WARNING: suicide, self-harm, death, and a hefty read.
This is real and not a fictional writing piece, just so everyone knows. This is the story of my struggle with my mental health. This is very emotional, so please bare with me and the possible writing mistakes that may happen. I’ve been terrified to post this, but I just said “fuck it” and did it anyway.
What a lot of people don’t know is that I tried committing suicide a few weeks ago. I’ve never been someone to talk about my problems or go to people for help, even when I was in dire need. But, maybe this time, I thought I should let myself be vulnerable for once.
It was a failed attempt at slitting my wrists and being in the hospital for almost a week. It would’ve been longer if I had been honest with the nurses and doctors, but I didn’t want to be there anymore. It made me want to kill myself more because it was just constant silence and loneliness. I felt like my emotional state got worse while I was in there, alone with my thoughts and staring at four blank walls. But if I told them that, they would’ve kept me there longer and I was certain I was going to collect the blankets, tie them into a noose, and hang myself if I had to stay another day.
I was under suicide watch for 32 hours and I wasn’t allowed to have anything with me that was remotely sharp. I wasn’t even allowed to have my tooth brush and tooth paste without being monitored. Apparently patients were really creative with harming themselves and they weren’t going to take their chances. I started looking around the room and looking for things that I could hurt myself with because I was that bored and isolated there. After those 32 gruesome hours, I had a little more freedom.
You know what the worst part for me was? The first day and a half I couldn’t smoke at all. I had no privileges to leave the premises. My brother half-joked about breaking me out and have a chase with security and the cops, but of course, that wouldn’t end well.
Time went by ridiculously slow and my fiancé could barely sleep while I was there. I wasn’t allowed to have my phone but I snuck it in anyways and talked to him most of the night before the drugs kicked in and I couldn’t fight sleep anymore. Not only did my mental health deteriorate, but his did as well. He came every single day for the whole day when I was in there on no sleep. We would take naps together in my hospital bed in hopes for some shut-eye for him and then when we were awake, we would talk about how much we loved and missed each other when we were apart. Not once did I talk about my suicide attempt with him when he was there.
I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety since I was a child and it progressively got worse over the years. I was just properly diagnosed when I was in university a few years ago, in which I was hospitalized for the same reason as well, but this time was different. The hospital scared me the first time I was admitted because I felt like I wasn’t as crazy as the other people in there. This time, I felt like I was one of the worst cases there. I hated being there, but I wasn’t scared. I didn’t care if another patient came in and strangled me to death or stabbed me with their utensils during meal time. I almost wished for it sometimes. ‘Code White(s)’ would be the highlight of my days there in the mental health unit.
I’ve been to many different counsellors and therapists and they usually say the same things to me. I’ve gotten so sick of hearing it all so I stopped going. It became a chore and I wasn’t getting better this time around.
I could live with my mental health, I’ve done it for years, but when my mom passed away, everything just came crashing down. I never had a break. After she died, I had a couple of days off work. I don’t get paid for bereavement, so I started work as soon as possible again and just kept going from there. Bills began piling up and I grabbed a couple of extra shifts and jobs here and there and I never gave myself time to grieve. My fiancé would tell me that it scared him that I never talked about how my mom’s death affected me and I was angry all the time and taking it out on him, but I never realized it. I am extremely emotionally unstable. My family was mad at me about money and I only remember a couple of family members ever checking on me and caring for my well-being. It ate me alive and it still does. Everyday, I thought I would be better off dead. My family didn’t care, so why would I? The only person that really cared about me the most was gone already.
As time went by, I moved from place to place, got kicked out, and ended up being crammed somewhere I desperately don’t want to be. Everything got so bad that I finally had the courage to do it. Everything hit me at once and I just wanted to see my mom once again. I’m going nowhere in life anyways, so why did it matter?
I couldn’t go back to work because walking by myself in public tempts me to jump in front of oncoming traffic and working with people where I constantly have to talk to them and be happy became too hard for me. I stopped caring about getting out of bed, I stopped brushing my hair, I have a hard time showering, and I have a hard time eating or I eat too much. I wake up crying or I can’t sleep because I’m sobbing from my anxiety attacks. I’m chain smoking constantly and I’m always fighting with myself to not self-harm. I have a hard time taking care of myself. I know it doesn’t seem like it on social media, but trust me, it takes me hours to look semi-decent for the camera and several different photos that look like I’m not dying on the inside.
I do get moments of clarity. I still get up and take care of my dog and rabbit, feed them, give them love and affection, and play with them, but it’s extremely hard.
I do want to get better. I take my medication everyday and some days I do get out of bed, but not everyday. There are days I will go see my friends and they’ll bring me out of the city to clear my mind and help fight off the demons when they start getting too bad. There are also some days where I will try and get out to get groceries with my fiancé or try to walk my dog. I have a good support system, it’s just a matter of if I’m able to force myself to ask for help. I’m just stuck in this mindset that I’m a burden or that I’m worried that people will think I’m doing it for attention. After several years of abuse, I won’t be able to change the way I am overnight.
What people don’t realize is that you’re never fully ‘cured’ of mental illness. It’s constant work everyday; just because it’s not visible, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. You don’t just go to rehab or the hospital and all of a sudden you’re fixed when you leave. If it was that easy, no one would be suffering from mental illness.
I spent most of my life worrying about and taking care of other people that I neglected my own well-being. I put others before myself and when the person that needed me the most passed away, it felt like nothing mattered anymore. When your whole life revolves around that one person, what do you do when they’re gone?
I still avoid grieving because I can’t bear the heartache. I’m scared that if I start, I won’t stop screaming and crying. I’m not scared of much anymore, but feeling that pain again is absolutely terrifying. I do not cope well at all.
I have a moment of clarity now and that’s how I’m able to even write all this. To be honest, I am scared. I wish I knew what it was like to not be fighting my demons every single day. This is almost like a cry for help, but also a way to get out my emotions in hopes for a better tomorrow. I’m tired of pretending I’m okay all the time.
I’m so fucking tired of everything and I don’t want to be like this anymore. I’m a strong person but strong people still have a breaking point. This is the weakest I have ever been and I hope it doesn’t get any worse than this.
Unfortunately, these are the perks of suffering with a mental illness.
P.S: Please stop romanticizing depression and anxiety (or any mental illness for that matter) because these mental illnesses are so real and not something that someone can easily “get over”. My pain is not beautiful, it’s a cesspool of anger, insecurity, hopelessness, loneliness, and fear and I’m drowning in it.
Even as an artist, I don’t find it beautiful. There is more to life than romanticzing pain. You are not your suffering. You are a human being that deserves happiness and clarity and I hope that one day, I see that for myself and that you do as well.