Monday, January 21, 2008

Finally: Chapter 6


"Tell me about the events that led up to you attempting suicide."

I elaborate. I tell someone for the first time. I tell him everything. About how I know too much. About how scared I am. About how I was almost pulled into an elaborate scheme that would have put me in prison, too. People around me went. They spared me. Lied. Said I knew nothing.

"I can see how you thought that suicide would be your only way out. I'm not going to prescribe any medications. I don't think you're clinically depressed. I think what was going on was entirely situational. As a matter of fact, I might consider the same thing under those circumstances."

I didn't expect such understanding from a psychiatrist. I thought maybe I had overreacted. It feels good to be understood. For someone else to validate my feelings.

I head back to my room without any drugs. It's nice to talk to someone who can't repeat anything I've said to him. It feels good to just say it all. Get it out in the open.

I spend four days going to group therapy, individual therapy and finally therapy with my parents. I tell them with my own voice that I'm a lesbian. And now they know. For sure.

I leave this place with feelings that I haven't felt in years. I feel joyful. Happy to be alive. Hopeful. Light-hearted. Happy. Loved. Understood.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Recently, I spoke with someone that is very down. I wrote this for her. So that she can see that there is light. You can get help. If the therapist who is supposed to be helping you right now isn't, you can find another therapist. Keep looking. Go right now. It's okay if you go through 42 different therapists as long as you find the right one that will help you. Don't worry about hurting THEIR feelings. Screw 'em. You do what's right for you.

Listen to me...there is hope. Your life can be so different in a month that it would be impossible for you to believe.

After I started writing this, someone else came up. She had been on the other side. We both thought the other couldn't understand our perspective. I hope that I've given her mine. I would love to hear her side. If she ever decides to talk or write about it. I, for one, would love to know her story.

Trust me when I say that writing this was difficult. I've never told this story in this much detail. I've told it, briefly. But never with the feelings. I've brushed it off as something that happened years ago. That I'd gotten past. And I have. It is in the past. But if bringing it up again helped either of them or another person reading it, then it was worth the tears that I've shed over the past few days as I revisted my 25 year old self.

I know that I didn't tell you everything. I can't. I don't know who reads this. And knowledge is still my power. I'm keeping my mouth shut.

In case you're wondering, not once since that time have I ever tried suicide again. It has crossed my mind. But that is a totally different place than doing it. I hope you understand. You never know when you might use what you've learned here. Keep it in the back of your mind. Somebody...somewhere might need you to help them. To show them where they can get help.

If you're feeling like suicide might be the answer. Don't do it. Get help.

42 comments:

Deb said...

This is very powerful. I wish anyone who is suffering to know how many people are rooting for her, and would sit with her or carry her pain until she feels her feet on the plant again.

Jen said...

I don't know if I can; it's almost hard to know what to say. . . . But I can't thank you enough for giving me what you have in writing this. I'll think about it (that is if you meant "me" in your excerpt).

coffeypot said...

I've had the same thoughts, but it was my since of humor that has helped me the most. I laugh at myself and my antics so much, that I actually feel better. That is why I tried the humor stuff on you in the beginning of your story. I see now how much this meant to you and your friends, and I apologize for the sad attempt at brevity. But I guess a part of you did die there. The fear, insecurity, the helplessness of it all went away and you came out reborn into a new life. I am glad for you. Thanks!

Alli said...

That was very beautiful. And it took a lot of guts to share it with all of us. Thank you.

You're right, if your story can help just one person, than it was worth telling.

I am glad that you got through those tough times. I wish everyone knew what you learned the hard way; suicide is never the answer.

My sister lost her best friend to suicide and it changed her life forever. It was so hard to see her go through that. It was many years ago, but there is still some pain and perhaps there always will be.

I wish everyone who is suffering knew just how much they are loved.

Again, thanks for sharing your story. I am thankful you are here today to do so.

Jay said...

That was a really fascinating story. I'm so glad that you were able to get the help you needed and were able to move on from that point in your life.

Hopefully anyone who can't see any way forward from where they are will learn from your experience that it is worth it to hang in there and it will get better.

No More Empty Fortune Cookies said...

