CW: Themes of suicide
I’m plagued by disappointment in myself today. I was supposed to go to the day program where I do CBT for Obsessive Thoughts, but when the alarm went off at 6.30am this morning, the idea of going was just unbearable. Between that time of the month and dread at the thought of leaving the house, I pulled the blankets back down over my head and slept for another hour before calling in sick. I eventually left the house to go to the pharmacy and the supermarket but that’s about all I could manage today. Even in those familiar situations, I was filled with anxiety. You know that terrible feeling you get when you realize you’ve lost your wallet? Or left your phone somewhere you can’t remember? It feels just like that. Your stomach drops a hundred floors and your chest beats like Ringo Starr performing a solo inside your ribcage. Your skin feels prickly, you get the shakes and feel as though you’re about to spill your lunch all over the tiles. I tried to focus on my breathing to calm myself down, but it’s difficult under the fluorescent lighting amid a crowd of people. Even now that I’m home, in the security of my safe space, it’s still there. A few Clonazepam would go down pretty well about now, but alas the Simpsons and cigarettes are about as close to sedation as I can muster right now.
To be honest, the last few days have been particularly rough. My OCD has flared out of control, which leaves me stuck checking my face and body repeatedly for signs of infection bred from contamination. It’s an exercise in futility and exhaustion, as every blemish becomes the onset of some nightmarish disease. I check repeatedly that it hasn’t spread or become some festering blight every fifteen or so minutes, as long as it takes my my brain to recreate some new imagined malady that forces me to consult the mirror again. It’s like I’m stuck in this tedious loop that just never seems to stop. Sometimes, it’s hard not to lapse into thinking of ways I could end this constant mindfuck. I’m aware of how morbid and misanthropic that sounds, but for me, it’s the harsh reality of living with such an intense chronic mental illness. I’m not in an acute suicidal phase, so don’t Section me yet, but what they term passive suicidality. It’s more those morose thoughts like hoping I never wake up ever again, or wondering whether the ceiling could bear my weight or how long I’d have to inhale nitrogen for before I passed out. They’re not pretty thoughts, nor are they a cry for attention. They simply are. I’ve lived with them for a long time. There are days they are more intense than others. Sometimes, they are almost even comforting in a perverse way. They’re not shocking to me anymore, like they might be to you. For me, they’re just a reality of the illnesses I live with. When your life feels like it has nothing of value to offer anyone, it’s difficult to rationalize why you should keep going. I’ve merely existed for years. I haven’t lived. Living is laughing with friends, dinners out, a lover to build your life with, a satisfying career. It is not camping in your childhood bedroom, living with your parents at age 35 because of one’s multiple hospitalizations and risk of psychotic episode. I knew a friend growing up whose sibling was in a similar situation to that I’m in now. I remember thinking how desperately sad it was, and what a loser they must have been to be so stunted. Karma is a harsh fucking mistress.
I know what people must think of me. What a failure I appear to those who know me. A hilarious tragedy of a woman who got her comeuppance. I know how few people would be affected if I suddenly ceased to exist. That’s not a plea for you to tell me otherwise. You’d only be humoring me. I know I’m of no worth in the lives of most people I know, merely a character on social media who’s posts one occasionally ‘likes’, who bears no actual value in their existence. These grim assessments percolate through my mind on a 24 hour cycle. They are the thoughts I live with every day. They simply abide beside my useless pop culture trivia knowledge and memories of when I thought I had a chance at a regular life, like assurances that the sky is blue, or the grass is green. Perhaps one day, they may evolve into something less pathetic and more optimistic, but tonight, all I can do is drown them out 20 year old episodes of Springfield’s finest, swallow my handful of medication and hope tomorrow they’re not so intense.
If you’re having thoughts of taking your own life, please talk to someone whether it’s your partner, parent, friend, doctor or call Lifeline on 13 11 14 within Australia. You don’t have to deal with this alone. Click here for other crisis lines.