There have been so many blog posts I have started to write in my head and just haven't. It's so ironic that I started this blog in an effort to de-stigmatize mental illness, and then just couldn't really get into the thick of things once my mental illness had me by the throat.
I was fired this summer -- I still haven't gotten any unemployment, and I have an appeal hearing this week, so I'll leave the full details for another day -- but the day I got fired, I was going to call in sick. I wasn't feeling well mentally, so I talked myself out of calling in sick, because even I fall prey to the idea that mental illness really isn't "real" sickness, and I got up and went to work anyway. I then proceeded to make a mistake that day which got me fired.
I've been unemployed since then, and struggling to make ends meet. In the last month, though, things have gotten dark. There has been a confluence of circumstances -- money running out, other consequences from money running out, my car pretty much dying -- the anniversary of my father actually dying of cancer and my cat dying 10 days later, feeling like I need to take my current cat to the vet and not being able to afford it, the days growing shorter and darker, all conspiring to make things fucking bleak. Like sleep all day kind of bleak. Darkest my days have been in a really long time.
And dark enough, long enough, hard enough, where those low level, mean nothing, "God, I just want to not exist/just want to sleep forever/wish I don't have to be here" sort of thoughts that I think everyone has (but doesn't) turned from a ratio of 98/2 to like 70/30 I want to not live anymore.
And I hesitate even putting this out. I started writing this knowing why I was writing it, and now even here, I'm chickening out. But fuck it. I'm writing this because I'm stil here. And because I didn't get close to anything. I'm writing this because I started to creep myself out at some point --- when I started to consider options more strongly -- what would be most effective, what I could really handle doing/going through with, was my cheesy online will really legal (it's not, it needs to be executed)?
I knew these thoughts were far beyond anything I had ever really dealt with before. I knew that I was wandering into dangerous territory. But I didn't want to scare anyone by talking about it, and I most certainly did not want to go to the hospital. I wasn't quite *there* yet. I still had enough wits about me to know I wasn't quite, quite there.
What do I mean by that? Well, I still was thinking clearly. I still was able to form clear, rational thoughts, even though most of them were about how awful my life was/is, and how much of a loser I was/am, and how things would be better off without me/no one would care if I was/were gone. I was crying a lot and pretty hopeless, but I still had a desire to live. I knew that I didn't want to die, I just didn't know what else to do, so daydreaming and wishing I had the energy and/or balls to do something about it was somewhat comforting.
Again, why do I tell you this? Not to scare you. I am telling you this because IF YOU FEEL THIS WAY -- tell someone. It helps just to talk about it. BUT, I won't lie. Pick your people wisely. Pick the people who, if you can, understand these things. Who know a little bit about this. Who have maybe gone through this before. Who understand this kind of shit from the inside out. I pray that you have people.
I am blessed to have a sponsor who is one of my people. She understood all of this. She was not rushing to call 911 or get me to a hospital. But, I understand that most people could and *should* take talk of wanting to die VERY seriously. When I don't know someone, I do. You should, too. It's not something to mess with.
But I also know that there's some power in talking about it. I had a strong suspicion that keeping it entirely secret was what could eventually lead to my demise. That was what would be the thing that would eventually get me killed. Talking about it and telling other people who could hold space for me is the thing that is slowly, VERY slowly, letting me get some perspective around this.
I'm not going to lie. It's helping, but it's not making it instantly better. Sometimes, I feel like it makes it worse. Sometimes, I think the wrong people just think I'm more crazy or give me pity or think I'm a wretch. This might be a big mistake, too.
But, I'd like to think that if one person can read this and realize that they are not alone, something will be accomplished by my having gone through (going through) this. That it will not be in vain. Also -- I never remember to use this myself, but there are trained people at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1.800.273.8255) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone and online. Confidential and free.
Honestly, there are enough people overdosing and getting killed in car accidents and dying of cancer. So, we should probably be not killing ourselves. Call the hotline if you need to. Drop me a line. So, yeah. Good times. I'm working on it. Keep the faith, people.
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