By Milian Miles
Every day starts out as a very dark, ugly, gloomy one.
While many people wake up from nightmares, I wake up into mine.
I am living in a society where mental illness is seemingly becoming a fad. It is now cool to be OCD, to be bipolar, to experience depression.
However, not all mental illnesses are receiving this acclaimed privilege. For example no one speaks of epilepsy with such flair, no one boasts of Schizophrenia with such oomph.
Am not sure I even agree with people that speak of illnesses as ‘their own’.
I recently read a friend’s update.
I am not sure we are really friends we have only met once under questionable circumstances and have only spoken on the streets of social media since.
Anyway, he spoke of his attempted suicide.
Narrated how he slit his wrists even joked about how his sheets resembled a period stained bedding. Surprisingly, as a flood of emotions riddled me one stood out strongest.
I was envious that he had managed to do that which I have thought about, contemplated, attempted and terribly failed to do.
No one speaks of death, mainly because it is a taboo. Our parents frown upon speech of such matters. Seated in her car next to her two boys I overheard my former boss admonished her kids for conversing about the death of their grandmother,
“Stop talking about such things,” she said.
Ensuring that these boys are will grow up aware that such topics are not to be spoken off. And it is such instilled flawed mentalities that have led to a society that would rather immerse themselves into feats that defy gravity, clone beings, create robots but never, NEVER, admit to experiencing emotions such as suicidal thoughts.
God forbid that that you allow yourself to feel beaten down and at the end of your rope.
At the age of ten, I began to experience extreme levels of stress that my body and mind could not process. By the time I was fourteen half my face became paralyzed and tossed me into a pit filled with medication, physiotherapy and unbearable pain.
By fifteen all I wanted was to die.
Built to be afraid of needles, flames or blades I knew it would ever be by my hand. I convinced myself that God must have ensured these phobias prevailed to curtail any form of suicidal acts. But was that to mean my suffering was an intentional act from Him? When I envisioned my life I never saw it past the age of nineteen.
Don’t ask me why I picked that particular age.
Every year since, has been a road of surprise and discovery, discovery of self. I began to wish and pray for death. It seemed that I would only be at peace if I rested in peace.
Crying myself to sleep did not quite cut it anymore.
Having lost a friend to suicide last year, and fallen to the darkest pits of my depression my boss decided to get me a shrink. Having stretched myself beyond my limits, refusing to slow down, afraid I would crash if I dialed it back, I actually did go see someone.
I decided to see a shrink in the hope that with time I would be better, what more did I have to lose? My body and mind were no longer my own.
She was there for some of the dark times, the darkest in fact.
She was there until She wasn’t, at one point I guess it became too much and She left.
But before it all ended She was there and she took me to my first visit and a part of me for the first time saw a glimmer of hope in nothing but darkness.
Afterwards She said to me, “You look pretty radiant, it’s as though you are glowing. Are you going to keep seeing him?”
“I just might, I don’t know, am thinking about it.”
“You should, forty minutes and you actually seem better.”
Convinced that I, indeed, felt better, I decided to continue seeing him and begun to plan for the next appointment.
It helps to think positively they say, but when his tentacles reach out from the darkness and pull you back in, it does not matter how much you claw at the ground or fling your arms ‘The Darkness’ will have his way.
Your mind is his play ground and he shall enjoy himself.
It is in those morose moments, lost in your thoughts, enthralled in the never ending dance he introduces you to his friends. There they sit: self-hate, the urge for drugs, the pull of suicide.
Fleeting moments of sanity convince you that the only way out is to take that leap.
“Suicide is a form of murder – premeditated murder. It isn’t something you do the first time you think of doing it. It takes getting used to. And you need the means, the opportunity, the motive. A successful suicide demands good organization and a cool head, both of which are usually incompatible with the suicidal state of mind.”
So says the wise writing of Susanna Kaysen.
This only helps to convince me that this is indeed the only way out. It only takes a feather’s landing to cause snapping of that tight rope you’ve been treading on.
Inconsolable, I am standing there in the streets, tears streaming down my cheeks accompanied by a stranger I met a month ago. I think it is time for my next appointment but this time I shall be by myself. She will not be taking me this time because, as I said before, I guess it had all become too much. She could not take care of herself and take care of me. In my time of need she could not be there for me as I had been for her.
She had been intrigued by the thought of me, she did not stick long enough to actually see me.
They never do.
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