Depression, Self-Harm and Suicide: A Bundle of Joy

Ranting, dear readers. Please excuse. Haven’t taken my Prozac for a few days, and I’m just barely getting back on it.

First, people romanticize the whole lot of mental illness and suicide, and that needs to stop. Depression is not this beautiful, profound sadness where you sit in your closet, cut yourself and cry tears of eyeliner and mascara while writing poetry.Sure, there may be elements of that, but you know what else is there? Numbness. Feeling nothing when you cut yourself, and you’re just as calm as if you were doing a doodle. “Oh, it’s a little uneven on this side. Let’s fix that. Go deeper.” It’s thinking, “Since I don’t want to do anything, I should just die, because I’m a useless waste of space. Too bad I don’t have the guts to do it.”

And while we’re talking about suicide, let’s mention something—it’s selfish. Yeah, I’ve been there. If I’d had a gun, I might have done it already. My best friend, Scott, killed himself in December. My uncle and grandfather both killed themselves. I’ve seen both sides of this issue. But you know what you’re doing to those you care about? Leaving them feeling guilty. They’ll spend the rest of their lives wondering what they could have done to stop you. What they could have done differently. Too many what ifs, insidiously whispering in the back of your mind. Also, how about funeral expenses? That’s so kind of you, to burden your loved ones with that. What a star you are. And plus, embalming ain’t gonna be a pretty picture. None of this, “she looks like she’s just sleeping,” or whatever. You’ll look like a corpse that’s started to decay.

Yeah, life is hard. Everyone gets that. We just need to try and help each other through it. If we actually try, there’s nothing life can throw at us that we won’t be able to overcome.

I’m sorry. I get really cranky when depression’s hitting me—temperamental and even violent. (Surprise, that’s another fun part of depression!) I’m trying to work at it, but it’s like telling the sun to stop shining.

Getting past ranting over stupid people (I’ve spent way too much time on Tumblr lately), bad times have been more plentiful. Earlier this week, I was happy, wondering if my depression had fixed itself, or something magical like that. And then I ran out of money, and out of Prozac.

. . . nope.

I’m still just as screwy. Life sucks. Little things like spilling part of a bottle of Coca Cola are tragedies. Every little annoyance with my roommates is a grievous flaw. Books falling off a shelf have a personal vendetta against me, and therefore need to be thrown across the room. I don’t want to write, and I don’t want to talk to people. I just wanna flip the world the bird, and shut it all out.

Why can’t common sense and common courtesy actually be just those? People are difficult.

My roommate will not shut up about stuff that she’s watching on her laptop that I don’t care about. I’m tempted to say I don’t care, but as she has depression too, I don’t want to hurt any feelings.

So, for today, screw finishing touches on this post. Angry!Mac is too irritated to care.

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Holiday Misery

It’s been a hard month. I can freely admit that. What made it worse? My two roommates being at their own homes for Christmas, and my parents coming and staying at my house. Christmas night, after a long day at work, I had to come home to deal with my parents getting in a fight, my mom yelling at our dogs for no reason, and all that. When I told her to chill out and not yell at the dogs (who weren’t doing anything, as usual), she said, “You weren’t on the receiving end, Mac. I was!” Here meaning the receiving end of my dad’s temper. Because she was being stupid, and he snapped at her.

But, because I just don’t care anymore, I replied, “Don’t even start that shit with me right now!”

So, I took the dogs into my room and changed clothes, all the while having to listen to my parents yelling. Flashback to many long nights in my childhood when those fights would scare the hell out of me. But I am not that little girl anymore. So I came out, and yelled louder.

But still, all this made for a very stressful, depression-triggering night. By the time we got to my sister’s house, where she had made dinner, I was ready to kill someone, and couldn’t help crying for no real reason. I’m fortunate to have such an awesome sister. She took me into her room, away from my parents, and let me talk it out, staying with me until I’d calmed down.

The next day, I couldn’t face going to work. My sister was working that night (she works at the same place in a different department), so my boss told her he was worried about me, and asked what was up. She told him about the family fiasco, to which he replied, “Well, tell her we’re her real family.”

