Through my veins

I’m not afraid of death. I’ve died so many times. Not fully, of course.

When you experience clinical depression or anxiety as a teen, it’s unsettling. You’re already unsettled by the transition period that marks one’s mid-teens, having your world in disarray from shedding your childhood skin, and trying to figure out how to fit into your own. Sometimes it creeps in gradually, like the transition from summer to autumn to winter. Often it comes abruptly, like waking up to dark rain clouds on a June morning. It sits in the place where your inner sun rises. Your limbs are heavier, you run out of words to say in conversations. It’s like the brightness on your phone display going from 100% to 0%. You fade. And the worst part is, you can’t conjure an out.

I read somewhere that depression is the inability to construct a future. So you’re stuck. In an apparently endless, eternal loop of emotional agony. Add to that the prodding questions of those around you, the perplexed faces that fail to understand your reason for not having been out in over a week, the lecturing, the advices dipped in condescension. They don’t say it, but you read in between the lines that they think that you’re weak and lazy. Or is that a projection of your self-hate? Probably. You loathe yourself so much at this point that no one can beat you to it.

When you can’t foresee a future, you start to die. You wither like a flower at the end of August. People think that you die of your suicide. Nah. By the time you take that step, your soul has died long, long before your body.
Anyway, you start to lose life. Like a phone battery. You’re being drained, and you don’t know how to replenish yourself.

The day, the moment the thought of suicide pops into your mind, it’ll be the first lively thought you’ve had had in a long while. Because death *is* a future. Your head gets all tingly at the thought of something so extreme. And although you’ll dismiss it, there’ll be a part of you that holds on to it. Just in case.

You won’t know it, but you’ll revisit that thought daily. You won’t notice the thought because it’ll be like a quick glance. A nanosecond.

And then one day, the thought would have garnered enough strength to come to the forefront. Comes knocking on your conscious mind. And it seduces you with its snake oil selling points, and because you’ve been a mental zombie for so long, you won’t know how to resist the lucrative prospect. And that’s when the machination starts.

You start to plan, research. It’s ironic that in this period you get more active. People comment on how much better you look. You smile and nod, with a tinge of guilt for what’s in store. But you convince yourself that it’s for the better because you’re useless and worthless and they are better off without you.

It’s like you’re in a burning building and your only options are to burn to death or jump. You just want to escape pain, that’s all.

Often, you don’t want to die. You want help. But you’re afraid of the invalidations, of the mockery, of the humiliation of asking for help. You want to live, but you don’t know how.

You’re 15, 17, 19, 22. How *can* you know? The decisions of the rest of your life rests on your shoulders in that period. And you’re out here trying to decide if your shoe size is 39 or 40.

You choose your method matter-of-factly, as if you’re paying bills or doing an exam.
Once you’ve crossed that threshold whence there’s no return, you feel a sense of …peace, for the first time in a long while. The dark clouds are no more. You’re left to enjoy the clear skies for a moment longer. You relax. Close your eyes.

And because it’s not your time to give up, you instead end up violently sick, stitched, scarred, bandaged, and the questions. Why? Why? Why? The blaming. The crying. The hypervigilance. The limping, the staring at the ceilings, the bland food you’ll have to survive on. Survive, when all you wanted was to be let go.

People will never look at you the same way. ‘The One Who Tried to Kill Herself But Failed Because She Probably Did it For Attention Seeking’ aka ‘The One Who Was Going to Go to Hell Had She Died’

And you retreat even deeper into yourself. You give half-baked excuses to get people off your case. You smile, shake hands, do what’s required of you to rid them of their dread. Pretend you’re fine. That it was a hiccup. You learn that you’re all that you have, that others will never understand the pain that drove you to the precipice of life.

The momentary peace you felt as you awaited death was actually you letting go of all that was troubling you. The bizarre irony, huh? So now you really do have a second chance, a clean slate. And although you’ll revisit that precipice five more times in your bumpy journey, you eventually learn how to survive yourself. Literally, survive your mind.

