Today is a beautiful day. Sixty-eight degrees, blue sky and sunshine. It is the kind of day you want to drink in slowly. And I am itching to kill myself.
It is a compelling and urgent kind of suicidality. It has force to it. It is its own beast, removed from the context of my life. It doesn’t have to do with what is going on tangibly, it doesn’t have to do with my attitude, I have been sleeping and working out and socializing, it’s inexplicable. I have come to accept this.
Not that I like it. I really don’t. It is exhausting to combat. It is like scraping my face against the sidewalk all day long. It gets better, it gets worse. Today and yesterday it has kicked into high-drive. Which I find particularly tragic because it has been so beautiful outside. It shouldn’t be possible to feel so awful when it is so lovely outside. But it is.
My day is like this: I walk outside and the sun kisses my skin, I think Oh how lovely. I would really like to hang myself in that tree. I don’t do it. I go inside for lunch. I laugh with people. I simultaneously imagine bashing my face through the window. I drive to work with the windows rolled down. It feels like magic, the fresh scent of this spring day. My brain is begging me to stop the car and go somewhere to die. I concentrate on the magic. My brain suggests driving my car full-speed into a tree. At work I make dinner for the residents, I chop cabbage and physically ache to drive the knife into my body. I avoid knives the rest of the shift, but there are scissors everywhere. I pray a lot. I keep my hands busy. I go outside and draw with sidewalk chalk. Do you think you can choke yourself with chalk pastels? I pray, God, can I just be done? Can you let me die please? He says he could, but that wouldn’t be his first choice. I go back to drawing.
While I sense God’s presence with me, his comfort is harder to feel. It doesn’t always keep pace with the pain. I get angry. I get so angry I choke on air. I have a God who is ok when I am angry with him though. That in itself is comforting.
I don’t understand why things are this way. Why they continue to be this way. I know that my brain is broken. Like someone who has dyslexia or someone who is deaf, not everything is functioning correctly in my body. I have to find workarounds in order to live well. But it is the kind of effort for which I don’t even have the words to explain how much it hurts. Where is God in that?
My head houses an organ that is very determined to keep me alive while at the same time it is actively trying to kill me. Controlling the urge to kill myself is like trying not to vomit. It is an agonizing feat, and it isn’t always possible. Your stomach contracts against your will, and you end up with puke pushing through closed lips and seeping through your fingers. It’s gross.
And yet, I find God in the places where my pain touches someone else’s. When, for a moment, all my pain is worth it.
I see God in the trees, even in the moments I want to hang myself in their branches. I see Him in beauty. When I could instead live in a place that is barren, nature is full. I find God in every minute I don’t kill myself. Because I am still here, and there is no other reason for it.
When I am suicidal, God is in my honesty. He is in the truth of my brokenness, the proof that God lives in and loves the most shattered of souls. I feel like I am a tomb, but I become a lamp.
I never fall into the trap that this world is my home, that this life is the ultimate point of anything. Perhaps that is a special grace of my circumstances. I never forget that there is something better than this. I see God in purpose.
My chronic struggles keep my knees close to the ground and my eyes level with everyone else’s. My heart is busted so wide open that there is room for everyone to find a home here. No one is out of place. I love that.
God is in my sorrow and in my confusion. If anyone can understand the hurt of my heart, it is Him. His heart aches too. We bond over the weight of everything that breaks my back.
I write to remind myself of these things, because it is hard to breathe most days. It is hard just to see straight. I need written truths that I can reread when I do not believe them. I hang on to things that feel like lies, and wait for the spare moments when I know they are not.
It is worse today than usual, and all my words tend toward grief. It is hard to imagine that anything is worth this. But I will wake up tomorrow and start my second week at my new job. It will be horrible. It will be wonderful. It will hurt. It will take as much effort as I am capable of. Maybe more.
Also tomorrow, or the next day, I will have a post about hope and suicide.
It’s a cheery week guys!