Day 71 of 100 creative, intentional steps
“What about suicidality?” the Doctor said. “Have you ever been suicidal.” In mental health care this becomes a disturbingly familiar question. However, what he said next shook me. I sat stunned, swirling his words around in my head. They rolled noisy and disorienting like marbles in a tin can. “With your diagnosis it should be expected that you will feel that way at least a couple more times in your lifetime.”
Suicide is something we aren’t really supposed to talk about. It is the deepest of the dark secrets. To admit that you are so lost, so helpless and feel like you are ruining so many peoples lives is demoralizing. To stand in that place, where your freedom of choice to live or die and God’s sovereignty, brace and then impact is soul shattering. If you survive, the emotional wrestling match itself leaves a scorched earth realization of how you have embraced complete and abject hopelessness.
I’ve been there. It’s surreal. Terrifying. Disconcerting. Dangerous. Depression places blinders against all hope. It blocks out all light and confuses the senses. You feel the confusion of weightlessness, nothingness and at the same time feel as if your heart weighs a thousand pounds. It is to feel the full responsibility of the world tied to you like a ticking bomb and know you are powerless to escape it. All the failures and faults of your life are laid out before you and the verdict is in. You mean nothing. You are nothing and will not be missed. You have failed at what every other person you know has accomplished; just being a basic good human. The sick brain warps what is the ultimate selfish act into one of sacrifice and surrender. In the darkness there are no acceptable answers. No choice is good.
For someone with experience and knowledge to tell me that I will be there again, almost with inevitability, is jolting. But I don’t despair because I am a woman who chooses to live and hang on to Life at every turn, no matter how difficult or useless it seems.
Someday it may get dark again but I’m hoping when it does this work I am doing here will have opened doors to relationships with others with whom I can be completely honest. I’m hoping. I want that for me and for so many others.