I was 15 when I attempted suicide. Luckily I was unsuccessful as well. Although at the moment all I knew was that I was in pain and anyone who tried to tell me "this too shall pass" was summarily dismissed. I see much more clearly today. The deeper the sadness that's been experienced the greater the joy that follows. The two are surely measured by each other and are symbiotic. Thanks for sharing your deep and heartfelt story and kudos to you for using your pain to help others!

Real Live Lesbian said...

Deb: That's so sweet.

Jen: Glad it helped. I'll do anything within my power to help anyone going through something like that. Seriously. I'm here if anyone needs to talk.

Coffeepot: Never be sorry for being funny! It's always welcome!

Alli: Thanks. I'm so sorry for your sister's loss. I'm sure it would change a person more than I could understand.

Jay: That was my goal. I certainly hope it does, because right now my life is fan-fuckin-tastic. I mean, it's just never been better. If a truck hits me on the way home, I'll die the happiest woman on the planet. Life just gets better and better.

No More: Very well said!

Diva said...

There are highs in life. There are low's in life. The sad part is that some lows can drag a person down so far that to end it all seems like the only way out.

I've been there. And I 100% agree with you, that finding the RIGHT help is sooo important.

You are beautiful and I appreciate your sharing such deep content.

xoxo Diva

Dana said...

Well, you know how I feel about this story, and maybe - now that you have finished - I can share the other side.

I make an annual donation to the National Suicide Hotline on January 18th of each year, and I would encourage everyone who has been on either side of this issue to do the same!

Real Live Lesbian said...

Diva: The RIGHT help is so important. Just going to a therapist may not be enough. Thanks and you're welcome.

Real Live Lesbian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penelope Anne said...

You know darling this took a lot of courage for you to share, but am glad that you did, because people need to know that there is help out there.
I have been there, I am medicated daily just to maintain my moods, my anxiety.
I have seen the dark, and tried to embrace it.
THANK YOU for sharing this.

tt said...

What can I say? Thank you. I admire your courage. I will keep this story in my heart.

i am the diva said...

thank you for sharing your story, RLL, that took a great amount of courage. i would suggest to you and your friend that you check out http://realmental.org you may be interested in posting this again as a guest post.

hugs.

Jeff B said...

I think putting this story out there for everyone to read really puts an exclamation point tothe word "real" in your blog name. It doesn't get any more real than what you've sharred here.

As painful as I'm sure it was to rehash these feelings I'm so glad you did. From some of the comments, it's already making a difference in lives.

R.E.H. said...

This whole story was absolutely beautiful!

All that hurt and pain that you so eloquently shared with us. So much of which I can relate to, though I never did attempt suicide (I worked through the entire thought process... but you will get that story eventually in Rubicon Heart).

Then, your finishing lines. How you wrote all of this to help someone out. I sure hope this person was reading this, and that she kind find heart and strength in this.

I'm blown away.

I can also appreciate how hard it must've been to write. When I wrote the Introduction to my story - it was extremely tiring and exhausting to go through all those emotions.

Again... I'm impressed.

Southern Sage said...

wow
glad you made out ok
great story
SS

Real Live Lesbian said...

Penelope Ann: I felt like I needed to share it. Thanks for reading.

TT: Thanks. Right where it belongs.

Diva: I'll check it out! Thanks.

Jeff: Aw, thanks. I sure do hope so.

REH: Thanks. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the Rubicon story. It was very tiring. Thanks for understanding.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I just want to let you know I'm glad your still here.

(((HUGS)))

Real Live Lesbian said...

Mistress: Thanks, me too! :) And thanks for the hugs!

mackeydoodle said...

I guarantee you that you have made a difference by being so forthcoming with such personal details of your life.
A beautiful gift you have given.

motherx said...

Thank you for sharing this. I totally understand as I was in this mental state more times than you would ever have imagined possible when I was in my 20s and I still have physical and mental scars to remind me of it to this day. Thank God those days are gone! Just wished I hadnt wasted so much time being miserable.

buffalodickdy said...

As I said before- I'm glad you're still here!

Anndi said...

I read through all the posts and waited til the last one to comment. Felt I had to let you say it all before I could.

When you needed them, your angels were there.. and now, somehow you'll be someone's angel.

I'm glad you shared this, that you made it through.

It's possible...

Many, many hugs to you sweetheart.

Matt-Man said...

Great story, great advice, and great ending for you (and us). Cheers Dear!!

Mel said...

