Trigger warning: discussion of suicide
I wrote this a few years ago while I was on an inpatient unit. I share this so that others who experience this won’t feel so alone & give others a view into what a major depressive episode is like:
I am sitting in an inpatient psychiatric unit. The doors are locked and there’s no escape. They check on us all day & night, invading my room with their intrusive bright lights to make sure I haven’t hung myself with contraband dental floss. There is a woman screaming somewhere on the unit, about what I don’t know and I’m not sure she does either. We are not allowed anything that’s considered Sharp so I write this with a crayon. How did I get here? How did things get so bad? The color has been bled from the world and what is left is monochromatic, full of nothing but various shades of gray. I always thought it would be worse when there was full darkness but now I know that isn’t true because if it was dark I wouldn’t be able to see anything at all. The gray has sucked all the joy out of my world, food tastes like dust, there is no happiness, no desires to be had.This is the death of joy and has been replaced with an unending numbness. I am tired of this mask that I wear to make others happy. I am tired of pretending and I have no more energy for it. I want to die. I don’t want this life that is full of pain and horrors that jump at me unendingly. People will say my death by suicide is selfish but they don’t understand That the pain, unseen, invisible, is just as potent as a terminal illness. Suicidal thoughts are a terminal illness, a disease, Rust on the soul. People say words like ‘commit suicide’ as if it’s a crime and maybe it is But I have to ask how long do I have to be punished with this life? When do I get The relief of darkness? People will say that I have a great life, looking from the outside and base their judgments of me on that. No one wants to look below the mask, the skin that covers my life because the horrors that are under are unspeakable. Instead, when I am gone they’ll cluck their tongues & say ‘what a waste, such a selfish girl’ or ‘how could I have not seen this coming?’. Useless statements and feelings said to make the person feel better because people who are suicidal always give the signals that we are drowning. It’s just that No one cares enough to throw us a life vest. In group they asked what our favorite animal is, as though we are preschoolers sitting on brightly colored squares of rug but in reality are placed in utility gray chairs. ‘An octopus’ I say ‘because they’re clever’ but really it’s because I’ve only seen them enclosed in a tank always searching for a way out with their long tentacles. They are clever but they’ll never escape. Like me. I am trapped and as many times as I reach out, I only touch emptiness. The thought of death is seductive, full dark. No moon or stars. Quiet. Peace. The shrinks can’t sell me on any medication that’ll give me that relief. But they try. They peddle their currency which is hope but I have none of that left & dont care to borrow from anyone anymore. I’m sitting in an inpatient psychiatric unit. There is a woman screaming somewhere on the unit, about what I don’t know and I’m not sure she does either. The staff turn away from her howling despair with blank smiles as they discuss banal subjects like the weather with each other. The analogy to real life is almost unbearably painful.