Beauty in death

Today I’ve been wanting to die. I mean really die. All day, I’ve been thinking about it. The wierd part of it all is how matter-of-fact I am about it. I have see-sawed today between moments of complete calm, during which I just think to myself that I would now like to die … and complete, inconsolable, abject sorrow, during which I sob uncontrollably.

I’m calm now … although my eyes are a bit teary, and the idea of going to sleep and never waking up feels quite appealing. It’s after midnight now here, but this has now been going on since just after lunchtime. Admittedly, I have been very low recently, and last week I called the crisis team when I was seriously considering harming myself. But that was because I was feeling trapped and no one was listening. I would have harmed myself just to get some attention – burning seemed a good idea at the time. Maybe hurt myself enough to earn a short spell in hospital, during which I would tell them how much of a struggle this life has become, and how I’m really not coping, and how tired I am from the constant effort to protect and raise my son with zero support from anyone.

I did get some help then – the crisis team visited me the next morning and went back and talked to the psych who originally diagnosed me. He apparently agreed to bring forward my review date from June 20th to April 11th. And I appreciate that.

But today’s feelings are different from those I had the other day. Yesterday, I looked at my son, just entering puberty, and realised how tall he has grown, and how he is turning into a young man – no longer my baby anymore. Then today I began watching the movie “The Way We Were” on TV. As soon as the music started, I broke down. My life just flashed before me, and I realised I don’t have any remnants of any “way I was” to fall back on – I was always a loner, but it didn’t matter, because I was always wandering the world, always moving on when things became boring or tough, never had a real relationship, never had a real vocation in life. Just ambled on through, living on my wits. Perhaps that had something to do with my illness, and perhaps that was just my nature. But when I was younger, that was just fine. I was just me.

But now I’m older, I’m still a loner, incapable of forming or maintaining relationships – but I can no longer wander the world. I miss the freedom of that life soooo much.  It’s the realisation that I can never go back that hurts so much. And now, at the ripe old age of 47, I recognise that I am now hopelessly on a road to nowhere.  Working in a job that fills me with dread when I think about returning to it; pinned to a mortgage and a loan; unattractive and heavier than I’ve ever been before; and living every second of my life for my child. There is no me anymore – I feel that part of me died a long time ago. Since then, I’ve just been this shell going through the motions of motherhood. A Stepford wife …. without the husband.

It’s strange to me that I can still write reasonably upbeat/unassuming responses to other bloggers’ comments on here even now, when my very fibre aches. Have I really become so adept at just carrying on? Perhaps I have.

Anyway, I have checked my cupboard, and I still have one of the tubs of 500 painkillers I brought back from a trip to the states (God Bless America!), so that part’s covered. The problem is that my boy is resistant to spending the night at anyone else’s house. My house is often full of everybody else’s kids, but it would seem that his friends’ parents are less willing to return the favour. Either that, or my son just won’t go. I asked him a couple of times if he would like to sleep over his friends’ houses, and he said he preferred to stay home. And I asked him if he would like to go and stay with Nanny for a couple of days, and he said no.

Obviously, I wouldn’t do anything while he is here and without making sure he is taken care of – but that doesn’t mean the feeling has gone away. Perhaps that’s why the calmness is so scary – because I can wait until the time is right.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Cyclothymia, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Beauty in death

  1. MANagING maNIA

    I scare myself most when I am calmest about taking my own life. Often the thing that saves me is the proximity or nearness of my children. Maybe your son senses that you need him close.

    I am so sorry for your loneliness and pain. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. “Alice,” I could have penned this post. You feel as I have so, so recently (1week). Every feleling you describe, every death idea you imagine – even how you’d do it- are my own. I’m an only child who knows well about aloneness and loneliness. I hang on to life & keep going to doctors because of my grown children & my mother. My dad completed suicide when he was 44, (I’m 48) so I know how it feels to be a “survivor” of suicide. It sucks!! Marks you for life. I guess I fight what Daddy fought. I hope my kids never get this way. But, you, sweet woman sound very much like I do. Please email me. We can even talk on the phone (I’ll pay). I’ve grown very fond of you in this short, but intense time. Hugs*

  3. Hang in there… No matter how much better off you think your son would be without you, you’re wrong. He can sense the risk you pose to yourself and he doesn’t want to lose you. That is why he won’t go stay at anyone’s house. If he was “tired” of you he’d leave you alone. You should call your crises team because that calm can be the most dangerous place to be. Again, don’t give up, it will get better.

  4. bpshielsy

    Please contact your crisis team. I agree with Being Julz, the calm moments can be the most dangerous.

    Take care

  5. I wish I could offer more than words of encouragement. You son will NOT be better off without you. I hope you seek out, and receive the help you need to get you through this.

  6. You say there’s no you, but I’ve just been looking through your blog, and there’s a hell of a lot of you in your photography. You still roam, with a lens if not with your legs.

    Your boy loves you. Stay with us.

  7. Though the title may hold some poetry there is no beauty in death. Only a lot of sorrow and devastation is left behind. Please reach out. Your review is tomorrow? Don’t know what that entails but call your crisis center, regardless.

