Two days ago, or is it three? Day-before the day-before yesterday, anyhow... The world was as dull and hurtful as I've ever seen it. Trebly worse because my life was going well - I have a beautiful apartment, a girlfriend and a boyfriend who love me, and I'm going to be a sophomore next year at a college I love. I would rather be here than anywhere else, situationally. The only problem is money - I became "disabled" in the legal sense in July, and am still waiting (of course) for my SSI application to go through. I should be applying for food stamps and Medi-cal as well, but I have this little problem with agoraphobia - in the past couple of weeks, I've left the house only for therapy, and to go to the hospital.
So the depression isn't situational, it's probably chemical, and I should keep a stiff upper lip and wait for the Paxil to start working. It will start working soon, right? So why is the world so cruel, so not worth living with? Why do I want to die so badly? Well, reasons seem bald. The depression is something that I find myself unable to easily explain - when I'm asked why I want to die, I find myself struggling for words. "I am depressed" is the easiest thing to say, and why I am depressed is a mystery to me as much as anyone else. It could be the time of year, seeing as how I've failed every summer. It's partly that the memories are painful when they come, that I feel numb and stupid when they don't, and I know that I have so many years of painful processing to do before they stop plaguing me. My abysmal self-esteem could have something to do with it, although that's another question that begs the reason why. I feel like a failure, but then again, why couldn't I work in the first place? Is having MPD and panic attacks, and depression, and PTSD and whatever else I've been charged with, a good enough reason to fail utterly in my responsibilities? Doubts plague me constantly, although I've found that therapy actually helps a little bit with the self-esteem. I don't know if it's GOOD for me to be told it's not my fault, that I would get better and be stronger if I could, but the logic seems indeniable.
So for whatever reason, I was lonely and sad and desperate. I had tried to distract myself, but I couldn't concentrate on anything, and five hours of Tetris was getting to be a bit much. My girlfriend was away for a few days. I couldn't reach anyone on the phone. (Warning: the next few paragraphs are graphic, skip them if you're squeamish.) So I sat in my bathtub, naked, and contemplated my wrists, damning my poor circulation that hides the veins so far from the surface. I got a new, clean razor blade. I gathered up the little courage and all of the desperation that I had. I tried not to psych myself out. I took a breath... and cut. It bled right away, gratifyingly, but it was clear I hadn't hit a vein. I tried again, with a neighboring thin blue line I saw, forcing myself to push a little harder. No luck, although the blood is beautiful. I made a few more cuts, and one of them was clearly superior - I hadn't hit a vein, but it gaped open. I gritted my teeth and sliced the razor a few more times in the same cut - it didn't bleed much more. The bathwater was tinged only very very slightly with a rusty brown. I decided to give up and see if Tetris was interesting again. Or maybe I could go to bed - it was only 9, and I had insomnia, but I was tired as hell from not enough sleep previous nights.
The next day (that would be day-before-yesterday), more of the same. Afraid to leave the house, wanting to die, etc etc. I gave it the good fight, or I thought I did. Tried calling a crisis line. Tried calling everyone I knew. But it was no good. A phone conversation can't last forever, and I was losing Tetris by level 5, I was so out of it. So once again, I returned to my bathtub.
I picked the scab painstakingly out of my cut, the one that was deep-ish. I registered pain, but I hurt too badly emotionally to even pay attention. Gingerly I cut away, bit by tiny bit, at the hole in my wrist. It probably wasn't the best way to do it - a single deep cut might hurt more for a second, but it would be less in the long run, and there's less danger of courage failing. I was getting deep into my wrist, though, slowly. Each new cut would bleed slightly and I'd shake it into billowing pools under the water until it stopped. Then I'd try again. After a while I grew impatient, and stopped waiting for it to stop bleeding before I cut again. I cut through a thin layer of yellowish fat, and I could see the vein, purple-red now; it was so close. The cut that got me there was the tiniest thing - I'd picked my way down less than a milimeter at a time. And suddenly the bloodflow was thick and dark and running fast down my arm; what triumph! I've been cutting for five years and never once, anywhere, have I hit a vein. I know I sound morbid, but I'm trying to give a detailed account of my headspace. It's worth it. Experiences like these need to be remembered, both the positive and the negative.
