed and if it just needs to be mine alone for a while, that’s OK. Props also to SACL, who were able to bring me back into my body, and the present, and calm me done enough to breathe deeply again. Help and support, they are good, who knew?

I’ve worked too damn hard in my degree to bail on it now

Part of the increased head noise at the moment is that all my uni work is finished and there’s too much space for the Neg Voice to take over, which it did, almost the second I handed in my last assignment. I was convinced that everything I wrote was crap, and I’m going to fail, and I’ll never get a placement and I’ll never qualify and on and on in a spiral of doom. Reality has proved otherwise- I got my first one back on Wednesday and it’s a HD. Regardless of marks though, I love my course and I’m excited about my future. Dead = no future. Ergo, keep going. KEEP GOING.

People love me and care about me, even when I don’t believe that

I don’t believe this one, well, I find it really hard to accept. I just can’t fathom it. I’m here, I’m dead, what’s the difference? I lived my adolescence thinking I would be dead by the end of it and nobody would care. I tried, twice, to make that happen. To have the beginning of a supportive circle of people around me now, in my 20s, feels incredibly strange. But if I imagine somebody close and dear to me taking their life, and how devastated I would be, then maybe I can see why it’s not just me I’m fighting for. That’s compassion and that’s enough to hold me here. I’ve had this conversation with my Wise Woman a few times recently, and even knowing that she cares is holding me back, just that tiny but vital bit, from stepping over the edge.

Going through rental applications is a pain and I don’t want to inflict that on my housemates

Seriously, it’s awful. You have to interview people, and work out if they are weird enough to fit in but not so weird as to be annoying. And you have to fill out a zillion forms, and update Centrelink details, and vacuum the carpet to make it appear as if there’s no mice living in the house. Exhausting stuff. Wouldn’t wish it my worst enemy, and if I top myself, somebody would have to clean out my room AND go through the horrible process of trying to fill it.

OK, so it’s clear. No self-inflicted death allowed. Must. Keep. Living.

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Not An Option Today

TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide talk. I’m not going to kill myself and I really hope you won’t either. Get help now and don’t read on if you think it may be harmful for you.

Long time no write, because I’m trying really hard to keep living from moment to moment, stay alive through the dark nights to get to the next day and do it all again. Because I write lists for myself that say things like ‘1. Get out of bed, 2. Take meds, 3. Try and do something physical’ and most days getting through those tasks takes nearly all of my energy and will. I got through my uni assignments and now I’m on holidays there’s a lot of unscheduled time and Neg Voice jumped straight in and yelled, JUST KILL YOURSELF, you fat ugly disgusting worthless piece of shit and it’s really easy to get sucked into and so so hard to climb out of.

I don’t want to die. I love my life, my course, my friends and family, the career I’m heading into, the thought of children in the future. I want to be here and make a difference in the world. BUT I struggle so much with living my life in my body. If it were ‘me’ in another body that I didn’t loathe so much, it would be different, I tell myself. Would it? Maybe, probably not. All I know that being in my skin is the hardest, most awful day-to-day struggle and the lure of not having to keep doing it is very strong. It’s brain versus body, emotional self verses physical self. I don’t think I can kill myself. There’s too big a part of me, real me, that is compassionate and aware of how much suffering I would cause, and how much loss. That part of stops me accessing a gun, or throwing myself in front of a train, or any of the other scenarios I entertain late at night. Dying intentionally is a very selfish act for a person who has built an identity on being considerate, helpful, mature, kind, empathetic. So, killing myself is not an option, I say in my head, over and over. Not today. Get through today and then we’ll deal with tomorrow.

Today I had a huge swim, because swimming has always calmed me down and getting physically tired helps manage the late night head noise. Swimming through the constant ‘you suck, you’re huge and gross, you look awful’ is really hard for the first few laps but the water helps so much. Plus, having to focus on not drowning is a good way to get out of my head. So it was overall a positive thing, everyone should try swimming, it’s awesome. But getting the bus home just after school peak hour was a bad move. Two girls got on and proceeded to bitch about their ‘friends’, their teachers, their parents and everything else that was bothering them. I put my music on and tried to blank them out.  One tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘Excuse me’.

‘Yes?’, I said, turning around, taking my headphones out and putting my usual polite smile on.

‘If I was as fat as you I would kill myself’, she said, and her friend and her both burst into laughter.

I turned bright red, as you do when somebody publicly humiliates you and tells you to top yourself as though it’s funny. How does she know that I think that all day, every day? was my first thought. ‘She’s just saying what everybody’s thinking. You don’t deserve to live, you hideous lard-arse’ screamed the Negative Voice. Say something back, you idiot! was my next coherent thought.

‘Sorry, killing myself is not an option today, too busy’ I said. There are better lines, but hey, I was under pressure. I turned around, put the headphones back in and tried really fucking hard not to cry.

That’s what it’s like, every day. It’s dealing with my own head as well as what other people see and what they do. It’s trying to summon up the courage to get out of bed and engage with the world. It’s wondering if I have a flashing sign attached to me, ‘I hate my body, really hate it, and I kind of want to kill myself but I’m trying really hard not to’. It’s feeling every millimetre of flesh squirm with shame whenever I’m out in public and visible. It’s  keeping busy enough so that the Negative Voice doesn’t overwhelm me. It’s trying to hold on and to remember that killing myself is NOT. AN. OPTION.

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