What does it feel like? What does it do to you? Where does it lead?
In a few words, peaceful, resolve, and with very little anxiety, but unless something, somebody, a higher being intercedes through physical or emotional interjection, a person that is resolved to go over the edge will accomplish the goal, regardless.
The “easy way out”, the “cowards way out”, a “selfish act”, are in themselves the farthest from the truth. The mental “pain” associated with a deep depression is something that consumes you TOTALLY. The non-stop churning of the mind trying to make sense of worth, of hope or hopelessness, of care or despair, of need or needless suffering. It is the most difficult decision I have ever made. Fortunately, my looking over the edge gave me reason to believe, through whichever means that saved me that night, that it wasn’t time for me to take the leap.
I’ve dealt with two suicidal periods within the last eight years. The first time was soon after my diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease in 2007 (see blog post – Angels Among Us). The second time occurred just this past summer. Sadly enough, just like someone saying to a person whose disability is unseen, that they look good and have everything going for them, “none the wiser” would be what I would describe most people whom I would have interacted with in the last few months.
I find the word depressed and depression used widely and we all experience moments, or days, or situations in which we feel “down”, overwhelmed and just want to go hide somewhere until we regroup, recoup, or otherwise start feeling normal again
Depression is different, and for me, begins with feeling tired, mentally worn out as if physically drained but only in the mental form. I recall four distinct phases. The first phase began with the mind not being able to stop the feeling of hopelessness (not much is worth it), helplessness (not sure anyone can help), and of gloom and doom (nothing I do will make a difference).
Phase two went into the “If I’m not around, what would happen?” People laugh and they enjoy each others’ company through many different situations but the detachment continues and settles into “no one would miss the fact that I’m not physically here, so this is where I plan to leave for good because everyone will do better without me or all will go better without me in the way”.
Phase three is what I would describe the rationalization phase. “Since I’m not needed, then those left behind will be able to continue living productive lives”. If they’re very young, after a few weeks they’ll forget that I was ever a part of their lives, or older children may find it difficult to accept or understand but their lives will continue and memories will keep them going, older individuals have their lives to live and will stay busy.
Phase four has the mental pain continuing and thoughts turn to ideations about wanting the pain to stop, end, or otherwise dull the pain. This point may be the most painful for many to read or hear about, but it allowed a most peaceful, rational time in the whole process when I looked over the edge.
I’m in the backyard on a swinging bench at 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning looking toward the patio and thinking/planning my final act that will free me from the mental pain/anguish. My thoughts turn to going into the shed, taking a piece of rope (noose not necessary) to tie around my neck, which allows me to reach up to the horizontal beam to secure it, and finding a stool tall enough that will allow me to hang, allowing whatever happens to happen quickly, not allowing me to have recourse to anything that will help “save” me because this is NOT a cry for help. I want it all to stop.
Divine intervention, positive thoughts, prayers from many, or whatever else you believe in allowed me the sense of mind to think, “If I do this at the intended spot, anyone who looks out the back door will never be able to look outside and not be reminded of what they saw, heard about, knew about what I had done. Still not thinking enough on the rational scale, I thought, “Why don’t I do all that I intended on the far side of the patio?” Looking straight out from the back door would not be in the line of sight…
I got up from the swing, walked into the house, closed the door, and turned out the lights (in case second thoughts would prevail), because after all, looking over the edge did give me a sense of peace and an eerie calmness, but I was pulled back for whatever reason, purpose, or plan, and began the difficult path to finding relief for the pain that was still there.
Please know that I am doing well and have been able to get my symptoms completely under control with my medication regimen.