Tomorrow I will be admitted as an in-patient in one of Dublin’s luxurious and prestigious mental health institutions. Go me. This is the second time I have had to head in, the initial occasion being in 2012. I had a stay of 3 months back then – the maximum allowable on my health insurance. While I’m on the subject, thank fuck for VHI and thank whatever deity or deities that may or may not exist for my mother and her continued payment of my premiums. Every time I think of the many people who are suffering but do not have such advantages and luck, it makes me sad…which doesn’t really help the depression, quite frankly.
I also suffer from GAD – generalised anxiety disorder – and it is a permanent, yet thankfully low level, part of my life. In good times it’s just a bit of a drag, in bad times it prevents me from doing seemingly ‘normal’ things like going to work, socialising, leaving the house, making/answering phone calls… I never answer the door. The very sound of it is triggering. Being asked for a favour is triggering. Being told of available work is triggering. Being in public is often triggering. In some ways I have learned to live with the anxiety, but when I get too avoidant it impedes me so much that – whoosh! – there’s the depression!
I have been struggling the last while; missed 3 straight days of work because I was so anxious, then emailed them to let them know I would be taking a month off. They were great about that, and have been great about me being admitted. It was the same back in 2012. Actually, the fact that it’s still the same precarious, zero-hour contract employment is part of the reason for my despondency, but I digress. Even with this little rut, I was distracting myself well-enough with videogames, movies, reading… My intimate comrade and girlfriend was, and is, incredibly supportive and just wanted me to do whatever I was comfortable with.
Then I did something incredibly stupid, careless, hurtful, thoughtless, feckless, reckless and just…gross. Gross is the word my girlfriend used, and gross is what it was. I won’t go into the details here, but suffice it to say that I betrayed her trust and almost completely destroyed the relationship that we have spent more than 2 wonderful years cultivating. I cannot understand why I did such a monumentally horrible thing, but when the possibility of losing her became apparent, I just lost the will to live.
That is not hyperbole. It’s not a romantic gesture either; the fact that my life has become totally in thrall to her, to our relationship, was and is unhealthy. Because our life together was so good, I just let all the other parts of my life fall apart; work, friendships, family, even just looking after myself. I tried to fill that with things that were unhealthy, in retrospect. To say ‘I was just bored’ is a massive cop-out, but there is a reason that the phrase ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’ is so well-known. My girlfriend’s life was going great, my own felt like it was deteriorating, and I began to drain of confidence. I tried to fill my day with pick-me-ups, and there’s only so long that can keep you afloat.
This is stream of consciousness stuff, so I’m sorry if it’s not making much sense or even appearing self-justifying. I definitely understand if it’s self-pitying – when you’re so depressed you are barely able to carry on, it’s hard to feel anything else. Self-hatred, of course. But that’s a given, considering what I have done – not just to my gf, but to my own life.
Sorry about the rambling. I’m not going to kill myself – not any time soon anyway. The comrade I love most in all the world is thinking about things, and whatever she does decide to do I will support her in it. I have let her down, and let myself down, and I don’t much like who I am at this point. I have had a lot of advantages and opportunities, so many, and I have just pissed them all away or made terrible decisions and fucked up badly.
Anyway, you’ve sat through enough of this downbeat gibberish. I am going into hospital tomorrow, a place I’ve been before so I know they will look after me. It is a lot different from the first time; back then, I was actually very excited to be going in! I had been suffering these thoughts and feelings since I was about 12 or 13, and finally, at the age of 27, I was getting the help I so desperately needed and was being proactive about my condition instead of reactive! It felt like, and still is to a large extent, a turning point in my life. So I was very confident, positive and optimistic the whole way through the experience, and got more so up to & after my discharge as well. This time, at 30, it is completely different, and I don’t know what is going to happen or if I will get any benefit out of it or if I’ve messed things up so badly that it doesn’t matter anyway. I feel like I am a fucking child and am incapable of looking after myself, let alone loved ones.
Forgive me for venting here, but I am down, terrified and sick. I love my girlfriend and I know that everyone else who loves her hates me now. That is ok – I hate me too. Mighty big of me, I know. If I can, I’ll try to put things right and salvage the wreckage of my own life in the meantime.
So sorry again if you’ve had to sit through this. Apologies if it comes across as a suicide note, I’m not there yet so don’t worry! I just had to let things out. I sit at home day after day and things get worse and worse. I’m sorry if this was crossing the line as well – in the last few weeks I have clearly had trouble understanding what is acceptable behaviour and what isn’t, and tbh that is not the first time I have had this confusion. I’m so so sorry for all those mistakes, and for getting things wrong.
One of the things I hate most is the idea of being a burden, or a killjoy, or just being somebody who makes other people feel bad by voicing my own problems/issues… Even last week, when I was in tears and trying to work out how I would end my own life, I didn’t want to call my doctor because I didn’t want to worry him. It took my partner, scared about what I might do, to let him know whereupon he called me and I just let it all out. Then, over the weekend, I felt pangs of guilt thinking of making him worry about me, thinking of the three times he made me promise that I wouldn’t do anything stupid before I was admitted. He gave me an emergency number to call as well, in case I had to come in early, though thankfully I felt well enough not to use it.
I’m a total physical coward anyway – which rules out a lot of methods of suicide. Even at the times when I don’t feel able to carry on, the reality is that getting to ‘the undiscovered country’ is harder than travelling to most places. Don’t like pain, so anything with cutting/slashing/stabbing is out. Don’t like the feeling of choking, so hanging is out – and trying to snap my neck during same is just grisly. Jumping off a tall place likewise (I have a fear of falling anyway). I read once about 200mg potassium chloride, it was in a book called Jesus Mary Delahunty, and it is apparently sufficiently lethal – but how am I gonna find that kinda thing?! I really, really like the sound of carbon monoxide, the ads warning about it make it seem properly deadly – but how do you arrange it intentionally? Enough of that morbid stuff, just trying to explain my thought processes.
God I really fucking hate drawing attention to myself, especially the kind where it looks like you’re asking for sympathy, and that’s literally what I am doing here! Nice one Seb, ANOTHER TRIUMPH as Psy would say. Please don’t sympathise with me – sympathise with my girlfriend. She suffers from mental anguish too, anxiety and depression, and as well as the despondency I have put her through she lost her job today. She is the one deserving of your love and admiration, not me.
I just hope things will get better again. I’m going to update this post with thoughts and junk as and when I feel like it.
Sorry again for worrying you, wasting your time, or otherwise inconveniencing you.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…