This time last weekend, two nurses from the Crisis Team sat in my parents living room, clad head to toe in PPE. They were asking me questions about how suicidal I was feeling, and trying to dissuade me from believing that the best place for me to be was in the hospital.
I smiled (sadly) at their desperate attempts to convince me that I wouldn’t be better off: ‘You’ll be isolated there you know, no visitors are allowed. You’ll be more at risk of contracting Coronavirus. You won’t get the therapy you think you’ll get. You should recover here, in the community…’ I kept wondering to myself if I ought to go to the kitchen and come back with a kitchen knife pressed against my wrist. I kept wondering what they would say then, if they’d give in and provide me with the referral I so desperately needed.
I didn’t go to the kitchen. I ignored my twitching legs that wanted nothing more than to walk me to the kitchen drawer where the knives waited. We talked for a while, about things I could do to distract myself from the death-obsessed thoughts, about how angry I was that after a year in a depressive episode I still hadn’t been granted the holy grail of therapy, about how god damn soul-destroying it was that my creativity had abandoned me in my greatest time of need. And then, after an hour, they upped and went and that was that.
My mother was distraught when they left and I hadn’t been granted a hospital admission. And I couldn’t blame her. To say it’s exhausting caring for someone with depression is a gigantic understatement, especially when that someone keeps on saying ‘I don’t want to be around anymore.’ (I find it quite difficult saying the words ‘I want to die,’ in front of my mother.)
The suicidal thoughts haven’t been as overwhelming this weekend, but they’re still there. I went on a run this morning and every few seconds the words ‘kill yourself’ would bounce into my brain and I had to concentrate hard on not leaping into the road in front of an oncoming lorry.
Up until last year when this bastard of a disease decided that I wasn’t suffering hard enough and that I needed to have some more depression on top of the depression I already had, I could envisage a future for myself. It was something I was pretty good at doing. I was a master at vision boarding and if anymore asked, I could ream off the minutest details of what I wanted my future to look like.
But now when I think about where I want to be in five years, five months, five, weeks, five days, all I draw are blanks. My future is dark. And that’s something that scares me. Depression tells me that if I’m unable to envisage a future for myself, then what’s the point of being here? I might as well just give up. I know now would be a good time to remind myself that ‘this too will pass,’ but hell, it really feels like it won’t. A couple of weeks back when I thought I’d said goodbye to depression because I had a few good days…oh, how naive I was.
One of the only things that’s keeping me going right now is a mental health poetry anthology I’m putting together called The Mountains You Cannot See. The submissions pile is almost 200 pages deep. So I see it as my duty to those people who have entrusted me with their work to keep going for the time being.