[Trigger warning: suicide] Full Circle

If you somehow managed to miss the big trigger warning in the title, this post mentions and discusses suicide and life after a suicide attempt. Do not read if this material triggers, upsets, or offends you. If you keep going, I gave you fair warning.

This is hopefully the last time I will post about anything related to my personal suicidality; I may write more about suicide in general in the future if I feel like it. Otherwise, you guys are probably safe from my egotistical blabbering about how I botched my death and managed to somehow hang on for another year.

I was probably supposed to be doing something today - more singing, actually. I feel guilty that I'm not doing it, but having just come back from a school choir trip, I don't really feel up to singing out. This in no way helps to alleviate the feeling that I'm a terrifically lazy good-for-nothing twat. And no, I'm not just saying this for attention - I'm saying this because it's honestly how I feel and because it's very slightly relevant.

You see, a year ago today, I tried to end my life for the second time. Of course I messed it up - that's why I'm alive. And I wanted to blog a little about the aftermath of that.

I was happy at first. There's nothing more beautiful than waking up in the morning and wanting to live, I'll tell you that much. It feels like being washed clean of all the sadness and self-hate, which by that point I had lived with for two years. (If you take the wish to live for granted, please don't. It is one of the things you will miss, along with the motivation to stand, walk and speak and the ability to hold a conversation for more than three seconds because you don't have to be busy trying to push the thoughts of death out of your head and trying not to cry. And yes, these things have actually happened to me.)

After that I was...well, I was a bit lost. One of my cats died and I was too spaced out for it to really register. I would spend time just curled up in a ball thinking and desperately trying to find something, anything, to keep me alive and stop me from slipping back into the hell of suicidality. It was then I started trying to take good causes seriously.

I think September and October must have been the happiest months of my life. I was secure in myself, I wanted to live, I was confident that no-one could hurt me. I was meeting new people and I had the motivation to do things. Come November the suicidal thoughts started to come back and I started having to work - but I was fine. I thought I'd conquered them, or that I could keep them under control. Besides, I was building relationships with people I really cared about and hoping to do good things, going to Occupy LSX and being filled with wonder at how a new world could be possible. December was good too - singing my heart out and carrying on chat after chat. Something pretty amazing happened to me in early January, and I even managed to stumble through the exams I hadn't revised for.

Happiness is generally quite boring, though, so I suppose you'll be pleased to know that it all starts to go a bit wrong at this point - my birthday was complete shit due to having to play hostess at a terrible surprise party and I ended up having about four nervous breakdowns in the space of two days. Coincidentally, I also started having dark thoughts and decided that it would be better to stay alive for the sake of my loved ones (then a relatively large pool). Still, unfortunately for this story, February was quite good for all sorts of reasons.

You'll perhaps be glad to hear, then, that in March I started regretting botching my suicide and had a breakdown over this. Things did get better, though, and April was a good month for the most part in terms of not wanting to die.

I think it was May when things started to go to shit. Feelings of emptiness (sometimes physical), worthlessness, pain with no physical source (in a terrible mood beyond normal sadness, I get pains that I know don't come from a physical source) - I was used to those.

And then the suicidal thoughts started to come back. Thoughts that if I hung myself no-one would care. Thoughts that if I died the world would be a better place. Thoughts that my suicide would be a pathetically funny thing. They sickened me at first, revolted me to my core; after a while I became too used to them to feel sick. There would be times when I felt so suicidal I had problems walking, speaking or even standing and I would have to silently drag myself from place to place or crouch in an isolated corner.

Did I mention I was doing my exams (including a stray AS level) at this time? I don't think that helped.

Maybe I could have staved it off, maybe I could have fought it off, and maybe that would be better, but by the time the suicidal thoughts came round again I was honestly too sick and tired to be able to do so; I lacked the motivation by that point.

I think I've already mentioned that I miss being motivated.

What I don't think I've mentioned, though, is what precisely I mean by motivation. I say this because the actual experience is difficult to describe and because motivation presumably means a different thing to a person more normal than I am.

I don't know what you think of as motivation, but for me it's essentially being able to use my energy to carry out the things I want or need to do. It's something most people have and I'd wager most of you take it for granted.

You're so fucking lucky. That's all I can say. You are so fucking lucky to not sit in an almost catatonic state, not having the energy to reach for your revision materials. You are so fucking lucky you don't need to worry about having the energy to speak or walk or stand. You are so fucking lucky you can work up the motivation to get off the floor or bed. Those are all things I used to be able to do without understanding how lucky I was to be able to do them; I don't always have problems with motivation, but when I do it is utterly hellish.

But I digress (I suppose it's one thing I still have the motivation for). Come late May, I was quite desperately worried about loved ones in addition to finding consciousness painful and wanting to self-medicate. I researched suicide methods and I believe I had it all planned out for a Friday or a Saturday late in the month, which brought me great peace for a day or so and rid me of the ability to conceive of anything past the day I was supposed to kill myself. (Missing the date restored my ability to think about the far future.)

Of course, me being me, I went and told a loved one and ended up worrying him, but also buying myself a little time. June was a little better and then things started going to shit again.

Now, a year on, I don't really know what - if anything - I have achieved. I trust myself less than I did a year ago; I am more aware of how skewed my perceptions can be. At times, I can want to live, and that's a good thing.

I've got something to live for too. It's not much; it's not any of the grand and high-flown causes I thought would keep me alive. But essentially, there are some people out there whose lives are made better by me being around, and I stay around and try to look after myself for their sake. It's not big, it's not glitzy, it doesn't draw attention, but it's what I'm capable of and it's what I have to work with.

I suppose I'm back where I started, really, in terms of wanting to live. Maybe a little better. I've learned much, but achieved little - or if I've achieved anything, I've thrown it away through my own stupidity.

I have one point left to address; I've got to answer the people reading this (hi, Mum) why I wrote this in the first place. I'll have to do some untangling work, and I'll have to apologise to everyone who knows me. All of this is true, but I've never talked about it as I have done now. For the most part, I've hidden it out of a desire to protect you and not make you miserable - but I have also been craven and cowardly and hidden it to avoid ostracision, shaming, guilting, blaming, and a whole host of other things. I'm sorry for hiding it and I'm sorry for lying to you all.

I'll just say one thing: I didn't do this for attention. If I want attention, I have a million and one better ways to get it than faking suicidality and dealing with all the stigma. You people should really think before you bullshit.

I'm not faking this. I'm not putting on airs to look cool or pretending to suffer to give myself tragic, hidden depths - fuck that with a shovel. There's nothing high-flown or profound about suffering, only pain and hell. And why would I willingly be stigmatised for something I don't even have in order to look cool?!

Part of the reason I did this, I suppose, was that I'm sick of lying. I don't really have the motivation to lie anymore - not for sustained periods of time, anyway. I'm finding it harder and harder to do so and it's only been three years. Hell, I had a break at one point! Another reason was to take a last look at how I fell apart, picked myself up, and then fell apart again. I certainly didn't expect it to turn out this way.

But the biggest reason I have was that I'm sick of things like this being swept under the carpet because people find them distasteful to speak about. No matter how revolted people get, I want to bring things like this out into the light, where they can be discussed openly and honestly. Perhaps if you're someone that's never attempted suicide or even felt suicidal, it's not a big issue, but the people who hurt so much they want to die need help and support, not lies. That's more important than your delicate sensibilities.

I don't care about myself. I don't really give a flying fuck whether this post gets me into trouble or whether the people I thought cared about me are now turned against me. It'll hurt, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter. What does matter is that maybe someone, somewhere, reads this and feels inspired to speak out and be honest. It's not much, but it's all I can do.