Can’t live for tomorrow, tomorrow’s much too long
The Holiday season is a really hard time for me. As much as I enjoy many aspects of Christmas; there is a lot of things this time of the year that make my head a very dark space. I try to balance it out by over saturating myself with the things that make me happy this time of year: being with loved ones, Hallmark Christmas movies, baking, and Christmas music. I know I am not alone in this struggle, there is a reason why Christmas music can be so fucking sad.
I know it makes people uncomfortable when I talk about death and suicide; but I also know I am not alone in my struggle with suicidal ideations. As it is something that is taboo to talk about, so many people just keep it to themselves and internalize it. I say fuck internalizing it, and fuck the people who villainize people who commit suicide. If you had to live in our brains, and fight our illness you would understand it.
I first remember thinking about killing myself when I was 7. I don’t remember why, or the details surrounding the thought… I just did not wish to exist anymore. I was a lonely sad kid with an abusive parent and I just wanted out. Ever since then suicidal ideations is as normal to me as breathing. This has obviously had an impact on the lens through which I view life. I have never been afraid of death, if anything I feel anger towards death. It has taken people from my life who wanted to be here, and left me stranded.
I want people to know that when I say I am angry with death leaving me here, that I am not actively suicidal. I don’t have any intention of harming myself. I made promises that I intend to keep. Being medicated, going to therapy, doing all the things I do to make myself okay have taken the urgency out of the need to go. I struggle to do my best so that I am not letting myself fall apart. I want to live the rest of my life with at least a modicum of happiness.
That being said, I want you to understand that living with mental illness (for me) is fucking exhausting. Sleep has always been my depression super power. I spent most of my life unmediated and untreated and living in that numb miserable existence was at times unbearable, so I slept. A lot. It was my reprieve, and the only reason I managed to keep my shit together. I was able to pretend that life didn’t exist even if just for only a little while.
Now I have all my tools, but I still have to actively manage my illness. I have to be mindful of all kinds of different things to ensure that I don’t fall down a rabbit hole of darkness. This is exhausting in a totally different way, and the reason that napping is essential for me to keep my energy up. On my good days, I don’t need a nap. But on days that are emotionally/mentally taxing I need my nap.
This exhaustion that I feel is a major reason why I am so suicidal. I want to be normal. Don’t fucking tell me “what is normal” bullshit. That is the biggest lie people tell others who are like me, and it makes me want to throat punch them. We all know what normal is, and it’s obtuse to try and obfuscate things in order to try and make someone feel better. I want a life without mental illness, without having to constantly untangle childhood traumas. That is normal.
I would love to have a life where when shit gets bad my go to self soothing method isn’t planning my death. Alas, I do not have this luxury. So suicidal ideations it is. The power of knowing that I could end it whenever I want. That if things got too big, too heavy, too much that I could just hit that big red button and peace the fuck out.
These last few years, that desperate need to hover over the big red button has lessened a great deal. Rather than a few times a week, it’s maybe once or twice a month. However, my brain likes to give me intrusive thoughts that I do not welcome. It comes in two different forms:
- A gentle reminder, or a friendly nudge. I could be having the best day of my life and my brain will be like “hey, don’t forget we want to die” or “hey, let’s think about offing ourselves”. Those gentle reminders are easy to fluff off. It’s like, not the time or place dude, but thanks. I am quickly able to redirect myself to positive things and focusing on the present moment so my brain fucks off and gets with the program
- Peer Pressure. When I am at my lower moments, not having any spirals but just feeling meh and tired, The peer pressure comes in. These are more forceful thoughts, and very difficult to fluff off. It can be very consuming and difficult to pull myself out of. My brain just likes to remind me how great it would be if we no longer existed, and I get this verbal slideshow of all of the reasons why I don’t want to be here anymore. It takes a lot of redirection and focusing on other things to get myself out of this head space.
Living with my mental illness, including these thoughts, as stated previously, has definitely changed the lens through which I view life. I cannot watch sad movies, especially with suicidal characters. It’s too much for me, I identify too strongly with that need to leave and it puts me in a bad head space. Innocuous moments in films that for most are no big deal, for me it can mean that I fall apart emotionally. In I am Legend I identified so strongly with the main characters loneliness, that when he lost his dog, I lost my shit. I was absolutely gutted by this scene and my husband had to put me to bed because I wouldn’t stop crying.
~SPOILER ALERT!!!~ Deadpool 2 is another example of this. All Deadpool wants is to die and be reunited with his lady, and I felt that so hard. At the end of the film, when he is FINALLY reunited with her I was so happy. Then he gets yanked out and back into the real world was devastating for me. I have not cried so hard at the ending of a movie in a really long time. I know, I know, some people say that there is the cut scene at the end where he goes back in time, but I don’t believe that has any bearing on the actual story going forward.
The thought of finally getting that release and then being brought back is a devastating to me. Despite this, I feel I am making the best of my life. I am doing what I can to enjoy the day to day of my time here. However, I have a really difficult time thinking about, and planning for the future. I have viewed my life as temporary for so long, that it is difficult to frame it as anything else. I am working on it, but it is not easy and I frequently have to check my self and realign to the idea that my future could include me living past 40.
I cannot honestly say that if I was given the opportunity to leave that I would not take it. I can say, that no matter how strong the urges are, I will use all my tools to combat them. I do know that my tether to this world, and the energy to fight is the love I have for my husband. He is my home, and I want as much time with him as I can have. Of course I cannot possibly leave my cats, no one could smother them with love the way I do.
So when I say to you, I am suicidal. I am saying that the “peer pressure” is getting intense and I am really struggling to balance myself. I am struggling with my mental health. I tell people this so that they will be gentle with me, and understand that I may withdraw, that I may need more naps. Depending on who you are, I may just need a hug. But you do not need to worry that I am going to harm myself. I’m just taking care of myself the best way I know how. I am communicating so that people know where I am at, and maybe they can share with me that they too are struggling. That they need some encouragement. I can do a great many things by myself. I am a very independent self sufficient person. I have learned however, that I cannot maintain my mental health without the family I have cobbled together for myself. Love really does give you strength, and the will to fight.