I’ve had this post running around in my head for a few days now. Figuring out how to get it into a logical series of words on the screen has been difficult. Often I can feel a concept before I can explain it, a gut feeling of sorts where it makes total sense in my heart but I’m not sure if I can get it on paper.
This one kept bugging me though, and I know that shining light into all of my dark spaces is what helps me. I knew this one would keep triggering me over and over again until I figured out how to put it into words. Sometimes that’s all it takes, is finding the words.
My psychiatrist asked if there was a trigger this time that caused me to crash. We knew that part of it was medication related but often it’s more than that. Something needs to tip the scales to make me go so far in one direction or the other. Often for me, it’s money or scarcity related, that’s a big one. But this time I had money in the bank and I was doing okay.
This time it was the fact that I was gaining weight and my mobility was starting to suffer, the back and joint pain was coming back in ways that I hadn’t felt in well over a year and I was starting to have problems with functionality. It was because I could feel that my blood sugar was out of wack and my blood pressure was going up.
But it wasn’t just directly because I was backsliding in my physical health. Not that long ago I felt like I’d lost so much progress in my mental health as well. The backslide in relation to Parker’s death was the trigger for me.
I had put so much stock in the fact that Parker’s death wasn’t in vain because it had changed my life and I was getting healthier. If she had to die at least I could take her death and use it for the greater good, I could use it to push me forward and do something better with my life. Get mentally and physically stronger, get my degree, go back to work, lose the weight, get healthier, become all of the things that she never got to see me do.
All of the things that I wasn’t able to do while she was alive, all of the things that put so much stress on her because I wasn’t able to do them.
And for 2 years I was pushing towards all of those goals and I was doing so well. I was working towards my degree, and every time I slid backwards I got back up and pushed forward again, and I was losing weight or at least maintaining, and my blood sugar was stabilizing and I was constantly doing new things and my mental health was stabilizing and I was doing all of these things because I wasn’t going to be that sick person that pulled her down. I wasn’t going to be the person that killed her anymore.
And I know, logically, that it wasn’t my fault. That’s so easy to tell myself though.
Emotionally it’s an entirely different story and once I started mentally backsliding it was hard enough to convince myself that I was still living in a way that wasn’t a burden, wasn’t going to drag others down, that would still make it so I was living a life that made her death okay, even though it will never be okay.
And then I realized how much physical progress I was losing because of depression. And it was too much.
I don’t think I realized how much I still blamed myself for her death. I make dark jokes, I shrug it off, I talk about how being a widow is part of the fabric of who I am, but there is still the burden of wondering how I could have changed the outcome. What I could have done differently. And now I’m afraid of her death doing nothing to change my life and if that’s what happens, then her death was for nothing, and that can’t happen. Her death needs to have some purpose.
There will always be a part of me that wonders why it was her instead of me. I was the sick one. I was the one in and out of psych units. I am supposed to get better now that I have a second chance and if I’m not using this second chance, then what is the point in living.
I know that’s not the truth, but sometimes it’s hard to see the truth through the fog.
Being on both sides of suicide is always hard, and sometimes it just gets even harder and I have to reach out for help. I’m glad that I’m able to reach out for help and that I have people who answer those calls.