Do other people think about death quite often? Is it only the mentally ill that think of it as an escape, an end to a seemingly never-ending ordeal? I can’t remember how often it entered my mind before I was married to Satan, but I do remember thinking of it several times in my teens and early 20s.
Yesterday, there was one of those silly quizzes that said it could tell you how old you would live to be, and my answer was 91. I can’t imagine, it seems totally implausible to me. I was 40 when I escaped with my daughters to the safety of another state. I was married for about 13 years, and I’d say most of that time it never occurred to me that I would live to see my daughters grow up. Death was imminent either by my own hand (to end the suffering-before I knew what was happening with my daughters), or by his. A few months before I finally had the courage to leave, it was the voice of my child looking for me that caused me to step back from the curb of a busy street with an oncoming semi-truck. Four weeks detoxing off of eight different psych meds and intensive psychological testing finally convinced me it wasn’t all my fault…it was safe to leave.
Years later, I sat in the bleachers at my eldest daughter’s graduation, tears streaming down my face, never having expected to live that long.
And then shortly after that, she was married to a very kind and loving husband. They now have three awesome boys, and she’s about to graduate from ASU. Once again, I never imagined I’d see any of this. But here I am, still kicking at close to 57 with a happily-ever-after life. Unfortunately, the specter of death still hovers in my head.
There have been only two times in the last couple years when nothing could pull me out of suicidal ideations. Then about a month ago, I had a plan (I’m not going to go into detail). Every night, over and over, I hashed it out, worked out the details until I knew exactly how I’d pull it off. Every psych professional knows, once you have a plan, that’s it…good luck. That’s the evil of depression, it doesn’t care how good your life is, once it gets your claws into your brain, there’s no common sense. No amount of cute kitten pics, thinking of your grandkids, or walking in nature can remove those thoughts. Reading every uplifting or positive saying is pointless; hugs, kisses, well-meaning platitudes from friends are all useless. It’s scary, very scary. The only thing that kept me from going through with it was knowing how it would affect Greg, since he’d been through it before.
Thankfully a med change has helped some, but now instead of thinking of my imminent death, I think of writing my will, who gets what, and how much to whom (not that there is much).
Death is always niggling at the back of my brain, I can’t get it to go away. Maybe it’s because it’s always seemed close to happening, maybe it’s because I have a mental illness, maybe it’s because the hopelessness will never really go away.
Is it just me?