The Friday Confessional : Romancing Suicide

 

 

Though I confess the things that are most intimate to me, I don’t know if I am accurately painting the picture of the real me.  To everyone here, I am Lulu Stark, the writer, the mother, the wife, and most importantly, the woman who bares herself in the name of mental health and disorder awareness and advocacy.  But, I wanted to put some truths out there.  The uglier side.  The real side.

I only Lulu Stark in the persona.  The one that you read about.  The antihero, the antagonist, protagonist, the victim, the perpetrator, the survivor and occasionally, the hero.

What I don’t talk typically talk about is one of my darkest, sickest secrets of all.

 

Suicide.  I regularly have suicidal thoughts and occasionally ideation.  The little voice goes through the back of my mind, sometimes as an unintelligible whisper and other times as clear as a bell, I want to die.  I want to kill myself.  It would be so easy.  No one would miss me.

I imagine ways it would play out.  I idealize all of the scenarios of suicide.  In a way, it seems I’m under it’s spell.  It seems like the only way out of this torturous world of disorder and dysfunction.  I am more crippled by my illness than I let on.  I feel pathetic in my bones, and I desperately search for my solace in this place of distress and despair.  An endless string of hopeless days and bottomless pits.

I fall deeper, clinging to my last shreds of hope.  I am flirting with suicide, with his silver tongue, soft, familiar caresses, and honey sweet kisses on my neck.

I see a sturdy rope swung around a rafter in my basement, tied with a tidy slipknot instead of an impossible noose.  I stand on a rickety chair, dressed in my Sunday best, leaving a pretty, cold, lifeless corpse behind.  The shell of a woman who never really existed.

I stand with a glass of juice and a bottle’s worth of blue pills in my hand.  I am ready, stripped to nothing but a bathrobe.  Down the hatch, the medication leaves a bitter aftertaste.  I draw myself a hot bath and arm myself with a razor.  And then, I wait.  I wait until I am almost seeing double, and world starts to blue around the edges.  I dig the razor into my wrist and drag it with all of the force I can up to my the bend of my elbow.

Or, I just await death.  I lie in the tub, feeling myself slip away under the surface of the water.  In my mind, I imagine all of the people that would be thankful that I am finally gone.  How in a year or two, I will become a distant memory that only leaves the tiniest pang.  How my sullen face starts to fade from everyone’s mind and any trace of me begins to disappear.  I think of how easy the clean up would be.

Or maybe, I would clean myself up to begin with.  I would be powder fresh in a pretty pastel little girl dress I bought for the occasion.  I would empty all of the contents of my medicine into my stomach, washed down with an entire bottle of vodka.  I would tuck myself into a warm bed, and swaddle myself in blankets.  It would look like sleep at first.  My final sleep.  My resting place.  The only place in my life where I ever felt warm and safe.

 

For the record, I’d never do it.  There is an uglier side to suicide that I’m painfully aware of.  It could possibly be the most selfish act I could ever commit.  The finality of it all is too much for me to even wrap my head around.

My son asks where I went when I am gone for an hour for class.  I imagine his confusion and sadness when he comes to see that his mother will never return. I imagine the possibilities of who would raise him if I were to be gone for good.  He would likely fall into the hands of my own parents, and I would be sentencing him to a similar fate that I experienced.

There would never be enough of an apology for my Xan.  A piece of him would die inside, and he might go mad himself.  There wouldn’t be another out there for him.  He couldn’t possibly recover.  Leaving him to his own devices at work, cutting off communication, it’s too much for him to bear for a few hours.  What if I were to be gone for the rest of his lifetime?

And then there’s the matter of the afterlife.  What comes after death?  Through my Christian upbringing, I fear the day of judgement and the sentencing to an eternity of hell, separated from my friends and family, endlessly tortured in unimaginable ways.  Ways that are beyond my comprehension.

But, what if there is nothing?  What if I sacrificed my life for a world of nothingness?  What if a person just dies and there is nothing behind?  What if I am condemned to walk this Earth as a true ethereal being, and not just the kind I feel as a flesh and blood person?  I stand there and watch as people file in for my funeral.  I see my family overlooking my lifeless body, consumed with grief.  Then, I get to watch my family and friends mourn the loss, as someone irreplaceable that met a tragic and unfair end at my own hand.

Sometimes, I feel as if I am condemned to life.  Sometimes, I feel like I’ve chosen life over the alternatives.  Sometimes, it’s for the sake of my family and friends.  And there are those brief shining moments where I live life as the gift it was meant to be with the promise of tomorrow.

