Last night was rough, after a few weeks of rough emotional and health struggles, last night felt like the worst. I learned something about myself, and I want to try and talk about it.
I had dinner with friends, good people. They know I've had a troubled life, they know in generalities about my background, but nothing specific.
As we were saying goodbye, I mentioned that the last time I drove home from the city I cried for the first hundred miles on the highway. I laughed in embarrassment as i said this. My friends looked at me kind of funny, like they didn't know what to say. I quickly changed the subject, made a joke, and I hugged them goodbye.
I guess most people don't cry very often. I cry almost every day.
I got in bed feeling ashamed about what I'd said to them. I was frozen in place, terrified, like a deer in the headlights. I squeezed my eyes closed, and I shouted at myself in my head, "You stupid! What are you thinking?! Why did you say that? Everything's ruined. You do this all the time! You're a failure." In my mind, I was punching myself, beating myself in the face. I honestly felt the punches and kicks.
Shame. I feel it all the time. I've never said before how much shame I feel for what happened when I was a little kid. I've read from others about shame, but I never saw it in myself, I could never admit to it.
I apologize all the time, unnecessarily, for my words and actions. I feel regret every time I talk to anyone. I yell at myself for my stupidity and weakness. I worry for hours, reconstructing conversations, as though by magic I can fix things. Things that don't need fixing, really. After all, I'm only human.
I broke down last night. "This is the end," I thought. "I can't do this anymore." The pain, and my shame were too much. By then, I was shaking.
Please don't take what I'm about to say as a threat, but I seriously considered suicide last night. I spent four long, dark hours accepting that I could do it, that I needed to it, that I deserved to do it. I'm sorry. I hope this isn't too much. I googled for some information, to confirm something, and I came across this phrase in my search: "If you are feeling suicidal now, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes." Out of curiosity, out of desperation, I clicked on the site. I read for five minutes, then ten, then fifteen minutes. I found another link to something about depression, I read some more, and I recognized my symptoms. I'm depressed.
Over the years of working with a T, before i stopped, I had asked about depression. My T assured me that I function too well to be depressed. to tell you the truth, my T sounded just like my mom: "Just buck up." (This was what i heard. Who knows what he really said.) I put it out of my mind. I pushed depression away. I pushed on. But...
I'm depressed. I'm a high functioning, busy-all-the-time-not-to-think-about-it depressed person. I'm also filled with shame. I had to hide most of my life. Only bad people need to hide, I told myself. I'm bad, I thought, and lost, and alone.
But now, today, I see that I'm not bad, I'm not lost, nor alone. I would have told the truth back then, except my parents would have killed me. It felt that extreme. My mom made me sick - I was in the hospital every year of my childhood with mysterious ailments. My dad whipped me and humiliated me to ensure his power. Neighbors brought me home when I ran away. No wonder I'm ashamed, I wasn't aloud to do what I knew was right.
I had some good news from my doctor this afternoon. My transplant isn't failing. I had more positive news tonight: a video I made about growing up on the streets of Hollywood is going to be in a show at a local college.
Early this morning, after I collected myself, I talked with my partner. I told him what I just told you guys, that I was on the brink. "It's like another person takes over," I said, another me; and this me can't see out of the darkness. He scares me, I scare me. I don't want to live this up and down, dark then light life anymore. I've always wanted to hide. I've always been ashamed. Now that I've "seen" him, I recognize what some of you call "Little Geoff." I see the angry, terrified little kid, me. I'm in awe. I want to learn about him.
I'm getting closer to the truth. I think I'm stronger for it. I'm recovering. It's hard, but I think I can do this. I feel good.
This is the site that helped me: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/