Thursday, September 17, 2009

On Suicidal Ideation





Therese Bouchard of Beyond Blue had a gem earlier this month I must have missed.  It was on Suicidal Ideation.

I think I am the Queen of Suicidal Ideation. Right now I have my ibook on my lap, a razor next to me. I want to pick it up, go into the bathtub and play with it. What is stopping me from that? I am writing this, fast, furiously, hoping among hope I can stay busy until the feeling passes and I can put the blade away without any cuts or blood to my person. But oh! It would be so tempting to just pick it up, go into the bath tub, strip down to my underwear, crawl into the tub, run a little hot water so that one delicious vein in my wrist will show, and cut deep.

But what stops me is what if I screw up, and only destroy a tendon. Not loose enough blood to sanguinate?  That is one. But if I mess up and can never use my hands again? I gotta fight it.


And in fighting it, fighting this feeling, I could take Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali down with one hand tied behind my back. I   have been doing this most of my life, since my first attempt at four.

I have learned various tricks to stop it when it hits, write. Write as if your heart is breaking and just keep writing. Don't proof read, just write/type as fast as you can, and when you are in a better frame of mind, proof read, or destroy the manuscript.

Another trick I have learned is to take an ice cold bath. Don't know why but it works. Another trick is to smoke- this probably won't work for everyone but for some reason after a few cigarettes, I feel stable. It must be the nicotine.


Sometimes the feeling comes and goes quickly, in minutes. Sometimes it goes on for days and weeks like it did when I wrote this to Liz Spikol, who was kind enough to print it.  Three weeks ago my mother phoned me and I was crying, begging her to let me come over and pick up the rifle my dad has. That is a rifle for game, not people. It doesn't even have ammo, and hasn't been used in over 40 years. I got over that by staying in the apartment, until it passed.   I don't drive. I try to identify what triggers, if any made me get Existential and want to x myself out of existence.

It's not that I want to die. I  want to stop living. I want the pain- whether it would be real or imaginary, to stop. What is painful to me, may not, as triggers and thoughts go, be the same for another. For me, it's broken dreams. The realization I peaked at 23, and the life I wanted never would happen.Wishing when i was 22 and had a chance to have my novel published, I choked.  From that point on, my writing and my career dreams went down the toilet.  Other things, the fact I am not a mother, that ranks pretty high. Seeing couples being happy and being in love, makes me want to stab myself in the heart and rip it out like an auto-sacrifice of my own in a mock  Aztec fashion. Only I would continue to live, without the heart.  It's not a big deal because I think honestly I am living that way now.


I still feel like I want to go into that good night, not sure if I will hit the publish button or delete. Maybe should try to sleep a bit? Lie down and arrange the pandas in the bed with me. With a bit of luck, the striped one will finish her nocturnal rounds and snuggle. She is my saving grace, my saviour. She leans up near me so close I can hear her breathe, and feel the fur against my naked leg. And it soothes me.

I know I will pray as I do most every evening of my life to not wake up in them morning. To learn if you dream you are falling and you really hit bottom and don't wake up. If a heart attack really hurts. And I have trepidation because I am such a loner and introvert it could be days if not a whole week before they find me. So what ever it is, will be. There are some things I can change, and other things I cannot and I need the courage to know the difference.  And dying, no matter how tempting it seems, isn't. Not now. Not ever.

28 comments:

Not Very Anonymous Mom said...

(((susan)))

Some day you will revise your "To Do" list to be more in keeping with your revised life. You're very hard on yourself.

Love you babe.

Therese Borchard said...

Very courageous blog, Susan.

susan said...

@NVAM- I am my own worst critic. I just haven't figured out how to live my life with the new revised one yet. Love you too!

@Therese, thank you for the inspiration for this piece. i am very grateful.

Anonymous said...

Hugs and comforts to you, Susan. Know that someone out there (me) is sending you kind thoughts.

Littlewolf

Southernbelle said...

((((Susan))))

I haven't been so great myself lately, so I know how it is wanting the pain to stop. I DO want the pain to stop for you, but please, not like that!! You would break so many hearts, including mine!

You are one of the bravest people I know.

Happy New Year, my friend, and warmest hugs to you and the Striped One! :-)

Love,
Patti

Anonymous said...

I would just like to share that every word you wrote could have come straight out of my own mouth. 9 months ago, after 30 years of suffering, I started seeing a proper psychopharmacologist and was put on lamictal. For the last 4 months, I have not had a single suicidal thought. It's a whole new world. Seek the help you deserve, oh precious one.

zuzusu said...

MY SON DID, WITH PLANNING AFORETHOUGHT. I NEED TO FIND HIM, FOR HIM FOR ME. I ALSO LOST TWO OF HIS THREE BROTHERS THROUGH HIS ACTIONS AND HIS ONLY SISTER, ONLY MY YOUNGEST SON HAS HAD THE STRENGTH TO 'KEEP IT REAL'. FIND MY LIVING HELL HERE IN PURGATORY BETWIXED MY BABY LIVING N MY BABY GONE.

