For several years of my marriage, I experienced debilitating anxiety and hypochondria. I became convinced I was allergic to foods that had never, ever given me problems, like peanuts. I obsessed over my temperature and symptoms when I felt even mildly ill. I nearly passed out while driving because a tendon slid over a bone with just the right amount of snap. I was terrified of driving in dense traffic. I was afraid to try anything new, afraid to encounter any amount of risk at all.
When I left, that all stopped. My first full day of freedom, I navigated city streets like a pro and parallel-parked on the first try. My confidence was back.
light emanates from strange quarters. my light came from binge-watching the last half of the second season of Orange Is the New Black. somewhere in the middle of the intrigue and vileness, i began to feel again.
i priced out my suicide this morning, after a sleepless night, following a stupid fight born of my overreaction to something small. i’d grabbed my keys and had already marched down the hallway, pushed the elevator button to get to my car, before i realized (again, and again, daily it seems these days) that i had nowhere to go. i know no one here well enough to show up on their doorstep at midnight. i know no one anywhere well enough that i feel comfortable crying in front of them.
so instead, i lay there, stomach churning from only having eaten leftover mac and cheese, and i wondered what the hell was wrong with me and why i hadn’t seen before that these escalations were so clearly my own. i despaired of ever being well enough to have a real relationship with anybody, or even a real friendship, for that matter. i understood that i was making the people around me tired of being around me.
in the aftermath of robin williams’s death, some psychologists are cautioning the media not to portray suicide in positive terms because it can encourage suicidal ideation. they’re worried about copycat suicides, about people who were already suffering looking at williams’s decision and concluding that they, too, can escape the pain. i can say from recent personal experience that this is probably accurate. i can also say that i understand his decision.