Warning: This post includes discussion of suicide. If you need help, call 988 to speak with a mental health professional right now.
This tattoo was a symbol of choosing life when I committed to my first real ink art in November of 2021. Suicidal ideation has been a close companion daily for many years, and I’m so tired of the weighing and wondering all aspects of what it would mean to escape the darkness and pain. The choice wasn’t made during a time when things were looking up; there hasn’t been one of those. It was made while wading through difficult, sick days, to once and for all stop the roiling of thoughts about taking the final act or not to act.
The last post I published laid bare the pain of accepting my circumstances. This is it. So, now, there it is – I made a commitment to choosing life nearly a year ago. I made that promise to myself. Whether I chose life out of love to friends & family, fear of the unknown, or the desire to stop ruminating on suicide is of no concern. Consideration was given and an option selected. Move on, I said to myself.
As I searched through my pictures for one to illustrate my fatigue and hopelessness, I came across this promise tattooed to myself. It’s forever on my leg, but I don’t give it much thought. I’m going to plug back into that earlier frame of mind. When recurring thoughts about whether or not to complete suicide travel through my mind, I will turn my attention to these flowers. Not only that, when despair settles in due to pain, nausea, vertigo, depression and/or anxiety, this tattoo will give me permission to untether those concerns. They don’t deserve my attention. Now, whether or not I can follow the path I’m trying to plow, I have no idea.
Major relief has been achieved by my visit to my mother yesterday. I decided if I’m going to go somewhere in spite of my condition, my mom’s new place would be first. She’s in her 80’s and, last August, moved out of the home she shared with my late father. There’s no reason to wait until cross-town travel is “easier” or “better.” It’s not going to be. My tattoo can be a reminder of this, too. The trip to my mom’s was great! It was soothing to my soul. She has a nice, bright apartment and is content. I’d been spending a lot of my time feeling like a shitty daughter because I haven’t been able to assist with the sale of her old house or the move. I’m not able to drive her to appointments. Seeing her in her new home helps me breathe more easily.
Did the hour round-trip as a passenger cause increased pain? Yes, it did. Seemed all of the muscles that are most likely to spasm joined together and cramped all at once. I also experienced vertigo and nausea. No surprise. Today is definitely for recovery, maybe tomorrow too. Though, in truth, an outsider would have difficulty seeing a difference between those and “normal” days. I’ll be asking for my husband to help me more than usual; there it is.
Unexpectedly, my mental function took quite a hit. My ability to find words, think clearly, and operate my phone or laptop were all seriously impacted. I’m still working through the brain bog. Overall, very much worth the price to embrace my mom. Next weekend, I’m going to try going out to breakfast.
I asked my husband if it was important to him that I go out and do things. He explained that having seen what fibro flares do to me, it’s not high on his list of priorities. He said it wasn’t worth it to him to have me suffer for it. He gets it. We’ll see how breakfast goes next week. On and on and on and on goes life.
Thanks for listening – you know what I mean.