I decided I didn’t want to live.
Things have been bad for a long time now. My depression isn’t getting any better in spite of all the things I’ve been trying to do and all the changes in medications. It’s been almost impossible to work. I’ve complained for a while that there isn’t enough work to do to stay busy, but things finally picked up a couple of weeks ago. But being so depressed it’s been all I can do to keep up with the bare minimum. I just have no motivation and no energy. I spend my day staring at the computer screen or out the window, waiting until it’s finally time to go home. But it isn’t any better there. As soon as I’m home I just wander around from room to room, checking email for the 100th time and watching reruns of shows I’ve recorded. I have no appetite at all and trying to cook dinner for myself is out of the question. Sometimes I can force myself to eat a frozen dinner, but many days I don’t eat at all. I’ve lost so much weight I’ve had to start wearing jeans that I had to buy in the boys’ department as I can’t find a small enough size in men’s. It’s absolutely miserable. So I plod through each day, dreading the drive into work and hating being home when I’m done for the day. So I start looking forward to the weekend. At least I can sleep and not worry about trying to look busy at work. But weekends are even harder than weeknights. The solitude and isolation is almost more than I can bear. Sometimes I am able to go out on Saturday night, and that’s a big help. But it only lasts a short time, and Sundays are the worst days of all. In spite of being so miserable at home, the weekend just flies by, and before I know it it’s back to work on Monday. And so it starts again. So let me put it into perspective… I struggle through the workday, I go home to nothing and I spend my weekends miserable and alone. There’s nothing to look forward to and no relief anywhere. It’s bad.
But no matter how bad things get, they can always get worse. My biggest fear about work has come true. I was told yesterday that my position has been eliminated and I my contract would be over the end of this month. The ‘good’ news is, there’s another position available in a different department, but the pay is literally half as much as I’m making now. It’s not quite as bad as being on unemployment, but damned close. I could live on the lower pay, barely, but I won’t be able to get health insurance and I won’t be able to afford my medications out of pocket. I know I need to stay on my medications, but it’s going to be a matter of spending the money for that, or paying rent and buying groceries. Having my meds but living on the street isn’t an option, so I’m stuck. There are no good options.
So I decided it was time.
Once I made the decision I felt at peace for the first time in years. I wasn’t afraid; I’d been there before. When I had my overdose the end of August I got an idea of what it’s like. I took pills, and then there was nothingness. For three days I just ceased to exist. That time I eventually came back, but I knew what to expect. I started putting together a plan. As most bipolar people I have a medicine cabinet full of pills, so I started doing some research on the internet to find out which ones and which combinations I should use. I decided that it should be a tranquilizer and my blood pressure medicine. If I took enough of both I should just go to sleep and never wake up. I started to write it all down; the misery and unhappiness that drove me to the decision, the plan on how to make it happen, and what I needed to do before I did to get and give closure to those that mattered.
That’s when I started to get scared. Putting it down in black and white it was becoming real. I’d come very close to dying with the last overdose and knew that this time it could be successful. I started thinking about the real impact it would have on others. The depression might tell me that the people I care about will be okay and eventually get over it, but my common sense told me that it would devastate those I love. I have to believe that sooner or later my situation will get better. If I can be patient I will eventually come out of my depression. In spite of the pay cut, I do still have a job. And the fact that my company wanted to hold on to me meant that even though I was struggling so hard to do my job I still had value. There are other options for getting my medications, especially on such a low salary. Insurance is another question, but even that has options. I was afraid that no matter how bad I feel now, it would be a big mistake.
So I started to make a new plan. I would take the new job and hope that the change in environment will make it easier to make it through my day. I have a little bit of money in savings, and can get another month of medications until I can figure out another way. And I had talked with my Therapist yesterday afternoon, and she suggested that I talked to the nurse-practitioner about cheaper alternatives to the meds I’m on. I can look for a part time job after work and weekends to help bring in more money and limit my time alone. And if I can carry enough hours, it may be possible to get benefits and take care of my insurance problem. I might even make some new friends.
A drowning man will grab on to any flotsam and struggle to the very end to stay afloat. If you’re starving you will eat unspeakable things to stay alive. We have a built in survival mechanism that give us incredible strength to make it through the most deadly circumstances. When faced with the ultimate decision to end it all, my will to survive kicked it and I pulled back from the abyss. My life is hard, and is about to get harder, but it is life after all. As hard as it may be, it’s still better than the alternative. If I can only hold on I have to believe it will get better. I’ve survived worse, and I can survive this. I have to, for myself and for those I love.
I have decided I want to live.