  8. You are not alone. I have been there, but it is so scary to read about from other people. Please get help sooner if the night will be too tough, and get the painkillers out of your house by tossing them or giving them to someone. For me that would be too tempting. Your son clearly loves you and needs you. He is worth living for even when nothing else feels like it is. My daughter has been that person in my life, and sometimes I even resent that, but I don’t want to miss her life. You have something else that you didn’t mention, even though you don’t have travel now. A talent and enjoyment of photography, and an inspiring blog. You travel to other worlds in a single dew drop. Not many people can do that. If it helps as a distraction you could make a new submission for us. Shooting can help to quiet your mind in those places, even for a moment, and engage your creativity. You and your talent are very appreciated and valued by us. There is beauty in life, and you capture it all the time.

  9. If I’m reading this post correctly, you are swinging between feeling so overwhelmed with sorrow that you go numb or lose all emotion; you shut down emotionally, at least temporarily, so as not to drown. If I am correct, then I know this feeling all too well. It sounds like you are stuck in a well of depression. If your illness is anything like mine, then there is probably nothing I can say to help you to truly feel better. I had untreated or undertreated depression since puberty. I never knew what “happy” was, but didn’t even know because I never had anything to compare. I thought everyone felt the way I did, struggling and pushing to get anything done. Then, last year, by some miracle, a doctor took the time to find the proper medication and get me proper treatment. I felt happy for the first time in my life, and for no reason other than balanced brain chemistry. I discovered that my illness is just that. It is not me. And all the indescribable pain and sadness, the rending heart, the bottomless well of grief I dared not even look at, were symptoms of my illness. Please remember that those thoughts and feelings are not you; they are symptoms of an illness and they will pass. No matter how bad things seem, it will get better again. It is the nature of the beast. Please insist that you get full and proper treatment. After all, would a doctor leave a diabetic without any insulin? You are in my thoughts and heart.

  10. Hello Alice,
    Well… Even though you told me not to, I read it and I am glad I did. Your post, your anguish pulled at my heart strings. There are tears welled in my eyes, threatening to spill over and stain my sweater. I just realized as I was typing that I can only cry for other people. I have no emotions related to myself anymore. And that I am upset for you and deeply troubled but that nothing I say will make you want to live more.
    I have heard all the cliches…
    “Hang in there, it will get better.” – When?
    “It is not that bad, others have things worse.” – Yeah, I know. It doesn’t mean my pain is any less severe.
    “Think positive thoughts, and project positive images and you will feel better.” – Thinking and projecting isn’t going to solve my myriad of problems.
    “If you try harder, you will get more results.” – Try harder? I can barely handle getting out of bed. “Distract yourself and you won’t have time to think about depression.” – But I will always be distracted on top of being on opioids so I would be incoherent and uncommunicative.
    “Read this book or that book.” – I have read over twenty titles on depression and haven’t had one that spoke to me yet.
    “Try meditation, it will relax you.” – It is nearly impossible to meditate while in pain if you don’t already have a routine established. I am in pain all the time so it is hard for me to quiet my mind and enter a state of relaxation.

    I am not going to say any of those things to you. The only thing I want you to know is that, true, you may not have support right beside you, but there is support for you here. I know others have already offered, and that they have said everything I could say: You son will not be better off without you. He will always miss his mom and wonder if it is his fault. I say this, not to make you feel bad in any way, it is just the truth. Your little man needs you and wants you to be happy. I gather he is young and might not understand what is going on exactly but he senses something is wrong with you and I imagine wants to stay with you to try and make you happy again. You sound like you are a great mom, but I think even the great moms need to be something other than a mom. You are a complex, wonderful and worthy woman. I wish I could be there to wipe away some of the gloom and loneliness. I wish we could sit and talk and cry together. But what I wish even more is that both of us can learn self compassion and self worth.

    You need to find you again. (I need to too, so saying that is a bit hypocritical and audacious, what do I know about what you need? But like you said above, I seem to be able to write positive and thoughtful comments on others blog but remain negative about what I do. And don’t despair, you may not be able to travel now but what about in three years or five years or when you little man goes away for school or a job? It is something you could pick back up. You won’t be responsible for him forever, not that you won’t love or worry about him, but he becomes responsible to himself when he turns into a man.

    Anyway, this has become ridiculously long so I will digress. Please believe that there are people around to listen. People that care, even if they can’t be there to wipe your tears and hold you. We can talk though, and write.
    Depression and suicidal ideations are a bitch. I have been having them for a little over two years and I can’t seem to control what happens in my head. Walking down the street instead of seeing spring springing up around me, all I can think about when I go for walks is ways I could die. And I feel guilty about it.
    Please don’t hurt yourself. Please.
    My thoughts and good vibes are with you.
    xo – S.

  11. I feel for you and indeed for your son, Alice.. Like others here wishing I could help but knowing it’s not in my power to do so physically but only to offer support her.e..
    I hope you get the help you need…ask for it and keep asking, phone the Samaritans, or your crisis team, or anyone !! or don’t do any of those things because what do I know and advise from others is annoying.? Except that I’ve been in that black hole and come out of it as I know you have before.. you’ve said so.. hold that thought if you can.. I hope your review goes well.

  12. Kevin

    I pray for the best for u, please get to know Christ!

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