Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"I Don't Feel Well..."

By the time my sister arrived an hour later, I’d started murmuring that I wanted to stop. I wanted to stop feeling. Feeling was taking too much out of me and I was so, so tired. She’d stroke my hair as I rested my head on her lap and ask what I meant by it. “I want it to end,” I said, dazed and numb from expending so much energy. “I don’t feel well…”

When she asked directly, “Dorkys, are you thinking of hurting yourself?” I couldn’t bring myself to say yes or no. This was my little sister. I couldn’t tell her, “Yes, you’re so close to losing me. I’m sorry. I just can’t care anymore.” I wasn’t ready for what an affirmative answer would bring, but I also knew better than to lie and say no. Answering, “I don’t feel well,” was my compromise. It was all she needed to hear.

What I wouldn’t give now to not have put her in that position. To not have yelled at her from the bathroom, “No! No! Please don’t!” while Dad hugged me so she could step out to call 911. "What are you doing?!" I kept crying out.

I absolutely hated them. I simultaneously wanted them to hug me and leave me alone. Why couldn’t they see that I was suffering through a heartbreak? I just needed more time to let it out. But even though I didn’t want to go to the hospital, something inside me kept me from saying I’d be okay. I did not think I’d be okay. I could not trust myself to be okay, which is why I didn’t run or lock myself in my room until this ride came to a screeching halt. I knew I was beyond their help.

This wasn’t the first time I’d struggled with suicidal thoughts. While I’ve never attempted to end my life, I’ve swirled the idea around in my head since I was a teenager. Suicide stories fascinated me and I can rattle off the pros and cons for various option. How did they do it? How much pain did they feel? What drove them to see death as the better option? And, did they succeed? The answer to that final question is one of the factors that have kept me from ever trying (along with the fact that I love my siblings too much to scar them in that way). As someone who’s terrified of even a needle prick, the idea of attempting and failing sounds like a fate worse than death. What if I end up trapped in my own body, my mind churning in a vessel that refuses to respond? What if I jump in front of an oncoming train only to have my limbs severed? Or what if I suffered the slow and painful decline that comes from renal failure caused by an overdose of painkillers? While I’m in the fog, it does seem enticing, just ending everything. No more pain, no more struggles, no more stressing over the bills, or deadlines and an overflowing inbox. Once it’s done, you’ll feel nothing. You won’t feel sadness, pain, or regret. It’s just *poof* over.

But I know that, for me, it’d be a cry for attention, for help, and the same is true for some others who’ve attempted suicide. They want someone to show up, to care, to save them from themselves, to remind them that this feeling won’t last forever. You forget, you know, that you will eventually return to better, and thinking of those who’ve regretted their decision soon after beginning a successful attempt hurts my heart.

I hated my family for sending me to the hospital, but could I blame them? I left them no choice. Here they were responding to my cry for help before I yelled out any louder. So when a small army of police and EMTs came to escort me outside (“We take suicide attempts very seriously,” one said.), I slowly got dressed, still wiping my face with my sleeves, and looked at my feet as I made my way down the stairs, confused, ashamed, and devastated that I didn’t know how to properly handle a breakup.


Say word.