That Gleaming Steel Knife

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04f1bbb6f316bd6b9c861c65843999e9.jpgI have been in a bad spot lately. You can see this in the fact that I haven’t written anything substantial in a month and you can understand it when you hear that my three doctors had a conference call recently about how they can best help me. I am depressed, not writing, not cleaning, not doing the laundry, not working out, not eating, not spending enough time with my children, not doing anything at all that resembles the normal daily activities that so many take for granted. I had to finally cut my fingernails so I could type this message; a true indicator of where I am.

It bothers me and oftentimes, baffles me that there are people out there who live their lives day in and day out with little to no emotional destruction and are content with the simplistic of all days. I live and fight in a world that is awash with emotion, even the emotions that are such that all I can do is sit in my chair and watch reruns on the television all day long.

I don’t even expect people, whether they are doctors or laymen, to understand the fights that are a part of me. I don’t expect sympathy because the world I live in is too difficult a world to understand. I know that others, those without diseases, experience emotions and bad days. They experience the human condition in a PG way while my world is full of R. Lots and lots of R. I have the same problems that millions do but I also have a mind that long ago realized that it might just be better if I take that glistening, glimmering knife out of its block and put a period to my story. I don’t suppose the laymen have to worry about doing the dishes because they worry about the knife in their hands.

I like to think I understand that this world is not a cookie-cutter, piece-by-piece, story that someone much smarter than me once wrote. I like to think that I can understand that my husband has stress or anxiety or even fear. But the truth is that I am just selfish enough to not want to admit that truth. I need it to be about me. I need it to be about me because I am the voice that is loudest in the universe in which I live. I know of others out there, but whether you think of it as selfish or not, it is truly hard to come to terms with the idea that some stranger is suffering and spends most of her days stating over and over, “one more minute, one more hour, one more day”. I don’t think it happens to strangers. I know it happens to me.

When I look at that gleaming stainless steel butcher knife I know exactly what to do with it. When I am driving down the highway at eighty miles an hour and I see a tree on the side of the road, I know exactly how to and what to do to make sure that I get the relief that I am desperately begging for. When I take one pill out of that bottle, I know what to do. Think of it this way, when an inventor sees a nut and bolt, he knows what to do. Same thing with my suicidal thoughts. I know exactly how to accomplish what I need without any other plan to consider.

Many, many, many individuals believe that suicide is selfish. I am here to tell you it is probably the most unselfish act that a human can do. We (those of us with these thoughts) know what will happen not only if we attempt suicide but what will happen if we succeed in the endeavor. Despite what many believe, suicide is rarely simple or expedient; instead it is a long journey that gives each of us thousands of instances when we can step away from the cliff and try to fight these urges; and it leaves thousands of hours when we can weigh something so simple as the pros and cons and make a decision. A decision each minute, each hour, each day.

I have been telling everyone for nine years that the reason I am not going to commit suicide is because of my children. It is probably one of the more ridiculous things that I say in those doctor’s offices. My husband knows, and probably others, that I enter into a doctor’s office and take over the conversation and make sure that my “issues” or “non-issues”  are the only ones discussed. I have spent years deceiving doctors and making sure that the path I was on was one that I could travel. Suggestions, edits, alternative thoughts are not welcomed. My thoughts, suggestions and edits are the ones that need to be said and often said in a way that not only makes the doctor feel ten feet tall, but gets me out of their space as quickly as possible. I am manipulative. (There was one doctor I actually couldn’t do this with and she probably helped me better than all others combined. Sadly, with the insurance today and other factors I can’t see her.)

I bring this up for one very important reason: if I can sell those doctors whatever it is that I want, then I am smart enough and strong enough to understand suicide. The reasons, the causes, the effects, and the purpose. I am smart enough to recognize that killing myself is not an act of selfishness but rather an act of kindness.

I am a difficult person without any disease. Add in these mental problems and you have a cauldron of brewing emotions and forks in roads that I don’t want to travel. And there is no fight song, no cute little quote, book, radio station, or exercise that is going to take away any of it. I am and can be the one thing that most people in this life fear; not the monster but the unresolved fight that I find before anyone could understand that I have been screaming out for days, weeks, years.

Suicide isn’t selfish because I have never once wanted to kill myself for my own purposes. Believe it or not most days I can handle being the blob on the couch, the manic shopper, the crier over a broken washing machine, even the patient that has no ability to fix the problems because she is too busy talking about the very things those doctors think they want to hear. Suicide is a way for me to give the one gift that those who love me deserve most: peace.

The quiet of control, the understanding of a life, the normalcy of a staid and boring life of work and sleep that everyone deserves. Giving that to a loved one is a gift greater than my own presence; and this is a knowledge that unfortunately can’t be shaken by the coined words that everyone believes they know how to say. The ability to give to my family, my friends, my children, the normalcy that I knew in my childhood is a great gift. The ability to take my diseased and malformed self out of the equation makes for a better reality. You may deny it. You may wish that it wasn’t so; but you will never convince me that my broken self, the self that struggles each day with the understanding of a perverted world, can not and will not want to give those I love this incredible gift.

depressionIs suicide the answer? I don’t know. Is suicide what one should use to run away from a problem? Probably not. Is suicide an escape? Not for the one who drags that gleaming knife threw their own skin. Is it an escape for those we love? Everyday.

I don’t write these words because I believe that you should commit suicide or believe that those you love will ever be able to understand the simple solution you know so intimately. I don’t choose to write about suicide because I have a reason of hope to give anyone. I write about suicide in this safe place in the hope that someone will recognize that the struggle, the ongoing war between what you should do and what you can do, isn’t one that you alone feel. Suicide isn’t selfish; but it isn’t necessarily the perfect answer to a very vexing question. When you can see so easily the beauty of suicide it’s hard to make an argument that there is another version of that same story.

I don’t know what keeps me from taking those pills (my preferred method) any more than I know why the vision of death can sustain me for one more day. I sit here and look at my life and see something so different than anyone else in my life ever could. I understand what the end costs. I understand what my dream of freedom will take from my children. I don’t know why I am not dead yet. And today, like many days, I don’t really care to find out. Sometimes the silence drowning out the answers gives us one more moment to fly. And for me, flying is about the only way I will stay with my feet firmly planted on this earth. And it will never, not for one moment, ever be enough.