The View From Halfway Down
A thing I wanted to talk about was the realization at the last stages of a suicide plan. For me, it manifested in me sobbing staring up at the night sky, with the only lucid part of my brain trying to call the emergency hotline for my school’s mental health services. I remember I had been long out of tears, sitting in the Uber to the hospital quietly holding the phone to my ear where the person was there helping me get myself checked into inpatient care. I remember they had taken my phone and other belongings, and I was alone in the room with only the bed, sitting there feeling like a husk. My actions had shown me I regretted it, and maybe it was self-preservation, divine intervention, or whatever else you could possibly think of – but something had convinced me I wanted to live, if not just for a little bit longer.
I was no longer hysterical or crying when I talked to the doctor, and I remember how calmly rational I was while explaining my motivation and reasoning. I still to this day think it was irrational for me to back out then, as I still don’t know why I decided against overdosing with the pills I had been stockpiling. The thing I realized however at that point was I was willing to do whatever it took to live. I ended up convincing them I was fine without needing inpatient care, and after a few hours, they let me go after giving me some resources and helping connect me to a mental health clinic. I sat outside the hospital in downtown while waiting for the Uber to come pick me up, there was a sloped section towards some lower level, and I was sitting on the side bricks. Some women walked past me enjoying the nightlife, and I stared at my phone with nothing on it to try to act normal. Eventually, the Uber came and the driver was a friendly man who tried to small talk with me, asking if I was fine coming back from the hospital. I think I said I was fine and shut down the small talk – but I was touched and I still do appreciate that warmth from him. I eventually started therapy, and I still attribute that to be the best decision I have ever made. I have therapy with her again tomorrow, four years later.
I talked with a close friend last night, and he asked how I opened up to the therapist – as we both knew how hard it was to talk about feelings or to be vulnerable as men. I didn’t know my exact answer, but the sentiment boiled down to it was either that or I try to commit suicide again. I for some reason didn’t want to die, even though nothing had changed. I went into therapy with no armor, and fully left myself open to inspection with the hopes of a better life. That sentiment hasn’t left me since I constantly have the thought pop into my head about how I will do whatever it takes to want to live. I have a nightly routine of 5-6 different tasks, I force myself to exercise rigorously to the point of exhaustion daily, and I’ve built up the mental discipline to force myself to do things my body refuses to do. I spend a few hours each day actively fighting my mental health, and I am constantly trying to learn more or try new things when older tactics stop working. Recently I’ve been trying to do research on things that will chemically increase my endorphin levels, and I might incorporate another few things into my daily routine.
I think if I hadn’t sat down on the grass overlooking the lagoon that day with the full intention of quitting life, I would not have understood how far I am willing to go.