A little while ago last year, I tried to kill myself.
I came a lot closer than anticipated.
I didn’t feel the fear then. At the time, I remember feeling Dali-esq, ice in my veins. Detached from everyone and everything in my life and world. I remember wanting so desperately to be heard and noticed.
I didn’t really want to die. I just wanted to stop feeling how I had been feeling. I just wanted something to change.
I can remember how shiny and “real” everything felt, how slowly the air seemed to move around me. How the air smelled like cupcakes. I started wavering in and out of consciousness, and the nurses started yelling at me to stay awake, stay there. It was so cold in that room.
My hand held charcoal as they repeated how close to destroying my body I had been. An hour more, 30 minutes more spent lying in bed deciding…I could have lost my liver, and yes, my life.
They were kind, and gentle at a time that I needed someone to not judge, not wound me. When I awoke, violently ill a few hours later, they held my hair and told me I’d be ok.
This is hard to write somehow.
This last year has been one of the most difficult of my life. Last summer was awful, I lost my job, I’ve had to take a paycut and a job well under my abilities. I lost my ability to see and believe that life, and those of us in it, are good people. I’ve been forced to grow, forced to challenge who I am.
I’ve been forced to face the fact that I didn’t die at 30, and that life continues beyond it.
I’ve begun to form a picture of where I want to go, who I want to be. All those things most of you started at 19 or so, dreaming of the world you wanted to create. I stood, stagnant inside myself for years, unwilling, unable to look forward, terrified to be honest, of believing that tomorrow could come. I can now sleep knowing that tomorrow doesn’t necessarily mean the end.
I’d like to say I’m happy this all happened. In some ways I am. In many ways, having my own shit shovelled down my throat was exactly what I needed. But it’s come at a cost and that cost has been pain-how I have ached with loneliness and fear this year, set free to float into my future. Now I can look ahead and I’m frightened of where I might go, tormented by the desire to set foot into that ocean and the terror of doing so.
The terror of finding what I really want.
I’m not healed. I’m not perfect. I still have my days where the color of the clouds makes me cry into my pillow until 4am while my husband patiently waits for it to vent itself. I still have days where my anger could menace entire communities, gorge itself on small people and cars. I still have times where I doubt myself, and greatly, wondering how in the hell I got here anyway.
But I’m not dead. I am not dead, and I’m getting through this summer in ways I couldn’t the past two years. I’m not dead and I’m stronger than I thought I could be. Scared, lonely somedays, as I find my footing, but very much alive, here and now.
On the gurney, my head lolling to the side as the drugs I had taken sank deeper into me, I muddled an apology to the nurse trying to place my IV, so sorry for taking her time away from all the other people who really needed her help.
“It’s ok. We’ve all been there honey. Lie back, and let us take care of you.”
Thank you, all of you, for being here this year. I’ve relied on your wisdom and humour more than you’ll ever know.