Yesterday I dumped my medicine into my hands. Pills in hand I studied there weight. I did not feel depressed, thoughts of suicide did not cross my mind. I just wanted to know what they felt like. It was such a surreal urge I can’t forget it. I then looked online for the overdose information on each pill. Two out of the three pills would cause vomiting and a deep sleep, likely followed by death. I looked at this information without emotion. I simply don’t know what possessed me to do so.
I should know the weight of my medicine already because there was a time I felt them before. Years ago, I was young and hopeless. I saw no way out, and the pain overwhelmed me. I wasn’t as open with my depression as I am now, so I can’t help but wonder if the people who loved me know how far I had fallen. I took a small handful of my pills, added some Tylenol for good measure and washed them down with water. I tried to go to sleep but panic set in. I ran to my bathroom and forced myself to throw up.
It all seems so silly now. There was a good chance I did not take a lethal dose of anything. It was like I was just playing at the idea of suicide. We all hold our own lives in our hands. A life is heavy, I have no other way of saying so. Perhaps from time to time we just need to feel how heavy.
Tonight I ran. Mist filled the air, covering my glasses. Music filled my headphones. It was dark and solitary. I could feel the mist on my skin and the movement of my body. I was huffing and out of breath but it was completely peaceful. I could enter a space in my head without malice for myself.
Last night I cut myself. My hand accidentally smashed into a glass light fixture. Blood spilled and dripped onto the floor. The pain was sharp, quick, and the blood was warm. I had a smile on my face, it felt good. I felt nothing but relief as blood oozed out of my hand. Am not proud of this. I stare now at the wound and wonder if I could peel all of the skin off my hand like a glove. Such feelings are better suited for one of my horror stories, but this is my life. Should I feel ashamed for a desire to hurt myself?
I have always been my own worst bully. Sometimes when I have no obligations I oversleep greatly. I’ve told myself that I am such a waste, lazy, fat, a slob. I sleep for over twelve hours till I get hungry enough to leave my bed. I allow trash to build up around me, and call myself the same.
My intelligence and imagination has always been beloved traits of mine. As such it’s something my mind knows to turn against me. If I make a mistake am stupid. Dumb and Stupid often echo in my head over and over. Am a moron, a fool, a child. I seek out and aim for my own vulnerabilities. What I call spiral logic soon kicks in. I bully myself for bullying myself. I feel the need to punish myself further because I punished myself. “It’s stupid to think this way, why don’t you just stop” It’s a constant battle that I fought most of my life. My mind has always taken every opportunity to put me down in my life. I try to fight it, the most effective tactic I learned was not to dwell on such thoughts. That If I call myself stupid or a loser that I let the thought come and go. I don’t think about it more than the first thought, I don’t let myself spiral into a mental argument of why am stupid or a loser. I remove the emphasis and don’t dwell, letting the voice in my head grow weaker. I don’t always succeed, but I try.
Depression and Anxiety can often lead to spiral logic. This is when the having depression or anxiety is enough to make your depression or anxiety worse. It does not take much, just one bad moment or day. Just enough for your mind to feed on. Soon you are depressed because you are depressed, you are stressed because your are stressed and you are having an anxiety attack because you felt anxious.
Your mental health is a gross eater. It feeds on itself growing worse and worse on its own power. You fight so hard, but one misstep no matter how small hurts. Your mind finds that wound and tears it wider and wider as you dwell on it. Every step backwards can feel like a fall off a cliff back to where you started, but perhaps each climb back up gets a little more easy.
Self Harm is a scary trait seen in people with mental illness. It’s something both hard to describe and explain to people who have never experienced it. I used to cut myself. Most often I cut my forearm with a knife used for model building. Although the scars have faded a bit over time they are still noticeable if you know where to look. I often lie about what I was using to cut myself, the rush of endorphin’s caused me to act like an addict. If i did not have a knife I would use my own fingernails. Digging into my skin like am trying to rip if off.
Why did I do it? That is a complicated question. The most simple answer would be to say it was for the chemical rush but there is more to it then that. That need to feel something, anything when your mind is going out of control…that self loathing feeling, I did not have the self value to think it was not ok to be hurt. The pain helped to focus the mind on something…anything. I haven’t self harmed in a long time…but the thoughts still occasionally cross my mind. All I can do is let the thoughts pass, and try not to dwell.
My eyes were always looking for a way out. Every car that passed me by was an opportunity to jump in front of it. Every wire and rope a possible way to hang myself. Every blade something I could carve into my skin. Everything seemed like a possible way out to me. I struggled with suicide for years. It was not something I felt I could share with anyone. Not something anyone could truly understand unless you lived it. So I cried into pillows at night unsure of my fate. I hated myself, hate powerful enough that I could snuff out my own soul.
The words courage and coward seemed to change meaning. I thought I was a coward because I couldn’t kill myself. Others would call it brave, that I had the courage to keep living. All I wanted was to escape. To keep walking till I was far away from all my problems, till my mind stopped bullying me. “To sleep and perchance to dream.” Like Hamlet however I was afraid of what dreams such a sleep would bring.
A warped mind is a warped reality. Trying to convince me to simply cheer up, was like trying to convince me the sky was red. Depression was my reality. It made up my life and was everywhere. The sad moments hurt me, and the Happy moments only reminded me of the bad. I look back thinking on how I would help myself and by extension help others in the now. I have no simple answer. Just someone to recognize my existence and an available ear goes a long way.
Perhaps you have seen this writing experiment before. Sometimes it’s two words, sometimes a sentience. It is no secret I carry a lot of pain for my past. It is easy to fall into thoughts of what if’s, and what would you change. What If’s are cheap. If you spend your life wondering what you could of done in the past, you will never get anything done now.
If I could write a note to myself with only two words it be. “Don’t Run” Running is easy, but sooner or later you will run into a corner with nowhere else to go. When you’re in a corner even the most extreme ways out seem like options to you. However my efforts would be futile. My younger self would ignore this advice like so much other advice because his mind simply wasn’t programmed that way. It was the time I spent between now and then that changed the way my mind worked, and no words can change the mind the way that time can.