I've been 'gone' for a while, I know. I have had so many feelings and life events and just stuff to deal with, rectify, get through, that I haven't known what to write. I have had the opportunity to help people, at least I think I've helped them, through such avenues as Facebook private groups for suicide attempt survivors and borderline personality disorder. I've talked to people that were on the edge of suicide, yet were reaching out for someone to tell them that they didn't have to go through with it, that they were worthy of having a life. It has given me a lot of perspective, and also made me realize that this never will be over.
I believe that once you've gone through the process of preparing to kill yourself one time, suicide becomes a viable option for many of life's unpleasant situations. This is something that those folks who would never consider suicide, and think it is morally wrong, would be able to understand. There's no easy way to explain it to them. But I have tried. We have to keep trying, don't we? Surely we'll get through to someone at some point. Well, maybe so, and maybe not.
Here's the thing....all the people that were participants in your suicide attempt....family members and close friends....will always be on guard, even though you can't see it. They will forever be cautious about what they say around and to you. They will always be vigilant in watching you for signs that you might do it again. Why? Because they think that they blinked, and they came very close to losing you forever. They missed some sign, some innuendo, something, that they should have noticed and taken seriously and they would have kept you from even trying to leave this world. They don't or can't understand that they probably had nothing to do with your wish to end your life.
There is this gap, I think, between us and them. This gap is what separates people that have the capacity to kill themselves and people that not only don't have the capacity, but would never consider taking their own life. It will never even come up as an option for them, when faced with some seemingly insurmountable obstacle. This is the primary reason that they can't understand why you would do such a thing under any circumstances. It is not in their genes or upbringing or personality or whatever.
It's funny in a way, too. I look at people that are living in abject poverty, are permanently, chronically ill, terminally ill, are completely alone and friendless....yet, they will live in an alley in a cardboard box, eat out of garbage bins, prostitute themselves.....whereas I would much rather leave this world than have such an existence. I find it hard enough sometimes to stay among the living when I have an abundance of hope; I know I wouldn't bother if I thought that hope had left the building.
My conclusion: there is no cure for us. We will always be different. We will never be fully trusted, even by our own selves. We will always see suicide as a perfectly acceptable option in times of trouble.
So, most importantly, we must keep tabs on ourselves. Check in and make sure we haven't started dissociating, for that is the reddest of the red flags. I wish I could say that days and weeks go by and I don't think about any of this, but I know it is forever a part of me. I find myself treading on thin ice often. I have been lucky so far, mostly due to my own hyper-vigilance about my red flags. I know that nobody else can do this for me. I work hard to find reasons to want to live, to plan for future endeavors, to persevere in this insanely fucked up world. I don't look for a cure, or even a bandaid. I find something to look forward to in each tomorrow, even when there are parts of me that are trying to lure me to the other side. And I allow myself some hopelessness. Because hopelessness is a part of today's reality. It doesn't take much looking around to see that. Rising above it, without ignoring it, takes a good deal of effort.
I am getting ready to start back into therapy, after a hiatus of two years. I dread it as much as I crave it. I will let you know how it goes. I wish I could just type up a resume' regarding my sanity, instead of having to tell my story to a new therapist, and yet again to a new psychiatrist. A resume' would be a whole lot simpler. But none of this has ever been simple, has it now?