Night Terrors (and Suicide Letters.)
Last night I had a dream I attended my own funeral, wearing my mother slippers.
I don’t know if the fact I was wearing her slippers is symbolic, I just know that as far as dreams go, this one was very vivid and when I awoke in a cold sweat, the first thing I thought was-
‘I need to return those slippers before she notices they are gone and all her toes fall off.’
Made perfect sense as I was coming around at Dawn’s crack this morning anyway.
I had in fact actually said this out loud too.
Luckily though, the Irish one ignored me and turned over, he is well a versed by now you see, to my morning ramblings and milk curdling screams in the middle of the night ‘because I am sure there was an axe murderer stood at the end of the bed and couldn’t he just turn the light on to check.’
I can’t thank the Irish one enough for all he has put up with since I started taking these heavy duty anti-psychotic drugs before bed, (not exactly a great catch am I? Fancy a shag or are you feeling particularly psycho tonight?) And I think in all honesty he is probably just relieved that I don’t sleep walk anymore.
He can probably cope with a bit of nutcasery at 7am quite happily, given just how mental my nights have been over the last 7 months.
As an example, he once woke up, about two weeks after I was discharged, to find my side of the bed empty at 4am.
He got up to investigate, only to find me in the kitchen, fast asleep but doddering about, making a sandwich using two electricity bills and a slice of turkey.
When he asked me what I was doing, I apparently responded-
‘Well honey, I’ve just killed the dog, and so obviously now I’m hungry.’
After immediately cacking his pants, and leaving me there with my EON sarnie to check that Doodle was in fact still breathing and very much alive, he woke me up by freaking out incredibly loudly right next to my head, and in doing so, he nearly ended up killing me in shock, which in turn nearly killed him (I was brandishing a kitchen knife around by this point, ‘WHY AM I IN THE KITCHEN YOU BASTARD, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?????’) as I nearly stabbed him.
So yeah, I think more than anything the Irish one is just relieved that I wasn’t trying to boil up his balls in a saucepan or something to pay too much attention to me proclaiming my mothers toes were going to fall off.
I know hearing about other people’s dreams is boring so I wont go on too much, but witnessing your own funeral?
Well, Isn’t that something everybody would love to do? (In a kind of idealistic lets see how much everyone loved me, sort of way?… or am I sicker than most?)
Well, mine was disappointing to say the least.
My coffin looked like it had been delivered on the back of an Ikea truck the night previous, and had been put together by the Irish one huffing and puffing over a set of Swedish instructions, while drinking a Carlsberg, before he had clearly finally given up, abandoned the nails and many elongated curved pieces of plastic, (It was a bendy coffin, god knows how I died!!) and had gone on a mad search for the gaffa tape, to ‘sort things Irish style.’
It was falling to bits!
None of the mourners noticed though, come to think of it, they were all too busy chatting to One Direction and Mr. Tumble, who thank god, wasn’t in his bumper car, but did keep asking me where his magic spotty bag was and trying to teach me how to sign ‘Dead’ in Japanese.
No sign of Mr. Bloom and his talking marrow though unfortunately, and believe me I searched. Oh, what I wouldn’t do to that man in his compostarium…
I couldn’t find my son no matter how much I searched, and I couldn’t find my mum either.
This really upset me, so much so, that I ended up doing that slow motion running and crying thing that you do usually right before you realise you are in school with no clothes on, or something.
I then remember getting incredibly angry about the fact I had an open casket and no one had bothered to check I was wearing my fake lashes.
Which I wasn’t and it gets worse.
I was wearing a peach shell suit.
I mean, who decides to dress someone in a shell suit, knowing that this is what they will no doubt spend all eternity wearing???
What am I supposed to say at the pearly gates?? Sorry, Saint Nick, (my religious knowledge gets a little hazy here, I’m not sure it is Santa that meets you at the gates to heaven, but if it isn’t, it totally should be…) I really don’t know why I am dressed like a Scouser from the 90’s Father Christmas, but could I come in anyway? Is there a Topshop up here? I could do with a change of outfit!
The whole thing was terrifying, frustrating and wholly random.
It doesn’t strike me as odd however that I had this dream, given how the last few weeks have panned out for me.
Maybe it was a warning.
A bit of foresight telling me to be kind to myself.
But then again, maybe I should just reduce my prescribed loony medication.
What does strike me as odd however is how upset I have felt all day by it.
‘You didn’t actually go to your own funeral though babe,’ the Irish one tried to console me this afternoon ‘ but I get it, I think. Is this like when I dream cheat on you and you are total bitch to me all day?’
‘Exactly.’ I responded cracking open a bottle of wine ‘exactly.’
And now that I have finished that bottle of wine, I am going to be brave, and be totally honest with you.
Something my therapist, persistent little soul that he is, tells me I need to start being with those people that matter to me, so that I can accept support… blah blah blah… (I’m not great at getting support, in case you hadn’t noticed.)
So here it is.
I know why I had this dream.
And I know why it has got to me.
(Warning!! This post gets incredibly miserable from here on in!)
This week I wrote suicide letters.
I never did that before.
Not because I didn’t want to say proper goodbye’s before, but mostly because I’m crap at planning.
Each and every other time I have found myself with nowhere else to turn other than the ideological view that death would be a silent paradise, incredibly lonely, beaten and exhausted, I have ran with the idea at high speed.
