Monday, August 29, 2011

It's monday morning. I'm not fully awake, and won't be for another two hours. I only had three hours of sleep. I'm cranky. I hate the world. Whenever someone asks me to do something, I give them my "Really?" look. Yes, the world is an inconvenience right now. 

In my half awakedness (yes, that's not a word but I'm Suge and it's monday so I make shit up), I manage to stumble upon a memory. Not sure how I manage to find this one, I certainly wasn't searching for it. But it's amazing what your mind brings up when someone says "Suicide hotline."

In this day and age, I think suicide is something we can talk about freely without worrying about crossing any lines. I mean, it's a natural part of life. 

...Well... No... Actually it's not. No, not really. Otherwise, they wouldn't have crisis hotlines for it.

Moving on...

I have this horrible habit of letting things pile up on my shoulders until I feel like I'm going to cave in emotionally. I don't know what that means but my therapist says it a lot and I think it means something. I get very angry during this times, I get hopeless. God or the universe or whatever is throwing too much at me and I can't handle it all. My mind immediately goes to suicide. When people tell me to go to my happy place, it's usually my funeral happening in my head. I know, that's really morbid. I'm not saying I'm normal, I never made that claim but, I get desperate... My mind naturally goes to darker places in time of struggle.

Anyhow, once upon a time (four or five years ago), shit was looking grim. So I'd gotten a suicide hotline number from...well... I'm not entirely sure. Probably a bathroom stall at Albertson's. As the hideous feelings grew, I decided to give the number a call. "What's the worst that can happen?" I thought to myself. 
Let's just say I wasn't looking for pure wisdom, but rather, encouragement. Maybe I wanted to feel special or maybe I just needed someone to say that it gets better. Or maybe I just wanted someone to talk to.I needed to feel like living was kind of a big deal.

Within moments of an actual person answering the phone, I was put on hold for ten minutes. In ten minutes, I could have killed myself, don't they know that? I said to myself. 

I guess they were short a few hotline operators or something but finally, someone came to the phone. It was standard question and answer.

"How do you feel?"
"Like killing myself."
"Because my life sucks."
"Um... It just does."
"I'm not sure..."
"It gets better."
"You're special."
"I am?"
"I think so."
"Huh... I never saw it that way."

It was pretty bad. That right there made me not want to kill myself. That right there made me want to hang up the phone and forget that this mistake had ever happened!

But it gets better. Because moments after hanging up the number, I get a call from someone else from the hotline.

"That's me."
"We'd like you to see a licensed counselor."
"Will this hurt?"

I made an appointment with a therapist somewhere in Everett. Sheepishly, I went in to see her and nervously waited with my poetry journal in a waiting room where a junkie was staring at me. The place smelled like an old lady's house and the couches were uncomfortable. And it was gray. This very uncomfortable gray that made me think of what happens after death if there's no heaven or hell. I suddenly had the urge to run. I got up, made my way to the door, and then they called my name. I hung my head and went into the therapists office. It honestly felt like I was in trouble for something. I felt like I was going to the principal's office. 

I sat in the lady's office, studying my surroundings. The room had the same doom-ish gray to it, but with the bit of sunlight coming in, it felt... Like I may never feel happiness again. Not the perfect place to talk about me wanting to die.

The therapist had a bowl haircut. I remember this vividly because I felt as though her hair was mocking me. It just stood there, all thick and bowl-like around her head. She caught me staring at her and stared back at me and for a moment, we just glared at each other. I broke contact and looked at my feet.

I don't remember her name. I only remember her hair. After our staring contest, she started asking a lot of questions. And I mean a LOT of questions. And they had almost nothing to do with my depression, anxiety or suicidal tendencies. She wanted to know how she was getting paid. I gave her my insurance info and she jotted that down. 

At that moment, something amazing happened. Sheer embarrassment.

I suddenly wanted to leave more than anything. After fifteen minutes of insurance and employment type questions, she finally started asking me questions about me. This didn't last very long. She asked how long I felt like this, she asked how often it happened and then said I would benefit from medication.

And that was pretty much it. Before I left, she said that it's okay to be angry.

At this point, I was no longer hearing her. I was sitting there, thinking of ways I could spruce up the grey colored room. I was thinking of colors that make people happy because, the very essence of this room personified suicide. Everything about it screamed KILL YOURSELF!

Before leaving, the therapist had me close my eyes and practice my breathing.

"I'll even do it with you."

She closed her eyes and started breathing in and out, for about five minutes. I did not close my eyes. I just watched her. This was pathetic. I was wondering if I could sneak out the door without her noticing since she was so into her deep breathing. Finally, she looked up and said, "You can leave."

I never ran so fast in my life. I trampled over a few junkies and crackheads on my way out to my car and vroomed my ass home. The experience left me feeling so horrible that I was wondering if that was their tactic for dealing with suicidal people. Sure, I didn't kill myself but this was the opposite of help. I had a lot of shit to expel and none of it came out. We focused on breathing mostly. When I finally got home, I told myself that I was going to put this behind me and pretend it never happened. I sat on my bed and wept for ten minutes before going to bed. Part of me felt so shattered by the experience, the rest of me was horrified that I'd even gone through with it.

A few days later, my mom asked me about how my therapy was going. At the time I wasn't currently seeing a therapist so I was confused. A few questions later, I found out that the bowl haircut lady had called my emergency contact (mom) and basically told her what had happened. After telling me it was confidential. I was pretty pissed.

In the end, I've found different ways of dealing with my depression and misery, but isn't it sad to know that if I ever get suicidal, I will not rely on a crisis hotline to get me through these trying times. It's sad. But they succeeded only in making me feel like a worthless individual. And I can make myself feel like that on my own!


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