Thank you.
I appreciate the candor and honesty, the realness you shared here.
Thank G-d for the angels in our lives.
And thank you for being an angel in the lives of so many others....

Real Live Lesbian said...

Mackey: Thanks, I sure hope so.

Motherx: Yep, it certainly is wasteful, but hard to see when you're in the midst of it.

Buff: Thanks. ;)

Anndi: You never know who you'll help with your story. I just hope it gives insight to someone.

Matt: Thanks!

Mel: Amen to that! The angels make such a difference!

captain corky said...

Thank you for having the courage to share this story, and I'm glad you have piece of mind now and are happy.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Captain: Me too! And I really, really am happy.

doggybloggy said...

stick around real live lesbo you have a lot to offer....this post series was very heavy duty...

Slick said...

Wow....

I backtracked. Some heavy writing and yeah, I'm sure it was painful to write.

You overcame and now I hope that the someone you were trying to help thinks this is just as powerful as I did.

Cooper Green said...

A beautifully told story. If you got something from the telling, we got as much from the listening.

Hot Lemon said...

a long quote relevant to the moment:

Suicide is just a moment, Lexy told me. This is how she described it to me. For just a moment, it doesn’t matter that you’ve got people who love you, and the sun is shining and a movie is coming out this weekend that you’ve been dying to see. It hits you all of a sudden that nothing is ever going to be okay, ever. And you kind of dare yourself, is this it? You’ve known all along that this was coming but you don’t know if today is going to be the day, and if you think aobut it too much, it’s probably not. But you dare yourself. You pick up a knife and press it gently to your skin. You look out a 19th story window and you think, “I could just do it. I could just do it.” And most of the time you look out and you just get scared, or you think about the poor people on the sidewalk below—what if there are kids coming home from school and they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to forget this terrible thing you’re going to make them see? And the moments over. You think about how sad it would be if you never got to see that movie, and you look at your dog and you wonder who would have taken care of her if you were gone, and you go back to normal.

But you keep it there in your mind. Even if you never take yourself up on it, you keep it gives you a kind of comfort to know that the day is yours to choose. You tuck it away in your brain like sour candy tucked away in your cheek, and the puckering memory it leaves behind, the rough pleasure of running your tongue over it’s strange terrain, is exactly the same.


---Carolyn Parkhurst
The Dogs of Babel

katy said...

thank you for sharing this.
I know that feeling.
you are a wonderful person to show us that there is hope, that there is a better future out there x

Dash said...

thanks for posting this.

g-man said...

All I can say is that it was a brave thing you did in writing, and thank you for sharing.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Doggy: I'm not going anywhere!

Slick: Thanks...me too.

Coooper: Thank you. I appreciate that.

Hot Lemon: Great quote!

Dash: You're welcome. :)

LarryLilly said...

My only daughter committed suicide at the age of 15. At the time we had her in counseling, had seen the signs of major depression, had filed out the intake forms, the whole nine yards. Then we watched as only 3 weeks later she killed herself by hanging herself like the scene from the movie "An Officer and A Gentleman".

Very final, very effective, no way out.

After the fact, we found a dairy, and it was fairly well detailed up to the week of her death. It painted a picture far deeper and darker than what we believed.

Readying your accounts is a mere shadow of the darkness we saw, and only after we talked with a counselor ourselves to try to do a mental post mortum of her to see what was she thinking, how she could separate the daily live we saw and the hell she saw herself in.

It was 15 years ago that this happened, and yet while it seems like yesterday, it also seems like forever. Yesterday, I was doing some cleaning of old stuff, came across some of the bits and pieces of life that we keep as a remembrance, and yet, it seemed so empty now.

Like her life, it slipped into the abyss of the recycling bin. The memories however are still buried deep inside me.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Larry: I am so sorry. I can't imagine the pain as you realized what had to be going on in her mind. I'm humbled by the pain that I almost caused.

Seraphine said...

I could say something funny.
But.
Being cynical gets me in trouble.
This is my time to be
reverently
quiet.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Seraphine: Oh come on...you're a tease! If you have something funny to say...SAY IT! We all love a good laugh!

Tink said...

Wow. I popped on to check on you and find this story... I'm glad you didn't succeed. I'm glad you're still here. I can't imagine the situation you were going through, but I can relate with the feeling very well.