Monday, January 19, 2009

Let Me Tell You The Truth

As always – I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of friendship and caring that comes from the virtual world. Thank you all.

Now – please bear with me as I tell you some things you won’t want to read – but that I need to say – because I know there are others out there who are in the same boat and can’t find the damn paddles. The water is deep and there are creatures in it that you have never dreamed of – even in your darkest moments.

I’m going to backtrack a bit here and tell some things that I refused to put in print and out into the void when I was suffering the most.

Some of you might think I’m totally nuts but at least you’ll know I’m honest. Some of you will never understand because you have children that fill that void in your life and perhaps have never loved an animal. Some of you have never known the love of an animal – the love that is unconditional and unwavering. Your loss.

And most of you have never known the inside of a psyche ward and the confusion and emptiness that takes over your brain when you have a breakdown. Lucky for you. For those of us who have suffered mentally – depression – breakdowns – meltdowns - you know where I’m coming from and you don’t want to go back there either. If hearing of someone else’s spiral into the blackness sets you on that track once more – don’t read further. Just a warning.

Here goes. (taking a deep breath)

Right after my precious Dolly died I was totally suicidal.

I sat on the bottom steps with my head in my hands – sobbing. The Man sat beside me with his arms around me – crying into my hair. I screamed – I sobbed – I tore at my face – I pulled out my hair – I threw anything I could get my hands on. And then I told him I just wanted to die so that I could go and be with my Dolly.

And I meant every single word of it.

He said – “What about me?”

I said – “I know – but I can’t help it. I just want to die. I just want to hold Dolly again and be with her. She was my baby.”

I immediately went and turned off and unplugged all the phones in the house. They stayed that way for 6 weeks. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. If my brother called – he left a message and I would call him back. I didn’t tell him or anyone how I was feeling. Just The Man. And I didn’t tell him about it for a couple of weeks.

In order to help me keep my mind from going right around the bend – The Man kept my mp3 player loaded with audio books so that I could keep my mind occupied instead of crying nonstop. It was that sort of thing (amid some others) that put me in the psyche ward the first time. I listened to those audio books the entire time The Man was not in the house. They helped.

But! During that time I started developing a plan – or to be more honest – two plans. I knew exactly how I was going to do it when I couldn’t take it any longer. I kept these secrets close while I worked on my knitting and dealt with the upcoming shows. I kept them close while I made sure I had all the necessary requirements in order to fulfill those plans.

One night – unable to deal with my anguish – I blurted out my secret to The Man. He stood staring at me – holding me at arms length – staring at my face where the evidence of my anguish was marked by the dark circles under my eyes – before the tears started down his cheeks.

“No Aims. You mustn’t! You mustn’t. What will I do?”

I told him I planned to fill our lovely clawfoot tub with nice hot water – get in – and slit my wrists. I could envision it all – the pain just seeping out into the water – the sinking down into the deep warm depths and giving in. I kept in mind that slashing my wrists would have to be done under the water so he wouldn’t have to clean blood off of the walls. I could listen to music while I did that and that it might hurt a bit but would soon be over. I didn’t want to be naked when they found me either so I kept that in mind as well. Plan 1.

Plan 2 was a little harder but still easily done. We have a big eyehook in the ceiling of our bedroom. It holds body weight quite easily. We have a couch almost directly below it – almost. I planned on tying my housecoat sash around my neck and through the eyehook and jumping off the couch. It would work. Less messy. Job done.

Never once did I think about taking all the pills in the house. That’s harder to do and you can easily have your stomach pumped. Then you have to face it all over again. No.

Never once did I think I should tell all of you. Or my doctor. No way. I would have ended up in the psyche ward for sure. Tied down. No – instead I pretended – in comments – in posts. I did a good job for most of the time. Few of you knew where my mind was really at.

When I told The Man, he left me a note to leave my cell phone on and keep it on me. He called me every hour to ‘just chat’. Just check. He raced home every single night instead of staying late as he always did to put in some extra overtime so we could have lots of time away.

I lived in my own personal little hell of loneliness and despair. Struck down and done in by the loss of my precious precious Dolly.

