I would like to preface this by saying, very clearly, that I am not actively suicidal. Do not panic. This post will, however, deal with depression, suicidal ideation, and lots and lots of self-hatred. If this is triggering for you, please don’t read any further.
There’s this point I arrived at a couple of years ago where I suddenly felt with deep certainty that I wouldn’t likely live to see my 40’s. I was in a horrible place, emotionally and mentally, at the time, and I came to this incredibly clear realization that someday this pain, this struggle, would be too much for me. Someday I will find myself too tired to keep fighting and that would be the end. The thing about thoughts like this is that they are both terrifying and oddly freeing. On the one hand, I really don’t want to die. I want to live a long life and I want to thrive. On the other hand, it freed me to take chances that, if I fail at, would essentially ruin my life because the option of death is always there as a fallback. I know, morbid, but it’s the truth.
I have been doing everything I can not to die, to prevent myself from getting to the point where I can’t go on anymore. I took a long, hard look at the things in my life that really weren’t working and I started to change them. But, somehow, it seems life likes to kick me in the face over and over and over again. I began to exercise as a way to try to get my body back to a place where I felt like I could trust it to carry my through the things I want to do, and though it seemed to be working for a little while my fucking brain took it too far, as it likes to do, and my eating disorder came back with a fiery vengeance and I ended up thinner and sicker than I ever had before. I also took a huge leap and followed through on a life-long dream to move to Los Angeles and knew as soon as I got here that this is where I’m meant to be, but despite working my ass off and doing things I never thought myself capable of, living here is becoming less and less sustainable as I squeak by paycheck to paycheck. Should any single unexpected expense pop up I would quite literally be financially ruined. I’m trying to be patient with myself, I’m trying to be understanding and realize that I’ve only been here for 6 months and I’ve been doing so many things I never thought possible, but it’s really hard to keep believing that things will get better if I keep trying when every thing I try seems to fall apart eventually. I don’t have a great track record, my life tends to crumble underneath me, so it’s difficult to have faith that it won’t happen this time like it has so many times before. I have found myself broke and alone, I’m scratching and clawing my way back to physical health while being bombarded by insecurities, not to mention that trying to conquer an eating disorder when I am too broke to buy new clothes, spend time/money doing confidence building physical activities (like finally taking dance classes), or be able to put money into eating nutritionally rich and varied foods like I should be is an extraordinary undertaking. My timing is terrible, as it always has been, and that makes everything harder.
At the core of all of this is the fact that I don’t like myself. I mean, I can feel how much potential I have and how much I long to be and do, but all I ever seem to do is let myself down. I hate that I am not living up to who I could be, I hate myself from the inside out for always failing to be able to do or be enough. I hate that I feel like it took me too long to get here. I hate that I feel like it’s too late to fulfill a lot of my dreams. I hate that I let so many chances slip through my fingers. I know I could have been/could be great, but I never manage to get there. I keep trying. I keep trying to focus on positive thoughts and I keep trying to be forgiving but that all takes a fuck ton of energy and I only have so much left. It’s like my first, second, and third choices for the life I wanted are gone and I’m just desperately fighting to make a distant fourth be good enough.
So, back to what I was saying about death and such…once suicide, or your inevitable demise, gets in your head like this, it doesn’t really leave. I find myself wondering every day how much longer I have before I can’t take it any more. I think about it all the time. I think about when I’m going to wake up and realize that I’m just…exhausted. And it’s scary, but it’s also something that, on my worst days, I find myself almost anticipating with an eagerness that is scary as hell. On my worst days I wonder how much longer I’m going to have to live like this before I stop finding reasons to keep going and can finally just be done. So far that hasn’t happened. So far there is always something, be it that I’m unwilling to leave my pets with no one to care for them, or the knowledge that if I died responsibility for my car loan would fall on my ex-wife and I’m not going to let that happen because it would cripple her financially. I guess it says something that, at this point, my reasons for living have to do with others and not myself, but that’s the place I am in my life. It’s hard to want to live for me when I am so furiously repulsed by most of what and who I am. I have so many dreams, I am and always have been someone who dreams with reckless abandon, but so far this has done little for me but cause me heartbreak and damage. My dreams are like a carrot dangled on a string in front of me, always there and perpetually just out of reach. And so the idea of dying, the idea of finally being able to let go of those god damn dreams and just be done, becomes a sick sort of comfort that I hold on to and wait for. This is no way to live, and I know that. It is, in fact, a way to die. But I am tired. My whole life feels like I’m slogging through quicksand while so many people around me walk by on rocky but still more stable pathways.
