I have been more reflective lately. I’m not sure if its because the numbness is wearing off or if my normal routine is feeling more normal, but every now and again I’m brought back to the beginning by a question that cues up the memories.
Even harder than the question of Why? which I have no control over, I’m often asked by the professionals in my life the questions of possibility…. Do you want to harm yourself or others? Do you think about killing yourself? Do you think of hurting or harming yourself? Are you planning on doing anything reckless?
When my therapist started asking me these questions I was just numb and answered too honestly. She made me sign a piece of paper – a commitment saying that if I found myself in a dark place that I would call a friend to take me to the hospital. I rolled my eyes, and even now if she makes reference to it I simply respond… it’s just a piece of paper. When the doctor gave me a “standard measure of depression test” and got to the question on harm, I told him I refused to answer.
In my divorce support group I expressed my frustration with the constant repetition of these types of questions. I guess what makes me so frustrated is the fact that there really is no right way to answer them. If you say No then you aren’t facing your real emotions. If you say Yes, then you’ve got to learn to control your emotions. M saw a therapist every week for the past five years and what purpose did the answer to those questions do for him. No signed piece of paper or affirmative response prevented him from picking up a gun.
When the pain hurts so much that to breathe take a constant reminder to exhale, you will think about every possible way to make it stop. That’s the answer I want to give — but finding someone who understands that level of pain to understand the intent behind that answer is harder that just dealing with the pain. What is the right way to answer those questions and is there a right way? M chose to make a decision that while to me seems negative, at that moment it was positive.. for him… at that moment it was the right thing to do… for him. But it was his choice.
Today for the 190th day in a row I made a positive choice… for me.
3 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror”
I was suicidal after I discovered Bob’s affair. A month after I found out, I was feeling the attraction of ending the pain. It hit me while I was at home alone, sorting through Christmas ornaments.
I drove myself to the ER and remained quite a long time on watch.
I texted Bob but he didn’t come.
I am on a don’t-go-there-again cocktail, but this week I was triggered and steered my car toward a bridge.
I still don’t know how.
The pain is so overwhelming and I just want it to end.
It’s a pain that very few come close to understanding. I’m proud of you for recognizing and making it to the ER and I’m so glad you stopped short with the bridge. I am not trying to sound trite but do you have a professional that you can speak with? Its made a world of difference for me. I’ve accepted that triggers are forever going to be a part of my life and now I need to learn how to manage the emotions that come with each one. You are in my thoughts and prayers riri.
I have heard many people say something like “How could things be that bad?” “How could someone take their own life?” etc… after hearing of a suicide.
I think to myself: “You’re so lucky that you have no idea.”
But it’s also kind of sad that they can’t really understand, for that would go a long way in support of those that have suicidal tendencies.
Thank you , Z., for your response and kind words.
I am praying for you, too.