It’s Mental Health Week in the US and I think we need to remember those that suffer out there every single day. The holiday season is especially tough. This post was published in 2012 and was used on quite a few suicide help sites. This morning someone emailed me to ask if I still had a copy of it. This is a tough season for some– please pass it on.
I have been up for hours and am exhausted before the clock strikes eight. I eye the sink full of dirty items while the dishwasher lies four inches to the left. The house is silent and soon I know the air will be filled with anger.
Walking outside I water the just planted begonias, knowing full well once I leave they will die; much like the limited peace that lies between the walls. I have come to think the house is cursed but then realize that things were like this before anyone moved into this home. Years of anger still scream through the roof and the house wants me back, but I will never grant the four walls their wish.
The larger dog sits with me on the swing and cuddles next to me. He knows I will soon leave and his life will become empty again. My heart cries for him, but it is either his life or mine, and there is no other solution. The inhabitant of the manor is not in a good mood so I will embark on a journey somewhere else today. I pose him a few questions and nothing but silence follows my words and I immediately blame myself for his reaction.
Yesterday morning I sank to the depths of hell and barely crawled out in time. There is no answer except possibly death that will find me relief from his distant presence. I am free, but yet I am not, and I slowly sink into a hollow world where nothing hurts me.
I wake up and feel the imaginary cloud of blackness cover me once again and it brings me back to a place I had been to a very long time ago. My mind is breathing in a pit full of black sticky tar and there no way to get out. Slowly I feel myself suffocating from my thoughts until I can no longer breathe, and then I give in to the darkness again and became no more.
In my dream I awake with tears in my eyes and remember the day that was going to be the last day of my life. I dressed slowly that morning as I glanced around at my surroundings and knew they would suddenly be alone. I had made up my mind, ran down the stairs and jumped on the bus to my destination. As I sat on the subway I closed my eyes as I went through the 6 minutes of darkness while the train went through the tube under the bay. It was almost like the dark before the storm and my fingers grasped the edge of the seat knowing there was no turning back.
I took the bus to the shore and watched the waves come in one by one. They were dark angry waves, and I walked towards them inviting them to take me away to the sea. The edge of the waves tickled the tips of my shoes and beckoned me to walk further into the bay. I knew if I followed their dark directions I would be immersed in a riptide of cold water with no chance to correct my mistake.
Instead I sat on a bench and wondered if I was going to suffer much when I carried out my mental ambition. I looked to the bridge and the fog still hung like Christmas stockings on the edges of the gray metal. Maybe if the bridge was merciful that same fog would carry me down softly to the depths below and simply ease me down slowly into final peace.
I knew once I jumped it was going to be like hitting a concrete wall and if I was lucky it would take me less than five minutes to drown in the cold water where the bay met the sea. If I made a mistake and jumped feet first I might survive and live in pain for the rest of my life. Did I want that? Was it not like what I was going through in real life, and if I commit suicide will the wrath of the Devil come and push me to the boundaries of Hell?
For weeks I had thought of the Golden Gate jumpers and mentally replayed them, fascinated that the end could be so near. As I walked along the narrow road to the bridge my fear suddenly disappeared. I had walked its length once before and knew that in 4 seconds I would be flying towards what I considered final freedom of my mind.
Death might take seconds as my body would plunge deep into the salty water where no angels would be rescuing me just yet. It would not be a pretty death and suddenly a silly thought of fish dining on my mortal remains scared me. Years of not being afraid to attempt the almost terminal extension of life had now been thwarted by the fear of fish.
In the years that passed I knew the bridge would always be there to beckon those who had given up. The clouds of pills and mental pain would remain for years however until I realized life was not a mistake. Why?
For we have all come too far to fail. Pass it on!
Photos of the Golden Gate Bridge by Linda Seccaspina