And years later you’ll write about that pain, you’ll explain that pain to those who feel it but can’t understand it. You’ll teach people how to turn away the snake-oil salesman who comes selling you toxic thoughts. You’ll teach people how to live, all because you learnt how to die.

A Heroine’s Journey

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The title is a play on Joseph Campbell’s monomyth The Hero with a Thousand Faces. It’s been brilliantly depicted through an INFJs perspective here.

It’s very painful. I don’t know how to explain what’s happening other than through an analogy; it feels like I’m giving birth whilst having my skin ripped. Everything I’ve grown attached to and used as a crutch has been dissolved and I feel like I’m falling into a dark pit where annihilation awaits me. All my abandonment issues and repressed pain come out of the woodworks now that I have nothing to suppress them with,and it’s all too painful. Physically painful. In all my years in this heroine’s journey, I have never known a greater pain. And I think it’s because the very last part of my false self is dying. Ego death they call it. I feel nauseous, and a strong wish to just die. But then I realize I don’t really want to die, and that past suicidal thoughts and attempts have been desperate attempts at abandonment. I always jump ship before anyone can abandon me. Always. I have a knack for seeing when someone’s turning on me, growing sick of me. I sneak out like a thief in the night. They’ll never know what hit them.

In a way, that’s what I used to do to myself when it got overbearing. But I’m sensing a fundamental change; a separate identity from the one in pain has emerged, so the pain is compartmentalized. I can feel that what’s dying in me isn’t me. I don’t know how to explain it.

Now I know why most will never undergo this transformation. Why unconsciousness is so alluring. Why people prefer to be comatose.

Not only is everything I’ve grown accustomed to dissolving in the light of consciousness and maturity, but my true self is emerging.

Mothers, is this how giving birth feels like? Excruciating pain and being torn apart to give way to another life. I think I’ll opt for adoption.

It’s my fault. I have this morbid curiosity. I keep prying into my unconscious, when it nudges content my way either through dreams, intuition, or crossing paths with others.

If my soul was a person, it’d be covered in tattoos, be a chainsmoker, pierced all over, but a really kind person. LOL

I just turned 26 this month. I haven’t had time to pause and reflect on all the shit that my unconscious has thrown in my path. It’s like a videogame. I choose to go to the next level, and the next, and the next. I can’t stop. Like, in the past, I’d be lying on the floor, with blood in my mouth,and pills in my system and the first thing that crosses my mind is to analyze my suicide attempt. I.keep.attracting.lessons. No wonder I couldn’t hack school; I’m enrolled in an intensive crash course in life!

Simplicity is the most difficult thing in life. It involves searching,sifting,choosing,discarding. I feel that the more pain and metamorphosis I undergo, the more child-like I become. You’d expect that with everything’s that happened that I’d become more cautious and closed-off. Nope. I laugh at the silliest things, I’m very naive in that I can’t conjure the evils of others, I give and trust unconditionally, and I believe everything’s possible. But I’m also very fearless when it comes to standing up for what I believe in, in asserting my own truths. Maybe it’s my fearlessness that allows me to be child-like? Because I don’t have to watch my back?

 

The unconscious is not a demoniacal monster, but a natural entity which, as far as moral sense, aesthetic taste, and intellectual judgement go, is completely neutral. It only becomes dangerous when our conscious attitude to it is hopelessly wrong. To the degree that we repress it, its danger increases. But the moment the patient begins to assimilate contents that were previously unconscious, its danger diminishes. The dissociation of personality, the anxious division of the day-time and the night-time sides of the psyche, cease with progressive assimilation.

— C.G. Jung (The Essential Jung: Selected Writings)

But if we understand anything of the unconscious, we know that it cannot be swallowed. We also know that it is dangerous to suppress it, because the unconscious is life and this life turns against us if suppressed, as happens in neurosis. Conscious and unconscious do not make a whole when one of them is suppressed and injured by the other. If they must contend, at least let it be a fair fight with equal rights on both sides. Both are aspects of life. Consciousness should defend its reason and protect itself, and the chaotic life of the unconscious should be given the chance of having its way too – as much of it as we can stand. This means open conflict and open collaboration at once. That, evidently, is the way human life should be. It is the old game of hammer and anvil: between them the patient iron is forged into an indestructible whole, an ‘individual.’ This, roughly, is what I mean by the individuation process.

