Loss, of any kind perhaps, rips a gigantic, jagged hole into your life.
For weeks, months even, I stood at the edge of this hole, turning my back to it, pretending there was some kind of fast way over it. I thought I could build a bridge with my optimism and cross to "the other side" where better things waited.
I thought if I ignored and denied my pain long enough, it would just go away and not be real. I'd never have to deal with it.
I was wrong. I lost my footing and one foot slipped into that gigantic hole. It wasn't much, but it was enough to completely overwhelm me. So, tired of running from it (doesn't the fear of things somehow make them worse?) I dove straight in. Head-first.
I tread water there for what seemed like an eternity. I kept my head up, treasuring that priceless ability to never lose focus and always see that up at the end.
But it's exhausting, trying to be this person that I'm not. Trying to put on this happy face and be strong - for what? What is so selfish about allowing myself to be sad?
So I let go of all holds. Whatever had been keeping me back from the edge before was completely gone now. I reached into this hole inside and found an endless well of pain - an ocean of nothing that would swallow me completely if I didn't pull back.
I stayed there, drowning, for weeks. Deeper and deeper I sank into the most horrible depression I have ever known.
I cried myself to sleep every night. I cried at the store. I cried in my car. I ran out of tears and felt horribly empty. My emptiness became an entity all its own - a black hole in my chest. It sucked everything into it. Colors, laughter, music, friends, love. I felt nothing. I cared about nothing. I wanted nothing. I was nothing.
I no longer had goals or dreams. What was the point in trying to achieve something when it would just be snatched from you anyway? I didn't want to try for anything ever again.
I didn't watch television shows anymore (though I'd followed them religiously week after week previously). I didn't read or write or paint. I ignored phone calls and didn't return them (still haven't returned most of them). I turned down dinner plans. I got up, went to work, came home and went to sleep.
Finally, John's patience wore too thin and he snapped like a rubber band that had been stretched to the beaking point.
He yelled at me for carrying on in this dark lonely world - for closing him out of it. He said I was I roommate, not a wife - and he wanted his wife back.
I didn't want to hear any of this. I wanted him to be quiet and let me carry on in my slow, steady descent. It was predictable and comfortable, to always be down. There were no upswings, no disappointments, no hopes to have shattered. There was only the bottom and me laying on it, motionless and numb.
Finally he said I needed to get help. That he couldn't watch me drown like this anymore.
I kept thinking - the promise of heaven pushed us right back into hell. It seemed like we had achieved all happiness until this January, when everything crumbled completely around us and now we were crumbling, too.
It was like an earthquake had ripped the earth beneath me apart - and just when I thought I couldn't go any lower - a new chasm had been opened and I tumbled into it. I fell deeper, faster than I ever have before - and I have reached, I fear, a point from which there is no return.
Perhaps I have felt that in the past - have feared that I would never bounce back from things. But until you really, truly reach a point of no return - you have no idea what it means.
Now I do.
The whole next day I was ... hopeless. Life was pointless.
It wasn't that I wanted to end my life. I didn't want that violence, that pain, that trauma. I have had enough of that.
I wanted instead to crawl back in, to rewind time and to have never been born. To have never had any of it - the joy, the hope, the downfall, the pain. Because the memory of hope and joy is nothing more than a cruel reminder of what is gone and a sharp contrast to the horrible world that I now exist in.
That's what I call it: exist. Because this is not living. There is nothing lively about this bleak day to day existence.
I keep thinking that there were things I wanted out of life, but I can't really remember why they mattered so much now.
I keep thinking I should write, but it feels so alien to me now - it's too difficult to give life to characters, to imagine real life scenarios for them to exist in. Life and people are so far removed from me right now, so close but so far.
So after much consideration, and fighting really strong urges to just disappear forever - to drive and never turn back around, I called a psychiatrist and set up an appointment.
I'm not sure why. More to humor John than anything. To make him feel like he somehow saved me or helped me (his chief complaint was that he had run out of ways to make me better and getting me help was the only thing he had left).
A few years ago (maybe even only one or two), I would have resented him for this and would have just killed myself.
But honestly, I figure one hell's just as good as another. I can be miserable anywhere. I don't care enough to kill myself. I don't care whether I live or die at this point - so why not just live and humor him a little? Why not get help, let them medicate me to a fake happiness that he can enjoy? What does it matter to me in the end?
Maybe somewhere along the way I'll actually feel happy again and be glad that I did live. Or not.
Either way, it doesn't matter to me. As long as I don't have to go on pretending or trying to hold it together for everyone else. It's just too exhausting.
I really have this ... foreboding feeling... that I really haven't seen the worst of it yet. That I have just fallen to the bottom but the walls haven't started closing in. It's going to get worse before it gets better kind of thing.
