Some colleagues at work were talking about suicide. One in particular, he is very religiously driven and had loud opinions on suicide being failure a giving up.
The compassionate side of me sees his fear, in the face of despair to judge may be a sign that to contemplate that despair is just too painful.
The threatened part of me thinks that if I were to kill myself that he would just say I was a failure. It’s a kind of strong negative feedback loop. It tells me that the fact that I think about suicide on a daily basis means that I am a failure, so therefore I should just kill myself.
The fact that the threatened part of me had a longer paragraph than the compassionate is interesting. I have more fear than compassion….. I should feel more compassion for frightened me…… hmmm I’ll work on that.
End of transmission
I am a musician and sound is significant to me. Pitch, rhythm, timbre I notice it all. I hear the regularity of footsteps and how some people seem to pound the ground as they walk what energy they spend on each step, I often stop to ponder wonder why.
So it is not that strange that one of the ways I have experienced anxiety and depression is as a kind of background noise. I saw one person on Twitter refer to it as a kind of tinnitus. In my darkest times my head feels very noisy, I don’t hallucinate as such, but somehow I can’t hear myself think. At the worst points my head is bursting with undecipherable screaming and shouting.
Once, after meditating – Mindfulness of Breathing – I suddenly was aware of silence in my head. It was as if I’d taken off very loud headphones. The relief was enormous. My muscles relaxed and everything felt okay.
I do take medication over the years different kinds. One thing about medication is that is feels a bit like background music. It increases the noise in my head, but sometimes that’s a good thing because it helps to drown out the hiss of depression. But, when I’m feeling better I become aware of the noise from the medication, the muzak suddenly becomes annoying.
Just now my head is quite quiet and I’m aware of the fact, I feel well. That’s the other thing. The whole idea of noise is something I’m only aware of when it stops then, I frequently have another thought at the same time. Somehow, I know it was a part of me all along making all the noise.
In the last few years it could be said that I’ve ‘come to consciousness’. Meaning that I”m more self aware and that I stay in the moment, some of the time. I’d like to think it was most of the time but I know that actually I stay in the moment for fleeting moments.
But the flip side of this is the darkness. Previously I knew this as a foggy confusion. Now I see it – I name my demons. Depression, suicidal ideation, despair.
For the physicists among you, I see it as ‘intensity is conserved’. Meaning that however good I feel in one moment is matched and balanced by the darkness I may feel in another. It can taint my positive moments but doesn’t really lift my darkness.
I’m there just now. There is a recess of my consciousness knows that it is the flip side to knowing real joy. But it is so dark. My worry is that in a moment of weakness / impulsivity / despair that I’ll do something that I regret. I do want to live, but sometimes it is so hard. Like now. It’s a ‘What’s the point !’ moment. I may derive much meaning from some moments. but this particular one feels hopeless.
The isolation feels complete.
Depression – I am getting a little better at noticing the signs.
My usual routine can unfold over months or weeks and goes something like this :-
- Feel fine – slightly wired.
- Anxiety kicks in, it’s all about work – I know I’ll just try harder.
- Anxiety about everything joins the work anxieties – I keep trying harder at everything
- Cracks in my idea that I’m fine become apparent to me – I don’t feel fine, it is still all about x,y,z. It it wasn’t for those things I’d be good.
- An inkling of realisation that even if x,y,z were totally and permanently fixed that I’d still be feeling bad.
- Suddenly, I want to kill myself – now where on earth did that come from.
Just now I think I’m at about 4 or 5.
Well meaning friends making comments that use balanced argument to ‘help’ me see the world as they do.
They aren’t suicidal so their point of view must be healthier.
I’ve seen the other person’s side for most of my life. I can see that people behave in a way that was in a reaction to their own problems. But if their actions (for very good reasons I know) have had an effect on me that means that I want to kill or self harm. Then please
- don’t ask me to try and understand their side
- don’t ask me to stop seeing my hurt ‘because theirs is more understandable’
In order to stop the self destruct I need to see my side. I need to remember that from my point of view they damage me (not meaning to I know, I KNOW, I KNOW).
The desire to harm / destruct myself is an effort to validate to myself the pain that nobody else can see.
Please don’t drive me closer to it.
I walk my interior landscape daily.
sun bleached bones
Do I despair of the desolation
Or rejoice in the vastness of infinity?
This is for Writing 201:Poetry
Prompt – Landscape
Device – Enumeratio
At home I knew it was there, my file.
I would walk past the room with the desk with the drawer
My history slightly creased.
A lifetime of avoidance
A moment of acceptance
At last I held it
No longer fantasy, a princess? a hero?
Interest had seemed disloyal to mum and dad
Now nobody could see the feigned indifference
Envelope innards, so few?
Why not a telephone directory of detail in small print.
My life on these scraps.
Typewriter ink on paper.
Signatures of my blood.
Dont do it!
‘I give this child away’
This is for Writing 201:Poetry
Prompt – Drawer
Device – Apostrophe
Getting up I feel uneasy,
Off to work just keep going.
Through the morning rude white knuckles
Nearly lunchtime just keep working.
No tolerance for empty chatter.
Is it anger? Just keep moving.
Jealous me or boastful colleagues?
Doesn’t matter just keep breathing.
Sharpened edges hurt my vision,
Angry filter just keep filming.
Nearly done, lost aspirations.
Mediocre, just keep working.
Hours over, head for home,
Re-run failures just keep running.
Rapid cycles, anger, numbness.
Guilty! Useless! Just keep peddling.
No more movement, turn it inwards,
Unspent forces wrapped in fuse wire.
Head exploding close the hatches
Black collapsing, world compressing.
All that matter, down to pin size,
Tiny dot holds all my feelings.
This is for Writing 201:Poetry
Bleary from moonshine meds made in the still of my brain
The spirit isn’t proof enough for the silence of now
Filtering out insufficient sharp reality
Dangerous waters of connection are left unswum
I stay in the dark chamber
Padded from the fading film of cine reel, real life.
This is for Writing201:Poetry, prompt was Trust
Try and remember the good times
How many professionals have said something like that to me ?
The thing is – the very nature of the bad times is that the good times are a fading photo of past times inaccessible. When I’m feeling very low it is because the notion of a good time seems laughable.
A definition of a bad time – when I can’t imagine being good again.
If I could then the dark mood would not be so dark, if I still had one foot in the world of happiness then that would be enough to keep me sane. But when both feet (to stretch the metaphor) are well and truly in the world of hopelessness then don’t ask me to imagine myself into another dimension.
So when someone asks me to remember the good times – I think they’ve never really experienced the darkness.