Even as I write that, I’m tearing up a little. Those words mean so much to me. There are people out there who worry about me, and want the best for me. They have more right to claim familial ties to me than my mother ever did. And that was something I really needed to hear.

Of course, the month is still hard. I’m thinking a lot about Scott when I have nothing else to fill my mind. I can’t bear to even think about getting rid of anything that was his that he left at my house. Or anything he gave me, even if I never wanted it. Everything he gave me has become too sentimentally precious. The memories are sparse, but cherished. Almost sacred. And it hurts. A lot. I don’t want to remember the dead body I saw at his funeral. I want to remember the tall, gangly kid with the huge smile who joked about everything. But they’re too intertwined. It’s hard. Yes, I’ve been better since the funeral. But does a wound like that ever fully heal? And depression’s never going to make it easier.

But I’m getting better. Yes, sometimes it’s so hard I just want to give up. Sometimes I’m not sure I’m going to make it. But there are people who love me. If nothing else, I have to keep going for them. I am strong. I will protect them from knowing what this feels like.

That helps.

Manure Occureth

Nearly two weeks since my best friend, Scott, took his own life. I haven’t broken down since the funeral. I feel that’s an accomplishment. I guess the funeral gave me the closure I needed—final knowledge that this wasn’t some kind of sick joke. And now, life goes on. It’s too short to waste grieving.

Sad as it is, I’m sure this did happen for a reason. Now, I have some tangible, first-hand experience with the grief of losing someone close to me. The experience of having a friend so lost in life that he felt he had no other way out. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like. I just wish he could have found some help, like I did. But, too late. For Scott, the great test of life was turned in early, and the rest of us still have to struggle through all the joys and sorrows that come with it, constantly hoping we finish before our time is up.

And this is a test I intend to ace.

Scott’s death has grounded me, given me some more traction to make it through my own life, and maybe be better prepared to help others make it through theirs. This isn’t an experience I’d want anyone to go through, but at the same time—even while I’m grieving—I recognize that it’s enabled me to be a better person. Just like my sister’s abuse helped balance out my mother’s constant praise, keeping me from turning into a narcissist like her.

Whoever may be out there, going through hard times and wondering just what it’s all for, I hope you can take a step back and realize that even though it hurts—sometimes so much you can barely stand it—it’s helping you become better, in some way. You’re strong enough to make it through, and when you do, the sun will shine out all the clearer.

So, here I am, sitting in front of my computer, being oddly optimistic. Don’t worry. I already know I’m crazy. And cheesy. I get all my best lines off Hallmark cards, and I have a ridiculous flair for the dramatic. That’s okay, though. Life goes on.

On Suicide: For Scott

Today, my best friend, Scott, took his own life. The friend who gave me the name for this blog. The friend I’ve complained about in posts here, and in my life, talking about how needy he was. How emotional. How annoying.

He’s been there for me through my own self-harming, suicidal depression. We promised each other we’d tell the other one if we decided to go through with it. I was getting better. He wasn’t.

He texted me early this morning, when I was asleep. “I told you I’d tell you if I was going to kill myself, and I keep my promises.” That was at two. By the time I woke up, he was dead. I never had the chance to keep him alive. But if I’d only known, I would have done everything I could. As much as I complained about him, he was one of the best friends I’ve ever had, and I really didn’t deserve him. For some reason, though, he stuck around, right until the end.

So many people today have told me that there was nothing I could have done. But just one hour. One hour earlier, and I would have gotten that text in time. One kind word. Instead of berating him for imagined stupidities, I could have told him I cared about him. That he was like a brother to me. That I wanted him to be happy. One apology. I’ll never know all the small things I could have done that would have kept him alive.

Scott had his problems. He was drinking heavily. He had several mental illnesses, including depression. He felt his entire family hated him. So many friends walked out of his life because they found him annoying. This is the boy who started talking to me in Financial Literacy my senior year of high school. Who asked me to sit by him, and made me feel worthwhile. The boy who took me on a date. My first kiss. A friend you couldn’t get rid of. Always willing to rescue me when I locked my keys in my car, or my battery died, or I had a flat tire. He took me shooting, running, hiking. Once, we had a sword fight with his shoes. He listened to my boy and family problems, and did his best to make me laugh. I’ll never have another friend like him.

