The Journey Back or How I wanted to kill myself and didn’t do it
This is not a cry for help. I don’t think so, anyway. Maybe this will be therapeutic.
Recently I think a lot about a conversation I had with her a few weeks into our relationship. We were walking up a grey road, surrounded by concrete buildings in the city centre, with cars and bikes blaring past
“J, I don’t think love is ever meant to be a fairy tale” I said, quite solemnly like I was almost trying to set us up for a break-up, for whatever reason. She agreed. At the time, I thought I was being rather philosophical, now — I can realise just how wrong I was. Now, two months on from the end? I feel like I loved her like people could only be loved in fairytales.
I didn’t see the end coming at all. I think I was fed falsehoods and half-truths in order to cover up her guilt. I don’t think I’ll ever know the truth and a big part of me doesn’t want to. I can piece together what happened, but my mind jumps to an alarming stop before the full picture emerges. I know what happened, but my brain is begging me to stop piecing this puzzle together because the result can only damage me and that in itself is too hard to take. Knowing, but unknowing is perpetually hurting.
Anyway, this isn’t about her — it’s about me. For once.
I should probably tell you that this entire saga has made me consider ending my life on a daily basis. How fucking stupid. Typing that out and saying it out loud is absolutely tearing my insides apart. I’m on fucking medication that should be stopping this pain right in its tracks like a car hitting a brick wall, but it’s not. I’m doing push-ups and sit-ups until my abdomen and arms burn up with lactic acid. I’m going out every single day (now, anyway — I’ve spent a week or two in bed at various points since September)
It tears me apart because of my own feelings about suicide. I’ve seen a loved one turn a crossbow towards his own face, I know how it feels to watch someone you love go to the brink and come back and reader, I cannot describe that and the force of one thousand thesauruses could not aid me in doing so. I think suicide, on occasion, can be an act of incredible selfishness. Sometimes, and certainly for older people with debilitating mental and physical illnesses, it can be a deserved release.
I am not there yet. But,I’d be damned if I turn around here and lie to you now. I constantly considered the act of suicide and as I’ve said, that fact damages me.
It was just a break-up, I guess. My issue with life is that I struggle far too much with empathy and understanding. I am trying to be humble, even now, but I do care far too much for the thoughts, comfort and feelings of others and there have been times when I can genuinely feel and experience the pain of others as though I am them. In my relationships, I give my entire being up to a point where I feel that I fail to exist. This is clearly wrong of me, but I know no other way. My entire sense of dedication and respect is devoted to another at all times. I just can’t be that person who lets people down. That’s not me and I’d resent myself if I was that person, who disappeared when he was needed.
The issue with my devotion to another is that when a relationship organically or inorganically reaches its end, it becomes DEFCON 5 for me. I spent years in a team with someone else and all of a sudden, I am cut adrift floating helplessly through existence with zero sense of direction, everything else in my life that was hidden from me can suddenly become a haunting issue.
For me, it was my job, and weight. I went into work the day after my break-up and stared at the screen for hours. My boss was away and it was just me, the only person able to handle production. I was suddenly so aware of the pressure of the role that I felt like a fledging bird, pushed from the cliff in the hope that he either flies away less he crash to the ground. I’m not afraid to admit that I crashed to the ground on more than one occasion, but none more so when I decided to walk out. I snapped under the pressure and I felt ashamed of leaving. It was an issue for my weary mind if I was to stay, but leaving gave me another issue — how would I support myself? I still can’t answer that. I am starting to win the battle with my weight, but it’s coming later than it should have done. These issues arose when I could not contend with anything more, and nothing makes me prouder than the fact I managed to stay on my feet after being rocked.
The medication started after the break-up. As I’ve already mentioned previously, various issues reared their heads when I was already contending with a huge opponent. When I thought I was winning the fight, they would reach forward and plunge huge daggers through my spine, pinning me down. I was losing the will to live, very quickly and it seemed that there was almost no-one I could turn towards (this was a ridiculous thought, looking back, but at the time it seemed legitimate and rational). I felt truly alone and that scared me so much. The thought of ending my life seemed like a release because the pain was genuinely unbearable.
Every night brought heaving vicious sobs that ripped the breath from me, each night brought tears that stung and stabbed at the corners of my eyes, my sinuses and head felt like they were caving in and each fucking night brought fresh pain. A new morning would arrive with memories and agony, the sun and moon joined together with a symphony of torment and no book, conversation or piece of music brought escape. My head burned and crackled with every thought and THAT was enough. Fuck it, fuck her and fuck you. I’m done.
Then I called the doctors, spoke at length about my issues and got a prescription. Citalopram. It was the first step, but not one I ever wanted to take. When I slipped that first pill down my throat I felt ashamed. Utterly devastated that it, that a girl, had brought me to this. I closed my eyes and prayed to the sky to ask that the morning sun bring a glimpse of joy.
Citalopram has a arm-length list of side-effects. Some sexual, most physical. My speech slurred, I couldn’t balance, my hands shook and I had headaches. The first day was the worst of all and I needed aid to walk around. Each day slowly got better until I returned to normality. I was still missing joy, though.
The issue still revolved around her. I was starting to get angry after hearing about her actions and the things she may have lied to me about. I loved her and my brain couldn’t handle the juxtaposition of hate and love, there was no space left in my head and it felt like I was trying to understand a complex text read by a foreign tongue. It was difficult and frustrating and each night brought mad spasms of pining and hatred. I’d cry into my pillow before beating my fists impotently against my wall. I’d send angry texts (which I always regretted) and be left feeling completely helpless and isolated. It felt like some people rather close to me couldn’t care less about my issues and even though I may be wrong about that, it hurt me dearly. I never felt more alone in my life than last month, October 2016.
That whole month was spent waiting for a car to plough straight in my body and remove me from the world.
I can’t hate. I feel at times that I cannot even dislike. It’s the juxtaposition of love and hate in my head that’s unable to blend. The empathy acts like water to hate’s slick oil. They don’t combine and don’t settle with each other. I can’t use anger as a fuel to drive me to a better place and that fucking sucks. I’ve learnt more about myself this year than any other year in my existence. I think that’s why I’ve struggled with this, because it’s so easy to hate those who leave you, but I genuinely lack the capacity for it. Even in those angry texts, it felt acted and feigned. I wish I could feel the burn of hatred, but I am coming to accept that that is just me.
The journey back began once my body had accepted the Citalopram in my system. No more tremors or headaches. I could exercise again, but there would always be this weird ‘cap’ on my emotions, I could almost feel the Citalopram stopping my despair and cutting the head off of my happiness. It wasn’t a numbness, but I could definitely feel it working away in my body.
I couldn’t accept that there was an easy way out of this. I learned that I couldn’t take my own life. I could blame it all on my parents, friends and colleagues — I could say it was their love that prevented me from doing it, but that’s bullshit. It would be the safety check at the end and yes, it would have prevented me from taking the most drastic of actions, but right at the precipice it’s me who decided to live. When I had a choice, I fought for my life each and every single time. There were a lot of times that choice had to be made and it was extremely difficult at some points to choose life. But I did.
The nights are still so very hard. I still feel an intense ache of loneliness. I still cannot give in to hate, no matter how much I believe it would help me. I’m still suffering and can’t find a direction in life. As I type this, the moon shines in through the skylight and much like the past few months, I’ve been surrounded by darkness. However, there’s the dim light of stars in the distance and of course, the glare of my laptop. Even when I close my eyes, the light is winning.