I tell myself this every day

I tell myself this every day

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Nothing more and nothing less

I spent the morning, this being the 3rd day of summer, playing with my dogs in the creek by our house. The recent heavy rain has washed away most of the garbage that would normally deter any concerning Lakeside citizen from wading around in what could otherwise be uncapped sharps, used condoms, and a fine layer of jagged beer bottle glass everywhere. It was absolutely gorgeous out. The cruelly bright sun that I hadn't been familiar with for months now burned my shoulders, but was a welcome change from the blocked out windows of my bedroom where I had retreated to for the past 10 weeks. The heat had helped dry up enough of the creek bed that a fair amount of large flat rocks to relax on were available. The water had been undisturbed by fishers and usual drunks, enough to see the algae covered bottom of the creek as clear as glass. It was a beautiful sight and I found myself enjoying the moment. I assessed my emotional state and realized I felt happy, not ecstatic by any means, but a relaxing form of content.

I spent an hour tossing tennis balls into the deeper parts of the creek, watching the short legs on my dogs frantically tearing at the water in a sloppy race to get to the ball first. I loved knowing I'm doing something fun for them since they had to endure me not leaving the bed or house for a couple of months. I was also enjoying the fact that Dovah is the only one fast enough to get the ball, yet Annie diligently struggled and swam after it every time, her hope about getting to the prize first never waning. I soaked up the beauty and innocence knowing that just a few weeks ago I was living the antithesis of this moment. I had about a 10 percent chance of surviving yet here I was, feet stuck 6 inches into a soft sandy creek bed, laughing hysterically at my 2 dogs in life jackets desperately trying to stay afloat with their solid pit bull torpedo bodies. There's nothing buoyant about a compact 45 lbs dog that's pure muscle.

Every morning, before the past week or so, I would wake up and spend my day assessing what my chances of survival were. It was like being tucked into hospice care, with everyday the doctor being asked the inevitable "what are the chances she'll make it through today?" I felt like a body that was still functioning through the power of machinery and pulling the plug on myself was inevitable. Each day felt like a new diagnosis with a new survival rate. Some days I felt like I was given a few weeks to live out while other days I felt my diagnosis was more terminal and I that I had mere days. Either way, I started everyday feeling that there was an expiration date not too far off in my future.

I knew the depression was getting the best of me but what could I do? You're best bet to get away from someone who's beyond reason and trying to kill you is to run, but what if you're tied down and can't move? I was trying to kill me, how can you escape yourself?

Every morning my chances of survival were decreasing. I caught myself counting my sleeping medication and other sedatives to see how much of what it would take to do me in. I was writing all sorts of numbers down in order to find the equation of body weight to milligrams of what combination of pills, liquids, and powders would take me out the easiest and the cleanest. Most people who seriously contemplate and plan out their death will tell you that one of the important variables on your mind while you're plotting your own demise is how you can avoid making your loved ones clean up a large mess. Nevermind that you're taking yourself out of existence, you just don't want to ruin the bed sheets with your decaying fluids, or make them squeegee your brain matter off the TV in the living room. Depression is a queer beast.

I wish I could tell you that my friends, family, or pets pulled me out of it but that would be a farce. An hour or two after I had my pills sorted and counted out I just sort of lost interest. There wasn't a defining moment, no revelation, no divine intervention. I just decided to go do something else and by the next day my 2 or 3 month long funk was gone. I confessed to my husband how close he had been to being a widower with the same demeanor as if I was expressing the mail came late that day. When I'm no longer in crisis I tend to no longer speak about grave issues in such a way. We discussed what we wanted for dinner and I casually mentioned my pill counting and internet search history on destroying myself in the same manner.

You become accustomed to coming close to death. It no longer becomes scary after a while. You know you should be frightened but its familiarity no longer sets off a warning signal in your brain.

When you live with bipolar disorder, and many other similar illnesses, you live with a constant self destruct button. You never really want to push it but sometimes you wake up to find your hand over it and one slight change in pressure will send you off to the next world. I survived this bout just by pure luck. If my moods hadn't of changed later that afternoon then I know for certain that this blog would have been all that's left of me to give my friends, family, and children in hopes of them finding some kind of peace about what I had done. There wouldn't be any cryptic answers or warnings, but they would swear that were silent calls for help and that they could have done something.

The truth is simpler than that. I would have been gone because the disorder wanted me gone. Nothing more and nothing less.

1 comment:

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