Calm

I have always imagined suicide, and suicidal thoughts, to happen in a fit of passion. That if I ever got to the point where I was seriously thinking about killing myself, it would be emotional and crazy. I would be sobbing or screaming into a pillow. Maybe its because movies, and entertainment in general, tend to paint depression in only one color, instead of the ugly rainbow it is. But the first time I thought about killing myself, I couldn’t really feel anything at all. I was so exhausted from the constant onslaught of degrading thoughts and over thinking every fucking emotion I was experiencing, that I mostly felt resigned. As I sat on my bed, looking at the full bottle of Lexapro in my hands, wondering if I should just take them all and end this, I felt calm. Which is a crazy thing to say seeing as I was partly prescribed the medicine because of my anxiety. One thing I didn’t know about depression until I had it was how tired it makes you. People assume you can’t get out of bed because you’re sad. But that wasn’t really true for me. I couldn’t get out of bed because I was just so tired. It feels like the fatigue and muscle aches you get when you have the flu. Everything seems pointless when you’re that tired. And sadly, it’s not the kind of fatigue that goes away in a week or can be cured with an antibiotic. So when I think about killing myself it’s usually because I’m just so exhausted. Of getting out of bed, of going to work, of pretending to be happy, of breathing.

Often times the calm I felt about taking my own life, and death in general, would cause me to feel so out of control that I would resort to cutting myself instead. I felt that if I cut myself it would satisfy the monster inside me that wanted to take everything. So instead of giving him my life, I would offer my blood as a substitute. I explained it away by saying, “if I have to choose between killing myself and cutting then I’m making the right choice.” Even though the right choice would probably be to do neither. I never thought I would be the person to cut myself. I am too selfish to want anything but pleasure. So the thought of purposely hurting myself seemed insane. But loosing control is even scarier than pain. When you can’t control your own thoughts you need something, anything, to control and so the easiest thing for me to control was my body. I could make my body bleed. As I searched for the scissors, my roommates were hiding them from me at the time, I could feel myself becoming calm. I was taking control. I had a plan and I knew how it was going to go and how it was going to feel and that was something that my mind couldn’t give me at the time. When your illness is all in your brain it becomes hard for anything to feel real. I was always fighting the battle of whether I really was depressed and anxious or whether I was crazy and just making everything up. Because if you can think yourself into mental illness, it makes sense that you should be able to think yourself out of it. And the red lines on my thighs reminded me that things were real. The pain I felt was real. The sadness and exhaustion and panic and anxiety I felt were real.

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