Taking The Long Way Home (Trigger Warning: Deals With Suicide)

 

I don’t usually talk about suicide. Some people believe if we talk about it we may trigger someone who is vulnerable. I committed suicide once and have made a couple of attempts. Thoughts of suicide have consumed enough of my days to compile into years. It comes in waves and can last for months.

I was counselled to commit suicide twice by my x-wife. Once all my medications were handed to me in a grocery bag. I returned home having not carried out her instructions as it was only months since I had died in the back of an ambulance. I told her “I will not abandon my children.” My medications were then presented to me in a cereal bowl as I was having a cigarette in my garage. I was told it would “be easier this way.” It certainly would have!

By refusing these requests I found myself in over a decade of suffering and segregation, it continues today. I lost my children, my freedom, my home, my possessions, my clothes, my eyeglasses and most of my sanity. My x-wife did not want anything near an equitable divorce and so decided on a divorce by cops. Her lies and those of others culminated in her being the irrevocable beneficiary of my life insurance policy. This was a blessing at times as I clung to this world only to prevent her from further wealth.

My plan for a time was to canoe out a mile or two into Lake Huron and capsize my canoe after wrapping clothesline attached to cement blocks around my body. It was my belief that my x-wife would have to wait several years for me not to be considered a missing person. I also thought this would save my family a degree of grief.

The reason I don’t speak about suicide is that I am susceptible to confinement when I am honest about it. In places I have resided and offices I visit, to feel, think or express that depth of hopelessness is a “clause” to losing your clothes. It would probably be helpful to share my suicidal ideation with therapists but to be a danger to self in a building I have no key for is to risk my freedom and self determination. To be suicidal in an institution for me just means in the moments I am not, I am infantilized if not humiliated.

Sometimes I don’t want to surrender my thoughts of suicide. They are somewhat of a companion and a form of escape. When I am suicidal, I can dream that my anguish will cease. Those moments are horrendous in and of themselves but the surrender portion takes less energy. Sometimes these thoughts come from depression, sometimes they tear at me through psychosis and sometimes they would be your thoughts in the same situation.

I sometimes speak to God in these moments. Recently I begged Him to just take me. I was in bed and weeping. “I can’t take any more” I don’t want to see any more” “There is nothing more I want to do” “Please just take me.” Tears were tracing my temples as I begged to be released from my suffering.  

Maybe God doesn’t show His face because He wants us to see others. Maybe He wants us to serve instead of seek. Maybe He wants us to find our humanity and the humanity of others before we transpire and transpose into something else.

I’m not sure what draws me back from the edge of suicide. I wonder if it is a power outside of myself or some small flicker in myself that I ultimately wish not to extinguish. When the thoughts are milder, I find strength in some part of a song or a faint memory of goodness.  When I need mercy and I’m beyond all I can take, beyond surrender and even beyond defeat, I defer death until morning. Its a bad habit, but it makes breathing easier.

When I surface, I sometimes see my worth. Sometimes I see that I have a purpose. Sometimes I see that it is my brokenness and suffering that are my gift. Sometimes I don’t want people to have to travel for my funeral and leave with nothing but questions. “Why did he give up now?” “Why didn’t I see, say or do?” Sometimes I don’t want to pass my pain onto others. Sometimes I don’t want to leave a mess or be found with shit in my pants. Sometimes I see that to throw away a second chance would probably give some doctor the opportunity to give me a third which would be harder to swallow.

Sometimes I can trace my suicidal thoughts to specific losses or pain. Sometimes I can’t escape the loops of traumatic experiences. Sometimes it is anger or even rage. Sometimes it is shame. Sometimes I simply think too much and feel too much. 

We sometimes judge those who have made attempts or been successful. It is not for us to shame an individual who is incapacitated to the extent of not noticing what is worthwhile or for an inability to find what we might see on the surface.

Usually when I’m suicidal, all I see is the worst in my circumstances, people and the world. It’s like wearing an old raincoat that doesn’t breathe. My perceptions repel that which makes most things thrive and I am drenched by my own manoeuvrings. My efforts and small solutions are basically more discomfort and I am soaked in sorrow.

My wife pisses me off by showing me that unconditional love crap. She cooks and keeps a schedule which makes it hard for me to get worse. In my flight from life I do dumb shit all the time. I use humour, answer requests to speak, grow plants, talk to my dog and therapists with less hair and recently I applied for a distance education course. I won’t hear back for a few more weeks, so bridges will just be bridges until the end of August.

If you can’t be well, be here.

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