This is a post that is incredibly important to me, and is very terrifying to post on the internet, but I think it’s important, and I hope that someone might be able to get something out of this. I am feeling vulnerable and scared about how raw this is.
Also, Not everyone in my life can see this post, I would appreciate it if you can read it to keep the comments on this post and not attempt to share this anywhere else.
CW: suicide, mental illness
I tried to die last month. The reasons why are long gone from my memory, as if my brain reset itself the second I realized the consequences of my actions and that it was too shocking to hold on to. When you are in crisis permanence is unimaginable, and after that crisis is over, you realize that your reasons weren’t rational or that the pain will eventually pass. I don’t use this as an excuse, it has hard to fight a battle with no real words to describe it, I am glad to be alive, I have been doing well. I have been creating things that I value, and that I think have value to other people. I have tried to take my life once before. That is all I will speak of on that part.
I am often trying to come up with words to help people understand what it’s like to have everything going pretty well on one level, terrible on another, and terrifying on the other. There are so many good things in my life right now. New people and experiences that make me feel grateful for how much I don’t know and how much I’m going to learn. I am making things, I feel loved and I love. Which brings me to the point that a person could have everything going for them and still be depressed. Check in on your friends. There is so much more happenin, and I think mental illness sneaks up on you like this, I make it no secret that the past year of my life has been chaotic to say the least, but I rose to every challenge, I did what I needed to. Still I suffered. So there is pride for getting through the sludge, but there is resentment for continued suffering. I gained some of the most valuable relationships and cut some very toxic people out of my life, but still I suffered. I am working on letting it go, I’m working on being a little better at breathing and a little worse at letting all the stress get to me. When you are sick, there is so much you have to do to take care of yourself, and when you do not take care of yourself you end up in danger.
That is what happened, I neglected a part of myself I knew better than to neglect, and in a way it felt good. Not to be on top of it, it felt good. Giving in to your darkest thoughts feels good, like you’re pulling one over on the world and on yourself. When in reality you’re just lying. Lying by not reaching out, lying by not practicing self-care, lying feels good for a moment, but it hurts in the long run.
Having bipolar disorder is hard, because one minute you are completely even-keel, medications are working, everything is roses. Then there’s the thing where your illness adapts because you’re not being quite as diligent at keeping up with staying healthy mentally, you stop checking in with yourself, or your doctors, and you start telling lies to the people who would push you in the right direction if given the chance. You want to be fine without all of the extra work, because you’re tired, and the extra work makes you even more tired, and if given the choice you’d probably stay in bed so much more than is healthy.
I speak about this because honesty from people who have the same illness as me, who have similar experiences, would have made a huge difference when I was younger. People who glorify mental illness have not experienced or are in denial about the truly dark parts.
The other thing that I value so much is frankness, talking about the feelings immediately before and after, and how always I have felt relief that I did not go too far. I always want to live even if it takes a little while before my survival instinct kicks in. I have always regretted the action, and I have never regretted waking up. Always. I will point out that suicide hotlines are bullshit and if you’re feeling that way please get yourself to an ER. This time I chose not to because of traumatic experiences in psychiatric wards before. Because of that decision, I scared a very good friend of mine, who stayed on the phone with me until I was definitely okay. I can’t express how grateful I am, I don’t think I will ever be able to express how grateful I am to her.
Guilt is useless, but it does not mean I do not feel it intensely, I am working on that.
Hopefully, for me this is a “scared straight” moment, I never want to make that kind of permanent decision ever again. I never want to make another person feel the way that I made my friend feel that night. Unfortunately mental illness is unpredictable. There are so many promises I wish I could make, but I do not want to be responsible for breaking those promises unintentionally. I know how hurtful my actions were and I’m even a little bit sorry for posting this blog, but I want this to allow for some healing on my part, and maybe someone relates to what I say enough to go get help.
I am okay though, I know for some they will need further proof or more reassurances. There is not even a tiny part of me that wants to die, and I’m getting the help that I need, and I am getting better. Healing is not linear, and sometimes it goes up consistently for a very long time and then takes a nosedive, sometimes it goes backwards, sometimes it drops fast and corrects itself faster.
Talk about stuff. Love each other. Don’t choose to be alone.