I have popped the tablets out, I have drunk charcoal, and I have been institutionalized.
But in all honesty, medicated of not, I have thought about dying endlessly for nearly a year now.
Some days it hasn’t been every hour of every day, and some days it has.
If I killed myself I wouldn’t have to get out of bed in the morning…
Just have this one last difficult conversation then you can think of how much easier the world would be without you in it, to take the edge off…
If I were dead I wouldn’t have to smile and pretend to feel the love, pretend to be normal, put together, if was dead I could stop this pain in my chest and this non stop commentary of evil in my head…
The bargaining is exhausting.
The last few weeks though… well they have been really tough.
And so I wrote Suicide Letters in a bid to silence the inner voice telling me to Just Do It! (Nike, did absolutely not sponsor this post!)
Writing suicide letters well… It was surprisingly hard, and not at all as romantic as I had imagined it to be during the many hours I have spent wishing things like smiling, being normal, and functioning were easy, wishing I wasn’t ill. Wishing I was breezy.
It was heartbreaking.
And in hindsight, choosing Starbucks as the place to write them, well… that probably wasn’t the best idea. I did however get a lot of free coffee as the tears streamed down my face and the concerned baristas’ took pity on me… Which eventually meant I had to give up as I was bouncing around the place like a depressed space hopper and getting nowhere fast.
I find music is important when one writes a suicide letter, and jacked up on caffeine listening to Ebeneezer Goode (not wearing a shell suit) well that was just stupid. I would be surprised if any of them make sense at all. (I’m in no hurry to re-read them.)
When I spoke to James the therapist, about what I had got up to, he said I was in recovery but I was testing how I felt, I was testing to see if the bargaining was a necessary tool anymore.
That in the pain, there was healing.
Or at least, I think that is what he hoped.
I think, I just wanted to think, that I could go through with it, if it ever got to the point where I really needed to.
That I needed an out from the inner argument, I needed to silence it with proof that I could take the proper steps.
And I also think, that if I did go through with it, it would be important for me to have had the last word and for those who I was leaving behind to know how sorry I was, but how I just couldn’t listen to my broken brain anymore.
I’m a bit of a cow like that.
I should just get a grip and get on with it.
I should just ‘snap out of it.’
I wrote a letter to Addison telling him I loved him and that I was sorry but as much as I would miss seeing him turn in to a boy, and then a man, that I couldn’t cope, that my brain was torturing me, and that I would always be with him whenever he needed me. I wrote that every day he makes me proud, and that I would miss him more than I could ever put in to words. But mostly? I wrote how sorry I was, as I knew the pain I was going to cause, he was probably never going to recover from, but I just couldn’t carry on… the pain I was living with was too overwhelming…
I wrote to my dad telling him he could keep my poodle with the dodgy bowel and that I was sorry and I loved him, and that I would forever be grateful…
I wrote letters for my mum, the Irish One, Doodle (he’s a dog, but yes, he got a letter… I think this was down to the coffee more than anything else by this point) and to my two best friends.
All of them had the same theme.
How sorry I was but how I couldn’t go on anymore but how much I loved them (and stop pissing in the house.)
And now that I have done this, I can stop bargaining.
I just couldn’t sum up my feelings in a letter. I couldn’t get across how grateful I was, but how much I was struggling, how loved I felt, but how incredibly alone I also feel, how comforting these people are to me, but how difficult I find it to accept support, how much they help me through the days, but how long the days are, the fun times I have had, how much they meant to me, and how much I miss them now every day is a battle, and how sorry I was about what I was about to do…
I just couldn’t do it to them… or to me.
I couldn’t find my last word.
And for that I am grateful right now.
I owe it to myself and to them, to keep living, to keep fighting.
Maybe, just maybe…
Not writing the letters was my brother’s biggest mistake.
Maybe if he had, he would still be here.
Because writing suicide letters is the saddest thing I have ever done.
And I know now for certain those who have written them in the past and have died at the hands of this illness really went through hell.
It is an illness. Not a choice.
I felt sad today, but I also felt lucky, because at this point I still do have a choice. As hard a choice as it has been to make, because this fight isn’t easy, I know I am lucky, because whether I like it or not, I still get to choose.
And (sorry if I sound like a bad dodgy version of trainspotting… fuck it, I may as well tell you, I’ve changed in to my shell suit, it was the whole 90’s thing… it got hold of me…) but right now I choose life.
Anyway, I’m off to bed and to take my medication.
Spare the Irish one a thought it you are up at 3am? He probably will be too, protecting us from Santa and Gok wan, who will no doubt be stood at the end of my bed.
*This is my story, no one else’s, and I apologise if by telling my story, I have come across intensive or crass or horrible. I am not dispensing advice, I am in no place to give it, I am simply sharing my story. It may be wrong to try to inject humour in to something so serious, but I am in pain, It is the only way i can be this honest. I want to get better, but I also need help, and I also want to help those who need help but won’t or can’t ask. So before you have a go… just remember the reasons why I write ok?
And if you feel or have ever felt like writing suicide letters?
You are not alone.
But please please, please, Please get help, or talk to someone.
There is nothing to be ashamed of.
It is an illness, not a choice.
And the world would NOT be a better place without you in it.
I know this for a fact.