On Friday night I wanted to kill myself. I can’t say exactly what led to that low point but my mood had definitely taken a nose dive towards the end of last week. I don’t remember much of what was going through my head, other than my wife asking me to come to bed, saying she needed me. I categorically didn’t believe her.
A single thought was then going through my head on repeat; nobody needs me. What can I possibly offer that anyone would need? That carried into the typical, ‘everyone would be better off without me’ sort of thinking.
The suicidal thoughts had surfaced seemingly out of nowhere when I had a sleepless night on Wednesday. Last time I felt so desperate, I was feeling too ashamed and hopeless to talk to J about it in therapy. I ended up consuming a lot of vodka and pills immediately after a session with her. That led to some very difficult and frank conversations in the week that followed. My guilt and my desire to be trusted by J made me resolve to try harder to let her know when I wasn’t feeling safe with myself.
So even though I really didn’t want to discuss it, I told J I was feeling suicidal on Thursday. I didn’t actually want to talk about anything at all. However I did want to go to my session. I hadn’t gone to work, and had spent the morning at home feeling deeply lonely. I didn’t want to share anything with J, but I absolutely wanted the contact with her.
I have several problems with talking to J about feeling suicidal. Shame is one. Guilt is another; I don’t want her to be worried about me. But the major issue is that I can’t explain myself, and I feel like if I tell her I feel that way I should offer some insight into the reasons for it. I know she will ask me why and I know I won’t be able to give a useful response.
That’s what happened on Thursday. I was actually beyond even being interested in why I felt so bad. I’d moved past caring about what caused it. I was in such a dark, bleak place that all I could think about was not wanting to be there. Not wanting to be at all. When I reach the bottom like that, all I want is out. I want an end to feeling so wretched and I can’t see that the mood will pass.
It’s also hard to do therapy when things are that dark because everything, absolutely everything, feels pointless. I don’t have any sense of purpose and I can’t see that talking about any of it will make any difference. Generally, I’ve never talked about feeling suicidal and then felt less suicidal as a result.
But I did what I was meant to do. I was honest about the place I was in, even if I couldn’t describe it or understand it. I did feel better temporarily while I was with J. Although I was withdrawn, I managed to feel some connection with her and that was a comfort during the session. It was just really hard to manage on my own afterwards.
I could’ve talked to my wife about it, but I never really open up to her when things are that bad. I could’ve blogged, but I had no motivation to write much. I could’ve gone to my CoDA meeting, where I get support from a very warm and understanding group of friends, but I didn’t want to face people.
Instead I cut myself off from everyone who might help and forced myself to wait it out in solitude. It was horrendous. I spent hours formulating various exit strategies in my head. As I spent more and more time with my thoughts, they got blacker and more vicious. It’s so hard to adequately describe anything of what that feels like.
Thankfully, that heavy cloud seems to be lifting and I am feeling stronger today. Looking back at the past few days now, I just feel scared. I’m scared because that mood descended so suddenly. I’m scared of the helpless paralysis it brings when it comes. And it’s hard not to feel scared when I know that I’ll almost certainly have to face it all again.
Photo: H.Adam, Creative Commons.