Ga OIiz said...

Great writing

Anonymous said...

Dear Susan, thanks for writing. I have had bad depression for years and it is getting worse. I would take my life...but somehow I never really can. Mind you, I'm an anaesthesiologist so I can do it in a nice and efficient way, have all the drugs at home, have toyed with my "suicide kit" several times when I was really really bad but then the moment passed...I don't quite understand what is holding me back. Your writing has shed a little light on it all. Thanks again.
Patricia

Anonymous said...

Writing and even smoking cigarettes are strategies I've used before to tide me over until the waves of hopelessness pass. What you've wrote reminded me of tools I have. Thank you, Susan.

Patrice Butts said...

Thank you sooo much for writing this piece. I thought I was alone with what I was feeling until I read your blog. Please continue to write, I could learn a lot from you.

Anonymous said...

Writing helps me at times. I stopped smoking for fear of getting lung cancer. I have depression and with medication or couseling it never goes away.
I spend a lot of time on suicide ideation. But fear of
the wrath of GOD, that I will spend eteranalty in hell. And how could I hurt my husband & family.? I really dont want to be here, bit I am here so i need to find ways to be thankful.

Anonymous said...

That is what I feel every day, that fight is my life, it's getting to much, I search for answers , I've lost friends, I'm losing my family and no one gets it,

Anonymous said...

I too, sit here with my blade. Same fears. What if t dosnt work. my blade is a surgical scalpel, so it should be good enough. For me its not pain, at least I dont think thats what im feeling.Just an overwhelming pointlessness. I have 4 great grown kids, a good job, and awesome friends who, of course dont know this part of me.I get tired of my head rehashng the same questions every day regarding the meaning of life.I can feel mytime is up.Im hanging in because of the kids, sure. My mum was my age when she succeeded in taking her life.I remember her just sitting staring blankly for long periods in the year before she died, although, it had been on her agenda her whole life. Apparanlty. it is clearly genetic. I have a good life. I wish icould appreciate it.Do I have to drag myself along for another twenty, thirty years.Where does this overwhelming feeling come from. I take all the right meds, Pray, Im just so so tired. Ive no reason nor right to be this way or feel this way, but thereit is.

Anonymous said...

I have always had suicidal tendencies and once, tried to off myself with pills and alcohol. I ended up in the hospital and left my 6 month old unattended wilst I slipped to unconsciousness. Later, the neighbor took her for the period I was in the ER. Since then, my little daughter gave me the strength I needed to go on. Now, she is 14 and my youngest 7, and I am feeling those same feelings again. I will admit, I stopped drinking and smoking pot, which kept those feelings at bay. Now, the REAL me is coming forth, and that shotgun in the closet is beckoning me. I want to taste the metal in my mouth and look forward to ending the pain. Nothing makes me feel better, I feel obligated to be here. I just want to go "home". Fleeting glimpses of happiness, with crashing moments of irritability and anguish preoccupy my day. It seems everyone judges me and wants to tell me what to do or what I should do and how to do it. I feel no one understands, especially my family. I'm supposed to have it all together,right!? I don't want to take medication, I just want to be happy for me and my kids.

out of resilience said...

Can someone please tell me the point of not giving into suicidal thoughts if people end up depressed for 20 years anyway? I feel like there's literally no point to anything I do anymore, especially not if my next 18 years are anything resembling the last 2. I actually hate my family and friends for ever talking me out of it multiple times. I think it would have been the best decision I've ever made.

Anonymous said...

I've been into my depressive episode for several days now, and I'm getting tired of being in this roller coaster of emotions and energy levels that I will know will come back again at some unpredictable time in the future. I'm struggling to ride this out, trying to conquer my demons one day at a time until I reach that point when I would feel a lot better. And then I get into another cycle, repeating the same pattern, struggling to ride out the day, hoping to make it to another day when I would feel less inclined to end it all. And I have been suffering from this for the last 20 years of my life (out of 35) and it's just getting old. I agree with some of you here who says what's the point of living the next 20 or 30 years when you will just be caught in the same patten over and over. On good days, I would be thankful that I'm around and able to enjoy the wonder of life, but somehow those promises of euphoria are not quite convincing enough to get me going. Like some people here, I'm just dragging my heels from one day to another and trying to postpone what I had already done twice in the past. And through all these, despite a supportive and fiercely loyal boyfriend and a well-meaning doctor friend who listens when I'm under 'attack', I'm just plain tired that I will yet have to do this over again a thousand times more.

Ro said...

I just want to go to the Golden Gate Bridge, admire the beauty, say.goodbye and jump, however, my son has a form of bipolar disorder ( I am a clinically depressed person- take meds, had a lot od pro help, a few 3 day observations, blah blah blah ) but if I complete my plan I don't want to risk my son dying by suicide. Also tired of being a burden to my husband, a few close friends, & family.....can't make up my mind..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for helping me realize I'm not alone with these feelings.

