Saturday, September 29, 2012

That Old Familiar Feeling

I'd say it was roughly six years ago tonight. The early hours of the morning, after an evening spent alone. The notes written to best ferry whoever was left when my world ended to the other side. I cared so much more about others then. And at a least a bit less about myself. So it goes.

Driving to a secluded spot, I took some pills (not enough) and tried to asphyxiate myself. The bag was hot with my breath, gradually tightening as the contours slowly encased my face. I don't know that it was the pain that caused me to pull away. Perhaps the fear. Perhaps I simply doubted my willpower, quitting in the face of difficulty (fire fought with fire).

When I turned back, I just felt an overwhelming failure. People warn you all the time about "not getting yourself killed," and yet here I couldn't even merit an emergency room visit. Too scared of incapacitation. Too scared that falls would not be fatal but would be paralyzing, that pills and poison would have me pissing blood with only liver damage to show my efforts, that nooses would be too long and agonizing if I couldn't find a way to break my neck, that guns would not be obtainable or that the gun violence would hurt the ones who found my pathetic remains. A nonfatal lack of commitment.

I'm not sure I've ever felt so defeated as having to get up and face the rain the next day.

I'd do it differently now, of course. A significant improvement upon the original design requiring a great deal less pain tolerance and less steadfast resolution on my part. And it's almost a shame. The pisspoor research I spent my Saturday mornings upon was comforting. It felt like progress towards relief. Now, my ruminations merely remind me of my lack of conviction. I ask myself "If you could press a button and be dead this moment, would you?" to test my sincerity. And if I let my rational mind make the choice, I answer no. It's only in that spur of the moment, like when the gambling addict places everything spontaneously on the table because it feels good to have the hint of relief not because he has any rational chance of winning, with that impulse that I'd press it. Because my lizardbrain knows the world must end someday, and that I won't even know it to suffer once it has.

I kept telling myself tonight that the desire wasn't real. That, in better moments this would be no choice. That I was exhausted. Stressed. Triggered by failure and helplessness and abandonment and isolation. Triggered by the atmosphere, the calendar, my internal clock. That last year was the same. And the year before. And the year before. And the year before. And the year before. And the year before. And the year before. And the year before. That last April, I was buoyant, floating up when shaken instead of sinking down when lifted up. That that time, that feeling will likely come again. That I might still know love.

I can tell myself these things. But this is not a question of hope, or insight, or progress. This is not a matter of whether "I want to be well."

No. The question that defeats me is "Do I deserve to be well?" Not "Can I love?" or "Will I love?" but "Do I deserve to be loved?" Not "Can I matter?" or "Do I matter?" but "Do I deserve to matter?"

And for the life of me, I cannot figure out how to answer "Yes."

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