Please know how hard this is to write - so that is enough for today.


Lola said...

I have never sunk to the depths that you describe, but from solid ground I once peeked over the edge. That was enough, and I was lucky. I hope that you will be lucky too, and will regain your composure, your sense of life worth living, with the support of The Man. He sounds like one in a million. You are lucky already.

Lane said...

Your post is incredibly brave.
And you were courageous to tell The Man and I can't tell you how glad I am you did.
I hope you can find something to cling on to and know that so many people care about you.

((hugs)) to you Aims. Really.

Akelamalu said...

That must have been so hard to write. I have only ever once felt like ending it all, I'm so glad I didn't because life can be wonderful even after heartbreak. I hope you will be able to put those feelings of despair behind you m'dear. I'll remember you when I'm sending Reiki. xx

KatduGers said...

You are the bravest person I have ever known or known of. Losing a pet is losing a member of the family - many people just don't "get" that.

I'm sure The Man is a godsend for you - he sounds like an incredibly strong and brave man.

Big hugs

dND said...

Aims, you are stronger than you give yourself credit. I have a small understanding of the feelings and the courage it took first to tell The Man and then to post here.

I also know how despite all the warmth and love from those around you that when depression hits it can all be blanked out. But you have the bud of the new you there, that's what pulls you through. Only you can nurture it and let it grow and you are doing just that.

I dread my eldest cat Snowy dying, as you say they give you unconditional love, maybe that's why I now have 4 cats of various ages so I will always have to be there for the rest as well as having to be there for my children' even though they(the children) are either adults or approaching adult now.

Keep growing girl, you are doing so well and so lucky to have The Man too.

Love as always,
Deborah x

Leatherdykeuk said...

I am so glad you survived suck a dark period, my friend. Thank the man for me that he helped so much :)

Maggie May said...

Aims...... by writing this down, you are healing. You are brave to share how you felt and how you feel now.

I lost a good friend through suicide and the people left behind are never quite the same afterwards. It is a personal blow for them and can feel like a total abandonment and they are left with guilt and horror. Then my cousin did the same thing, leaving two children. The youngest one is often in trouble.

The thing is....... recovery is often just round the corner and if you could only hang on things will get better.
Anyway...... hoping things have turned for the better & please know that we are all behind you and willing you to get well and to start again, as you have the Man to love you and support you and all your blogging friends who love you too. ((hugs))

Junebug said...

Aims, I'm so glad you have The Man to help you and that you confide in him. I have planned before in my mind how I would end my life also. I always think that I would do it away from the house so it wouldn't leave a mark or memory there. But I also keep in mind that the ones left behind would have a much harder time dealing with what I had done and that always has kept me alive. I don't know if that helps you but you don't want to cause someone else to grieve for you. I'm not comparing my life with yours and your heartaches, just know that I am sympathizing for you.

rosiero said...

My heart is pounding for just reading that and I am so glad you did not act on your thoughts. Sometimes many a thought of suicide has helped someone get through the night, but then they have thought better of it. Let the Man help you get through the dark days. You WILL come out the other side. It will just take time, that's all. Surf the waves of grief and be buffered about, but don't go under. You have too many friends who are willing you to get through this.

softinthehead said...

Oh Aims- my heart is in my throat as I write this, I cannot relate as I have never been a depressive person but please know that I send you lots of love and positive thoughts that you will come through this dark time in your life.

Anonymous said...

You survived,nothing can ever feel worse than what you went through - (((((((((( AIMs)))))))))

Anonymous said...

you are couragous. Brave, and vulnerable. Willing enough to share your incredible story for all to read. Im sure the stories are endless...some, only remembered when they creep up on you offguard. If you are brave enough to write hear, I hope that you could one day be brave enough to write a memoir about your experiences. You would be able to reach people on an entirely new level. The way you tell your story is so gripping. It pulled me in like a mouse to a mouse trap, waiting to see what happened next. I am so happy that you didn't do what you were so willing to give into. Life means so much more, to others, as well as yourself, when there are experiences to be shared.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Dera Aims, you know I've been there more than once, so I know with how much determination you think these thoughts. I am glad you are announcing them to us now and I hope it is a step in the direction of not wanting to end your life, but for choosing to want to live again. I don't need to tell you how horrified and sad I would be if you stopped existing. That is not an option. I disallow you to choose it, although I know I can't stop you. Share these thoughts with everyone who matters. They must know how you feel and what you are going through. There is dire need.

