I’m an option.
I’m the back door you think of often.
You want a way out
and I’ve got one.
I’m a relief from the hurt
and the sorrow.
What pains you today
won’t pain you tomorrow.
People will forget
and life will go on
It won’t be long
and the memory of you will be gone.
You’re a waste of time anyways
A waste of space
Walking around in a daze
Depression filled haze
Making promises you’ll never keep
A let down
Everyone will understand.
So stop thinking about it and take my hand.
Close your eyes and make the jump …
Slice the vein,
While you tie that noose up.
Things get dim
And darkness comes in
I’ll be with you my friend,
by your side to the end.
So shed your last tear
you have nothing to fear.
The pain only lasts a second.
I dare you.
You won’t regret it.
I have been sliding down this rope for a long time. I have have struggled with my own mortality and wanting reprieve from “life” since I was sixteen … The first time I knew suicidal I was 16 years old carrying too many secrets for one human, I ended up ill…the doctors thought I had cancer…they told me I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and I had to see specialists and I REMEMBER FEELING….RELIEF. It was the first time I felt relief, thinking IT WOULD BE OVER SOON. But it didn’t end up being cancer. And I didn’t die. The moment I thought I was going to die was the moment I felt like I could actually be present and handle what was in front of me.
Depression is being a runner that gets no feel good endorphins. Why would they keep running? Depression is the sun shining on my face but not being able to feel the warmth of it. It’s the music pounding through the speakers, but I can’t feel the beat. Depression and anxiety have tormented me. They have made functioning difficult. I have missed work and school, left from trips early, missed opportunities and been left to feel an incompetent human being because of them.
I’ve written many books, I wonder if any will ever get published?
A few years ago I wrote a book called Carnival that began with a boy named Coil who had decided he was going to commit suicide. In my book Coil made a deal with God. He bargained with him. He couldn’t bare the thought of another day, but his Christian roots had taught him he would burn in hell for taking his own life, so instead of an outright suicide, he staged an accident. He hoped God would overlook the fact he had orchestrated his demise. He was going to jump off a cliff. As he was falling he found himself reaching out, trying to break the fall, trying to take it back. Even after wanting peace so much he was willing to kill himself to find it, his desire to live was stronger than his desire to die. Luckily for my story, Coil’s suicide attempt failed and he would witness a crime on his defeated walk home and go on to solve a mystery in his small town that brought both friends and purpose into his life.
I have flirted with the idea of suicide much in the same way that Coil did. In fact I am very much like all of the characters I have ever created. Were I to tell you the synopsis of all the books I’ve written you would know my life, because they all seemed to have come true, even when I wrote them long before they came to fruition….But like Coil, I have played chicken with my life.
This last year I felt brave and actually opened up to my roommate Lisa and talked to her about it. This isn’t the sort of thing you admit. To anyone. Now I’m admitting it to everyone, but I’m not afraid anymore. I had told Lisa that several years ago I had reached such a low place where I started to play with the idea by looping a belt around the bottom rung of my closet rod. I wouldn’t tie it off, I would hold it in my hand and then stick my head through and lean forward.
I wanted to know how fast it would go.
I wanted to know if it would hurt.
I knew that when I passed out my hand would lose its grip and I’d land on the floor. And I did. But sad, that suffocating hopeless thing, coupled with addiction, that invisible leash around my neck, and hopelessness, that emptiness that can’t be filled, and shame, that oppressive thing that has kept me hiding for years, it was all too much for me and one day I tied it off. I told myself and God that I just wanted to see how close I could get. God would know that if I did die, I hadn’t meant to. I leaned forward. I choked and gagged a little with the pressure against my windpipe, and I felt that warm rush as my vision started to tunnel. It reminded me of that evening with Galen, shortly after he had come home from his affair right at the onset of my whirlwind, back when we were trying to work it out. It reminded me of the day my husband put his hands around my neck and squeezed, his face just inches from mine, telling me that he was going to kill me, that my things would never be safe. That my family would never be safe. I had fought him with my hands, a desperate struggle. I am a fighter. I have fought in the cage and ring as far away as Korea and Japan. I have prided myself as being strong. Galen was always stronger. He had hate in his eyes, the vein on his forehead protruding aggressively, his words coming out in angry bursts, spit flying. And then my arms grew heavy, it became harder to fight him, and then that circle started to envelope my vision, and a peace took over. I remembered thinking, “What will he do with my body?” I remembered thinking, “I can’t believe this is how I’m going to die, I can’t believe my best friend.” The last thing I remembered thinking was, “I hope he doesn’t get in trouble for this.”
There was a time my life knew happy and fulfillment. It knew purpose and joy. It hasn’t always been sad. It hasn’t always been depressed. That day I tied the belt off …I leaned forward and played chicken with that blackness as its warmth surged through my body. I was going to get as close as possible. I was playing a game with my life.
Blackness clouded my vision.
I woke up convulsing on the ground. I don’t remember pulling my head out. I curled into a ball and cried.
In the past shame would flex its muscles and I would cower in fear of judgement. Fear and secrets and shame and guilt exhale depression and anxiety and these are the things I’ve choked on when at my lowest. Shame is the axe murderer in one of my nightmares. I once had a dream where a chainsaw wielding, axe murdering psychopath was ripping through the bodies that got in the way of him and I. He was coming for me. He scared the bejesus out of me, and I spent my restless sleep tossing and turning as I ran from him, blood splatter and guts and fear. But I got so tired of being afraid. Instead of continuing to run I turned around and I charged him. I ran straight up to him, and as I got closer he put his weapons to his side and looked at me curiously.
“Get it over with!” I shouted. “Kill me! Kill me! If you’re going to do it, get it over with!” But he had no power when I stopped to face him. He was only strong when I was running and afraid. He didn’t kill me. He stopped killing. That’s what shame and secrets are. You can spend your life running from the things that scare you or you can stop and face them. They lose their power when you do.
I am still here.
I am fighting against the darkness. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And either am I.