Sometimes I have bad days.
Sometimes I have bad weeks, sometimes bad months. Sometimes it lasts longer. I don’t question it any more, nor do I wish it didn’t happen. I can trace the first time I felt like this back to when I was twelve years old. My mother died when I was an infant, and my father remarried. I was too young to have any memory of my mother, and believed my father’s second wife to be my mother. One day when I was twelve she disappeared. She left one day while I was at school. She left without a word. I lay in the bathtub for hours trying to work out why she did that.
I have been told by many doctors that I have severe depression, but being told that doesn’t really mean that much. When it is something that becomes a staple part of your existence it doesn’t feel like an abnormality. Being told I suffer from severe depression was like being told I need oxygen to breathe, or food to sustain myself. It just doesn’t mean anything.
I look at that memory, and it feels as though a part of me sprung a leak. Through it slowly all the good drained out of me. I tried to fill it with anything I could just to make myself feel better. Anything I used to try and plug up that leak was inevitably unsuccessful.
I believed for a long time that someone would come along and make me happy. Looking at that belief I now see that how selfish it is. I was counting on someone to replace my deceased mother. I would always feel the worst around Christmas and my birthday, which was when I would actively seek someone to make me feel better. I spent my winters with writers, architects, radiologists, dancers, artists, burlesque performers, anyone I could find who I thought could make me happy. It would work for a couple of weeks. During that time, I’d feel like I was turning a new page, but then the reality of me trying to anaesthetise my problem would kick in, and I would omit myself.
Trying to find someone to fix that drain is just as short term as the other methods. The excessive drug use, the constant drinking, the anonymous sex.
I even tried to believe in god for a few weeks.
That was during one of my most depraved chapters.
It is something that I rarely talk about. Maybe I am ashamed. Maybe I do not wish to be a burden on others. I don’t believe I would find an honest answer no matter how long I meditated on it. I have never had a conversation about it with my family, nor most of my friends. It wasn’t until a year ago that I told my best friend that I tried to kill myself when I was nineteen. I was quite happy to keep that to myself, but I felt through everything I owed him the truth.
I was worried of his reaction. I was worried he would have been angry. I was worried it would put distance between us.
The hardest part wasn’t telling him. The hardest part was telling him in full disclosure that I could not promise I would not try to do it again.
This isn’t a cry for help. This isn’t me saying I want to do it again. Once you have been fixated on that, it’s very hard to escape. I often don’t engage people on conversations about the topic of suicide as there is a conception that it is a moment of weakness. An act of desperation. In reality it is a state of mind, it is consistent and it is continuous. Even at the happiest points of my life, the points of the greatest self-development, that string of thoughts will always lurk somewhere in the back of my mind.
I didn’t expect my best friend – Henry – to understand that, but I had to tell him. He didn’t need to say anything. He just held me. We talked about growing up. We talked about the stupid shit we used to do. Our crazy hopes and dreams. He told me that one day he would like to get married, and he would want me to be there.
That resonated to my core, and years on I still feel the impact of that little phrase. We were both drunk, and I don’t think either of us knew at the time the gravity of those few words.
I shall never forget them.
He was one of the few things that ever made me feel better about myself. He made me feel like I wasn’t inherently broken, and that there was a reason to it all. I’d often become so fixated on the bigger picture, that I would ignore my surroundings and my co-conspirators.
The other thing that helped me with these feelings was writing. Sometimes during the bad weeks, I go mute. I can’t bring myself to write anything and I just endure until I can. I never really had a reason to write, so it would often take a while to start again.
Things seem different now. Writing on this platform, getting to know writers on WordPress, and especially those on sudden denouement. Knowing that there are people who read my work – it is one of the strongest motivations I’ve had. I’ve just had a shitty week, but now I just want to get on. To create some things that I can be proud of, and that hopefully others will enjoy.
It’s the kind of motivation that makes me want to be honest, and to say these undisclosed thoughts I have always kept internally.
I may fall silent at times, but the community on here gives me a reason to power through.
I am incredibly grateful for that.