What could I have done? One hour. One word. If only.

But the stark reality is that he’s gone. He was unhappy here, and he’s found peace now. He’s free from all the awful things life was piling on him. It hurts so badly, but he’s in a better place.

Please, anyone out there who might ever consider suicide, think of the effect you’re going to have on your loved ones. The gaping wound you’ll be causing them. I don’t ever want anyone else to know what this feels like. This horrible pain. Wondering where I went wrong. What I could have done. I can’t even begin to imagine what whoever found him must be going through. His family.

Personally, I’m broken. I have no heart for lame jokes right now. All I can do is sit and cry, and try to get my thoughts out before my eyes get too blurry with tears.

Scott, you moron, I love you dearly. Rest in peace. Please be happy.

Inactivity and Jack Mormons

I have a good friend (isn’t that shocking?) named Scott, who is a Mormon born and raised, like me, but didn’t turn out as well as I did, for all intents and purposes. He’s been trying to be a good boy by our standards, but then he turns around and does things that are considered very serious in our religion. And then he feels the need to tell me about it. Every time. Like I’m the priest and he’s going to confession.

He tells me all those things that I really don’t care about, that I really don’t want to know. Why? Because I’m the best friend he has and I’m his support line, and my support really helps him. No matter how many times I’ve told him I don’t want to hear about his escapades with underage drinking, pot, and sex, he just keeps telling me. He says he wants to get better and be a good LDS person, but he just keeps doing it. When he gets a Sunday off from work, he doesn’t even bother trying to go to church, instead spending the time with his non-Mormon cousin, who is nowhere near a good role model, no matter who you are.

And he’s still turning to me for help when things go wrong.

Now, I’m no saint, either, that’s for certain. My massive pride will be my downfall one day. And I can have a holier-than-thou attitude toward people like Scott, although I would never say that to them. I can’t understand him. I just want him to stop. Whether he stops doing what he’s doing or just stops telling me about it every time I see him, I don’t even care anymore. He doesn’t get it, and he doesn’t want to take any time to try to learn. And here I am, the best friend who’s supposed to sympathize. Not my style. I don’t do sympathy. Someone tells me about their problems, I assume they want a fix, not just someone to sympathize. Sympathy is a stupid reason to tell someone what’s wrong.

And let me tell you, if you’re a Mormon who believes what the church teaches, inactivity (jack Mormonism) is never the answer. I’ve been there. Done that. That was a big part of why my high school life sucked so much. I was dating a non-Mormon guy who didn’t care one whit what I believed, I was stupid enough to think I could change him, I wasn’t going to church or Seminary, or reading my scriptures. And without those things in my life, it turned nasty. Boyfriend dumped me for another girl after only a month, and sister became. . . well, her charming self.

I’m not saying that church, or Mormonism in particular, is an inoculation against opposition. Bad things happen in life. Otherwise, life would be really boring. Religion, in general, is there to make us better for it. We learn from our mistakes. We grow to be better. When crap gets bad, you have God (whoever that may be to you) to fall back on. And sometimes you have exactly what you need to deal with the situation.

Case in point, I read East of Eden for the first time about a week before my sister was arrested. Let me tell you, the character of Aron is a perfect fit for her. Nothing exists in her world unless it is perfect. If I hadn’t read that book at that time, I wouldn’t have seen that. I would still have thought I was the problem.

Call it what you want. Coincidence or divine intervention. Me, I see the hand of God in my life every day. The more I go to church, the more I pray, the more I read my scriptures, the more I see Him. That’s why it’s hard to see so many people, like this friend of mine, not realizing what it took me an inactive ten years to figure out. We need to make room for God in our lives, too.

It’s Not Hard—Just Go Away

Has anybody else ever had that feeling—where you know you’re wrong, and you know you’re hurting someone, but you just don’t care? Where you will not surrender, no matter how childish it makes you look?

I’m supposed to be smarter than my sister. Better than her. I’m supposed to take the higher path, and not emulate her.

But I can’t.