Please Aims, save yourself. If nothing else, do it for The Man, because he loves you so.

Big hugs,

bermudabluez said...

Dear Aims, I understand how difficult that was for you to write. Please know that I am sending you my strength, my prayers, and my love. I'm so glad that you have The Man there with you.

travelling, but not in love said...

Gosh Aims, what to say?

I'm glad you didn't. I'm glad you were able to get past that moment. I'm glad you had the Man with you.

I can't even begin to imagine, so I won't. I'll just say that I'm happy you didn't.



Anonymous said...

Aims hun having those plans was a way of coping. Yep seriously. Your grief was overwhelming and not just Dolly but you were responding to the cumulative losses of your life. These ideas were your escape doors- you had a way out and just knowing that there was a way out helped you to go on.

I told you before, you have guts and sharing this shows that. The Man is a heck of a chap and loves you very dearly. His level of grief would be very like what you are going through. I know your love for him will help you get through this.

Mean Mom said...

I am so sorry that you had to go through those feelings. I hope that being able to post about it, means that you are feeling at least a little better. The Man sounds so understanding. You were so lucky to find each other.

Daryl said...

You do know that Dolly would not have wanted that ... I am just sayin'.. and you are far braver than you know ...

Amy said...

It took a lot of courage to tell us that. I hope it helped you to overcome some (OK, all) of those feelings. You are such a special person. Big hugs. I care about you.

Joy T. said...

I'm not going to lie, stuff like this scares the hell out of me and I tend to flee from those who are so down. I know right? Brave soul that I am. But when it comes to this I just hate the thought of saying or doing the wrong thing and making it worse. You should write a post for people like me. The most important things to do...or not do...when friends or family are hurting so bad.

I hope you take the time you need Aims. I may be a big chicken but I care and you're in my thoughts. Hugs

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Aims – the one most important thing you have now that you did not have when you first went through your breakdown before is knowledge. With knowledge comes power, enabling you to understand the steps you go through and that eventually there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know you must be feeling as though you are wading through treacle just trying to do everyday things that the rest of us are taking for granted right now but you have come through a hell before that would have slain a weaker person. You got through hell before with no knowledge of each step and your instinct to survive was strong as it must be this time too for you have resisted the worst and told The Man about your plans. Your lovely Dolly is happy and safe and free from pain and when the time is right you will see each other again – just hang on in there. Suicide is a long term solution to a short term problem no matter how bad you feel you will come through it. Are you talking to any professionals? You know that you need some professional intervention right now as this is a big thing for you and the man to handle on your own. I hope you find some peace soon and that your grief lessens to a bearable level. It will you know, you just have to trust that time and patience will bring you peace. Hugs X

juliette said...

Oh Aims - what an amazingly brave post, and what a very, very sad one. I can totally relate, as it happens - the most terrifying thing is when you start to view suicide as a real, concrete option, like getting an earlier bus to work in the morning. When you start thinking about the stark practicalities. The whens and wheres and hows. What to say in the note, and where to leave it.

What you said about wanting to do it underwater, so The Man didn't have to clear up blood, struck a terrible and poignant chord with me.

I do hope you can leave that time far, far behind you. Writing a comment without emoticons is completely alien to me, but they seem horribly trivial and inappropriate in the light of such a wrenching post.

All the best. Truly.

J x

BT said...

I hesitated to write here aims. I will say that what you planned to do in the bath was exactly as I had planned when I was in hospital. In the bath - no mess- warm and comfortable. So glad you didn't and so glad I didn't.

TSannie said...

I'm still sending you hugs and many good thoughts through the universal airwaves. How hard - and cathartic, I hope, this must be for you to write.