I struggle with what to say sometimes. Here. Online. Social media. To people.
The downside of speaking so openly is the consequences behind the scenes. Private messages, texts, visits. The questions. Sometimes I want to vent and spill out everything inside of me and write write write without dealing with the consequences because that’s how I cope. But you can’t because while you appreciate the check-in messages from your family and friends, all of them focused on your mental health is suffocating and overwhelming.
I did a painting about that feeling.
There’s a good disclaimer I read at the beginning of an article by Arya Grace on Passive Suicidal Idealization that I’m gonna borrow.
Before I start this, I’d like to get a few disclaimers out of the way. First, I’m not a danger to myself or others. Please don’t take this that way. Second, I’m not doing this for attention, I’m doing it to raise awareness for mental health. I’ve found that being raw and real about my own struggles has helped others, so I do it for those who haven’t found their voice yet. Third, as with any essay I do about mental health, I know this will cause some of you to see me differently. I know and I’ve accepted that. However, I ask that you don’t treat me as fragile.
You know that knee-jerk urge that happens when you’re driving on an overpass? What happens if I just turn the wheel and fly off the edge? What will happen? And you have to consciously remind yourself to keep driving forward.
I get those urges sometimes. When people ask me how I’ve been. I can feel everything wanting to pour out. Instead of the expected cookie cutter response of “I’m fine” or “Busy!” or “I’m tired” just saying “life is a nightmare I haven’t woken up from and it’s a battle day by day to just get up and find reasons why I should keep living. I’m alone, irrelevant, everyone hates me, and don’t know what I’m doing with my life.”
People don’t expect that. They don’t want blunt honesty.
“I’m fine, how are you?”
I want to pour it all out, bare my teeth, scream.
So this is me venting.
I have mental health issues. I’ve had them my whole life to various degrees. I’ve also been having to rebuild my life. Neither are great to deal with. And before I start getting phone calls and wellness checks, I’m fine. I’m not fine, but I’m stable enough and let me vent and be open and not worry about what I can and cannot say cause “consequences.”
I read an article or two about passive suicidal idealization. There’s a difference between passive and active. Passive is more along the lines of, “well if I happen to get hit by a bus all well.” It’s like a shrug. You don’t feel like living but you do it anyways. Active is more like doing it yourself and taking action.
It’s basically you’re indifferent about living. I’m not going to kill myself. If I happen to slip and drown in the bathtub then it is what it is. But I won’t do it myself because who could properly take care of my animals and my family has already dealt with one traumatic death, they don’t need mine. But yeah, most days I don’t feel like being alive because its all so hard and what’s the point. Give me my redo already. Let me come back as a snake or moth or a new person.
And that’s the thing. I’ve always felt this way, ever since I was younger. It’s gone from passive to active before and then back down to passive and even into a version of a sleep mode. Or remission. There was a time where I loved my life and where I was going. Then it goes away and the passive comes back, even when things aren’t as bad situation wise, and then if things are really bad, it flits on the edge of active.
It’s part of me, my brain. And I have to accept that and ironically, live with it.
When I was younger, my reasoning use to be that I didn’t finish writing my book and goddammit, someone needs to read this story before I die. You find reasons. You’ll hear people talk about reasons like that. “I haven’t paid off my car and don’t want my family stuck with my bills.” Shit like that. It’s there, that urge to disappear and die and not have to deal with this bullshit anymore, but you’re not actively trying to make it happen.
That’s my brain. There are days when the dumbest shit will trigger me and I’ll fall into a depressive spiral loop and will cry all day until my eyes are swollen.T here are days where I literally sleep all day and don’t leave my bed. Going to new settings with people I don’t know (or know well) causes panic attacks now. Having to do anything new causes panic attacks. Doing something wrong causes panic attacks. Crowds cause anxiety. Too many messages or texts will make me shut down and I’ll ignore them (sorry if I never message you back).
My brain is it’s own worst enemy.
I’ve been on medication before and it helps, but never really goes away. Things get muffled enough that the bad days are fewer but they still exist.
I feel abandoned a lot and disregarded and hated and trapped and trying to figure out what I did wrong to deserve everything. But reaching out and venturing out into the world makes my brain scream danger. Because of my work, my art, my blog and social media accounts and who I was, there’s a lot of eyes on me. I feel it constantly. I did it to myself. I was a public figure in the community, still am kinda. But it’s like everyone came for a movie and instead are watching a train crash and I’m the crash. Paranoia is a new thing I’m experiencing, tho I guess it goes with the anxiety. Everyone’s watching me fumble and crash.
I’m drawing again, painting. Trying to express these things because vague and conceptualized doesn’t have as many consequences. Because I can’t vomit out every single thing that’s happening onto the screen but it has to come out somehow. When the Tower crashed down, it shook my city and took everything down with it in every aspect of my life. I’m trying to salvage anything from the salted earth.
I’m still trying to grow this new me.
This me who has problems conversing with people and being in public and feeling like everything I produce is mediocre and crap. I’m 28, have an entry level day job, no education or or degrees or art training, no money, no published works or accolades, not a whole lot of connections and am not all that likable and have been described as intimidating by everyone I know. My art is weird and I write urban fantasy on the side versus poetry or dissect-able prose. I feel like an outsider every day of my life.
I have to figure this life, this me, out. And it’s not easy.
I thought at first that this would be the time to take advantage of my 20’s. Go out to bars and shows and date everyone casually and get drunk and fuck up. It’s what you’re suppose to do in your 20’s. But I tried and it didn’t fit right. That’s never been me and forcing it makes me feel wrong.
I’m trying to find the right fit. I’m trying.
I’m part of an artist collective now and have a spot in a work studio in the art district. We had our first showing this past Friday. I’m trying to make more art. Maybe eventually I’ll pick my story back up. I’m focusing on video games and D&D and binge watching everything Critical Role and gardening and taking care of the pups and my store. Trying to raise money so I’m not struggling. Anything to distract myself.
My growth is small and moving so slow and time is whipping passed me so fast. It’s been so long but time still isn’t healing shit and I feel conned. Cause when the hell is that shit suppose to kick in?
I constantly wonder what makes me so easily discarded as a person in all aspects of my life. It’s hard not to.
One day maybe things will get better. I don’t know when, though I’m sure they’ll probably get worst first. That seems to be the way of things. I just hope there’s a good payout at the end though that’s not for certain either. No one ever gets what they deserve, they get what they get.
I’m going to keep making stuff because what else am I suppose to do? I’ll get up, feed my dogs, go to work, rinse repeat. Some days I won’t get out of bed and sometimes I’ll do every errand under the sun just to exhaust myself.
Again, I’m stable. Low on spoons almost constantly, but stable. But at some point, we need to be able to talk about the darker stuff involved with mental illness so we can know when there’s a red flag and when we’re just treading water. Knee jerking at the slightest hint of suicidal thoughts and jumping the gun too often feels like crying wolf so being able to recognize passive and active suicide idealization helps so that when help is actually needed, you don’t do nothing.
People have these thoughts and aren’t able to talk about them and maybe they should. So where we are.
For me, I’m going on however I can. And day by day, we’ll see where we land.