Life, for me, has always seemed lonely and terrifying. I am afraid of everything. I am afraid of being ordinary, of being stupid and never achieving anything worthwhile over my lifetime. I am afraid of boredom. I am afraid of never finding someone to marry because of my mental issues and dying alone and childless. I am afraid of the night. Heck, I’m even afraid of walking down the street by myself, not because I think someone will or attack me or anything like that, but because whenever I do so, with the cars whooshing past on the roads, and everyone else going about their business, I feel a loneliness so overwhelming I can hardly bear it.
It’s as if everyone else has an in-built self-comforting device that I wasn’t born with. I can’t soothe myself. I don’t think, since the day I was born, I have ever felt completely calm and collected in my entire life. I’m pretty sure even as a baby in my mother’s womb I was having some kind of panic attack, getting riled up over something only an unborn baby could fret about, like choking on the umbilical cord or coming out between my mother’s legs the wrong way, headfirst instead of feet. I get anxious about my looks, because I feel like I shorn sheep now that I’ve cut my hair really short, and the sense of ugliness is something I carry around with me like a dirty shawl, old and unkempt. I can barely even pick up a book and read it these days because all words do is remind me of the writing dreams I once had and which now seem so very much out of reach and impossible.
I’m a mess. I’m neurotic, insane (I’ve had a psychotic episode before, where I thought I was an angel sent on a mission by God, and was found wandering the city late at night by the police) and crazy. I’m a tight spring, always coiled up, and I feel completely alone in my misery. As a child, books and films soothed me, but now that I am older, reality has pushed itself right into my face, and it’s leering at me, grinning a mouth of dirty teeth, and I can’t look away from it, I simply cannot. I’m too afraid to kill myself at this point, but I don’t feel as though I can continue living in reality any longer. Even the words I am typing right now are disgusting to me, because I am in a state of mind where I loathe everything I write and everything I think or say is pathetic and useless.
The best way I describe what it feels like to be suicidal is that it’s like you’re dangling over a precipice, and holding onto a string. The string is keeping you from dropping to your death, but only just, and with every passing second the string starts to break apart further, so that any moment, it could snap completely and send you plummeting into the abyss. I am holding onto that string, with my eyes tightly shut, hoping it will not break, yet terrified that it will.
To try and not kill myself, I have been trying to remind myself of all the wonderful things life still holds for me. I still have people I would like to meet, friends I can make. I might start a family one day, have a loving husband and children of my own. While I doubt I will get published, I will have some sort of job or work eventually, and perhaps gain some satisfaction from that. Sometimes, I will save up enough money to go on holidays, and that would be nice. Yes, just a nice, ordinary life, with its small joys and hopes, is what I am looking for; and it is these things I am clinging onto while every part of me screams at me to down a whole heap of pills in one go or jump off the bridge near my house. Writing on this blog, too, is helping me, and perhaps it will help anyone else out there who is struggling with depression or self-loathing.
When I get depressed, I hate everything about myself. I hate what I write. I hate the words I say—they seem boring and pathetic. I hate my own thoughts, I hate the way I sit, the way I move, I hate my own reflection, I hate the sound of my own voice. I don’t understand people who seem so calm and happy all the time. What is their secret, I wonder? What is it that makes me different from them? Am I just strange, defective? Broken?
The problem is, I don’t know who I am. I really don’t. I’m turning 20 this year, and still have no idea who I want to be or what I want to do with my life. Since my studies haven’t started, I have very few friends and people I can talk to, and even when I go to public places, like the shopping centre or the library, where I am surrounded by people, I still feel sad and lonely because I have no-one to talk to or confide in. I don’t know what it means to be human, and I’m puzzled as to why I was born in the first place. I’m puzzled as to why people have children, and I’m puzzled as to how everyone can be happy and satisfied with their ordinary lives, when I feel as though only something extraordinary could ever possibly make me happy.
What I hate most of all is my own ordinariness. I will live a boring, lower-or-middle-class life, spend my days engaged in ordinary activities, and then one day end up at hospital, dying in a great deal of pain. Is there more to life than this? Surely there is. Surely there must be something out there in the world which is fresh and exciting. Surely I can’t possibly languish in this hell-hole for the rest of my life. But what is there, except for reality, for trees and food, parks and stations, buses and trains? No matter who dies or cries or screams, life goes on, as it has always done, and always will.
There’s no-one I can turn to. In life, you are truly alone. Or perhaps that’s just me. Other people have boyfriends, spouses, husbands, family members they can rely on, but I feel no affinity with my mother and brother, no connection to them whatsoever. No knight-in=shining-armour is going to come waltzing into my life on the back of a white horse and come save me, that’s just not how reality works. Reality is the worst. It is ugly and terrible. Flowers bloom for a little while, but then they must wither, and that is reality, withered flowers, dead and gone. I wish I knew who I was. I wish I had never been born. I wish I had some answers. I wish I didn’t want to kill myself. I wish I could wave a magic wand, and make all the pain and loneliness, all the confusion and despair, just disappear.