Trigger warning: graphic discussion of suicide.
The past couple of weeks have been hell, to put it mildly. I keep having anxiety. I either sleep too much or too little. I’ve been terribly lethargic to the point where even showering exhausted me. My mood switches from despair, rage, and emptiness in minutes.
I’ve been having some of the worst episodes of suicidal ideation. I keep seeing images of myself putting a gun to my head and pulling the trigger, splattering dark red blood and brain and bits of skull onto the cream-colored wall behind me. Last week, I updated my suicide notes on Google Docs.
I’m trying my best to distract myself. I’ve been watching a lot of Conan O’Brien on Youtube (his remotes with Jordan Schlansky are the best!), which helps immensely when I need to deescalate my emotions. Sometimes, though, it isn’t enough, and I call Boopy when I need a calm, rational voice to talk me down from the ledge.
My therapist and I agreed on this: the good thing about me is that I’m very self-aware. This high level of self-recognition means that I actively do something constructive, no matter how small, to make myself feel better. For instance, when I recognized that I was in very real danger of overdosing again, I handed my prescription over to Mama so I couldn’t buy all the pills and take them in one go. Then I reached out to friends who are active listeners, and poured my heart out.
Too often, I beat myself up for every mistake I make. Every person I’ve let down, every wrong decision I’ve made, every situation I’ve handled poorly: these are the ghosts that haunt me. My past colors the way I see the present.
And the future? I see nothing. I live life on a day-to-day basis, because I simply don’t see myself living past 30 years old. Recently, a friend asked me to think of something to look forward to, and I totally blanked. When I filled out an intake form at my therapist’s office, there was a question: what do you look forward to? I wrote down Avengers: Endgame, and added that I didn’t have anything to look forward to after that.
I’ve learned that the most important thing for me during these episodes is to practice grounding techniques. That may be singing loudly along to thank u, next, or shooting the shit with a friend, or hugging my cats. So, even though I’m having a hard time, at least I’m doing my best to make it through another day. And that’s all I can hope for right now.