Mental Warfare

TW/CW: Depression, Self Harm, Suicidal ideation 

It turns out, the cure for months of suicidal ideation is getting really fucking physically sick.  

To rewind, we know my circumstances. They haven’t changed. I am not always as honest about the severity of my thoughts because it’s a) hard to be that candid and b) scary to be that dark. But here we go: for months my mind has bounced around between ways to end my life, reasons it would be completely justified and the sporadic reason to live. The reasons to “stay” are always small “I need to see my sister tomorrow” or “I want to wish Jordyn a ‘Happy Birthday’”. 

Is it stupid to want to end your life over being stuck? 

Isn’t this more than stuck?  

I wrote to my former Dean and told her I needed help. I didn’t know what kind or what she could do. I told her I had tried everything to get every KIND of job. I told her everything in a matter of sentences and she could sense my despair. We have a phone date Thursday. I’m not sure what there is to say, but our conversation is my reason for today and tomorrow. 

So, like I said, physically sick...last week I woke up and my throat was on fire. What was first assumed to be strep, after testing was not, and after seven days of fever fluids ER visits, and way too many prescriptions, I still couldn’t tell you what’s wrong, technically. I do know that when faced with the choice of putting up with the pain for one more second or fighting it with meds, I took my ass to the hospital.  

Surprising. For someone who doesn’t want to live? 

I put on my counselor hat. Jessica, you know that most people do not want to end their life, they simply want an end to the pain they feel, right?  

I was annoyed with myself and bit down hard on my cheeks until I could taste the unmistakable satisfaction of blood. Of course I knew that. I had considered all of it. Had I not been, for 18 months, looking for full time employment? Had I not stayed in therapy as long as I could to fight? I was exhausted. I am exhausted. But still, when push came to shove, I surprised myself by continuing to fight the pain.  

I surprised myself by continuing to pray hasn’t felt like God could hear me.  

I stared at the needle in my arm for hours as it ushered in fluids.  

Why was I getting help to get physically better only to return to a life I— 

I shut down the thought. I didn’t know what was coming but it wasn’t anything good. I knew that. I’m not in a place where I can ingest much good but at least I can stop the bad. Well, sometimes. Sometimes it takes something else...

But I’m so tired of crying and hurting. I’m noticing that clearly I have the mental fortitude to battle this whole depression thing. If I can handle all this bad, God why won’t you give me something good? Why can’t I have a job? Why won’t you trust me to take care of myself? Clearly I’m doing it. Barely. But I’ve done EVERYTHING haven’t I? 

I see why people break up with God.  

I also understand why people commit suicide. I don’t think they are selfish. I also don’t think they are brave. I think they maybe the unknown just became a bit too heavy with fear.  

I know why people Self harm. I do it because it’s the only thing that turns the bad thoughts off mid spiral and brings me present. It’s why I bite my cheek. I’ve never cut on purpose or consciously. I’m not opposed.  

I know why not having money makes you want to kill yourself. Because people don’t treat you well, when you don’t have money. I’ve watched strangers friends and family all react to the arc of the last few years of my life very differently. Seeing myself in their eyes has distorted the view I’ve held of myself at times. As if, having a job and money were prerequisite for compassion or respect. 

It’s a mess this piece. But I’m going to publish it because I want to be able to come back and know exactly how I decided I was worth fighting for. How I decided my life didn’t need to end on my own accord and I could endure just a little more unknown.  

Slowly I give myself new work:  

  1. put a brick wall between you and anybody who makes you feel you are hard to love. You don’t need that shit right now.  
  2. Everyday you find a reason.   
  3. Having money or a job or fancy career or a house or whatever things you can possibly dream up, cannot equal your worth. You’re worth so much more than things.  
  4. Anyone who can’t see you or your worth doesn’t need convincing, they need conditions. Protect your peace.  

I keep thinking any day now someone is going to call me and say “I know someone who is hiring right now, send me your resume”. Or “I have a spare bedroom, come write and get some peace for a month”...but there’s clearly no way out coming any time soon. I’m too sane or scared or both for suicide attempts for now. ((I don’t mean ‘sane’ judgmentally I mean it clinically)). I’m just stuck in this place where I can’t win and I can’t die. And so for right now I don’t really know what to do with that. I hope one day I am glad I didn’t attempt even if today I don’t see the victory. 

I guess I still have hope in this thing turning around and for today that’s good enough.