Trigger Warning: Suicidality, self-harm mentioned here.
The night sky was cloudy, hiding the moon so I was not guided by its light. I walked alone, on the empty road, only sometimes being illuminated by the bright white or blue headlights of the passing cars.
Jump in front of them, my mind whispered. But from behind, I did not wish to be hit. And from the front I did not wish my head to be injured.
So I continued walking.
Two and a half miles, for someone who doesn’t exercise at all, that’s a hefty distance.
But I had one destination in mind, just one: the ponds.
I was alone. So utterly and physically and completely alone. I cried. I cried when I walked down the road, in the middle of it, on the side of it. I cried when I couldn’t see my footfalls in front of me. I cried wearing all black at eight o’clock at night.
I cried when I saw the pale white glimmer of the water from the top of the road. By then, I was talking to myself aloud, for no one else was around.
I had no cell phone–it was taken.
I had my car keys, the lot that would help without a car.
I knew only one phone number from the outside world–the others being my own and emergency lines–and I didn’t have a list of numbers elsewhere to call, even if I could think of the friends faces to match the illusive numbers.
I approached a stranger’s home for my one phone call. They let me use their phone, but the call didn’t go through.
So again, I walked.
I remember even telling the stranger what I was about to go do, and just being met with the flattest, “Okay.”
By the time I reached the pond, my suicidality had faded away. What had upset me, triggered me, seemed so insignificant. And still, I walked.
I cried when I thought I wouldn’t be able to reach out for help. That this was my final sight. My final words circling in my mind, never to be met to the keyboard or the paper to be finalized.
I thought of final articles, posts, letters.
I thought of how alone I was, no one knowing.
…The wind was cool. The water not as cold as I expected.
But I had to pee.
And I have high standards: I didn’t want to pee myself while I drown.
So I walked back up, turned around, walked back down, turned around and did that a few times before I decided I didn’t want to sit in the sand before the lapping shoreline. But then the wind was brisker and I was cold, the lack of a jacket settling into my bones as the wind slipped between my layers.
I sat on a rock for a while.
Watched with suspicion as cars slowly crawled by. Planned out my next moves: would I walk up to the nursing home to use their phone or would I walk to the other pond on the other side of town? Would I walk back home or wait a while longer as a punishment to my parents for triggering me?
I went for a walk, just as they suggested, just not where they had in mind.
At twenty-three I had run away from home. I considered my options.
As the moonlight poked through the clouds, I rejoiced aloud. Finally, more light to guide me back home. For now, I had decided not to drown. For the moment, I knew I’d need a double method in my next suicide plan.
The headlights soon pulled up, it was one of my parents. “Get in,” was all that was said. With a shiver, I did as I was told; I sat in the car on the easy ride back that would have taken me another hour to walk.
9:30p is when I returned…but it was only part of me.
The damage had been done. I had been shoved two car lengths backwards. I had had my fourth crisis of the week, as of being out of my eighth hospitalization that week’s very Monday. I was ready to act again. Plans of suicide bubbled up in my vision. I don’t even remember now what I did–other than get some hot clam chowder, mention the walk “somewhat” helped (even though the majority of it was not), and crawled into bed with my phone again in my clutches.
It wasn’t the way I expected my Friday night to go. All because it felt like my parents were taking everything away from me that I had left. My perspective collapsed as my dreams sounded so far away, distant. A year? Two? Four? That would be like oblivion.
I might as well end my life now, had been my thoughts. This life just wasn’t cut out for me. I can’t handle this, not after everything else. There’s only one way this can end.
So I had walked away, drifting out of the conversation to enter the mess of my room. And the door was threatened to be taken away, the phone was grabbed, the car inaccessible, so outside in the rural town I call home, I walked. And walked. And walked.
At 1:00a I awoke, disappointed that I had once again, because of extenuating circumstances, missed my article deadlines. I am no longer even a staff writer for the newspaper, another loss of job that I am harboring within myself, something that had angrily triggered me earlier that day (crisis #3). I can still write for the paper and my work can still be published, but what a loss I felt. It all seemed so meaningless again, and I had let myself and my readers down. For two papers no articles, maybe even three papers, no articles came out of mine.
I had let them down. Was my story even worth telling anymore?
I set my dying phone aside to charge, and used up the battery power of my iPod to bring me some comfort as I sobbed for an hour and a half.
I scratched myself to keep something at bay. I thought about calling a hotline, I nearly did, but then I scratched myself and there didn’t seem to be a point anymore. I planned suicide. Over and over and over. The tears came and the snot with them, and over and over I cried. Eventually I fell back to sleep.
Around 8:45a I awoke again. And curled into a cocoon I went. Followed by listening to more music on a charging iPod. I sent a message to three friends, and idled by the phone, holding on to it so no one would take it away, until I’d get a response. Two friends were busy, so it wasn’t the right time to speak. I couldn’t speak anyways, going in and out of crying spells.
Details of plans formulated in my mind. Efforts were made to get me out of my room, but still I refused. I was ‘angry’ at them, depressed more so for putting me back in this hellhole.
I was as suicidal as I had been when I overdosed those two weeks before.
I had a high amount of intent. I began planning and writing more goodbye posts, alternating between curled up in the fetal position, scratching myself through the tears and more.
When they went for a walk, I got a higher response from Craig.
Wailing, I sobbed hysterically. I was not a safe vessel, I was NOT a safe vessel. Through my tears I pulled out the only blade in our house and attempted to cut myself. I didn’t think I was all that effective (I was wrong as I’d find the angry red line later). I turned back to the phone and read the messages coming quickly at me.
Continuing to wail I stumbled up to my room, curling into a seated position.
“Life wasn’t cut out for me… It’s better this way.”
>> “It isn’t better that way! You have a voice to share with the world and if you’re gone, it won’t exist to help others. You have a gift to share. [ridiculous Craig voice] DONT TAKE THAT GIFT AWAY FROM THE WORLD RAQUEL!”
*snaps fingers* Like that, clarity (or calm, still not sure which) came to me. My crying ceased. The crisis ebbed away. Maybe it was the all caps. Either way, it was gone, I was out, I was free.
>> “…I wouldn’t be able to intervene. Please take some breaths, find a space where you think of anything but harming yourself. You’ll be more pissed if you act on it again. Remember what you wrote me.”
The first sign of help working, even as I struggled to remember what it was I had written out, I knew inherently about it. Even though it’d be different this next time, still, it wouldn’t be.
I told my parents what went down, later on. We patched things up. I still cried again another time, and I don’t know how I didn’t wind up with a headache, but I got a massage later that day, and that helped, too.
Now? I don’t know where I lie. The suicidality is still present, just softer. The plans not quite…abandoned. I don’t know where I go from here.
But maybe that’s all that healing ever is.
❤ ❤ ❤
Thank you for your support.