I’m dying the most slow, boring death ever. I think I need to do something dangerous to see if there’s any fight left in me at all. I walk down the dark streets alone at night with my headphones on and I dare somebody to try and take my bag. I cross the roads without looking and I challenge each car to not see me coming. What would I do if something real and tangible actually happened? I honestly have no idea.
I don’t have any horrible diseases; I just have anxiety and depression, like everyone else.
My sister wants to live forever and she probably will. I realised the other day that if I’m having my ‘quarter life crisis’ (although, I’m not convinced that’s what this is) in my mid-twenties, does that mean I’m going to live until I’m one hundred? The thought of that fills me with dread. I never thought I’d make it this far.
That sounds dramatic and perhaps it is, perhaps I’m not thinking straight, perhaps I’m ill like they say I am. Thing is, I’m pretty sure that either my brain is irreversibly damaged or that this is just who I’ve always been – I’m just no good at hiding my true self anymore. But in all honestly, I remember my eighteenth birthday approaching and thinking, well I’d never thought I’d make it here. Now it’s several years later and I’m still here and I’m supposed to make plans for the next chunk of life and live as if I’m going to be here for considerably longer.
“Have you felt suicidal at all?” The doctor asks. She is leaning forward with her arms uncrossed in an open, ‘talk to me’ pose with sensitivity shining deliberately from her eyes.
I struggle to answer. I’m not exactly sure why except that my brain is working at 100mph working out what I should say. All I know is that death sounds… relieving. I hate myself each time I have the thought and I think of people desperate to live who know they won’t and I wish I could give them my life because I know I’m going to waste it away with thoughts like this. But relieving is how it sounds to me. Ah, it’s over, gone. No more to do, no more to think, no more.
“Hey, what’s up?” Says the well-meaning friend, stranger, parent or lover.
What’s up is that watching water go down the plughole makes me sad beyond belief. Watching it twist and turn and fade away to nowhere, nothing, gone. My bath is over and I can’t fit down the drain with the water. I have to get out of the bath and LIVE and be glad of it too.
I know, I know. Ungrateful bitch. Spoilt, western, middle-class girl with no real problems so she creates them in her head. Daydreaming of being allowed to die without it being my fault because I don’t want to hurt anyone but myself. But unfortunately it seems that everyone’s connected and apparently people care and even claim to love. How they could love this, I don’t know, it’s baffling.
I haven’t planned it by the way. That’s the next question they ask you – the GP, the therapist, the Good Samaritan.
“Have you made any plans to end your life?”
As if your inability to make a plan means you’re going to be alright. No, I haven’t written a three-step plan for my suicide because there’s not a ‘How To Kill Yourself (with pictures)’ WikiHow for me to plagiarise and because I’m not a fucking idiot. Also, I’m pretty sure my suicide would be impulsive and unpredictable, just like the sunshiny storm of my moods. I didn’t want to die at 7pm but I did by 9pm… What do you make of that, doc?
“How often do you think about death?” This is another favourite question.
Oh, I don’t know. Like, all the time? Like, every time I think about working or loving or being alone or never being alone or Primark or Jeremy Kyle, or Ebola or war or money or computers that talk to you. Or every time I see wheels on a car, or a rough sea, or a box of matches or a shelf of painkillers at the chemist or water going down the drain or a homeless person crying.
I think maybe I’m too nice to my therapist. I only know how to talk like this to myself because I don’t think anyone else deserves this shit and also because obviously, it’s shameful. Death or disaster, death or disaster, death or disaster. What an idiot. I’m sick, sick, sick in my brain and my bones. So I just talk to myself. But myself doesn’t now what to do about it because as we already established – I’m not actually any good at making plans. Am I? I literally don’t know what I’m good at because nothing is good.
So, yes, I want to see what I’d do in a life or death situation. I want to make myself fight for my life. And if it turns out there’s no fight left in me, at least I’ll die doing something cool and exciting and not just from drowning in a bath of my own tears or trying to squeeze myself down a plughole.
Some available support (UK):
- Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mind (0300 123 3393 – 9am-6pm Monday to Friday) email@example.comMind provides confidential mental health information services. With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental distress, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind has around 140 local Minds providing local mental health services.
- Blurt Increasing awareness and understanding of depression. They offer advice and also have a peer support network, a ‘buddy box’ scheme, a free self-care starter kit and an active Facebook group.
- Anxiety UK (08444 775 774 – 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday) works to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including 1:1 therapy