I HURT. I BLEED. I WANT TO DIE.

The very mentioning of death and more specifically the idea of killing one’s self usually brings out the ghouls and goblins, the freaks and the curious. It’s ok as I pretty well fit into all of those groups. You could say that I am good at blending.

When did suicide become a thing? When did suicide become my thing? It feels like it has always been an ever-present friend. Suicide, a friend? you may well ask. A friend or a comfort whatever you want to call it has been with me for almost as long as I can remember. I remember the first clarity of thought I had about the idea of suicide so strap in because that’s where I am about to dive back to.

It was almost 50 years ago. It was my 7th birthday. I was lying in bed not wanting to leave the warm cosy confines of my bed. I was living at 33 May Street, Constitution Hill. My birthday falls in the month of June. It’s cold. It’s always cold. It’s cold enough to freeze Hell over and turn it into an ice skating rink. I get asked, “aren’t you getting up for your birthday?” My reply, “I don’t want to turn 7, I want to stay 6”. If it were just that sentence you might find it cute or even adorable coming from the mouth of someone so young almost like a Christopher Robin statement from A.A. Milne’s, Winnie The Pooh series of books. It was in those moments that the idea of suicide crystalised in my mind. It was what I wanted. I was a child in the wrong world. I was a child in a violent world.

There is a name that comes back to my mind on so many occasions and each time it strikes me down with white fear. That name is Vic. More fully that name is Victor. A soccer coach. I pretend I can’t really remember. I pretend that it is just childish nonsense. I pretend. What is the use in remembering? Seriously, what the hell good is a memory that dwells on evil. This part of my past I have long stopped wanting to remember or talk about and in fact, I have gotten to the point where that door is nailed shut and plastered over. I can still hear the laughter from family and others when it got to the point that when he came to visit I ran screaming and crying only to hide under my bed until I was totally sure he had left.

There was this one day when I was told that, Vic, had left and that it was safe to come out. Hmmm, there was something odd in the way that it was said. I waited and waited. In the end, I came out from my hiding spot. As I left my room and turned into the hallway, there he was! I could hear the laughter for a split second before I screamed and went running to my hiding place. I wore the huge lump on my forehead as a slammed into the bed frame as I went to dive under. I think I blacked out for a moment. When I came to I scrambled to get to where I was safe. No one understood. People laughed. I cried.

Yes, I remember when suicide crystalised in my mind as a real thing and a good thing. I knew when the self-loathing began. I remember when innocence turned to guilt. I know when the desire to play sport or go to training stopped. I remember things, Vic, that no child should remember.

 

Black Fog

I should have known it would happen. I should have seen it coming. When it happens it is like a bolt of lightning and it is just as sudden and just as intense. Depression.

I have only wanted to publish positive blogs and to be honest I don’t know if it was for me or you. Did I want you to know that even though I have a major mental illness I could and was dealing with it and that I am ok or did I want to convince myself that things had changed. So many times I wish with every fibre of my being that I was cured or that I could be cured. Maybe that isn’t what I deserve.

Today the Black Fog not only enveloped me but was so thick that I almost choked on it. For those that don’t know I refer to my depression as the Black Fog. Like any fog it just descends and once you’re in it you lose perception. In the Black Fog little exists because it is like a wasteland. There is no seeing outside of the Black Fog nothing nothing else exists in any real way once inside. So once shrouded nothing else matters. Nothing penetrates it not friends, not family, not future, not the present, not God. In the fog there is no light or life. The fog is a struggle for survival. It doesn’t just feel like life and death it actually is a life and death struggle. This isn’t just like feeling sad or unhappy this is a struggle on many levels including: fear; self hate or loathing; worthlessness. Even getting out of bed is a struggle. There is weight and mass to the fog it weighs me down and wears me out. If you have never felt it I don’t think that I have the words to describe it to you and would be like me trying to describe the colour orange to a blind person. If you have never felt it I am glad for you because this I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It is evil and it is awful. If you have ever seen anything that glamorises mental illness then it is wrong! There is nothing glamorous about it. As I have already said it is a struggle. Don’t ever wish to enter the Black Fog.

I feel sorry for my friends and family who support me. They have been to my hell and back. In fact, they have brought me back from the edge so many times that they deserve a medal. I do not say that lightly nor do I say it in a joking way because only I know how much they have done for me. They put up with my worst to make me my best. I know that sentence is grammatically wrong but it is so meaningful.

Today is a major struggle. Today was almost my last day on earth. Today I struggle. Tonight I struggle. Will I win? It depends on what you mean by the word win. Living, isn’t necessarily winning because it can be hell. Will I make it to morning? Don’t know. Would it really matter if I didn’t? As the lyrics in the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby say…

Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
        Nobody came
        Father McKenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
        No one was saved

When will the Black Fog leave me? When it decides to! It isn’t here on my invitation. I don’t invite it. I don’t long for it. It comes and goes as it pleases not mine.