Trigger Warning // Self-Harm and Suicide
Since September of 2017, I’ve had a post about suicide sitting in my drafts, uncompleted. Mostly because I don’t know how exactly to continue or end it. I have a hard time finding words to describe the things I feel, so no matter how hard I try to get it done, I just end up abandoning it. If I’m lucky enough, I’ll be able to finish with this post without abandoning it too.
Leaving a lot of things unfinished is pretty much what I always do, when I think about it. I’ll decide to try my hands on something I’ve been wanting to do, and the moment I get a little distracted or I take a look at it and think it’s not going to end well, I abandon it until I have enough motivation to get it done again. Heck, the only thing keeping me from submitting school work unfinished is my fear of school and more bad grades. And I think it’s this “get-it-done-later” attitude that has kept me from making sure I deal with a lot of things I’m supposed to have dealt with earlier.
In SHS, I had a fight with a friend (well, I had a lot of fights, but this particular one was what’s important). Eventually, after we reconciled, she brought up the fact that I kept ghosting instead of dealing with the problem face to face with her. She said it looked like I was too afraid to deal with my problems, so then, I just ended up running away from them. And I didn’t even try to disagree with her, because I knew it was the truth. I’m very afraid of confrontations. I could be mad at someone and have the whole speech played out in my head, but as soon as it’s face to face, I cower and abort mission. I keep everything bottled up, and I hardly ever vent out as much as I should.
And it’s only so much build-up that later makes it obvious that your container is about to spill over.
University was the first point in my life I began to contemplate suicide. And sometimes the feeling was unprovoked. One morning I woke up and had to call my mother crying, because nothing had happened, but I felt so low I had the sudden urge to slit my wrists. And getting to the end of my second year, I had a lot of breakdowns. I couldn’t even talk about some things without stopping to cry. That was probably when I acknowledged the fact that I might need professional help, because I thought I might go crazy. I told a couple of my friends, and they referred me to a couple of people. Ironically, I didn’t even bother trying to get an appointment, or even call them on the phone, and before I knew it, school was over and we were going home. I thought I could make up for it during the vacation by meeting with someone else at home, but I was intercepted with a couple more problems I had to deal with before I could try dealing with myself.
All it did was get worse.
September of 2017 is the time when I was pretty much in my worst place. I would cry 3-5 times every day. By myself. When my friends were around. In front of my family. Even on three occasions in front of lecturers. It got so bad I had to leave class just to go back to my room and cry because it all felt so heavy. I don’t know whether you’ve cried so hard that you felt like you wanted to cry some more, but your tear storage was all dried up. And you were so weak, you didn’t have the strength to force even the sad emotions to show up. One day I’d cried so much and I had become so weak that when I was walking back to my room, it was the wind carrying me. I wasn’t thinking. I knew the route, so I was just walking subconsciously. And I got a bridge.
And oh God, how I wanted to jump.
I don’t know how I managed to push those thoughts away. I was probably afraid. But I knew because I’d thought about suicide before, those thoughts would just keep coming, and they would keep getting louder. I was directed to a counselor after I spoke to someone, but all the counselor did was talk about my most recent issues, instead of helping me get to the root of everything that was bothering me. Even after I tried to draw his attention, it was still the same. So I stopped meeting him, and kept lying to the one who referred me that I still was. After this, I resorted to pretending to be happy until the happiness became a reality. And I kept a lot of things to myself. It wasn’t easy, but I had to move on.
I guess it worked.
My avoidance behaviour has taken me pretty far. Deleting social media when I felt it was making me too upset. Staying away from things and people who were “bad vibes”. Shutting up and walking away (and staying away) from people that made me upset. Trying to create this “safe space” atmosphere in my bedroom so once I come back after a bad day, everything gets better. It was practically self care for me. Plus my suicidal thoughts were nowhere at all to be found in the past two and a half years.
Up until two days ago, I didn’t think they were still lurking around, waiting for the right trigger to set them off again.
I had a fight. It was totally unrelated to any of the things that I’d been experiencing in the past. But after about a minute of me being alone with my thoughts, I fell to my knees and started to cry. Not because my fight reminded me of any of my problems or insecurities. Because for the past couple of months, I’d gotten upset a lot but I had been keeping everything I felt bottled up, just like I used to do before. Everything seemed to be happening all over again. I was crying so much I got weak, but I was still sad so the tears kept coming. It wasn’t until I heard my suicidal thoughts reappear loud and clear in my head, that I realized I really hadn’t dealt with any of my baggage. The urge was so strong, but I knew I couldn’t do it. But I was still in pain, and I needed to get rid of it.
Whenever I watched movies involving self-harm, I would wonder how people would be so ridiculous to intentionally cause pain to themselves. So I was pretty confused when I found myself looking for something sharp around my room to test that theory out. I took a pair of scissors and I tried. I couldn’t cut myself. The pain of the blade touching my skin was already painful enough, and I didn’t think I was ready so see any blood at that point. So I just continuously scratched myself — on the arm, and later under my thigh — wincing in pain until I forgot the initial reason why I was crying. When I was done I sat up, took a look at the scratch marks I had caused, and wondered how exactly things had gotten that far. It was like a post-self-harm clarity I had gotten all of a sudden.
My avoidance behaviour had brought me far. But no matter how well I managed to wave my issues off like they didn’t exist, they would always be lurking around waiting for the right opportunity to haunt me again.
I was hoping this post wouldn’t have to be this long. I wish I didn’t have to share this much just to make a point. All I know now is leaving my issues on standby without making sure I dealt with them hasn’t helped me so much. I don’t even have as much baggage as other people I know, but carrying it feels like torture. I’ll probably do what I should’ve done a long time ago, and find a way to deal with it once and for all. And if you’re breaking your back trying to carry something too heavy for you to be carrying alone, maybe you should do same as soon as you can. I’m no expert on how exactly you should do do that. It’s also pretty hard trying to come out with stuff like that when all people are going to do is ignore you for looking like an attention-seeker. But finding out what helps and undergoing the gruesome therapy sessions would most likely leave you better off than you would’ve been not trying to find out at all.