It scares me sometimes how good it sounds to take a knife and slice open my arm. I don’t really struggle with suicidal ideation very often anymore, but I frequently have the urge to hurt myself. It’s a fundamentally irrational impulse. I don’t want to feel the pain of the blade and yet I want to hurt myself.
It sounds like such a release; of what, I’m not sure. Blood obviously, but there’s more to it. Maybe what is released is a cry for help or attention I don’t feel I can make any other way. Maybe it’s a symbolic desire to cleanse myself of what’s inside me – pain, guilt, doubt, self-hatred, anger, all of the above. Maybe it’s cutting the anxiety that has me bound tight.
Maybe it’s cutting the ice and finally doing something – ANYTHING! – besides just existing. What I’d give to be more than just the rock of my family, the forgiving husband, the loving but always tired father, the bread-winner and fixer of all things wood, electric, or plumbing. Maybe I just can’t stand the thought of an endless string of thankless jobs stretching out towards my death without another soul to put me first and see me not as an endless well from which to draw strength or an inexhaustible beast of burden but as a feeling human being who needs to be cared for.
So I guess I might have some resentment to work through. I’ll put it on the list.
I must admit there are times when I want to reach out to someone else, someone to whom I can tell my troubles, or at least whose troubles are different and who would be grateful for a sympathetic ear. I want to feel important and interesting again and I know how easy it would be to find someone to make me feel that way. I won’t do it because I know exactly where that leads. I’m just being honest here. I would love for Rita to be that person, but there’s just too much water under the bridge, her needs are too great. I hope I’m wrong.
After all these years – and it seems like more than five – I still find myself going back over the same old ground from time to time. I’m not talking about the other woman; although, I do occasionally think about her in a “I wonder what she’s up to?” way. No, I’m talking about more personal ground.
When I’m overwhelmed, when all seems hopeless, when it seems I’m the problem with my world, I go back to that old place, the one that’s always there waiting for you. Suicide. The easy way out. The escape plan when you look at yourself in the mirror and you can’t stand the person looking back at you and you don’t think you ever will again.
Depression lies to you. I know this. I know it’s not hopeless. I know that my marriage isn’t dead. I know her affair is ultimately as meaningless and ephemeral as mine was. I know that my kids and my wife want and need me alive and engaged far more than they need my life insurance or freedom without me.
But just for that brief moment, I look from the mirror to the counter and think about smashing my face into it as hard as I can. I look at my wrist and imagine opening it up with my knife. I think about wrapping a cord around my neck. I think about mashing the gas pedal and aiming for the bridge.
And then it passes. Better living through chemistry, eh? I used to spend days and days on end like that. Now it’s a few seconds and I’m better. It’s like driving through, feeling the presence of a place you’ve driven to many times, but not stopping.
The problems are still there, and it’s still a grind some days, but I don’t want to kill myself. I have come a long way and the road ahead keeps going, but I’m walking my winding path. As another of my favorite songs says, “I walk slow. Take my hand and help me on my way.”
Three and half months ago we celebrated my birthday and two days after that is when I found the texts between Rita and Tim. It feels like a lifetime ago and in other ways it feels like it was yesterday. So much has changed since that fateful day. Rita has quit all her positions with the church, and Tim has moved out of state. Continue reading
It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write. I am feeling a bit depressed, but not half as bad as I would be without the meds. It’s weird how even when I’m not thinking about Rita’s affair, I still have this ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach that never fully goes away. I guess you could say my compartments are leaking a bit. Still, other than some brief pity parties on my part, the suicidal ideation hasn’t returned either and I’m mostly able to function and go to work, so thank God for that. Continue reading
I’m going to start this post with a little word of advice: if you want visitors and followers to find your blog, don’t forget to tag it with meaningful phrases. Almost all of my original followers from four years ago (!) have gone quiet, but I got a bunch of hits on Monday’s post. This has me thinking, any new visitor to this site is probably like “what the fuck?!?” So let me recap the story of the last 5 years and then I’ll update you on the latest events. Continue reading
I’m coming up on the fifth anniversary (if that’s even the right term for something so odious) of my affair. Five years is somehow more significant than 4 or 6 years, just like our fifteenth wedding anniversary just passed was more significant than the fourteenth. It’s had me thinking lately, not of the affair – which I almost never think of explicitly – but of the long bumpy road my wife and I have walked. The revelation, the dark times immediately afterward, the recovery followed by her hospitalization and finally both of us getting medicated, the second revelation, more recovery and therapy, and then this past year of finally feeling like we’re clear of it all. It’s been hard, but she and our marriage are worth it. Continue reading
I’m trying a new medication because the SSRI I was on had some… side-effects that I wasn’t too fond of. It’s not going so well.
I’m fully off the SSRI and have been on the new stuff for a month and I don’t think it’s working.
I don’t know how depression affects other people, but for me, it has a few major manifestations, one of which is the inability to control my emotions. I get it – emotions aren’t supposed to be completely controlled. But when I get choked up over every little thing, that’s a problem, too. I can’t watch TV. I can’t listen to music. I can’t not do either of those things because silence tends to leave way too much room for self-reflection. The cross-country flight I was on last week was rough.
The ideation is back, too. Not like it was – the constant thinking of ways to do it or the constant longing to do it – but it’s creeping in at the edges. Little thoughts of “I could just crash this car” or “maybe the solution to my problems – to who I am – is to just end it.” I’m not really serious, but I’ve been thinking about that lately.
I think the reason you’re reading this is because I never got serious. I had a million ways to do that and at least as many reasons to do it, but I knew that when I got serious – that was it. I wasn’t going to fail, and death is as final as it gets. So yeah, I walked up to the edge plenty of times (and hurt myself in other ways), but I never took the plunge (thank god).
Anyway, I hoped that the door had closed on that chapter of my life, not just with the meds, but with therapy and with distance from the affair. I guess not. Oh well, this med isn’t for me. On to the next (hurray!).