I’m going to start by letting you know this blog post isn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows, so I’m going to give you a trigger warning for suicidal ideation. I am going to be as honest and transparent about my experiences with this as possible and this will not be a negative projection of this topic at all, but if this is something you are uncomfortable with then I just wanted to give you a heads up.
Now that’s out of the way, I’m going to start by sharing something that I haven’t spoken about publicly before. I have always experienced emotions extremely intensely and I have often found my emotional pendulum swinging wildly out of control, and have subsequently struggled to keep my feet on the ground and keep control of myself and my life in the way I feel is expected of me. There are often periods of time where I go to bed every night and happily imagine my life force slowly draining out of me until my mind is empty and peaceful. The next morning I wake up and feel a heaviness in my chest that makes me feel like I want to cut myself open and tear it out. The image of my own self destruction hangs above the mantelpiece in my mind.
When I was 23, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, which at the time gave me some kind of relief from this feeling, an excuse, perhaps, that this was just something that couldn’t be helped. It almost felt easy to suddenly accept that maybe I actually just had an illness that basically meant I was a terrible person who couldn’t control my own emotions and was probably going to be a problem to anyone I let into my life, so I began to withdraw and become a martyr of my own making. On top of this, life dealt me a card at exactly this point that forced my hand a little, and made pulling away from people I loved the obvious choice. A story in itself, but that isn’t something I want to delve into today.
Back to the point…Lately, I have had the creeping visions of ending my own life rolling on loop during every ad break of my day.
A poster of me plummeting from a height.
“Wish you were here?”
My coffin disappearing behind the curtain at the crematorium.
“Book your fantasy escape now”
Dark, huh? Well, honestly, not really no.
The reason I have always been afraid of speaking publicly about these thoughts is because I fear people thinking I need an intervention, I’m ‘sick’ again, or this is a cry for help. These beliefs reinforce the shame I have tied to these feelings and I know how isolating that can feel. The real reason I’m sharing this today is because this is my way of showing up for myself, and , as special as I like to believe I am (I am obviously the main character, right?), I know I am not the only person on the planet feeling like this on a regular basis, and I desperately want to connect with other people and do what I can break down some of the stigma surrounding these feelings. This is something I have felt really strongly about for a long time, but I have always remained silent for fear of judgement. Judgment on either end of the spectrum, from “attention seeking loser”, “crazy bitch”, to even the questionably well intended “U okay, hun?”.
To be honest, I no longer want to carry my BPD diagnosis as a burden, or as part of my identity at all. In fact, I very much reject it. I have worked hard to challenge my beliefs and behaviours and I no longer want to be a martyr. I want to try use my experiences to have a positive effect on other people, even if that is just making someone feel less alone.
I've come to accept, that as troublesome as they are, these thoughts own a holiday home in my mind and to be honest, as uncomfortable as it is, as long as I remember they’re only on vacation, I can live with that for now. I’m sure that when they move out, their contrary cousins will move in and bring back the crippling fear of dying. Ahhh what can I say, my mind is the circus and I am the clown. Honestly, none of these guys would be the first to get an invite to my birthday party (if I ever had one), but they’re part of me and I don’t hate them. You do you, my horrible little dudes.
Jokes aside, this was still really scary for me to actually post and I definitely feel anxious and uncertain about it but I've been feeling all bent out of shape, like I'm holding so much of myself back all the time and I wanted to make a step to change that. I really care about this book project, I'm starting to be able to see it come to life and I don't want my fear of being my raw honest self to become a hurdle to me creating something genuine that people will be able to truly connect with.
If you would like to leave a comment on this then I would really appreciate it. I can’t reply to comments left on my blog and it won’t show your e-mail address publicly, so if you just want to share your thoughts or feelings without having to engage in a conversation this would be a good place to share. If you want to remain anonymous then you can enter my email address in the field (firstname.lastname@example.org) :)