(Maybe that's because I know my history with medication and it isn't a very good one).
I'm very interested to see what kind of medication they decide to put me on. I have had all kinds - and none of them work well, at least for extended periods, and all cause undesired side effects. Either I'll be plunged into a deeper depression or skyrocketed into a psychotic mania.
Again, doesn't matter to me. I'm just humoring everyone else here. What do I have left to lose at this point? Dignity perhaps?
No, I have no more of that. It is as foreign a word to me as "happy" or "secure".
I know everyone else has left me behind in the rubble of the life I'd so carefully constructed. At first I was angry about that. Resentful.
But now I'm not - because I realized I'm the only person who can help myself out (just like last year - I finally came to the realization that I was the only one who could decide whether I would sink or swim). Of course, then I decided to swim, furiously, towards happiness and success. Towards stability and doing the right thing.
I really don't have the energy to swim this time. Or the desire to. It's not that I want to drown. I just really don't want to move at all. And it isn't quite the same as being in an ocean where you can hold yourself up with not too much effort - the water makes you feel oddly weightless. It's different this time - it's like literally being one hundred feet down in the earth - with all that crushing weight above you - threatening to close in on you if you move at all. But why would you when it's so warm and inviting down here below the world?
Like I said, it's comfortable here on the bottom - and it takes far too much energy to try to climb back up.
So I see everyone standing there at the top and gazing down at me with pity, hope, whatever emotion seizes them at the moment written all over their faces.... sometimes they call out to me, or reach down. Mostly they just turn and walk away and keep living their lives. That's fine.
I don't want anyone else to fall down with me. I don't want anyone else to inconvenience themselves to reach down to my level.
I don't care if I look pathetic and pitiful from their view.
I'd rather everyone just leave me alone and let me lie here in peace. Don't try to move me. I'm too broken to be moved.
I'm not sure why I'm even writing this. I am absent here now. I don't feel like I owe anyone any explanations at all. All Poetry, like the rest of the world, moves on just fine without me actively participating in it.
I don't really feel a driving need to get this out either. I'm fairly apathetic to whether anyone knows or cares what I'm going through. It's not like knowing changes anything.
So maybe the only reason why I wrote all of this was just to say - hey it's been a long ride, we've seen a lot together, but this is a road I need to travel by myself.
Don't have any expectations of my future. I don't.
I mean I thought being suicidal was pretty much the lowest point a human could experience. Nope. It's being so low you don't even care enough to be suicidal. I realize now that suicide is a bizarre attempt at saving something within yourself - some shred of decency, of control. Wanting to end it before the bottom completely falls out and there's nothing left.
I don't feel that there's anything left to save or kill. So suicide is pointless. In the same sense that life is pointless. Of course, at some point, I may grow tired of existing and find suicide more appealling. But that would require caring.
Of course there's always the thought that eventually things will get better.
I'm sure, given time and effort, they would.
The problem isn't that I don't see an end to the pain of loss, the depression, the total lack of joy in life --- the problem is that I don't want it to end. I don't want to feel joy or hope again. Because that just leaves me open for disappointment.
So, when I really look at things, I'd probably be better off dead (as horrible as that sounds). It would certainly be a less painful, more humane way out.
I think, sadistically, I don't really want to allow myself that escape. Despite the fact that mental and physical pain are both really wearing me down right now, I don't really find suicide a comforting thought.
I was bitten by a tick Friday, now I'm really sick. I probably have Lyme's Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - I should get the blood test results back tomorrow. The ache is intense. Every joint hurts. I think if it weren't for the just as intense depression - it would seem unbearable.
But somehow it balances out - the mental pain against the physical. Somehow it puts me on overload and just dulls everything down to a numbing ache.
I think what I have been avoiding saying, what really matters - is that it's easier for me to stay here and endure this than it is to imagine ruining everyone else's lives by ending mine. I think they've had enough to deal with and adding to it seems heartlessly selfish.
Yet I wonder when the bad luck will end. This has been the worst year of my life, and it just doesn't seem to want to get better.
It makes me want to give up so badly. If I'm honest, I do want to give up on life - just because I'm so tired of struggling against it.
But, there are others, certain others, that are more important than me and I'm allowing myself to lay low long enough to find some other way around this.
I probably just contradicted myself in a dozen ways. That's because I wrote this as I was thinking it, as I was working it out in my mind.
So, if nothing else, you just got a first-hand glance inside my thoughts. Maybe I really did just need to get this all out.
I won't make any promises that I'll be back. But I'm not threatening to leave either. I'm signing off with my new favorite quote:
Do not fear -
there are wounds that are not meant to heal.
"IN VENERE VERITAS" by H.I.M.