I’m not saying this for pity, I’m not saying this as a “look at poor me, feel bad for me” thing. I am saying this because it is the truth of my life and how I feel and I think there are probably a lot of other people out there who feel like I do. Though this blog is ultimately about beating my demons it will not always be happy and inspirational because beating demons means doing battle with them and sometimes they win. I loathe that life feels like war. I can’t really find a good way to express why this is all so hard for me or what it is that I want from myself and for my life.
I want to be important. I want to have a voice that reaches people. I want to impact the world in a positive way. I want to be a hero, I always have. Maybe that all sounds silly. Maybe it seems like I just want attention or fame or something like that. I don’t know how to say it in a way that truly gets across the intensity of this thing that sits in my chest and makes me cry myself to sleep because I can’t be enough.
For now I’m getting by living for anything I can grab a hold of to keep me afloat. I have given up caring what other people think of my obsessions or whatever because if they keep me alive that makes them really fucking valuable no matter how silly they may seem to everyone else. I can’t tell you the number of times I have made it through a day because the idea that Lady Gaga would want me to, if she knew me, was enough for me to keep going. I think about how much she loves me (because she has such a gigantic and boundless love for her fans) and how it would break her heart to know that I gave up and so I push onward. Sometimes it’s watching a video of Lana Parrilla speaking about kindness and love and being just so vibrantly herself that allows me to fall asleep at night without hoping I don’t wake up in the morning because she feeds that little light that’s left inside my soul and makes me think that maybe there is still something out there for me. I can’t seem to live for me at this point, so I find things outside of myself to live for and as long as that keeps working I will keep doing it.
I don’t really see a way my life is going to turn around, and I doubt the chances that I’m going to make it more than another decade or so, but there is still hope lingering in my heart and so I keep going with the little voice pushing me, the one that has it’s fists clenched tightly around the last of my dreams and is refusing to let me give them up just yet. Often this hope feels like some vicious form of torture, forcing me to keep hurting as I slog through day after day and get nowhere, but I keep waiting for it to be right and for me to find my purpose and my gift and my place. For now, every single element of my life hurts. Being alone hurts. Being broke hurts. Being uncertain about what career path I can thrive in hurts. Eating hurts. Getting dressed hurts. Sleeping hurts. Waking up hurts. I hurt and I’m tired and I just want it to stop.
If it’s true what they say, that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I’m going to be a god damned diamond by the time I reach wherever the end of my life happens to be.
(I know how depressed this all makes me sounds, and I am sure I am indeed suffering from depression and anxiety and a number of other things. Please don’t write me insisting that medication or therapy would help me. I have tried both and neither has ever worked. Maybe therapy could help with the right therapist, but I have neither the time or the money to be able to fit it into my life right now. As for medications, I have tried 3 different anti-depressants and 2 different anxiety medications at varying dosages. They all had literally zero impact on my mood but they did give me fantastic side-effects like suppressing my appetite which I can’t handle with my eating disorder, and chronic twitching which took months to go away even after stopping my medications. I am not saying that these are not valuable tools, they absolutely are. Please go with what helps you and do what it takes to fight your own demons and stay alive. I am not advocating for suicide, I am not trying to glamorize it. I have been touched by suicide in my own life and I see the hole it leaves in those left behind. It is a horrible thing, but this is the reality of my mind and my feelings and I believe I should be allowed to express them. Get help, find reasons to live. I am certainly doing my best to do just that and I hope you will too.)