I put my arm under the water, and watched blood, freed of gravity, make curling fountains, like smoke, red and beautiful. They were hypnotising to watch, and the flow seemed to be so fast! I hoped I'd pass out, although I doubted the lethality of one tiny hole in my vein. Maybe, though. It was going awfully fast, and it seemed like only five minutes before the bathwater was a beautiful shade of ruby. The water was getting cold, but I barely felt it. I leaned back and watched, dissociated, zoned out. I felt suddenly happy. I was going to be okay. Maybe I'd die, and I wouldn't have to worry about that toothache or the bladder infection that seemed to have developed only that day. Maybe I wouldn't, but for a while longer I could have this bliss and freedom. It was the high point of my day.
After a while the blood slowed dramatically, and I was concerned. I nudged it with the razor, and whatever tiny clot had formed moved out of the way and the blood started afresh. I did this several more times, but the water was getting cold and I realized that I wasn't in the headspace to make a similar cut on another vein. It would take too long, and I was so happy and floaty. So I got out of the tub, applied pressure with a washcloth, applied pressure again with some toilet paper until it stopped, and dried off.
The pain in my bladder was agonizing and played a key role in this story, but seeing as how that's just kind of gross, I'll shy away from that bit of it. Suffice to say that even apart from my insomnia, I was in too much pain to sleep.
So I went back into the bedroom, called a friend, tried to pass the time. I watched TV for an hour, but TV was depressing. I tried calling other friends, but could reach no one. I tried the crisis line again, because I was lonely and couldn't sleep and depressed and I knew that if I couldn't get away from myself, I would have to try some more, and I didn't have the energy anymore. I had only talked for about two minutes before call waiting beeped; I figured it must be my boyfriend, so I said goodbye to the hotline worker. It wasn't, though, it was my friend who we'll call DarkSouls (their internet name), and I latched onto them. I told them everything, and they asked me about how I was feeling, and told me I might be in shock. I explained about the insomnia and they offered to talk to me as long as I needed. I am so grateful for everyone I talked to that night, everyone who helped me. I am so indebted especially to DarkSouls and my boyfriend. I am lucky. I'm not the unlikeable person I was years ago; people care about me. Mind-boggling.
This story is long, and I haven't even gotten to the hospital yet. But I want it to be there. I want to remember.
DarkSouls were with my girlfriend, and they were at my boyfriend's house (big happy poly family, we are). So I kept talking to them until my boyfriend got home, and I talked to my boyfriend then, and everyone loved me. Again, record my gratefulness. I was getting really groggy and dizzy and DarkSouls wasn't sure how much shock I was in, and they wanted me to go to the hospital. I couldn't go alone. I just couldn't. I thought I would be fine. After a while DarkSouls and my boyfriend decided that they would come down here and take me to the hospital. It was 2 in the morning by this time, and I live an hour and a half away. I tried to refuse, but I was pretty out of it, and they were all worried. Besides, I was afraid of hanging up the phone. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep.
So I talked to my girlfriend while the other two drove down here, and then we dawdled a bit, deciding if I really needed to go. (I probably didn't, and they were awful there, but I didn't know. At least I got a prescription for the infection.) So it was about five in the morning before we got in the car, five fifteen when we got to the ER. There wasn't much waiting, only one person ahead of us. Of course there was lots of waiting between nurse and doctor and nurse again, but that's to be expected. The nurse told me I'd get stitches, and gave me a tetanus shot. The doctor decided the cut was too old for stitches. All this took two hours, and they sent me over to the psych ward. I thought I was just going over there to get evaluated as to whether they were going to make me stay, but apparently the doctor had already put me on a 5150.
