For a semi-recluse like myself, I can be quite gobby at times. Yep sometimes I find myself with quite a lot to say, but generally only after hours and hours of blessed solitude, alone with my thoughts.
I’ve been upbeat and stable for three months now. The same amount of time that I was severely depressed following that record-breaking manic phase that went on for eight months.
Yet I do know that my demons are only biding their time and waiting for me around the next corner. No medication, or combination of same, can seem to defeat these demons. It would be easy enough to just say, well maybe I shouldn’t see them as demons, but as a part of who I am. But find me in a severe depressive phase, know that the suffering is unbearable. If mental agony was capable of killing the body I would be long gone. And yes, I would have been better off never being born in the first place. Indubitably. Despite good times, that suffering is something I dread. That no living being should be expected to endure. All in the mind? Absolutely. But that makes it worse, not better.
So yes, I find myself at these quiet peaceful even happy times reflecting on that suffering, searching for meaning in it (which frankly I never find), trying to prepare myself for the next bout, wondering about ways I can survive it. There’s no getting round that I can only hope to survive those months. Inevitable months of pure unadorned mental anguish. Knowing exactly what the next day holds, waking up and remembering with deep horror and dread, feeling like my death by suicide is inevitable and it’s only a matter of time.
Yet there are the ever-present militants against the final irrevocable act. Yes this is WORSE than death, way worse. But killing yourself, ending your own life, whatever any ignorant person might try to tell you, is anything but easy. The self-preservation instinct folks, is very real. The mind might seem to have it in for you, persecute and torment you cruelly, yet it wants to keep you alive. It has no fun if you’re dead! Yes, the human mind, at least for some of us, is a sadist. It’s a freaking psychopath. It has zero empathy and it’s monstrously merciless. It is capable of sustained attack, it’s not a sprinter, it’s a long distance runner. It only lets up when you’re unconscious, ie sleeping. And the respite of sleep is itself cruel. Because you forget for those brief hours the reality of your tortured existence.
This, to me, is more than enough to explain why about half of bipolar folks attempts suicide at least once. Around 15% are successful. In other words this illness, for many, is indeed terminal. Medicated, in therapy or not. Let me share with you the Worst. Feeling. Ever. It’s when reality slowly starts to dawn on you after a protracted manic episode. It doesn’t happen overnight. Maybe over two or three days or as much as a week. Little chinks of reality at first. Then bigger rays of reality permeate your mental window. Finally you’re essentially back on Planet Earth. Is it any kind of relief as you might think? Hahaha. Emphatically not!
It hurts worse than any physical or mental pain ever. Think about it. You’ve come from being on top of the world. In control and in charge (yep, delusional). You’ve had every wish fulfilled and created some new ones to pursue. They deviate wildly from the cold hard facts of your life.
For me, I’m essentially a super-talented, devastatingly attractive millionaire. My every word is golden. My insights are earth-shattering. I am immortal, I am a god, I have special powers, I can read minds. I am pure magic. I can travel to different dimensions at will. I am playing the starring role in my own blockbuster movie. My confidence/arrogance is unshakeable. Others’ thoughts and words pale and seem dull, slow and boring by comparison with my own. I am on a mission to save the world, start a new religion, ach, my thoughts are going 1000mph so to think something it’s as good as done. Many rich and famous people are passionately in love with me and they sing and talk about me all the time.
The fall to Earth is like hitting concrete at 200 miles per hour. Is it any wonder that reality is gonna hurt like hell? When you realise you are precisely none of those things? You are not known let alone loved by any of these people! The media/advertising/pop music is nothing to do with you. You are unknown and obscure, just a mundane ordinary person, and worse than that. You are a psychiatric patient, jobless, with little identifying characteristics. You live on government benefits. You are stony broke/destitute because you have given away or spent all your money. You’re a nobody.
This blog itself might turn out to be an exceedingly long suicide note. But I’ve given you some idea how powerful the human mind can be. Will my mind turn out to be powerful enough to kill me one day? It’s 50-50. One thing I can tell you. I am on suicide sites a LOT. I know the best ways to kill yourself. I don’t want to become one of the 50% who attempt. If I am to do it, I want to be one of the 15% thank you very much.
Don’t care about going out with a bang though. Not too bothered about how people think of me or view me after my death. At my age you stop caring so much about those things. And on ‘the Other Side’? Why should I care?
Don’t get me wrong, the feelings of my loved ones matter to me a great deal. I am certainly highly likely to wait out my mother who’s nearly 85. She in no way deserves that monumental slap in the face after all she has done for me. She showed me unconditional love. That is priceless. But her and my son aside, there are few whose feelings would bother me too much.
And I am PASSIONATELY pro-choice. I could expand on this at great length but that will have to wait for a future post. Life is not, in my opinion, generally, a ‘good’. Suffering is not only largely pointless and meaningless, it is wholly unacceptable. My life, I ‘owe’ nothing to anyone, my autonomy over my own body, my right to die.
Did I somehow ‘ask’ to be born? Well who knows? OK let’s ask a different question. If I had known what suffering it would entail as well as the repetitive, meaningless and outright boring nature of much of this existence, would I have consented to being born?