Fair warning: this article speaks candidly about thoughts of suicide. If you find this may trigger you, please cease reading any further. Please reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist, who can meet you on your level. There is no shame in seeking help. If you feel no one else is available to you, please do contact the Suicide Hotline (U.S.A.) at 800-273-8255 or chat HERE.
When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels. –Edward Dahlberg
I’ve been away from exploring my mind for a while. The self-imposed project of my Leave of Absence adventure has been at the forefront of my consciousness. However, it has not been the only thing pressing my cerebrum tightly. Thinking is a daunting proposition, and trust me, I do so much of it.
This post will not be populated with quaint little pictures to distract you from all the words. It will be chock-full of words. The ones that challenge some, entice others, and insult yet another group. Not that my words only captivate 3 separate audiences. That is just me being lazy in categorizing. In all honesty, we all enrich many different types of audiences. The number is not endless, but we impact so many different groups of people, that we never can truly gauge who we are touching, good, bad, or indifferent.
I am currently feeling the pressure, all self-induced, to fulfill things. Activities to complete continue to derail my preoccupation with my depression, my anxiety, and try to cultivate a desire to stay alive. Or in the very least, an attempt to derail. It is scary what I wake up to. No amount of questioning these voices of dissension seems to drown their message. Yet I keep plodding away, like a worker bee.
The things fueling my stress are as follows:
- LoA project blog entries
- Regular check-ins with this blog, mentally
- Editing pictures for IG (if you feel inclined, you can peruse them at your leisure: skwarshtherhino – using one of my few pseudonyms)
- Trying to get the wheels spinning to continue adding new chapters to my novel
- Maintaining focus at work
- Managing my mental well-being
- A recent side-project for a dear friend of mine
- A list of upcoming projects with a client of mine
- Checking in on a recently divorced friend
- Said friend recently had to put their only dog down
- Said friend recently got diagnosed with a new mental disorder that is proving to be a challenge to understand, for both them and myself
- Mitigating memories of ex
- Ruminating the commonality of personal failures in past relationships
- Realizing I didn’t have any follow-up appointments with therapist, so possibly 2 months from next one
- Find a new position to transition to at work
- Debating if I should go workout again
- Questioning all levels of sanity regarding perusing dating apps is even a good idea now or ever
- Worrying about how I will fuck up any future relationships
- Wondering whether the next little flair up of drama is enough to possibly snuff out my flittering flame
These are the items that I can concretely put to words. Never mind the speed-of-light synapses of other thoughts fueling the sensation of drowning, without a sticky name tag. It is all so much. This is all so perverse to stay abreast of. Diligence is great, but this is a project manager’s worst nightmare. Discombobulated trains of thought leading to multiple mental train wrecks.
I have been working for a couple of weeks since coming home from my LoA trip. Do I feel fulfilled from the trip? Yes and no. If there is anyone who can make shit complicated, look no further. While my concerns on the trip were limited, basically for my and Ellie’s survival, now that I am back in the ‘real world’ I am reminded why I want so badly to escape. Numbing the pain, as I view it, is not an option. I am a poster child for one who should be abusing alcohol or narcotics, yet I do not.
I must be a responsible owner of my actions. I have a spotlight shining down on me. Some people respect me, some revere me, others do not know what to think of me. If I polarize someone, I am responsible for it. I did it wittingly, with purpose. It is all a test. It is merely a test to see if anyone warrants my attention. Why do I test people? To avoid the unkind conversations later that serve no purpose other than to let two ideologies collide. That is drama, I cannot make time for that. Pushing someone away with a joke, with certain syntax and style of communication, has become second nature.
I wish I could abuse drugs and alcohol. I wish it, but I fear the natural consequence of those actions. The loosening of my mind, my tongue, my thoughts, and my actions. I fear I would lose any buds of nascence, some of my sentience, and possible prescience. I yearn to let all these intrusive thoughts loose into the wild, outside of the confines of my mind.
I have heard and read stories of people opening up parts of their minds by experimenting with certain drugs. Sometimes with the aid of a government and others by peers alone. It seems so enticing, but what if I were to become as neurotic while using such devices, as I am dealing with the emotional and mental pain, I lavish upon myself?
Well, that cerebral waltz must come to an end. Questioning why I cannot do things for the possible exploitation of my mental well-being is not viable. My mind feels like a ticking timebomb. I am equally as pensive about the explosion as everyone else. When I share with people my story of walking into 3 separate wolf pens, some asked if I was scared. Honestly, I was not. What better way to die than by the mouths of those you cherish.
I would have loved, if there was an after-life, that I got to hang out in the break room to share my story. “Hey kid, how’d ya get here?” “Well, the best way possible. A wolf snapped at the right time, and I willingly submitted to its jury, judgment, and execution. I died by that which I adore. Who can say they had an enjoyable death?”
This brings me to another salient point that plagues my mind. I bet, if we were to poll others with suicidal ideation, that there would be heavy agreement on the passive death scenario. Wishing something well outside of our control, would intervene and take our life. The passive suicide. Wanting it to happen, but lacking the courage, hoping life would figure out a way to ‘pull the trigger’ for us.
