anxiety, chronic pain, depression, graphic self-harm, intrusive thoughts, mental health, mental illness, self-harm, suicidal ideation, suicide
CW (Content Warning: suicidal ideation, self-harm, suicide):
Yesterday was the first day in a while that I woke up and felt like I wanted to die. It was beyond the feeling of wishing I didn’t exist anymore–that feeling is an old friend, and I try not to let it bother me too much–no, yesterday, I actively felt the urge to harm myself.
I don’t usually go into this much detail, but I need to get it off my prefrontal lobe (I’m out of practice, uni was 2 years ago, but let’s pretend that’s where the synapses for our current thoughts reside). I’m gonna give another content warning here, because this is about to get graphic.
When I woke up yesterday, I was overwhelmed by visions of me stabbing myself with a variety of rusty farming/maintenance tools. I used my own hands to drive wood-handled weapons (they were being used as weapons, anyway) that I don’t even know the names of, into my eyes, ears, neck, stomach, throat. I saw myself in a quiet, abandoned barn, far away from curious stares or offers of help, removing my vision, hearing, and eventually my life, forever. I felt sad (just sad–not depressed, or miserable, or like crying–just a normal, low-level sadness) during the stabbing portion of my thoughts, coupled with a bone-weary exhaustion. There was a flicker of anxiety (when do I *not* experience at least a flicker of anxiety?) that I might be too weak or tired to finish what I was doing, which spurred me on to finish the job.
(Looking back, I am rather taken aback by the undeniable normality of my feelings and responses: sadness at a regrettable event, a little anxiety that actually helps one to complete their task, rather than the debilitating type I typically suffer, etc. Such “normal” responses to such an abnormal situation… ordinarily, it happens the other way around, and I’m crippled by a minor setback that most people would hardly notice. Anyways. I digress.)
As the anxiety sparked a final push of energy, I imagined driving the final blade through my own neck, nearly severing it on one side, I felt such intense relief and even a frisson of pleasure. I saw myself topple to the ground, my body torn and raw in places, bright red blood already drying to the colour of tea stains in the bottom of an old mug (drying on clothing I don’t own, by the way–I don’t know if I’ve ever bought a flannel shirt and a pair of pale, straight-leg jeans). My hair was long, like it was until about 7 years ago (I still mourn my hair–like Jo March in “Little Women,” it was “my one beauty”) and I seemed a little heavier than I am, now.
Parsing through the memories of those thoughts, I suppose I might’ve been looking at me when I was about 17: starting to lose a little weight (which I gained back, never actually hitting a “normal” weight until hyperemesis with my 1st pregnancy) still with waist-length, curly brown hair, wearing some male relative’s clothing, and in a rural community not unlike the one where I grew up. I was near the sea, though. I never lived near the sea until moving to the UK… which I did at 19. 19-year-old me, a little slimmer than I actually was, then? So odd.
This wasn’t a dream–I was definitely awake–but it really knocked me, to have such an intense, self-harming…. vision?… out of nowhere, before I’d even sat up in bed. I was a little off with Hubs, yesterday. I suppose this explains that, to some extent.
I wonder if it’s time to increase my antidepressant. Or change meds, or request some talking therapy. I feel a little flat, a little worn-down, lately, and I’ve had a cold for a week or so… I didn’t think I was getting BAD again, though.
Maybe it’s just April. This is my least favourite month. Or–my chronic pain has been worse, lately. Maybe this is a stress response caused by intense physical pain, and I don’t want to kill myself, I just want to kill the pain/stop hurting. Then again–that’s what most suicides are.
And maybe I should go see my doctor.