My suicide monster is sneaky. It convinces me that my immense toxicity impacts everyone around me to such an extent that I HAVE to kill myself or face the guilt and sheer ‘wrongness’ of continuing to inflict myself on the world. It creates a cold, calculating, detached haze in order to stop the sadness or fear the teeny bit of me left might feel in case that selfishly stops me acting for the greater good of everyone.
“But I’m so irreversibly broken” – a constant refrain of mine. I’m so terrified that I’ve been broken so completely and for so long that there’s no coming back…and, in fact, nothing to ‘get back’ to as this all started before adolescence; I’m scared that there stopped being a ‘me’ after childhood, and the ‘me’ that could or should have developed during adolescence couldn’t and wasn’t allowed to. What if there isn’t and can never be a ‘me’? What if this is all there is?
An awesome crisis nurse has been trying to help me work through this, having heard this fear from me constantly and tried in earnest to persuade me that I’m not broken, that nothing is irreversible, and that there really is a ‘me’ that should have hope for a whole and happy future. She set me the task of producing a piece of art to try to remind myself of this and I wanted to share this with you all, as I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this.
So, this is a reminder for anyone struggling with their mental health: you are NOT broken. It can be so hard to believe this because poorly brains can be so convincing about telling us we are hopelessly beyond repair. So, so hard. But if my art helps in any way, please feel free to print off a copy for yourself and, as the aforementioned awesome crisis nurse always says to me: “Say it until you believe it”:
Oh how I wish I could say this was a complete fantasy or massive exaggeration, however it is scarily close to the truth. In fact, in the past week alone, every single one of these things (and more) have been suggested or said to me (minus pouring the tea directly over my head whilst in the bath…but I’ve felt like doing so out of sheer desperation and frustration) and I have had constant responses such as this in the past. And it isn’t just me; what prompted me to draw this were several posts in the Mind Our Minds and Doodle Chronicles Peer Support Groups.
Time and again, highly vulnerable and distressed people are dismissed with condescending suggestions of having a bath/cup of tea/walk (even when certain of these things at certain times actually pose an additional risk) and/or are criticised and blamed for being acutely unwell, rather than being offered even a short amount of therapeutic interaction or appropriate assessment/intervention.
I do want to finish by saying that by no means am I suggesting that all crisis team staff act in this way (I have had 2 simply outstanding phone conversations with crisis team nurses over the past week, as well, which I hope to write about when I am able – this past post demonstrates the confusing and opposing approach of crisis team staff) and I want to say a huge thank you to those of you who do this demanding, undervalued and underpaid job with kindness and professionalism – you are true superheroes.
Barely hanging on
Only by the tiniest of threads
That thread is painful and tearing me apart
So far gone that help (asking/accepting) is just dragging others with me
Losing grip fast…and I’ve already lost it completely on multiple occasions
Losing the strength to carry on fighting and holding on even faster