I feel relaxed for the first time in a very long time after five days of bed rest. I have to resist the urge to begin doing, planning, and worrying about what comes next.
I’ve thought about suicide more times than I could ever recall. It’s one of the symptoms I get when my depression increases, along with decreased appetite (I call it the depression diet), troubled sleep, crying easily, etc. In my younger years, thoughts of suicide really scared me, but over the decades it’s become a gnat I can swat down, chalking it up to just another symptom. Until a week-and-a-half ago.
I’m not going into details about what my plan was, but for the first time I had a real plan. I wrote a suicide note. I assembled the things I would need. I couldn’t beieve I was actually doing these things, but I was; so I believed I really would carry it out. Then a friend asked me to meet for coffee later in the week and I said, “I might not be here.” Of course, I wasn’t in my “right mind” but I thought this friend might not interfere. I was wrong.
She told me I couldn’t go through with it, and I asked her, “Why?” Because she loves me, my family and friends love me, she explained.
The problem was that for all those years I’d had suicidal thinking pop up, I swatted them down with that exact thinking. “I can’t hurt so many people who love me.” But it wasn’t enough to tip the scales this time. This emptiness was bigger than the pain, disappointment, and anger I knew would follow for my husband, our children, my extended family and friends.
My purpose in life, which had buoyed me through many down times, was that I’m here to weave love and compassion into the fabric of life. I’ll write more later about how I found that purpose. But the weekend before Thanksgiving 2019, this was no longer a credible defense because I was empty, unable to give love or compassion to anyone.
I literally felt a “whoosh” as the last vestiges of myself were spent after I wrote my suicide note. I had nothing left to offer. It occurred to me that I had served my purpose. I’d done what I was here for and used up all of myself. If there is nothing left to give, I must be done.
I would include my suicide note here but I’ve offered my family and one of my closest friends the opportunity to read it, and they’ve all declined, with the exception of my husband. Maybe I’ll publish it later.