I had an appointment today, and after thinking about it for a while, I decided to write to get it out. I’m always anxious about my appointments, and I usually leave them feeling good. No matter what your inner dialogue is telling you, if you aren’t feeling yourself it’s a good idea to just talk. It helps. Today when I left, I felt relieved. But I also felt swollen with grief. It’s hard for me to talk about my deepest inner feelings, especially to a professional. I used to keep quiet because I didn’t think anyone really cared. The way my therapist responded to my words today is not the way someone would have reacted to me a year ago. She responded with sincerity and concern, but also with interest. I am not here to glamorize suicide by any means. It’s a very highly arguable subject, and I’d be the last person to ask about how to sway someone the other way. I left my appointment feeling slightly shaken, and slightly proud. Proud I can be in a place where I can reasonably tell my inner dialogue and thoughts during my darkest moments, and yet not have them overtake every single day of my life. A year ago, the story I told today would have probably landed me in a psych ward. My therapist did use the word “commit” today which freaked me out a little bit. I got so caught up in being open and honest, that I forgot how fragile this subject is. Thankfully I am stable 90% of the time now and can feel free to go over my feelings with my therapist without fearing being whisked off to a small bare room.
The words below are from my own memory, and are not a word for word quote.
I’d also like to point out that September is Suicide Prevention Month, so I think our conversation was quite timely. I’m not “in the well” right now, so don’t freak out. This is just me being my most transparent. I don’t want to feel this way, and I want to prevent my severe depression, if possible.
Does the depression remind you of anything in particular? I know you used the dragon with two heads to symbolize ed. What about the depression?
“Ummm, I guess I compared it to a hole in one of my blog posts, but I’ve started to think of it as an old well. I imagine I’ve fallen into the well, and those who love me have thrown down a rope. They’re trying to save me, but I’m not sure if I want to be saved.”
That’s what I thought of when I read your post too. I also thought of this…(rummaging in drawers full of little figurines used for sand-tray therapy, she pulls out a coffin and sets it on the table in front of me) the depression…this coffin doesn’t mean it symbolizes death, but it’s heavy and dark.
Do you ever think about hurting yourself when you’re this depressed?
“Yes, when I am in that severely depressed state, like a few weeks ago, I have.”
Have you told the doctor about this? Do you have suicidal thoughts often?
“Only when I’m really depressed. It just takes me back to the early years of ed and how that felt. I was always in that dark place. I’ve talked to Dan about it before.”
Did you ever have a plan, or imagine what would happen?
“I would go to Dairy Queen and get a Blizzard, because I never allowed myself Blizzard’s. Then I’d drown myself in the river. And I mean, I grew up in a house…well, my dad hunted, so there were guns. I knew where the key was to his workshop door. Or I thought about the kitchen knives.”
(eyes welling up)
What stopped you from ever doing anything? Have you ever gone to the river?
“Well, Dan and I were talking before once, and he said to imagine my little brother, and how my parents would have to explain to him what had happened. Guilt…and fear. I’d, well, I’d be dead, but thinking about how it would hurt everyone who loves me…I’ve never gone to the river.”
And fear about what, dying?
“Well, dying. And pain. And I mean, I don’t know where we go when we die.”
Did anyone ever know you were having these thoughts when you were younger?
“No. I talked to my mom, but I’d never tell her this kind of thing. Because, her favorite word is ‘joy’…”
Okay. And have you felt this way lately?
“Not since that last time I was really depressed. It’s more of an option, running in my mind in the background when I’m very depressed.”