Tuesday night I contacted the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I'd reached a low I hadn't seen in years, they have a call line and a chat feature. I chose the chat feature since I'm never really alone and that's not a conversation I want overheard or interrupted and of course I didn't want to scare anyone with my emotional state (insert first of many eye-rolls). I sat at the foot of my bed waiting for the councilor to pop up in the chat but of course in no time my youngest is knocking on my door asking for something and I can hear my husband and oldest arguing in the kitchen and calling for me to settle the argument and are now stomping towards the bedroom. So I click out of window and grab my towels (I'm a woman I require two towels thank you very much) and head into the shower.
I take a long hot shower while I cry, I then get into my comfiest pj's and crawled into bed. My husband comes in, looks at my face, I can only imagine what he saw there because he changed is normal style immediately, which is loud and whacky. He climbs in, puts his arms around me and just whispers "you are my favorite person, and I love you". He then turned on our favorite show and we just sat cuddled until I fell asleep. The next morning I was able to get up and face the day, and am facing the day again. The important thing is I don't want to be dead I didn't want to be dead on Tuesday night at least not actively, not enough to do something but I was what they call passive ideation. What I wanted and still want is to have some hope, to have something improve and for all the other damn shoes to stop dropping.
This isn't the first time I battled for my mental wellness. The first time was when I was fourteen years old. Life had been a challenge already, by fourteen I'd figured out my dad was having multiple affairs, and the boy we always played with was actually my half brother. I now understood my dad was/is an alcoholic, and all the money he mad went to partying and other women which was why we were broke all the time. I'd been horribly bullied first by my oldest sister (who used to whisper how much she hated me and throw rocks at me when I wanted to play with her), then my entire grade ostracized me when a former friend started spreading horrific rumors about me because she was jealous that a boy she liked liked like me. Side note I didn't like this boy and didn't encourage his affection. So I spent my lunches in a nice teachers room or the library to avoid the taunts and isolation. I was then sexually assaulted during class by three guys I thought had been friends and the teacher simply said "boys will be boys". Finally my little sister ran away while my mom was at a business conference and when I told my dad his response was "don't distress yourself with imaginings." Dad of the year right there.
Fortunately my sister had run away with a friend whose parents were very wealthy and I gathered the photo and info they requested for the private detective they hired (because dad just thought she'd come home when she was ready). Long story short the girls were found and brought home.
I then lost a friend to suicide, had another friend get sent to rehab (I didn't do drugs but I hung out with all the drug kids) and started having terrifying nightmares every night to the point I was afraid to go to sleep.
This became too much for my teenage self and I started to contemplate suicide. I mentioned it to my best friend at the time and she told her mom. I have never known the entire timeline of events but within a few days I was sitting on the couch in the child development classroom of my high school with a guy named Rick who looked like a 70's porn star and always wore a 3in holographic eyeball medallion perfectly nestled in his bountiful chest hair and he was saving my life.
Ricks lessons stayed with me. They have helped me through life's many twists and turns and even allowed my to help others including the same best friend who told her mom, when I used Ricks techniques to talk her off the roof of her college dorm. His words are even working today and the reason I went for help Tuesday night. That mustached man in a satin shirt is still saving my life.
I get up everyday and do my very best. I go to work, I take care of my family, try to be a loving wife, a good friend. I self care (insert eye-roll). I try to make wise decisions that will make life better for my family and myself yet...I just can't seem to make it any better. Each day things get a little worse, another problem jumps up on the pile of weighty problems and I scramble for a solution. But the solution is never enough.
There's a far-side cartoon of a house on fire, floating down a river headed for a waterfall. That's me, I'm that house. My younger sister and I had a zoom lunch the other day and we were chatting and joking when she suddenly got very serious and says to me, "I don't know how you do it, how you face everyday and keep a sense of humor, I can't believe how things go for you. And you're not even doing anything wrong, you're doing exactly what anyone would advise people to do." I laughed and cried at the same time and made some joke about it. But I feel the struggle and weight of what she observed. It's what brought me to that place Tuesday night. The struggles now make my fourteen year old struggles look like a cake walk.
And frankly I'm out scramble, I'm out of hustle, I have NO solutions. Everything I've tried hasn't worked and the nightly nightmares are back and the pain both mental and physical seem endless. I am out of hope, but I am not a quitter I learned that with Rick at fourteen. So I am not ready to quit. Not yet!
So if you are fighting that battle to live or not live, keep fighting. I can't tell you that you are going to win, I can't tell you that it is going to get better, the only thing I can tell you is if you take yourself out of the fight all chances for improvement stop. As Rick said that first day, it's a permanent solution to temporary problems.
Well look at that, maybe I do have a sliver of hope.