People. They get too close. I have stupid moments, where I say emotionally damning things. The closer they get, the more their flaws pile up, the more easily annoyed I am, the more I hate them. Because they’re just pushing for closer. Closer. Walling me in, leaving me no exit. I can’t move. Can barely breathe.

This, of course, is about one of my best friends, Scott. He’s like my brother. And he’s “in love” with me. No matter how much I tell him I don’t want to hear it, he manages to come around to it. And it brings out my impulse to be as stupid as my sister. Resulting to acting superior by saying I’m more mature than he is. Feeling just as trapped in the argument when he says the same about me.

We’re best friends. We’ve told each other things in strictest confidence. I’ve never brought up the things that he told me. But when I tell him something, he’s sure to bring it up the next time I refuse to make out with him or parade around in spaghetti straps and shorts, or let him kiss my neck, or sleep in my bed.

Is it because you’re afraid of intimacy? Is it because you’re a prude? Is it because it makes you uncomfortable? Is it because of your sister?

Like it’s any of his business why I do the things I do! It wouldn’t even be so bad, if he didn’t say these things within earshot of other people. It feels so nice, to have a friend so innocently putting your inner turmoils on display for the rest of the world.

All the little things he does make me so mad. And he laughs at me when I try to seriously mention these things. Because the vast array of things I get pissed off about are hilarious. His wording.

When he said that, I was ready to kill him. Then he got mad at me for saying that I didn’t want to talk about it that night. No, I don’t want to get all weepy with him while we talk about our feelings.

He’s done things like this to set me off several times. He apologizes. I never do. I refuse to. Sure, I’ve got excuses. With my sister, it was the other way around, and I’m sick of apologizing, etc. Poor little me. Sure, I know I’m screwed up, but it’s none of his business, and I don’t want his input. He doesn’t need another opportunity to show how he thinks he knows everything.

But why do I do all this? If he’s like family, why push him away?

Simple. I don’t want him to be in love with me. If I’m horrible enough to him, maybe he’ll stop. Maybe he’ll go away. Maybe he’ll hardly ever talk to me, just like my two exes. Or maybe he’ll forget all about me! Whatever, just as long as it stops. I don’t care. I just want him out of my life.

I know that’s wrong. I know I’m just being spiteful and childish. But that’s not going to make me change my mind. I can’t just flip a switch and be more logical and mature. But that doesn’t stop me from wishing for it every single day.

On the Sibling Front, Egocentrism and Hypocrisy

So, I saw my sister on Sunday. The abusive one who was arrested. Only one I got. She came to my apartment to move some stuff out. And she was talking and laughing with our parents and my friend who was visiting, just like nothing had ever happened. And I was right back in the same place, hating and feeling inadequate. Second best. Back to being the whiny, sensitive drama queen. Forget how much I’ve grown these last few months. When she’s around, it doesn’t matter. I’m just the stupid little emo kid she has to put up with again.

And other whinings. Story of my life.

My guy friend, Scott, is driving me crazy, too. My abrasive sense of humor has been offending him lately. He’s been glaring at me and telling me to quit being such a bitch. I had to bite my tongue to keep from telling him to stop being so whiny and develop a backbone.

Hypocritical? You bet! But just because I recognize it doesn’t mean I can bring myself around to think differently. Because, of course, I’m the most important thing in the world. Didn’t you know that? Heck, I’ve probably got enough egocentrism for five people.

Anyway, he asked me to cut down on the insults, just as I asked him to stop making sex jokes all the time. I didn’t, though. I just put on a serious act, didn’t joke or smile at all, and avoided him for the rest of the week. Even after he apologized. I made no apology, and I don’t plan to. I am who I am, and I’m not changing for him. I’m not the one who claims to be in love with him. I have little emotion vested in this relationship except annoyance, anymore. Every little thing he does pisses me off. And I don’t want him around me. At all.

How I treat Scott flies in the face of so many things I believe. But, of course, it doesn’t mean he’ll stop pissing me off or whining to me about all his little problems I don’t care about. I couldn’t stop being mean if I tried. There’s just something about his face that makes me want to punch it in.

I’m no saint, even if my religion has it in the name.