Heavy Ev-vy (05/15/2015)
I had been suicidal as long as I can remember... In fact, one of my earliest memories is walking out behind my father's pick-up truck before he backed over me as a toddler. In that instance, I will NOT claim I was trying to die. On the contrary, it was my curiosity about how a rear-view mirror worked that put me in that dangerous position...
I do not have memories of the trauma or pain. No bones were broken, no organs damaged. It was my parents who were devastated at the prospect of losing their youngest child and only daughter.
.....My parents are wonderful people. They simply could not recognize anxiety and depression, watching me grow up. These concepts were beyond the needs they were striving to provide for my brothers and me.
That was why I made up my mind to take a detour from my passions and find a career path that could give me financial security as well as prestige. Speech pathology broadened my horizons beyond what I had expected. Studying communication helped me realize how disconnected I really was- from myself as well as others...
Although words are wonderful, I often find myself stifled by their limitations or overwhelmed by accidentally revealing more than I intended... Music has been the perfect blend of raw emotions and ambiguity. It can be like an impressionist piece of art; alluding to a concept without overexposing its every detail... Allowing leeway for the audience to project their own perspectives freely.
Nevertheless, rediscovering my artistic outlets was not enough in and of itself to cure my suicidal tendencies. There was a lot I did not understand. Borderline Personality Disorder means feeling every emotional up and down with greater intensity... and until I understood that most people in the world cannot relate- that their brain chemistry is different, it simply felt like they did not care-
This made me feel sad, angry, isolated. Death felt like a miraculous escape... To leave the body, the pain, the thoughts... To give up the quest for purpose and satisfaction.
...When I began writing and speaking publicly about my experiences, I was frequently offered advice about- How many people would miss me, how upset everyone would be... This did not deter my suicidal thoughts at all. Although I would thank them for their kind efforts, I really wanted to explain, "I don't want to care about all that... That's heavy! I want to escape responsibility for other people's feelings. If I'm dead, I don't have to worry about ANYTHING anymore!"
Despite my thoughts, I had already survived one attempt at 22 years old... and the humiliation of another failure was more of a deterrent than any other detail.
So I made up my mind to work... Practice mindfulness, yoga, Reiki... Write songs, perform, share the messages that came to me through song. Each day I lived with the little voice in my head that said death would be easier than all the effort, and each day I told it, "Maybe next week. This week I'm going to learn this cover... work on this finger picking pattern... finish these new lyrics."
There were brief moments when I could distract myself enough to forget, but around every corner, it was there again, waiting to surprise me.
Then a message finally came that began to change me... One night I dreamed I was on a high floor of a skyscraper with my mother. We entered an elevator to descend, but as the doors closed behind us, the walls and floor began to melt into the consistency of a fine thin fabric. I began to imagine plummeting, the swift relief that would come with death. I felt no fear... But then I realized my mother was reaching out for something to keep her from falling. She was still clinging to life. She held onto me. I held onto the fabric and prayed for the strength to save her.
When I awoke, in tears, for the first time I cared about what my death might mean for those who survived me. I thought about how devastated my parents would have been if they had lost me as a baby who naively walked in the path of the family vehicle... How no matter how I live this life, they are simply grateful to have had me alive, to see me grow up into a woman.
They never cared whether I went to college, graduate school... It doesn't matter to them whether I get married and have kids to them, so long as I am breathing-
And when I think about being responsible for nothing more than the air that flows in and out of my body... Life begins to feel lighter, brighter... and a little more worth living.