Lionel said...

I would like to thank you for sharing your feelings. I was impressed by how similar to you I feel most of the times. I wish things get better for you =)

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful that I found this blog. It's Saturday morning & I've been drinking for days. I want to be sober now because I feel like shit. My life is in ruins. I want to end it all.

Anonymous said...

In the midst of it all, it feels as if happy people are so f***ing delusional. That the bravest thing you could ever do is see yourself into that next life-open the door yourself. In the midst of it it does seem like the best decision you could make. Like your family and friends are the truly selfish ones. Because you merely want to go the way all life will eventually go- to death. They are the fools. They are the ones unable to see that even if you live for another day, or month, or decade- its all for nothing.

Anonymous said...

I'm insecure, not exactly good looking in my own eyes, been single for over 6 yrs, having to watch all my friends in relationships or at least have good guy friends.

All I have going for me right now is the postgraduate degree I'm pursuing. I do not know what I am waiting for though. I know my life will end with suicide. It's just a matter of when and what factor will finally push me.

I'm not particularly explicitly depressed. However, I have been unhappy for so long that unhappiness'sadness is my default mood that I am now content with.

I wish I could say I will never do it. But I will. Someday. There's no place for me in this world.

That being said, I admire your courage to keep going. Kudos to you. I wish I could do the same.

Silas said...

I don't know what brings me here tonight but I am glad i'm here. I'm still here. So many times, something inside me would whisper "wouldn't everything be better if I were to... What is it? What in our genetic makeup... Our eons of evolution that brings us to this point? What purpose does it serve? Yet it's there. But no. Not tonight. Not for me. The words of strangers - your words, have reached something in me tonight. You've penetrated my impenetrable wall. My carefully crafted plan. My irrational rationalization that all would be well if only I could... But not tonight. So, my stranger-friends, have a good glass of wine tonight and think of the unknown faceless person in the crowd. Someone whose path you may, but likely won't, cross someday. You've helped me because this not the night. And for that, i thank you.

Christina said...

I am 33 yrs old and I want to end my life. The thoughts of suicide are constant, there are so many reasons I feel this way and substances that definitely contribute. I'm exhausted! I feel like jumping out my body. All this sorrow n misery literally puts my whole body in agitated pain. I voluntary put myself back in treatment in March of this yr. I am diagnosed w/panic disorder n depression. It takes awhile before your prescribed meds so my intake of drugs n alcohol has increased. Then April 28 2013 my dearest friend of 10 yrs. ended his life. May 5 (his wake) will forever be imprinted in memory. I miss him every day and everyday has been more depressing miserable than the last. Eventually I'll go back to treatment therapy but its not going to be today or tomorrow . I will get through this I will live because what would kill me the most is putting my family to the pain of me taking my own life . its a different kind of. pain when someone takes their life . and I'm also angry I'm angry because its not fair that I have to stay here and deal with everything that's going on and he doesn't anymore. I just want to thank you for your article it does bring me hope at this critical time in my life . And no matter who you are suicide is not discriminate . I wish the best for everyone.

Silas said...

For all of you who continuously ruminate on ending it. I request that you not. Please don't (if asking please helps).

Who am I to ask? Do I really have to say? Yes. I've been there... blah blah so I have both the “street cred” and (lateral) scars to prove it.

Here's what will happen if you carry thru. You'll be dead. Blackness. That’s all. No afterlife. No Hell. No Heaven. No memories. Just darkness. Emptiness. Lucky you. Pain over. Ta’ da.

Oh… but wait. You will leave one thing behind… a legacy. A date, a time, a place where your friends, family, acquaintances will forever be reminded, haunted by what you did.

They’ll never truly understand why. Was it their fault? Probably not. But if they’re kids they’ll convince themselves it was. You might be able to reassure them that “daddy was very sad and decided to go away but it’s not your fault”.

If you’re really lucky, you’ll plant the seed that assures them a painful life of guilt, mistrust, dysfunctional relationships. Maybe they’ll even follow your lead someday. Congratulations! How proud you’ll be. No... but wait… you’re dead remember.


Best of all. you’ll be totally in the clear, my friend. So screw them. Your pain has ended and their pain… well, that’s their problem isn't it? It's their burden... and it will continue… forever.

Forever, you bastard, because unlike you, there is no easy way out. Not for them. Not like you…

Anonymous said...

I too write, praying to not wake in the morning or somehow, any way it wants to, that death finds me. I do not want remedies, I want the end, but am too chicken. Writing is only for myself; putting thoughts to paper, probably thoughts that I wish someone would understand without criticism.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of being told to hang in there or to keep going. I want it to end. Usually it is not about me but this time it is. I want my life to end.

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