Why am I Still Here?

**Big Trigger Warnings: Suicide**

I’m sorry my recent posts have been so self-orientated and morbid but I, like many, really struggle with this time of year. In fact, in all honesty I use the word ‘struggle’ or ‘blip’ to describe a number of things- all of which replace the normal ‘I’m okay’ that I just can’t bring myself to say at this point. In other words, when things have got really quite tough and safe wouldn’t be a word I use to describe my current state.

As much as I’d like to deny it and dismiss the celebrations as constructed by human’s in need of a day to install nope and new beginnings- today is New Years Day in the West and I’ll be honest and admit I had planned my suicide for New Year’s Eve.

It was the perfect plan in my mind. I would see family, then I would see friends for one last time, I’d walk back home listening to my music, write my note expressing only a sincere apology for ruining my family and friend’s lives both by being alive and by being dead. Then I would hang myself while alone at home so that they, the people I loved, not knowing what was happening, could have one more lovely night not having to worry or think about me.

It may sounds cruel and unbelievably selfish to those reading but, in my mind, it was the kindest I could do.However,  I’m still here this morning andI don’t really know why.

After I confessed what my plans had been to my Mum this morning she said I showed strength that she did not think many people had. But I’m not happy I did not succeed in carrying out my plan. I’m still miserable and aware that I was feeling exactly the same this time last year, only in a hospital setting. And people might criticise me or mock me for my lack of celebration but this pain in my chest is still there, it hurts to keep my eyes open and my whole body aches with the despair and trembling resilience I am trying to maintain. Along with this, thoughts that I’m faking my illness to be manipulative just seem to be obsessing round my mind constantly no matter how I try to push them away. I am just struggling to see how I can handle this all on top of ‘normal life’- I’m trying to keep up retaking schoolwork, have friends that I’m just normal enough with not to weigh them down- and not, what so many seem to threaten me with endlessly ‘letting my illness define me.’ It feels too much.

So it came t breaking point yesterday afternoon.

I’d kept distracted all morning and early afternoon but then the thoughts and plans and urges came further and further to the front and with each hour my resilience and motivation to resist them was lowering until I’d become almost certain and my night panned out this way

First I went to drinks with my parents and family friends- I endured it, smiling and making pleasant conversation for an hour, one particular women talking about how life was never a straightforward path as I just nodded my head and watched the clock. I had also not eaten for 30 hours by this point and so the constant offer of nibbles was irritating me more and more. At last, I got to escape to a friend’s gathering of old friends, board games and yes, you guessed it, yet more drink and nibbles. I struggled through it, also watching the clock. That said, bits I actually enjoyed and the people were wonderful- laughing as I cracked jokes whilst internally I was shaking my leg counting down the minutes to end this torturous life I couldn’t bear anymore. It got to 11, I said my goodbyes, I’d planned to say goodbye, good luck and apologise for the crap that my best friend must have had to put up with being friends with me, subtly at the door but I didn’t want to worry her or make her suspicious so all I could come out with was a non-eye contacted ‘take care’ as I turned round and began walking home putting in my headphones and thinking to myself how ironic it was that I was wishing her well yet about to do something that would probably haunt her for a very long time.

As I was walking home I had time to think. I knew it was becoming a threat to my plan. When suicidal most people know too much thinking isn’t a successful route. But I don’t have that kind of control over my thoughts: I had to think about how I’d reassured my care coordinator on the phone earlier in the day that I’d be fine, how my parents would find me when they came back, how I empty I was feeling both physically from not eating and emotionally. I realised I’d be letting down my old psychologist who had gently taught me so much about how to cope through DBT. I’d be letting down my Twitter friends, particularly Louise, not that they would hate me for it- I think we all understand the immense suffering each of us face daily, but we’re all keeping going together- if one of us was to let go I’d worry reasonably whether the others would wonder if they should bother carrying on also. I also had to think about all the people I’d have lied to point plank saying I was ‘fine’ or ‘safe’ who didn’t deserve to be lied to, the fact that this despair was probably once again really down to hormones messing with my already poor mental health and I thought about what my alternatives were. And I had to give in at that point and wonder whether I could do this to all those people.Whether I could ignore all their assurances that I would believe the struggle would be worth it one day and whether I myself could do it- could cut my life short to the point where it ended on the self-loathing that would then define how people would remember me always.

I wasn’t sure I could.

This wasn’t my usual suicide attempt- the impulsive distress-induced split second decision, this was thought through to the point of certainty. An occurrence that hadn’t happened in quite some time.

I wasn’t sure I could, but unless I did something active to stop myself I knew I would.

