“Nothing in my life has ever made me want to commit suicide more than people’s reaction to my trying to commit suicide.”
– Emilie Autumn
Suicide. It’s not really something people like to talk about. I, on the other hand, have no qualms in discussing the ins and outs of my own suicidal tendencies, often at great length and in an apparently unnerving manner. This doesn’t always go down too well in polite company and I frequently find myself suddenly surrounded by intense silence and looks of I don’t even know what.
And I honestly don’t get it. We’re all going to die. No-one lives forever. And suicide rates have been on such a steady increase in recent times that you’d think people would have at least begun to cotton onto the fact that this needs to be talked about. It may make you uncomfortable. It may put the fear of God into you. But, seriously, how do you think it feels for those of us that struggle with these feelings every single day? Is it really all that beneficial to anyone that we are sweeping it under the carpet and hoping that no-one trips over the pile of pain that’s accumulating beneath?
“I just want the hurting to stop. For the tears to stop burning tracks in my cheeks. For the pain to stop tying my insides in knots. For someone to please make it all go away. Because I’m trying. And failing at every turn.
I’m running blindly through empty corridors, calling out, banging on doors and no-one can hear me crying. I’m battered and bruised and worn out and so dead inside I can’t bleed.
My words are failing, my psyche flailing. I want to drill holes in my skull to let the pressure out. Bore channels like fen dykes to let the pain drain and the blood leave the land.
My heart is opened up like a fetid wound. Angry yellow pus oozing from its depths and contaminating every thought it touches. I feel as if there’s ants, crawling beneath the surface of my skin. I want to scrub with wire wool to relieve the burning of their acid touch.
Tear my eyes out and fill them with lye. I don’t want to see any more. I don’t want to look upon my crumbling being. The pitiful display of what I could be and am not.
Nail me to the cross and pour salt on my wounds. Exposure and starvation is just what I need. To feel my skin bubble under the intense light of a sun that refuses to brighten my world. Let me wither beneath its glare and my bare bones stand out for all to see.
Because this is me. This is my glory. This is all that I am and nothing more.”
The thing is, for us Borderlines, things like self-harm, suicidal ideation and just generally wanting to die or do horrible things to ourselves is quite a common occurrence. As I saw someone write the other day: they say to contact your Doctor or go to A&E if you feel suicidal or that you may cause yourself harm, but what do you do when that’s most days? Are you really supposed to take a trip to Casualty EVERY time you think about swallowing a box of pills?
Living with suicidal tendencies.
There aren’t many days that pass without me considering harming myself or thinking of suicide to be perfectly honest. Not necessarily even because something terrible has happened. I could just be bored of living. I could be tired of fighting against maladaptive behaviour and thought processes. I could’ve remembered something bad someone did to me five fucking years ago that I’m still pissed about.
If I told someone every time I wanted to die or drag a blade across my flesh, I suspect they’d get pretty sick of hearing it. God knows even I get bored of it being my immediate go to whenever something goes wrong.
And so, I’m pretty casual about the whole damn thing. Like systematic desensitisation, it’s hard to be fearful of something you’ve grown so accustomed to.
I think what makes it so easy for me to talk about though, really, is that I see no shame in doing so. I refuse to feel that I should hide the things I did in an attempt to ease my own suffering. I don’t ever hide my scars. I want people to see them, to be aware that people like me exist and for others that bear similar scars to know that they’re not alone. Hiding symptoms and doing my very best to convince others that I’m a fairly well-functioning human being is what led me to commit such acts in the first place and not talking about how hard I was finding things really didn’t get me fuck all but a three-year breakdown that I barely survived.
Time to talk.
It’s good to talk, it’s good to be honest about how bad we’re really feeling and it’s so good to feel comfortable doing it.
Maybe this article will convince other Borderlines to start to open up and let people know just how hard we have to work to keep our shit together. And just how hard we have to work to hold on when we can’t. That’s my hope for this article. That people will embrace the opportunity to be honest about their struggles. And that others will be both inspired to keep fighting and relieved that they’re not the only ones tired of having to fight so hard.
The stigma is wrong.
Many may insist that we’re weak. They may declare us selfish, thoughtless, cowardly and deserving of our self-inflicted fate. But they’re wrong.
Those of us that struggle to hold on, despite every fibre of our being doing its very best to end us; we’re not weak, we’re not cowardly, we’re fucking superheroes. Badass, death-defying, awe-inspiring superheroes. Whether we realise it or not.
To suggest that we are the ones that are selfish, that we are the ones that give no thought whatsoever to how our behaviour affects others, is nothing short of hypocritical. We do not enjoy our suffering, we do not invite this pain and we certainly do not seek the negative attention and guilt-trips that expressing our woes inevitably brings.
We shouldn’t be forced to hide how we truly feel. We shouldn’t be scared to speak up when we’re finding it hard to survive. We should be talking about these things. We should be addressing suicidal ideation, self-harm and every urge we have to swallow every pill in the house to numb our pain. And bollocks to anyone that tries to tell us we should have to hide what we go through every day just because it doesn’t fit into their comfort zone.
Fuck the stigma. FTW.
The time for silence has passed. The time to talk is now.