Now begins my nightmare, and what I would do well to remember when I feel like killing myself again. My friends couldn't come with me, and they took my wallet and keys and told me to wait for someone to do the admit. The waiting was awful; I had nothing to do. It was about two before I left, and I talked with people for maybe an hour of that, so that's overall six hours of waiting. With nothing to do. (Later I had a book, but it was one I had already read very recently.) The nurse who did the admit wasn't so bad, at first. She asked me the usual questions, and when I explained how I made the bruises she asked me how I'd learned that, and I told her the truth, from my girlfriend. She made some nasty comment about how we shouldn't be living together and how bad we were for each other. But I was honest and shaken and unsure. I didn't want to stay there, but I wondered if I should. I'm glad I didn't.
I got to see my friends briefly and give them my keys, so they could wait at my apartment, and got a book my boyfriend had with him (one I'd just read, but it was a book.) When I complained to them about how no one told me I was getting admitted, that I was on a hold, and they got suitably indignant on my behalf, the nurse got very annoyed. She told them basically that anyone who did what I did was not a reasonable person with rights anymore, and said, "Are you going to get the keys or not?" They left, and the next person to see me was the crisis worker. When I told her about having MPD, she said "Are you yourself right now?" What a ridiculous question. All of us are *ourselves*. She was not unfriendly, although she was reluctant to recommend my release until I told her that my friend would stay with me. Everyone that I talked to had such a little understanding. There was no way to explain things as they really were to them. She asked me if I had cut within the past week and I said I didn't know, and so I had to explain about the MPD. I called it Dissociative Identity Disorder, its "proper" name, but no one had even heard of it. She called DarkSouls and she called my therapist, and told me that my therapist wanted to come see me. The other person I'm extremely grateful to is my therapist. I can't belive she took time out of her day to come to the hospital and talk to me. It was such a relief to talk to her, to be called by my real (not legal) name. To be able to tell the whole truth, because I knew I would be understood. My therapist told me she'd recommend also that I be released, and now I only had to get the same recommendation from the doctor on call before I could go. The doctor was the worst of all.
After about another hour of waiting, she came over to me and said "Why did you do this?" When I tried to explain, and tried to explain what I did to try to not do it (distract myself), she told me I should have a job. That not having a job would only make me more depressed. Does your job make you happier? I won't go into the story of why and how I quit, but everyone I talked to agreed that I was not in a condition to work. This doctor obviously saw me as a total low-life... just because I tried to kill myself doesn't mean you should reinforce my bad self-esteem. She told me I might not have had the right job, that I should try working at a fast-food place. I really cannot see how working for a fast-food place would be better than for an answering service, which is where I was before. I cannot see how I'd be any more able to do that sort of a job; I think that'd be worse. I am trying not to dwell on her words. I am trying not to hate myself. There are so many reasons to hate myself. But I'm supposed to try to live, now.
So finally, FINALLY, I was released to my friends (I think DarkSouls is charged with my safety in some sort of semi-legal way), and we had food and came home. I was able to fall asleep - thank you, antibiotics! - and I slept from about three in the afternoon until about five this morning. Wow.
Do I still want to die? I'm not sure. There's something so negative about a suicide attempt that makes me not want to try it again. I made a contract with my therapist to try to prevent this from happening again; being multiple, I can't promise for everyone, but I have to try. For two weeks. Nothing's better, except that all this love was showered on me and I have this deep sense of gratefulness. And Darksouls is staying with me. I don't have to be alone.
I want to find the hope that will redeem this story, and save me from teen angst softlinks. I want to wake up in the morning and be able to play my guitar, to node, to write. I want to be able to see the positivity. I want to be able to know that I am strong and I will get through this. I want to recover. Even that's an improvement. But this road is not as simple as that. I can't snap out of it. What I'm going through is real. There's no magical way to force energy and hope to return. I don't know how to try to feel better. But I have a therapist (a good one, who cares) and four friends in the world, and I've never had such a good support network before. They believe I'm worth it, that I'm strong. I don't want to disappoint them.
This whole entry has been uil, Using I Loosely. I thought it would be more comprehensible that way, although I wasn't able to entirely avoid mentioning multiple personalities.