So I thought ‘dialectic’ and ‘distress tolerance,’ I was pretty sure this emotionless cry (yes I know how odd that sounds) was a crisis situation after all, but I also knew I didn’t have the strength at that moment to call the crisis line and go through more changes, hassle and referrals to Home Treatment. I didn’t want help, but I knew I needed it. So I decided on what I think was the only thing that would have worked.

I went to a shop bought all the crap food I could,pretending to laugh at the till asking “how on earth I could forget to get the food for my own party?!” HA! How I ironic that was- a suicide avoiding party for one including Netflix, crying and binging. But I came out with 2 plastic bags full (not bad for my 20 quids worth of Christmas money.) And I continued my walk home fighting my mind that was screaming out to me that I shouldn’t be doing this and that I’d made that original plan for a reason- only the small reason that I WANTED TO DIE. It couldn’t understand why I was resisting it and, frankly, neither could I, but I did.

I got home- put on House who always comforts me with his beautiful sarcasm (Hugh Laurie is a god,) put away the rope and blades- did some artwork, wrote a poem and ate through the night, comforting my dog, who is terrified of fireworks and proceeded to sit on my face and arms at various points throughout the night. And eventually, I fell asleep- puffed up eyes and aching body, regretting every moment I was still breathing.

I’ll put my poem and art below for anyone who is interested. I woke up this morning safe, ‘saved’ by my family, friends, dogs, creativity, DBT and survival instinct that seems to kick in despite my logic that can’t understand why I bother.

And Why am I still alive? I don’t know.

It certainly isn’t a Happy New Year.

And apparently I was being brave when all I can think is what a pathetic idiot.

And finally, don’t worry about me I apologise to those I lied to, I’m sending love to those also struggling and I’m keeping safe despite this despairing depression because if I painfully put myself through last night only to give up today or tomorrow- well what would be the fucking point, really?

Beth

X

 The Painting

 My painting

Don’t take it away from me

Survival is only bearable because

 

I have my painting

So don’t take it away from me

 

Please.

 

 

I know it well

My painting

By now you’d think I would

When vision slows

Head pounds

Chest screams

Suffocating

Help! I’m suffocating!

I only observe though

Only expose

The thoughts

I let them ruin me.

 

But the pain is less real

Trust me its less real.

My painting is relief

From This right now.

Delicately stroked by brushes

I see

The crimson liquid fall

Crimson and rich it falls.

 

I see Them

Hopeless and despairing

Being held back

By strangers dressed all in navy.

 

As they take me away

Wheel me off

I trace the tears darkening their skin

I follow them as they drive down

And then

It all goes hazy

My eyelids slow to a lazy bliss

Finishing this piece,

Giving me peace.

 

Hazy the paint it understands

It creates what I’d like to see.

Crazy the pain it never ends

As my painting is only a dream.

My Picture

My Picture

DBT Reminder

DBT Reminder

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4 thoughts on “Why am I Still Here?

  1. What an amazing blog!
    Probably the best I’ve ever read.
    I applaud your honesty & I’d be devastated if you’d gone thru with your plan. I feel completely fucking horrific, I mask it well on Twitter & to freinds and family, but suicide just let’s the disease win…..lets fight this bastard together Beth! All my love Adam 💖💖

  2. I write this with tears running down my face.

    I knew you were suffering yesterday and I woke up with a funny feeling, hence the frantic Tweets and texts this morning.

    Please promise me you’ll always use an ‘alternative’ plan, be it binge eating, drawing, writing, tell someone, anyone…I really couldn’t bear it if you had carried out your suicide. I’d understand, having been at a similar junction, but I couldn’t bear it.

    Lots and lots of love,

    Louise xxx

  3. Beth,

    This is heart breaking to read but so relatable too. There is a reason you are still here, just as there is a reason why I made it to see in 2015.

    These past couple of weeks have been hard, they are always triggering and new years is just one of those occasions which I find intolerable. I’ve hidden myself away for the whole of the holiday only spending time with my husband and kids. I really didn’t know how I would get through it this year. I too turned to dbt to help and my amazing twitter friends. The result, I’m still here. Not happy, still feeling pain and hurt, but feeling less alone for the first time in my life.

    I am really glad you are still here. Perhaps you’re being here will become more obvious over the next few days, weeks and months.

    The picture you drew is amazing. I can feel your pain and can relate to it. You are gifted and I wish I could express myself as well as you do.

    I am sorry for waffling, I just wanted to tell you how much this post touched me and how sincerely I hope you can find a happier path.

    Don’t give up! You’re life is worth fighting for. Take care xx

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