Monday, April 20, 2009

Secretly Suicidal

Mental Illness creates its own vibrant, colorful reality, which is so convincing sometimes, that it is hard to figure out exactly what is real and what is not.

Things have gotten harder to recall the older I get, because my memory seems to be a casualty of my manic depression. When I’m manic, all I remember is the moment, but when I’m depressed, all I remember is the pain. The surrounding details are lost. Hopefully telling my stories is what will keep me alive, even when death is in its most seductive pose.

People always mean well, but they don’t understand that when you’re seriously depressed suicidal ideation can be the only thing that keeps you alive. Just knowing that there’s a way out- even if it’s bloody, permanent - it makes the pain almost bearable for one more day.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had the urge to die. Death just sounds like a vacation to me. A place to escape the brutal emotional rollercoaster I'm riding alone. To be somewhere else at times, is what my mind craves. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I’m thrilled to tears to be alive and have what I have. Because I know there are many others who suffer far more than I do, yet continue their quest to live each day to the fullest. At times, I believe the world is wasted on me, and that, I think, is reason enough to die.

This past week I’ve felt like I had a monster living inside of me. I think I’ve been rapid recycling. For awhile I savored every smell, lingered over every sensation, and marveled at every creature comfort. But then the inevitable happens, my brain chemistry shifted and my mood plunged back down to despair. I believe I deserve to suffer, and crave the suffocation black nothingness.

Attempting suicide or serious cutting usually jump starts my brain chemistry. Problem is if I cut myself too deep, that means a trip to the ER, with lots of questions, so I won’t seek assistance. Years ago I was scolded by a doctor for being an ‘attention seeker’ and a nuisance. He was so unsympathetic that he refused to give me anesthesia while stitching up my self-inflicted wound. I was dismissed as someone who was wasting their time and I was not deserving of the same care as other injured people

It was never about the attention- I was just trying to relieve some of the emotional feelings, and I went too far. When I cut, I feel focused, appropriately punished, and a bit more in control of myself. I might even be smiling afterwards, because at that moment, I’m feeling more sane than I’ve ever been in my life. So, I will continue in secret. This wound I know how to heal.

My manic phase got me in trouble again last week. It sent me around and around the corner at least 3 times the posted speed limit, and sooner or later I knew some cop would be waiting for me on the other side, eagerly jingling his handcuffs. Luckily I wasn't arrested, but I do have to make an appearance in Sand Springs Court. Since this post is getting long, I'll finish writing about it tomorrow.

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