I guess everyone is entitled to a good meltdown every now and again. Mine came yesterday and it was awesomely powerful. I examine my life experiences to the nth degree and therefore consider myself a pretty analytical person. So now in retrospect, I'm wondering how I got from just feeling tired to hysterically crying on my mother's loveseat saying that I wanted to die.
My mother is good at a lot of things. She's good at nurturing people. She's good at keeping a clean home. She's good at hostessing, and I'm fairly certain she's good at her job as a therapist. She's also quite good at reminding me of the predicament I've gotten myself into.
I do recognize that she says the things she does out of love and a sense of needing to know what's going on. But to some degree, I've found that it's easier to just nod and say "yes" rather than argue. For instance, when she tells me what I should discuss with my therapist, I say, "yes mom" because it's easier than saying, "It's my therapist and I get to decide what I talk about during that hour, not you. Stop being a controlling bitch." See? This way everyone is happy. Because it really isn't any of her business.
When I think about the choices I've made throughout my life, I'm well aware that most of my choices--especially the big ones--have come from a place of fear, not of logic. Most recently, I began trying to make some choices based on what I want, not what I'm afraid will happen. That's a first for me. And it's hard to say if that's good or bad, because the decision I made really is not one that most people I know would approve of. In fact, most people, including all of those whom I've told about it, think it's poor decision-making. And it may be. But for the first time in my life I could breathe. I could smell happiness and beauty. I've felt things I've never felt before and never knew I was capable of. Sometimes it intoxicates me to the point of fear. But that's why I need to do it.
Vincent D'Onofrio has said, when people ask him how he chooses scripts, that he chooses the one that frightens him the most. When I went to that interview eleven years ago at my last job, I was breathless. I knew I was capable of the job and met all the requirements. But it was a new job, a new situation; I was afraid. And then I took the job, worked through the rough patches, and learned tons of information.
So I was sitting on my mother's loveseat yesterday, bawling over her questions and the inherent pressure of them. When was I going to move out? What did I want to do for a job? Had I talked to this or that person? What direction was my marriage going in? What was my husband doing about this or that or whatever? And yes, in that moment, I wanted to die. I don't know what's going to happen and I don't have answers for her questions. I wasn't particularly proud of my histrionics but I was so overwhelmed in the moment.
My depression has been deep and profound for awhile. I think my mother is finally starting to understand that when I say I want to die it's an expression of a feeling--a scary, desperate one--but it doesn't mean "go hide the knives".
I recently had a falling out with some friends over the idea of suicide. They looked at the phrase as a threat and that it was a selfish thing to do. As a person who has dealt with depression the majority of her life, I don't see it that way. I have a strong belief that people who commit suicide do so with the intent to save those around them from any more pain. There are times I feel like an anchor that's dragging the ocean floor and my loved ones are the boat above, trying to move, but they can't. They can't move because I'm holding them back.
I'm not naive enough to believe that nobody ever kills themselves for other reasons. But I also believe that each of us wakes up every day and makes a decision to live or to die; to embrace life or to push it away. Some days it's difficult--horribly difficult--to embrace life. My bed looks very comfortable on those days.