all in your head: living with a mood disorder
s u i c i d e a n d s u r v i v a l warning: this page contains descriptions of suicidal thoughts and attempts. if this will be a trigger for you, please do not read on
I haven't been suicidal for quite a while now . . . but its so hard for me to feel safe. Suicidal impulses tend to sneak up on me. Its more frightening for me to have those thought sneak up on me suddenly than to be actively suicidal (i.e. to be consciously thinking about suicide). At least when I am conscious of these impulses I can fight them.
My actual 'attempts' weren't conscious. I didn't realize that I had been suicidal until later. One time, when I was tweleve years old or so, I remember taking 30 or 40 pills just to see what would happen. They were an assortment of over the counter medications, Advil and Tylemol and such. Nothing happened, and it wasn't until years later that I realized that it was a suicide attempt.
But how can you fight that? The times when I have been actively suicidal I have been able to fight. I have never attempted suicide in a planned and orderly fashion. I have never carried out any of the plans that I have made. I have been able to resist taking that handful of pills to kill myself.
I remember one specific time I was in my room, curled up in my bed. I wanted to die. No, that's not right. I just wanted the pain to end. I hurt so much that I didn't think that I could take anymore. Suicide seemed like the only way out. I reached out and found the bottle of Trazadone that my doctor had prescribed for sleep. There were 40+ pills in that bottle. I held it, I caressed it. I didn't want to take it, but I couldn't see any other way. Do you see? I wanted the pain to end, but I didn't want to die. It was just the only solution that I could see.
Times before, when I had gotten to this point, holding the bottle had been enough to calm me. Knowing that I had the means to do it was enough. But this time it wasn't. I opened the bottle and poured the pills into my hand. I could barely hold them all. I stared at them for a long time.
I wanted so much to take them. Even just one to help me sleep. Sleep would help, I knew. That blackness would make the pain go away for a while. I rarely get nightmares. But if i took one, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to stop. I would keep taking one, and another one, and another until there were no more left.
Knowing that I can't ask for help when I am in crisis, that picking up the phone or calling for my mother is too hard, I knew that if this mothod would kill me I would very likely die if I started taking the pills.
So I started thinking about what finding my body would do to my family. I knew that they would feel horrible. I thought about that, and after a while I could put the pills away.

This is a very hard section for me to write, so if this ends up being on the short side, bear with me and check back later . . . I'll add more. This is an important topic.
Sometimes I think about killing myself. Its not that I want to die. I don't. But sometimes just being alive hurts so damn much that I would do _anything_ to make it stop.
I have found ways to numb myself when the pain gets too bad: eating, cutting, drinking . . . but they are all self destructive in their own ways.
I don't usually drink because I am afaid of the loss of control it induces. Sometimes I am hanging on by a thread, and my self control is all that keeps me alive.
Cutting only helps for a little while, and it works less and less well each time I do it. I get so afraid that, to survive, I will have to keep hurting myself worse and worse. I've already graduated from little scratches to deeper cuts and burns. What's next?
And eating, well, its hard to let yourself eat when you live in a society that condemns the overweight. I am naturally on the full figured side and when I get depressed, I tend to eat. (sometimes I barely eat at all, but that happens very rarely) Its hard to feel good about yourself when you are depressed and you keep gaining weight, slowly but surely. (and who has the energy to spare to begin an exercise program? i spend so much energy just getting through the day.)
But I will do anything that keeps me alive. When I realize that I am getting tired of fighting, that I want to just lay down and die, I start to cry. There is so much out there that I could do, if it wasn't for this damned illness.

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