bearthinking

About recovering from depression and suicide.

remembering to create: Day Five

The sun shone on my eyes.  My face was warm and comfortable.  I lazed up out of sleep and uncurled in a massive stretch.  Morning had woken like the first dawn.
It was still a wrench to wake up, but I was not completely disappointed.  Oh, well.  I got out of bed, dressed, and shambled down the hall in search of caffeine.  I stopped to let them see if I had blood pressure and a pulse rate, then continued on in search of caffeine and food.  The fog lifted as I talked with my psychiatrist and caseworker.  They wanted to know how I was doing, were the meds working yet, was I sleeping well.  We talked for awhile, before I could articulate that I was not actively suicidal, but passively.  That I could just sit and stop, that it was attractive, a comforting thought.  I would not seek it out, but I would not prevent it.  Dying was better, but I would not deliberately stop living.

Vitals, breakfast, meds.  A routine.  A comfort.  I had thought before coffee, no other god to worship.  My Lord Depression rages from his cages, a jealous and vengeful god that eats my joy, my hope, my fear, my anger, my life, my brain, my soul.  Eats them, eats me, and shits out a wall, a fog, a barrier to life.  Brain on fire, twisted in a wire cage of gleaming nothing, sitting and feeling itself.

I sat in the room, a cold room on a hot day, alone.  Where was everyone?  Why was everyone not here?  The door opened.  A ghost of hope, a wisp of wrathful regret, a resentful loss of control, and a wistful wish drifted in, greeting the day with a smile in front of the cowering Lord of Self-Loathing, Lord of Autothanatic Urges, Lord of Depression.

She had a name I did not want to hear, for all that I liked it.  She looked like the beautiful daughter of Tommy Lee Jones and Angelina Jolie after she had been stripped of all her joy, her hope, her life, her child.  Married to the Lord of Denial, of You Will Deny What I Can Not Face, of Thou Shalt Have No Other Feelings Before Me.  I wanted to destroy the bastard for what he was doing to her; tangling her in webs of control, getting her in the system and drugged up so she can not fight, breathe, live as herself, deal with her deep grief, be free.
In chess, you win by eliminating your opponent’s choices, by keeping them reacting to your moves and not allowing them to initiate action.  You take control and never surrender it.  She had lost initiative, surrendered her life, her self.  A hollow beauty, eaten by the soulless wonders of fear and loss.  Her pawns were gone, one Bishop wandering in a crazed imitation of the lone Knight who just circled her King.  Castled and both Rooks gone; the Queen had been bound and gagged, carted from the board like, well, she herself had been.
The more she spoke, the more I realized that all she really needed was for her husband to just stop running from the close touch of death and acknowledge her pain.  It could not be anyone else, due to the trigger of this series of events.  But she had been tossed aside like a Raggedy Ann whose stuffing was coming out of the back of her head.  Anger was followed closely by its sib, Depression.

I wanted to act.  I wanted to hold her, to tell her everything was horrible now, but she could learn to take this depression and incorporate it, become one with it and deny it power.  To let her know that she had not done it, yes; it seemed to be impossible and she could not do it, but that was not true; she had merely not done it yet.  Simply remove a comma and shift a letter one spot and she could look forward to doing it.
But.  But, but, but.  It was hopeless.  How could I hope to tell her that when I had woken up 6 days ago with an exploded garbage bag on my head?  Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.  Oh, I could teach, but could I lead, or even just walk alongside, those who I hoped to help?  I cold not even help myself; I was a lost cause in a sea of fog.  And bidden by the dark beckoning beacon of my despair, My Lord of the Pit came forth to bring me to haven.

I found myself once again talking with others, saying things that let them smile as I watched from the pits and longed for the cool green meadows of yesteryears that never existed.  I cried, and silently sang to the heavens of hell’s bliss and the tortures of feeling and caring that heaven brought.
As I sat in groups, ate my lunch, felt the sun on my skin, I stood and screamed defiance to the large black clouds that rained down pains of the years and decades, that stuck me time and again for eternity with bolts of self-hatred and the agony of longing.  I ran from the hail of words that I had taken to myself, only to hide in a wallow of self pity and loathing.  Thronging fogs of those who had wronged me, who I had wronged, who were nothing and everything, rolled across the plains, bringing razors of memory.

Memory.  I was blessed with the curse of remembering everything hurtful that I and others had said to each other.  I could remember who said what to whom and how it felt.  The demonic legions of my memory fell over each other in their eagerness to attack the inch high parapets of my soul.  Easy pickings, I felt the rope before it broke, the clutch of strychnine in my gut, the rush of air as I fell, the blissful sting of the knife’s edge on my arm, the warm embrace of the bag on my head.  I felt them, strong and happy feelings of finally getting it over with, this endless, hopeless torment of trying and reaching, and losing.  Game over and fuck the score.
Then I would remember falling when the rope broke, the two days of cramps and diarrhea, the smack of parking lot asphalt on the soles of my feet, the scabbing of blood, of waking with an exploded bag on my head.  Of failing to cease existing.  The ultimate failure, the inability to succeed at killing yourself.  Not because someone interrupted you, that had never happened to me, but because fate, physics, the divine, random reality attacks, SOMETHING – who knows what, you can call it what you feel like calling it – steps in or takes effect and counters my actions, renders them invalid, void, and vexes me to no end.  Yet another tooth in My Lord Depression’s bulldog jaw.

Dinner; games of pool, the vector angles and momentum moments, the click-clack-thunk of balls, and the shine of stars in a desperate sky twisting with joyous fears.
I sat with Ophelia as she played with form and color; lost in her world, watching from the corners of ours.  The smile on her lips as she did what she could to keep the predators at bay, to show them that she could outrun them.  Where others have domesticated them, we run from them, desperately trying to live and let live.
Her hair was alive as I watched her color.  I was more than half in love with her, wanting to make a space for her to work in, to protect and help her as she found her way home, to give her a means to fly again.   The flames flowed felicitously down her back, twitching tremulously as I alliterated liberally longing for fortuitous forms.  *sigh*
Without hesitating or looking up, she pushed a blank mandala to me and some color pencils; purples, blues, and greens.  There was no one else around.  I sat for a moment, fearful of yet another failure.  Her smile shrugged and twitched in rhyme with her fiery hair.  My Lord shrugged with her; failure would help him, success would not diminish him.  I began to lay down fields of color, not really trying to accomplish anything except to let Ophelia know I would try.
Insanity is not the loss of reason, it is the surrender to what lies within all of us, it is surrender to the neuro-chemical imbalances that overwhelm us at times, it is surrender to the thoughts of self-destruction that loom with in us all, and abandoning of our innate desire to protect each other and help each other for the innately inane joys of senseless destruction and violence.  Creation demands commitment, demands caring, Destruction demands only surrender.
I sat back.  Before me lay something that had not existed ten minutes earlier.  I wondered where it had come from and looked around before I realized that it was the mandala Ophelia had given me to work.  She paused in her own work, looked at my mandala, and said in a high, clear but faint voice, “I think that is really pretty, thank you” before going back to work.

and evening and morning were the fifth day…

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October 3, 2009 - Posted by | autobio, depression, recovery, suicide

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