I find myself thinking so long and hard about if only I could transfer the rest of my ‘life force’ to someone else. I suppose there is a way I could do that, but it entails an awful lot of research, and money, which I do not have. The movie ‘Seven Pounds’ with Will Smith, was exactly that. It was an affluent person, who got to vet who would get his body parts, he would donate. All because he felt terrible pangs of guilt and responsibility for his wife’s death in a horrific car crash, as the plot denotes.
This timeline showed a contrite person, trying to right the wrong, something outside of his control. How many times do we bear witness to this style of penance? It seems rare, but guilt weighs heavy on people’s hearts and minds. Well, oddly enough, speaking only for myself, but suspecting others may also feel similar, I walk around with guilt too. I walk around with the guilt of knowing I am taking life away from someone who desperately wants theirs. I am envious of those who find out their lives will be much shorter than they envisioned.
I seek death passively. I wake up wondering why I am still alive. In fact, in my novel, the very first word I penned is in quotations, “Fuck…” A sensation I completely empathize with comes out on paper with conviction and blaring honesty. Since coming back from my LoA, I still fight the urges. This is a fucking battle, that honestly, I have no fucking clue if I am ever going to win, be triumphant. Then again, what is the rubric of success?
The list up top is a smattering of what my mind deals with. Paying attention to how I operate, if I am in the throes of helping people, I tend to lose sight of the barrage of thoughts justifying my demise. If I am out in the woods, seeing the adornments of nature, I lose myself in its beauty. Then when I snap out of my fairytale of life, I realize, I am merely a thief of someone else’s hopes and dreams to have my life.
It is not that I do not appreciate what I have. Maybe I appreciate it more. Maybe the constant bludgeoning from life gave me the insight to appreciate the good times. It is so sad that I even appreciate the bad shit, the abuse I endured as a child. Now, that is perverse and twisted. To avoid valuing the shit I went through, is akin to reading a redacted government document. You lose context with so much content removed. You lose all perspective of the story without that context.
Nothing that I endured as a child, would I ever wish to see re-enacted on another defenseless human being. It makes me far more in tune with abused children and adults. The scapegoats of treachery. The testaments of out-of-control power loosed without limits. To hear a child suggest they want to die, perks my ears. I went through so much, and yet I feel violated and worthless. To have this wiped away by some Pollyanna Prophet presenting the point, “it was not your fault”, does not make life easier. It does not wipe the slate clean.
I continue to work with my therapist. I actively seek out podcasts that reference trauma. I don’t do it to make me feel better or to give me an excuse for being such a loser. I do it to better understand myself, to compartmentalize ideas I never thought of or had introduced to me. I sift through other people’s interpretations of life and circumstances. I do not do it to ease my pain. I must understand this fucking pain. I must get to the genesis, understand the impetus, the very crux of the matter.
We all have our baggage. That theme is a universal constant. I have worked so hard not to fall prey to cloying defense mechanisms. I listened to a podcast today, that spoke of them, and I had to reflect on which ones I appear to have used. Today, I determined that I applied intellectualization and sublimation to my most recent breakup. I hemmed and hawed over the facts and the emotions of the curious timing of the breakup. I applied sublimation to exhausting all of these emotions into an onslaught of words, here.
The ultimate reason I put this post together, is to share that I am struggling. Even with 7 weeks of continuous distraction and removal from the sea of emotions. Though, I did not lose myself in the relationship. I was the same person through the whole fucking relationship. I did yield some of the control of my time and tolerated drama that I should have shunned. Hindsight gives me that luxury. I still had plenty of days where I wished I was dead, even in the throes of suspected love. That alone helped me identify with this person’s eldest child who expressed wanting to die to their school friends and later school counselor.
What little heart I did have, felt for this 12-year-old child. The empathy snuck through. As my therapist shared before, it makes people uneasy to be around people whom they do not know will be there tomorrow. I am a walking talking encyclopedic entry on living with this fucking overwhelming sensation. I was Johnny-on-the-spot. And I was disposable. Pain has its place. The fear of discovery we find when people redact parts of themselves (or documents) steals away the meatiest form of definition.
I would not wish upon anyone to have constant hankerings of dismality. If I lost this aspect of my persona, I truly would not be able to understand the pain others endure in their minds. I wouldn’t be the chaos whisperer to those with less fortitude. Yes, I feel lost, yes, I pine for that which I cannot have right now, but it does not make me less worthy. While I do not understand why people want to be around me sometimes, the common thing I hear is that I am authentic. Redacting my authenticity means I will lose my ability to appreciate where you have been.
If you need superficiality, cool, look elsewhere. You want a good time that lasts a short while, cool, look elsewhere. You want someone to help balloon your frail ego, cool, look elsewhere. Do you want a real conversation? Do you want someone who will pose questions you are not asked a lot? Do you pine for someone who will force you to think? Then sadly, the answers you seek are those who battle with hell to understand your plight in life.
As always, I welcome any constructive criticism, or complementary theories, analogies, anecdotes. I would love to hear if you find these edicts of challenge useful or utter horseshit. Similar to the ’90s when the catchphrase, ‘Be Kind, Rewind’ was hailed as a marketing genius. I need to come up with one that invites you to either subscribe, via WordPress or email, like posts, or even comment on posts. Immediate feedback is useful for anyone. Thank you very much for reading through all of this drivel. Be well, stay safe, AND stay sane!