“If there’s one thing that I learned, While in those county lines
It’s that everything takes time, You have gotta lose your pride
You have gotta lose your mind, Just to find your peace of mind
You have got to trust the signs
Everything will turn out fine”
– Jhené Akio
I have a semi-colon tattoo on my body, which makes me think how ironic it would be if I did it.
You know: commit suicide.
First of all, I’m a psychology student: Counselling Psychology too, there’s even more irony for you.
So, yes, I recognize my symptoms but like many… I choose to ignore it.
I choose to ignore the feeling that everything’s wrong, because nothing in actuality is.
In fact some would say my life’s pretty perfect.
I’ve got an okay enough job, I mean sure I hate some (most) of my co-workers, and I struggle to find an actual reason to show up every day, but I mean it is a pay check right?
Better than having nothing.
I’ve got my parents, who despite their own differences, would do anything to bring me the sun and moon if I asked.
I’ve got this new (not so much) and amazing boyfriend, who keeps on trying no matter how hard or often I push him away.
I’ve got amazing (enough) friends, who are there if, and when I need them.
But the hardest thing is picking up the phone and realising you don’t know which of them to call.
Who among the many would be able to understand, relate (not that I’m looking for that), or say the right thing?
I don’t even know what the right thing is.
So to continue:
I choose to ignore the feeling that I am in pain, because in actuality there is no physical cause.
I choose to ignore the bottoming out feeling I have in my stomach, because in actuality I’m ‘fine’.
Fine – A definition I’m constantly confused by.
My google definition tells me:
adjective: fine; comparative adjective: finer; superlative adjective: finest
1. of high quality.”this was a fine piece of filmmaking”
◦ good; satisfactory.”relations in the group were fine”
1. in a satisfactory or pleasing manner; very well.
Does this mean I’m satisfactory?
My mood, my feelings, my internal well being?
The thing about depression, suicidal thoughts (call it what you wish) that no one tells you, is that everything is not, in fact, ‘satisfactory’.
I have no appetite; the thought, the smell of food physically repulses me.
Yet I choke down the vomit-inducing reflect and I eat.
I don’t taste it, but I eat anyways.
I eat because my stomach tells me that I have to.
I guess that’s all you really need to survive isn’t it?
A satisfactory working system.
No-one talks about the fine line either.
The fine line about it being either ridiculously easy, or scary difficult to go about your day, your routine robotically.
To complete simple tasks such as going to the bathroom and smiling on your way out to a person who you don’t even know.
To summon all the strength you can find just to get out of bed in the morning and pretend to be okay.
No one talks about that fine line between it being easy to to pretend or it being difficult as fuck to smile like it’s all okay.
Because it is, isn’t it? or it appears that way.
To the outsiders at least.
Thing three people don’t tell you; how easy and wonderful it is to be distracted.
To have not just your eyes averted, but the thoughts in your head, to some carefree distraction, even if it is for only a moment.
It takes your mind off it; of the helpless, drowning feeling.
Simple meaningless conversation does indeed go along way.
Because it’s true, you never know what someone’s going through, and you never know how much your words, or even smile can help them.
Personally, because I know how hard it can get for myself, I try to make each smile to perfect strangers a wonderful one.
You know… the kind of smile that lights your whole face up and reaches your eyes. The smize.
Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t.
But I know sometimes, it distracts me from myself; just long enough to remember that there are small things worth being brave for.
Doesn’t stop the thoughts though.
The thoughts of what it would feel like to open up my wrists and feel the blood flow out.
To feel the pain of a blade going in, observe the skin parting, then feel the warm rush of blood ooze out into the world.
There are the thoughts as I currently stare at my wrists and wonder…
If I nick the vein just right, what would happen?
But these are just that, thoughts.
I’m not brave enough to do it.
People always say that suicide is a cowards way out, but not me.
I believe it’s only the truly brave that can, in fact, commit suicide.
After all, it must take great bravery to choose your own way of exiting the world, however morbid method you choose.
It takes bravery to leave behind such a mess for your loved ones.
And that’s what I’m not brave enough to do.
Make a mess.
Maybe it’s cause my slight OCD-like tendencies abhors the thought of creating a mess, that’s also there stopping me.