— C.G. Jung

Apparition of a life

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I’ve been trying to get my shit together for the past 7 weeks now. I keep thinking a solution is an article,talk,theory away. I don’t want to write until I’m ‘ok’ whatever that means. OK is a place I visit. I don’t belong there. Between the black hole in me that consumes all hope, and the daily pressures of doing stuff, I’m trying to stay alive.

Some days ago,things turned awry. I was in the strong clutches of suicidal thoughts; a place I hadn’t been to in years. It’s like the bermuda triangle, you can’t swim away. The force is so strong and hope is so frail. I let myself be carried away. I didn’t see the point in expending energy in trying to get away when there was no shore in sight. I was on the precipice; an ironic calm washed over me as all thoughts left my mind. I was surprisingly cool headed. I picked out the method and the only thing that occupied my mind was my self-consciousness due to my body dysmorphia. That’s all. I didn’t think about anything else. I felt I had no one and nothing to live for anymore. All my struggles in all my years I’ve mostly kept to myself, in my mind. The thoughts,the tears, my true self would come out at night, under the cover of darkness. I guess because I’m so aloof very few truly know me.

I had one friend, a really good friend hold on to me that night, and refused to let go. He saved me in the nick of time, truly. Just writing about it makes tears well up in my eyes and cloud of sadness gather in my chest, because I still feel that I’m no one and that my existence doesn’t matter much.

I feel that I need to lean on something or someone in order to make it through the day. If I try to detach and stand on my own, I picture myself slacklining in a wobbly manner with a black, gaping abyss beneath me. I don’t want to fall and die. I’ve gone through the false sense of hope and motivation where I held the ludicrous thought that I could make it to the other end of the line, unscathed, one too many times to know that it’s a farce. At least that’s what I’m convinced of. I don’t know how to brace myself to feel emotional pain without clinging to a crutch like coca cola or repetitive mind-numbing activities. I feel sleepy typing this because I feel a cloud of discomfort coming over me, and I must seek shelter before silver bullets rain on me.

I am a ghost, a faint idea of a person who once had dreams and lofty hopes but they died long ago and I linger on hoping for something, refusing to pass on. Every now and then I catch bright streaks moving in my peripheral vision, a flicker so brief that it very well could be my mind playing tricks on me again.

Understanding The Motivations Behind Suicide

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While no single reason can account for each suicidal act, there are common characteristics associated with completed suicides. Perhaps they can help you to understand why someone you love died by suicide.

1) The common purpose of suicide is a solution. Suicide is many things, but it is neither random nor pointless. To those who choose to end their own lives, suicide is an answer to an unsolvable problem or a way out of a horrible dilemma. Suicide is somehow the preferred choice to another set of dreaded circumstances, emotional pain, or disability, which the person fears more than death.

2) The common goal of suicide is to cease consciousness. Those who die by suicide want to end the conscious experience, which, for them, has become an endless stream of distressing, preoccupying thoughts. Suicide offers oblivion.

3) The common stressor in suicide is frustrated psychological needs. People who have high standards and expectations are extra vulnerable to suicide when progress toward goals is suddenly frustrated. People who attribute failure and disappointment to their own shortcomings may come to view themselves as worthless, unlovable, and incompetent. In adults, suicide is often related to work or interpersonal problems. In teenagers, suicide is often precipitated by family turmoil.

4) The common stimulus in suicide is intolerable psychological pain. Excruciating negative emotions (i.e. sadness, shame, guilt, anger, and fear) from any circumstance frequently serve as the foundation for suicide.

5) The common internal attitude in suicide is ambivalence. Most of those who contemplate suicide – including those successful in carrying out their suicidal plans -are ambivalent. They do want to die, yet they also wish they could find another solution to their dilemma.

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