Yesterday I should have written but I was too busy crying and arguing with some friends of mine. They all thought that because I've had unseemly thoughts I should lock myself in a psychiatric hospital. I'm not about to do such a thing for several reasons.
First, I do not plan on killing myself. I'll admit that I have thought about it. I've also thought about running away to Disneyworld, moving back to my old town, becoming a rock star, running away with an online friend of mine, and becoming a buddhist follower. Just because I have the thought doesn't mean I'm going to do it.
Second, having struggled with depression for most of my life (I was first diagnosed at age eleven), I am a firm believer that each person has the right to choose whether to continue to live today or end their life if they see fit. There are some people who cannot bear the pain of their lives for whatever reason, and in certain situations it would be cruel to force them to continue to live when there is no end in sight to their pain (either physical or emotional). I do not count myself in this category but I know and have known people in this category. While I believe that some people do need to be hospitalized to become stable, I don't think that every person who has a suicidal thought fits this category. I can just as easily imagine myself locked up for fantasizing I've run away with Detective Goren on Criminal Intent and we are now living a life of love and sex and baby making. Or taking up residence in Disney's Animal Kingdom and visiting the parks for weeks until somebody finds me and kicks me out, or I get employed.
The thing that most hurt me was being accused of trying to manipulate people when I shared my feelings. Look, people, sometimes people say things you don't want to hear. Sometimes they say things that scare you or freak you out or even make you think, "eww, gross, really?". Does mention of suicide always mean either danger or manipulation? Or is it possible that, just like we have other fleeting thoughts and feelings, the thought or feeling of being suicidal might be fleeting too?
Taboo, for sure. Painful, absolutely. Do I regret bringing it up and being honest? You bet I do. There's a reason that people who commit suicide often do it in the dark, with no warning. Because talking about the feelings behind it often send off the mark of a five alarm fire. How terrible that a person have that thought!
If I had a dollar for every time I've thought about suicide I'd have...well, I'd have enough for that disney vacation, anyway. But I also know my own limits, and I know my own values. My children lost their birth parents at a very young age, and I will never willingly force them to go through a loss like that again.
Chronic pain is linked to a lot of things, including child abuse, depression, and anxiety. I fit all three categories. And when you hurt all over, day after day, you start to wonder why you should continue to hurt, or to live, since you can't contribute. One of the hardest parts of this illness has been not being able to do the things I used to do with my kids. That has been a hard loss, and one I regret regularly. And yes, some days I wonder how useful I am to my children. Writing helps me remember why I'm useful, and how I can make a difference. The belief that perhaps someday, someone will be able to read this and find comfort that they aren't alone.
Today has been an exhausting day for me, and I'm not sure why. I just know I've been incredibly tired all day. I've been anxious and upset as well. But tomorrow will bring a new day, a new time. And maybe I'll feel better. Maybe I won't...but I'll be around to find out.