I mean it’s one thing to make a mess of my own life, but to do that to those that give me love?
Side note: I take that back, it is a cowardly thing to do – leave such a mess for your loved ones to
deal cope with.
Those same people I believe to shape my life into appearing perfect, I can’t leave them with a mess.
My Mom: God, she won’t be able to cope, not this time. She’d be alone to face everything the world has to yet throw at her. She’d feel as if she failed as a parent (which is the furthest thing from the truth). My mom doesn’t exactly show her emotions well, or even at all sometimes. Over the years I’ve adapted to what certain things she says means,
“Take your time”
“Be careful, don’t drink too much”
“Call me when you reach”
All roughly translates into “I love you”.
Or whenever I have my depressive episodes there’s always,
“Pull yourself together.”
“Behave yourself, you’re better than this”
“I don’t understand, but I know it’ll be okay.”
All means, “ You’re strong enough to make it through this. I believe in you.”
I can’t handle her crying, not in life or even in death.
My Dad: He’d probably wonder if it would’ve happened if he was around more, or use the pity he’d get from others to his own advantage… who knows. To be honest I actually don’t know how he would take it.
My Boyfriend. Fuck… this would be the worst for him, he’d find someway to blame himself. Say it might not have happened if he paid more attention to me, tried more, or even been here in person. I can’t allow that. He tries, maybe not as much as I’d want him to all the time. But he does. I mean after all the mood swings I throw at him, he continues to be understanding, supportive, show me love and somehow above all odds manage to get me to let some of my walls down and love him back. I can’t handle him being guilty for not being here, for not giving me more of his time.
He shouldn’t blame himself, cause it won’t be his fault.
My Friends (Jessica to be specific): She’s still so pretty when she cries but I wouldn’t want her to, I don’t want her having any horrible thoughts about herself. She is beautiful and amazing inside and out. Most of my strength I draw from her, most of my dreams are supported by her. It wouldn’t be fair to crush someone who has given me such irreplaceable, priceless gifts.
Kris: Ugh. If I were do to do it, he’d never survive it, he’d never forgive me. He’s been there unconditionally for me, despite it all. I can’t even put into words how destroyed he would be by it all.
Unforgivable is what it’ll be.
My Co-workers: They’d all wonder how could they not see it coming, they’d all come up with their own theories. Each of them would tell a different story; and each story I’d probably roll my eyes at and hate. But at the end of the day, I would fade; become a memory that they’d mention every now and then with a sad sigh and then go back to their separate lives. To them, that’s what I’d boil down to;
the girl who had so much potential and threw it all away.
My Dog: Ollie, I wonder what it’ll be like for him; to never hear me call him a pupper-fluffer again. Would he always wonder where I am? Would he think that I’m coming back? God. I just can’t.
Maybe if more people had dogs there’d be less suicides.
That’s a lie.
There’s always gonna be suicides. Every human has their quota.
The limit of the world is too much, this is too much. It’s all just too much.
Too much, so I’ll just leave, and I’ll leave my mess behind.
I don’t think I am actually that brave enough to create such a mess.
I am brave enough to wake up every morning and crawl out of bed and do all my mundane tasks.
To do walk my dog, eat six almonds, two eggs and a shake for breakfast.
To shower and to robotically do my make-up.
First we moisturise, then we cream our legs and put on matching underwear. Then we do our brows, try to get them as even and natural-looking as possible, then we do our powder, applied as evenly as we can to hide all our acne marks that we’re insecure about.
Next are the eyes; under-eye eyeliner with black, but only half way across, then we switch to a shiny silvery pink for the other half and our inner corners, attempt winged eyeliner, finish up with mascara.
To complete, we use highlighter on our cheeks, and a setting spray on our face.
I’m brave enough to smile at my reflection.
To truly look at myself; seeing all my flaws, magnified through my eyes.
The fact that one eyebrow seems higher than the other, that the powder doesn’t truly cover the
array of dark spots on my right cheek, or the scar on my upper lip that I got from waxing myself.
That despite the light gloss I coat my lips in, the cracks and crevices still show from my over use of liquid matte lipstick.
I look at all these things and I smile.
And I manage to complete getting dressed; each piece of the puzzle my battle armour, as I step out into the world to face another day.
This, just one small example of the organisation I put into my life.
