I am a pretty boring person
And because I’m pretty boring, you know what sentence I never thought I would say?
“No, I don’t choke me as a form of auto-erotic asphyxiation.”
I have said this above sentence probably 30-some times in the past few months. No, not on a first date or a job interview. Though I could see that being entertaining.
I have said this sentence to a slew of mental health professionals I have met with. When you go for a lot of mental health treatment you have a lot of intake interviews and meetings with therapists. All of them involve telling them what is wrong with you.
I talk about how much I want to not be alive, how much I want to hurt me, and I hate saying all of it.
It’s weird with this mental health battle how you decide what is normal to say and what it makes you feel like an absolute piece of shit to say and how that will often change.
I have battled with the suicide stuff for over 15 years so talking about wanting to no longer be alive feels like run of the mill chit chat.
Hitting myself, choking me, that on the other hand just seems like complete and utter crazy talk. I still say it though but then I get angry at myself for being this person .
When I hurt me I want to hurt me more for hurting me in the first place. I want to punish this person who is enough of an asshole to punish herself.
And that reaction is what needs to change.
Yes I need not to hurt me but I also need not to pile on
I need not to judge.
I need to ignore what just happened and go forward and say “Now I will be kind to me. Now I will treat myself with love. I will love myself. I will treat myself how I think others should be treated. I deserve to be treated that way.”
One day I will be interviewed by a mental health professional and I will say “I used to hurt me but I haven’t in a very long time.”
That’ll be cool.
Part of me wants to die. Part of me wants to hurt myself. I hate this part of me (and that’s probably part of the problem.) I have been battling this crap on and off for over 15 years but this past year these thoughts of suicide and self harm have been a lot more on.
I have tried to get better in so many ways, hours of talk therapy, different behavior programs, joyous stays at delightful local psych hospitals, several shocks to my brain, and still I am struggling, in fact it’s getting worse. And that sucks but there is something good because even with everything I’ve tried, there is still another option. I will start this option tomorrow and I am very grateful.
The thoughts of death and wanting to hurt myself are so so loud right now but I am pushing through, reminding myself of tomorrow and the hope it offers and also of all of you and the caring and warmth you’ve brought to my life.
I remember in college being at the Disney Store with my friend Michele, trying to justifying buying ourselves Tigger and Winnie the Pooh costumes to wear for Halloween (Once again, yes, I was a very cool college student.)
We finally pulled the trigger on the Tigger and Pooh, reasoning that since we’re Jewish we would be able to wear the costumes twice every year. once on Halloween and once on Purim. The costumes wound up being very well made and we have definitely gotten our money’s worth. My sister even wore mine last Purim at her temple. Ah, yes, Rabbi Tigger.
Beyond double chances for costumed holidays, Being Jewish also means I get to celebrate two New Year’s. One I spent September in the psych hospital and this one I will celebrate tonight out and about with a friend. And those New Years are just the ones on the calendars.
I have spent a chunk of the last four years with this disease not in remission, with fighting suicidal thoughts, with strapping on electrodes, and with thinking I am done.
But I am not.
With this disease I get 365 chances to start a new year again. And without this disease I do too. We all do.
I have been meditating for two weeks – (That year is two weeks old)
I haven’t hurt myself in over 6 weeks (That year is over 6 weeks old)
I started my job in May (That year is seven months old.)
I have been surrounded by supportive friends for as long as I can remember (Going on over 37 years there.)
And so tonight I will ring in another year and hope it is filled with stretches of health, many steps forward, and the ability to enjoy and recognize both of those.
Happy New Year, Friends
I have shared this passage from Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst before but I am sharing it now with guns on my mind:
‘Suicide is just a moment, Lexy told me. This is how she described it to me. For just a moment, it doesn’t matter that you’ve got people who love you and the sun is shining and there’s a movie coming out this weekend that you’ve been dying to see. It hits you all of a sudden that nothing is ever going to be okay, ever, and you kind of dare yourself. You pick up a knife and press it gently to your skin, you look out a nineteenth-story window and you think, I could just do it. I could just do it. And most of the time, you look at the height and you get scared, or you think about the poor people on the sidewalk below – what if there are kids coming home from school and they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to forget this terrible thing you’re going to make them see? And the moment’s over. You think about how sad it would’ve been if you never got to see that movie, and you look at your dog and wonder who would’ve taken care of her if you had gone. And you go back to normal. But you keep it there in your mind.’
I think knowing suicide is just a moment is what scares me the most about this disease and it is why I work so hard to make sure I have so many ways to combat the very real feeling of wanting to end my life when the desire to do so starts to feel overwhelming.
It is also why I am relieved that neither myself nor my parents (whose house I am currently living in) own a gun.
Yes, I am going there.
Over half of all suicides completed are by gun and 85% of people who attempt suicide with a gun are successful.
I have spent many nights wishing I could get a hold of a gun and then the ‘moment’ has passed and I am grateful I didn’t have a firearm.
Our trigger finger can work much quicker than our rational mind and the number of suicides is on the rise in this country.
Of course if you are determined you can always find a way to end your life but why make it easier?
Just something to think about.