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Exercises to Build Self Esteem: #1. Pleasure and Happiness

Writing your Pleasure List

1. Take a clean sheet of paper and head somewhere you feel safe and relaxed.

2. Divide the paper into four sections:

– Section 01: People and Pets (who bring me pleasure when I think of them)
– Section 02: Places (that bring me pleasure when I think of them)
– Section 03: Things (that bring me pleasure when I think of them)
– Section 04: Things I like to do (that bring me pleasure)

3. Then write as many examples as you can under each section.
4. Remember to allow yourself to feel happy!

Section 01: People and Pets

  • Xan, my husband.
  • Beast, my son
  • Dill, my friend
  • Zen, my cat that passed on last year
  • Rees, my friend.
  • Ruby, my friend
  • Carla, my friend
  • Monday, my friend
  • My MIL
  • My FIL

Section 02: Places

  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:   It is absolutely, hands down, my favorite vacation spot.  The beaches are huge and sandy.  The local, southern food is amazing, and the local people are very friendly.  I have some of my most fond memories there.  When I was sixteen, it was my first taste of freedom.  It was the only town I was ever allowed to wander around in unsupervised.  I was free to go wherever I wanted within a certain 15 block radius in either direction.  For Myrtle Beach, that’s a lot of territory.  I spent my honeymoon there with Xan.  It was the first time I had ever gone on vacation as an adult.  We just had the most lovely time, I recall.  Good food, peaceful setting, and a lovely beach.  I got to wake up every single morning to go out on the patio and watch the sunrise.  It was magical.
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia:  I recall Virginia Beach having one of the most impressive boardwalks I had ever been on.  Anything you could ever want was on that board walk.  I was thirteen years old, and I’d sneak out to my very own balcony in the middle of the night just to watch the moon rise on the ocean.  It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen.  It was fairly close by car, so I wasn’t stuck in the car forever with my parents.  And, since I had my own room in our suite, I had a huge amount of privacy.  It was the best vacation I can remember from my childhood.
  • The Fountains in Pittsburgh:   There’s something about those fountains.  Pittsburgh has plenty of them, because we are so close to the river.  There was one in particular that I loved, and I took a photo of it right before my surgical consultation the August before last.  Something about it was calming, and settled me down to think about the beautiful things in life.  I even wrote a post called, “All the Pretty Things”.
  • The Trestle:   By my old house, in the same neighborhood I grew up in, there was this old, abandoned railroad trestle.  My best friend showed it to me when we were in our early teens.  We used to hang out there to drink and smoke pot.  Then, we’d have these deep conversations about our thoughts and feelings.  Those were very intimate moments.When Beck, my ex, and I became secret lovers behind her back, we used to frequent the trestle.  It was the place that I had my first kiss with a boy.  And he and I would sit there for hours, holding each other, talking about our dreams, and making plans for our future together.  And after Beck and I broke up, I didn’t go back again.

    Until there was Xan, three years later.  At the time, we were living with my ex, Avi.  I felt a bond with Xan that I couldn’t quite explain.  So, I took him there, so that we could be alone.  We hung out and we drank.  It was a beautiful alone place, even if it was a rusted trestle.  You could see the creek below, and it was surrounded by trees, a rarity in that neighborhood.

    It was the place where Xan and I spent our first night together as a couple.  We sat up all night and talked.  I don’t recall what about.  The past.  The present.  Maybe even the future.  I know we went through the story of our developing relationship, and how we got to this point.  And I remember we held each other in the rain until the morning light.

Section 03: Things:

  • My computer
  • My Samsung Captivate Glide
  • Pandora
  • My stuffed animal from when I was a kid
  • Coffee
  • Pizza
  • New clothes
  • Cigarettes
  • Overhead Lighting
  • WordPress
  • Facebook
  • Bejeweled Blitz
  • Bed
  • My blue coffee cup
  • My brown skirt
  • The Internet
  • Wikipedia
  • WebMD
  • Medscape
  • Google
  • Craigslist
  • My blue blanket
  • My journals
  • Inkjoy pens
  • G2 Gel Pens
  • All no bleed Sharpies
  • Office supplies
  • Caffeine
  • My medication
  • My contacts

Section 04: Things I like to do:

  • Go for long car rides
  • Eat at this little mom and pop diner a few towns over
  • Shop
  • Get dressed up (sometimes)
  • Take hot showers
  • Visit my in-laws
  • Craft
  • Take on a new project
  • Crochet
  • Write
  • Read
  • Write on WordPress
  • Read on WordPress
  • Do selfless acts
  • Practice Tang Soo Do
  • Play computer games
  • Watch my favorite TV shows
  • Create things
  • Play with my son
  • Spend time with my husband

All that I am, all that I ever was...

“Pleasure is the only thing one should live for, nothing ages like happiness.”
~ Oscar Wilde ~

Accentuate the positives

The first exercise toward building better self-esteem is to focus on the positives. Now, I’m not a convert into the positive thinking movement, in fact I find books that proclaim all we need to do is think positively and everything we want will magically appear out of thin air complete crap. I don’t believe someone can ‘pretend away depression’ nor do I believe thinking positively will cure you of cancer or the myriad of other illnesses that people suffer from.

However, thinking positive thoughts about ourselves can bring about an attitude change toward better self-perception.

