How many times a day do I wish I were dead and how often do I get stressed and upset and imagine what it would feel like if I didn’t feel anything at all? Is it strange that my mind gets so tired of fighting the pain and chaos that it obsesses over ways I could die that wouldn’t be frightening?
I want to start by saying I’m not looking for pity. This is not a cry for help. I don’t have a plan to kill myself, and frankly, I’m nowhere near a place where I would raise a hand to take my own life.
I love my life, even though the past few weeks have been difficult. I’ve been trying to do the best I can, but it seems like it’s never enough. I try to do everything and make it so the brunt of the work falls on my shoulders. I wish I were psychic and I could anticipate every need, but I can’t. I need you to tell me when something should be done.
The truth is I’m doing more than I can handle because I feel like it’s expected. Most times, I try to lay down or find a quiet place to clear my head, because I’m at the end of my rope and I need to chill for a few minutes. But I can’t ignore the yelling and the passive-aggressive jabs. Instead of doing what I need to do to take care of myself, I do what you want because it’s easier than fighting. It’s easier to get up and push the pain down inside instead of explaining why I need to decompress.
You don’t listen.
The only emotion I get is anger. Even when I’m trying to be sweet and affectionate, you pull away and snap at me. I don’t say anything because I care more about how you feel. I care more that you are stressed.
I know my emotions don’t mean anything.
So yes, you can imagine I have suicidal thoughts. I envision myself dying in all sorts of ways and floating behind you as you cry over my casket and wish that you’d paid more attention to my feelings. I imagine you wish you had hugged me instead of calling me worthless.
I have feelings too.
As much as I try to get my act together, I can’t seem to shake the depression and anxiety. The brick walls I put up around my mind to keep the voices out have crumbled. The screaming in my head is unbearable. They’re happy because there is no longer anything keeping them from tormenting me.
I’m scared about what my mind is going to do to me.
I’m at the precipice looking down into a bottomless hole. I don’t know what’s at the bottom or even if there is a bottom. I may fall forever until my mind breaks and joins the darkness.
I’m scared I won’t come back this time.
A little boy is crouching in the darkness of my mind, sniffling and crying. He cringes as something keeps brushing against his leg. He can hear the voices in the distance, but the pitch won’t allow him to see anything.
So he cries. He feels despair and dread, but no one cares enough to put out a hand and guide him to the light.
I’m scared I will find myself in a shadowy place I can’t go home from.
I have too much to do. I can’t give in to the feelings that want to take over. Everybody needs me to ignore how I feel and be the person they want. The suicidal thoughts are a byproduct of the stress I’m putting on myself, not an indication that I’m on a path to do harm to myself.
I’m not crying for help. I don’t have a plan. I don’t want to die.
But I do wish my mind could be as quiet as it would be if I were dead. I do wish I didn’t have to fight any more against the scrabbling hands that are trying to pull me underwater. I do wish I could have five minutes of quiet in my mind.
I don’t know how much more I can take. I don’t know how much longer I can pretend I’m a normal father and husband and not a raging lunatic.
So I’m sorry if my suicidal thoughts disturb you. I’m not trying to make you worry. I’m not trying to make you feel sorry for me and go easy. I know you won’t.
I’m trying to survive. This is how I do it.
Try to understand.