[CN: this entire post is about suicide]
So, as most of you probably know, I have not been very well recently. Okay, that’s an understatement, I have been really rather ill recently and have ended up under crisis team again due to my wanting to kill myself and the whole paranoia thing.I’ve been going to the hospital a lot this week, sitting in silence or occasionally offering up a few mumbled words to the various CPNs I’ve seen as they try to gently encourage me to do something to try and kickstart my brain from its alternating inertia and suspicious arousal. And mostly I sat there just thinking (and occasionally saying) ‘this is totally and utterly fucking pointless.’
The thing is that even though this whole episode kicked off for fairly obvious reasons, that’s not what’s really underlying my desire to die. The problem is that I have, in the words of my psychiatrist, “a relapsing-remitting condition”. When explicitly asked whether I was going to get sick again even if I improve this time, she skillfully dodged the question. The brutal fact is that I almost certainly will get sick like this again. Or go manic again. Or some ungodly combination of the two. Even on meds it’s still likely that I will get sick. This is my third episode this year (admittedly the first 2 were probably caused by me fucking around with my meds (which I hate but that’s another story)). I’m tired. I’m really fucking tired. I know I have it a lot better than some other people, but it feels never-ending at the moment, particularly when you add in an anxiety disorder, and an eating disorder what floats along after me like a shadow ready to devour my life should I let my guard down. I’m never 100% healthy.
A lot of what has been making me want to die is that I just don’t want this to be my life. I was diagnosed 6 years and 6 days ago so you’d think I’d have got used to the idea I have bipolar by now, but I haven’t. I have not adapted my thinking to the fact that in certain specific ways everything I want is almost certainly going to be harder for me than most of my friends who don’t have mental health problems (or other disabilities). The life I dreamt of now seems a million miles and a massive battle away. So yeah, not exactly rosy. But more than that, the fact that even if I never did any of the things I want to do – if I remain childless, if I don’t try and pursue a job that is a bit less awful than the one I currently have – I’m almost certainly going to get sick again anyway. That’s a lot to take in. And honestly, makes me want to not bother at all. The CPN the other day told me I should “try and live for the periods of wellness in between episodes”. “That’s just cruel because then as soon as I have something it’ll be taken away again” I spat back. And I stand by that. Everyone will probably say it’s the depression talking, but I really do think my wanting to die is entirely rational. I have good reasons that are very difficult to argue with (trust me, everyone has, I’m yet to hear a convincing counter-argument.)
So why is this post called “choosing not to die” if I’ve just laid out a case for why I want to die? Well essentially because today I realised that I’m not going to kill myself today. Or probably tomorrow. And I don’t even know why really, I just sort of realised today quite suddenly that I’m just not going to. Not a decision as such, just a realisation. I will probably survive this episode, even though I promised myself last time that I wouldn’t go through another one (I’m a bit shit at keeping promises to myself…)
Now before anyone breaks out the streamers and party hats, this hasn’t exactly been the best realisation I’ve ever had.
If you type “choosing not to die” into google you get a lot of stuff about actually choosing to die. Which isn’t exactly what I wanted to read as I know full well that no doctor would ever support my decision to end my life, because I am mentally ill. That’s just the way it is. What I was looking for was something that would help me deal with the dread and fear of the realisation that I’ve (albeit temporarily) opted to not opt out of a life that – for the above outlined reasons – will involve periods of illness again and again. I didn’t want some trite shit about how wonderful it is to choose not to die. I wanted some recognition of just how heavy a decision it is, how painful. What it’s like to abandon your exit strategy for a life you still don’t really want. But there wasn’t really anything so that’s why I’m writing this even though it feels like I’m really baring my soul in a way I’ve avoided for a long time, if I’ve ever done it like this, and is probably a really shit post and I hate myself for writing it….Whatever, I just wanted to acknowledge that realising your not going to kill yourself this time and all the crushing reality of that are fucking hard things to deal with. People without these experiences really don’t want you to die, but I’m not sure they necessarily get how horrible it is to realise that you’re actually going to have to live with this shit. So here you go, if you’re in the same position, that makes two of us at least, we’re not totally on our own feeling like this.
Of course I hope I never feel like this again, but I probably will and I may well make a different choice next time, but for the time being I’ve somehow got to find a way to live with living…It’s a work in progress.