Most people do not understand suicide, addiction or mental illness. Not unless they have experienced it firsthand, or have suffered along side a loved one blindly walking and stumbling along this bumpy road.
In light of Robin William’s recent tragic death, many of us are feeling the hole inside of us grow and fill with rage and pain. This tragedy has grieved me, more so than the other heartbreaking overdoses or suicides as of late. Just last week I walked into my quarterly visit with my psychiatrist. I sat down and told her I had a drinking problem and emphasized that I was at a place of wanting help. I mentioned the word ‘suicidal’ to her at least 3 times. She hardly blinked. Rather, she lectured me about the effects of alcohol on my liver, told me her mother was an alcoholic, printed out my med refills and sent me on my way. When I arrived there last Tuesday morning, my hope was to leave in an ambulance. Or at least walk away with a referral to a detox center, maybe a prescription to help with the alcohol cravings. I walked to my car. I cried. Where is the help for someone like me? How much more clear can I be?
People who believe suicide is a selfish sin or a cowardly act are ignorant. Self destruction is not a choice. It is a last resort when the pain cannot get any worse. The Republicans who are insulting the precious life of a man, who spent all of his life and energy making us laugh, yet simultaneously suffering in silence, are downright assholes with no class. That comes as no surprise. But this is an all time level of inbred shallowness. They are why people leave doctors appointments and proceed to take their own lives. No one understands and no one will help. Imagine how that feels. I know exactly how it feels. I guess there are just more important and pressing matters to be addressed, like giving all those Republicans a $3,000.00 cost of living raise.
Alcohol is a depressant. Many depressed individuals, myself for example, drink to help the pain go away. I can hear the confusing paradox in that statement, but then why is it so common? I am fully aware that alcohol will only make me feel worse later. But it is the now that matters. It is the instant relief that numbs the pain that is so seductive and addicting. So when my psychiatrist, and even my cousin, who is trying so desperately to help me right now, ask me questions such as, “Why don’t you just stop? You need to stop. Alcohol is a depressant and you are depressed. Don’t you want to be there for for your kids?” Just because I am a suicidal alcoholic does not make me an idiot. I know this much is true. I can’t stop. If I could, I would. I need help. I need assistance. Why the fuck does this not register with people, from one’s family, one’s doctor, all the way to the government that won’t help people like me. But I can get a gun? How convenient.
What is it going to take? I don’t look mentally ill on the outside. I don’t drool on myself or need physical assistance of any kind. My personal hygiene has not yet plummeted. I am what is considered a “high functioning” sick person. In a way, that is comforting. No. Not really. This category I have been placed in exasperates me to no limit. If I look disheveled enough and talk to myself, will someone notice me then?
Until that day, I am just your average sized 6/8 woman, and considering the near broken necks and car accidents I provoke while jogging, I would say I am above average in attraction. But, by no means let that statement tell you I am confident and healthy. On the inside, I am a mess. I hate myself, I am gross and I feel I deserve no one’s love. I could think of a thousand more reasons which fertilize this self loathe. They are on a continual loop in my brain at any given time. This explains the alcohol, pills, etc… I want the loudness to stop. The screaming in my head to stop. And although alcohol is a depressant, it stops the voices for a while. The same voices that tell me to scream at the top of my lungs “I hate you.” (to whom ever is in the room and myself) These are the voices urging me to drive into oncoming traffic on the freeway.
WHEN I GO… I imagine my lover will be curled up in the fetal position crying heavily upon the bed we shared. When she stands, her head will fall into her tear drenched hands. The awareness of that will cause her knees to buckle. As she falls to the floor, she will yell as loud as her voice will allow. She will not understand why I finally did it, what made this day that I picked any different. She will feel like it came up and struck her like a blow to the head, but really she knew it was coming… I can only imagine the agony and the wrenching she will feel in her heart and in her gut. Actually, I can imagine. I feel this way inside everyday. I am mourning myself though, not another. This sounds selfish, I am sure. But it is not. It is sickness. If I had Cancer and mourned my disease and impending death, would you call that selfish?
My lover will then commence into the garage. Her cave. She will throw every loose object she can reach and toss them as far as the wind under them will carry. Her large shelter will be destroyed. But this is her only way of venting. She needs to be strong for our children. When the kids come to her, the three of them will curl up together and sob until there are no tears, and heave until there is little breath left.
The questions will arise with few answers. However, deep down the comprehension of such a tragedy will need no explanation. My pain is not a secret. My transparency is an open book.
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”