Once upon a time I was in a counselling session. I had seen this counsellor for several sessions and in each one he noted how stressed and tense I was; how I sat in a…

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20 Day Challenge – Day 11

10 Persons I Can’t Live Without

The following ten people are people who exist in my real life. No offense to my blogging lovelies, this list could go on for miles. I had to put a limit on it, so I’ve limited it to those people in my real life that I have close to daily contact with.

  1. Xan:   Truly the light of my life.  He is all that I am and all that I am not.  I wrote Possibility and Ascension, and more recently, Clarity of Chaos for him.  He’s my best friend.  He’s my family.  He’s my husband, partner, and my soul twin.  Simply, I love him more than all of the words in the universe could proclaim.
  2. Beast:   Some mornings, Beast is the sole reason I get out of bed.  He encourages me to strive to be a better person, each and every single day of my life.  He is my darling, my baby boy.  He is my pride and one day, he will be my legacy.  It is up to me to be his mother.  And that means, I will wake up every single day, pull myself together, and if I do nothing else, I will be his mother the best that I can.
  3. MIL:   She is a friend, a mentor, and though maybe not maternal, a mother for sure.  She is always concerned, and is quick to respond in an emergency.  She’ll do anything to see that everything turns out alright.  She is generous and kind.  MIL is one of those women that will take a call from me at 3AM, and she has no obligation to do so.  She has given me so much advice and perspective into womanhood.  She’s positive, even if she’s racked with anxiety.  She can spread her positivity to others, and make them feel better about things.  She’s a nurse too, so she is good at taking care of other people.  She genuinely cares.  And I genuinely care for her.
  4. FIL:  He is a man that gets things done. He is full of wisdom and experience that he is eager to lend.  He wants to see everyone be the best person that they can be.  FIL is never hesitant to lend a hand, or even to go as far as to bail me out of a jam.  He never expects anything in return.  FIL is a true man, a man who has worked hard to become a self made person, but is still sensitive to the needs of others.  He always makes sure that we’re taken care of.  And, I feel he’s the best father-in-law that a woman could ever have to be a huge part of her family and life.
  5. Starr:  Starr is a relatively new friend to me, but still just as important, if not more important than others I’ve had in my life for many years.  Starr has shown me nothing but the strength and pride of being a woman.  She is absolutely, strikingly beautiful, and it’s hard for people not to notice her.  For most women, this would flare the green eyed monster.  For me, I am inspired.  I don’t even think she knows how strong and beautiful she is, like wild horses.  She is willful and wonderful, deep and insightful.  She’ll read this, and maybe not know who I’m referring to.  So I’ll leave her with this: “I get my disability check and POW!  It’s down to pant n’at!”  She’s a loyal and fierce friend, and I hope to have her in my life for many years to come.
  6. Dill:   Another newer friend, but Dill is one of those people that you can’t help but feel an instant connection to.  Dill doesn’t judge, and he shows me that life doesn’t have to be as serious as a heart attack.  Life is meant to be lived.  He has reinforced the lesson that age is seriously just a number, and the right frame of mind with enough willpower is all you need to live a good life.  And that’s exactly what he’s all about.  Happiness, beauty, and living a wonderful, peaceful life.
  7. Ruby:   Oh, my lovely.  I really cannot say what a lovely this woman has been to me.  Ruby feels like a part of my family, like an older sister I never had.  She has listened to me in my best triumphs and my worst bits of insanity.  She smiles with me and cries with me.  Everything about her is this chaotic perfection.  Everything fits together in this dialectic beauty.  And that’s her in a nutshell.  She has a beautiful everything.  A lovely soul, a gorgeous face, and the most genuine smile there is.  I want to thank her for being there for me, and being a part of my life.  And taking a chance on a little blonde weirdo from the internets.  LOL.
  8. LaLa:  LaLa, a maternal figure in my life.  I’ve come to feel like LaLa is like a wise, spiritual aunt I never had.  LaLa brings the best of my spiritual side out, giving me faith in the higher power, and reminders of the greater design.  She’s always been supportive, and has never left my side, even when I’ve been less than a good friend to her.  I want to thank her for her investment in me.
  9. Monday:  I’ve come to see Monday as an aunt as well.  She’s the aunt that is your best friend.  She wants all of the best for you, but will never hesitate to say what’s on her mind.  And that’s the beauty of it.  Sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to hear, because that’s exactly what’s been ringing in the back of your own mind.  She’s brilliant and one tough cookie.  She has proven this time again through her perseverance and stamina.  No matter what gets thrown at her, she’s a survivor of it all.  And she wants nothing more than to lend her experience and will to others.  I’d like to thank her for all of the attention she’s given me in the last year.
  10. Finn:   Last, but not least, Finn.  Finn and I have been friends for longer than my husband and I have even known each other.  Finn is so accepting.  He is another person who has seen me hit that bottom of the barrel.  He has seen me in various states of growth and maturity.  We’ve shared so much together.  And all of that time has bonded us in ways that only time can do.  He’s taken my calls at 4AM, given me advice, and been an intermediary between Xan and I (yes, I know about that).  Thank you for everything you’ve done that I do, and even don’t, know about.