My boyfriend thinks I’m crazy the way I obsess over organisation.
The way I agonise over having a perfect planner, perfect stationary, a meal prep plan, a gym schedule.
The meticulous way I clean; or rather like to have everything neat and tidy.
The way I organise my desk, my closet, my bag.
All the little things I try to organise, to have in place, are all to not feel the feeling that it’s all falling apart.
If only he knew.
But honestly, how do I put into words how I feel?
I tried once, and he said he got it but I’m pretty sure he didn’t.
Because that’s what people say when they have nothing to say, or rather don’t know what to say.
“I get it.”
No you don’t, not truly anyways.
I myself have no clue what it is, I can barely articulate it.
How do you put it into words the bottomless, feeling-less, numbness?
The feeling where while feeling nothing, all you feel is anger and sadness.
That it takes the littlest thing to trigger you, and the biggest effort to calm yourself so you don’t loose it in public.
You rush to the bathroom and sit in a stall breathing deep, you close your eyes to stop tears from falling because you can’t explain, or even understand why something as insignificant as being brushed up against makes you want to cry.
That something not going according to your plans, is giving you a panic attack, making you feel as if everything is coming apart.
How do you put into words (that make sense) that you wish to be around no-one but simultaneously want to be held and told that it’s going to be okay.
“It’s going to be okay”
Words that I’ve said to myself countless times over and over but sometimes it means nothing.
Words that can help me be brave, if only they come from the right person.
But who is the right person anyways?
For me it can be various persons, my boyfriend, my friends, my mom.
But let’s face it; this is the real world and like most fully functioning humans I keep my emotions bottled up, rarely letting any one see, muchness know what’s going on in my Alice in Wonderland mind.
So I take those deep breaths, I squeeze those tears back, I flush a toilet and I walk back out into the world; checking to see that my lipstick is perfect and my eyeliner unsmudged.
I’m brave enough to go into work and participate in all the unnecessary small talk, while all the morbid thoughts swirl in my head.
To smile at the co-workers, to sit at my desk and do nothing, occasionally looking at the clock, counting the hours until I can leave.
To actually complete little tasks and feel as if they are huge accomplishments.
Because to me, they are.
I’m not sure if this happens to anyone else coping, but it’s actually really fucking difficult to even complete the smallest of tasks.
To finish an essay, or assignment, or applying for a job, a class.
I build myself up to start, and get half way through, and then I almost get to the end; and I want to quit.
I want to give up.
The finish line is right there, I’m so close yet it takes an enormous effort just to make the few baby steps to get there.
For me it’s not the fear of starting and failing. It’s just a fear of finishing and then being told that your effort, your hard work wasn’t good enough.
I don’t care for the recognition, I mean sure it feeds my ego a bit. But it’s that fear of
disappointing the perfectionist in me that always stops me (just for a moment) from finishing what ever mundane task I choose to occupy my time with.
Yet, I manage to be brave enough and cross that finish line.
I am also brave enough to go to the gym and get through an entire work out smiling, and feeling good about myself even if it’s only for a little while.
I mean I coach myself every second of the way through it; to actually complete it and not give into the voice in my head that says,
“Well, you tried, you made an effort… you should quit while you’re ahead.”
I am brave enough to come home and pretend that drinking a glass of wine is not a symptom of alcoholism; that it’s just me trying to dull the pain.
I am brave enough to pretend I’m not on the precipice of it all.
And that’s the final thing (in my opinion) that no one tells you about the muddle in your head and heart.
No one talks about how brave you must be to pretend.
To pretend that it’s all okay
To pretend to smile like if it’s real.
No one talks about the effort you must put into completing the simplest of tasks.
To get up and get dressed in the morning, to drive, to feel like it’s a huge accomplishment that we made it through a day without having anyone see the cracks in our armour.
No-one tells you that they’re proud of you for surviving another day by holding yourself together with tape and glue.
To most it’s not an accomplishment, but us, the broken-on-the-inside-hanging-on-by-a-spiders-thread persons, it is a massive accomplishment.
To simply be brave enough to hold ourselves together.
So maybe I am brave.
I am brave enough to take no action.
I am brave enough to go home, cry for hours on end, and then pick myself up and start the
process all over again.