I did something really fucking stupid yesterday and nearly died. My response wasn’t the expected disappointment that I hadn’t died, but relief, like a normal person would feel. This unfamiliar emotion dripped through my whole body and I sat, smiling, stupidly, as I felt for the first time in a very, very long time, pleased to be alive.
As has been mentioned elsewhere, I’ve recently had a breakdown. I was suicidal. I made multiple plans about how I was going to end my life and some of them I made steps towards carrying out, though never actually put myself in serious danger due to fear. This fear became something I hated myself for in turn: I wanted nothing more in the world than to be dead, I had a surefire plan for my own suicide that even I couldn’t botch (I’ll write about it someday, but not today), but I didn’t have the fucking confidence in myself to do it. I became angry at the people who cared about me and I knew my suicide would hurt, I became resentful of the friends who – for the worst ten days or so – formed a collective amateur suicide watch around me and stopped me from doing anything irrevocable. When they stopped watching me 24/7 and I had some privacy again I resented them more because I knew then – and still know now, this is all very fresh – that were I to kill myself as soon as my friends stopped watching over me each of them would blame themselves, each of them would live with a sense of guilt and shame forever, and even though I knew I wanted to die I knew more that I couldn’t do something that might cause other people huge, huge amounts of psychological pain.
This, I realise now, crying as I type, was probably a very good sign. Even in my lowest moments, I still cared about the future, albeit other peoples’. Even when I’d worked out how much – actually I am going to write about how I was going to kill myself – cocodemol I’d need to take to pass out, even after I’d made a list of chemists within walking distance, even though I’d found somewhere I knew I could pass out below the tideline of the Thames where I wouldn’t be seen when the water levels rose over my passed-out body, and how I’d make sure I wasn’t swept out on the surface into visibility while still conscious by chaining my neck to a (submerged at high tide) post using my bicycle D lock – even though I knew how to kill myself and where I’d do it (I’ve taken pictures of the place, I can find some pictures, the header is a picture of it) – even though I wanted to die and knew how to do it, crucial to the reason I didn’t was the fear of hurting other people, making other people feel sad and useless and pointless, like I felt. Because the people who watched me so I wouldn’t kill myself didn’t do it so they could feel good about themselves and brag about it at dinner parties, the people who stopped me from killing myself did it because they believe my life is worth living, they believe that my future may well turn out to be something I enjoy being part of.
Last night, while cycling home (tired but completely sober) from some entry-level bar work (I’ve had a breakdown, yes, I’ll get a proper job again soon, shut up) I misread a traffic light through negligence and – despite noticing my error just about early enough to stop in safety – carried on going because I couldn’t see any cars coming. I couldn’t see any cars coming because there was no visibility, and a vehicle moving at very high speed thundered towards me and I barely managed to pedal myself out of the way in time. It was close, like, really close. This may sound minor, the kind of incident that happens to distracted cyclists all the time, but it was significant to me, because a month ago I was deliberately cycling with my eyes closed in the hope that a double decker bus would crash into me (or something like that), and yet here I was, exerting myself like I haven’t exerted myself on a bicycle since I was a child, actively escaping an immediate death.
I made a bad judgement with the lights that I could have allowed to kill me. Instead, I fought against it and won. I was not hit by the car, I did not die. And I’m glad. And I’m not just glad because my death would make other people sad. I’m glad because not being dead means that I will get to have the rest of my life and the adventures that come with being alive. I’ll get to do things and go places that have not yet entered my mind. I don’t want to die any more. And, given how seriously I wanted that mere weeks ago, it’s an incredible feeling to have.
I’m not suicidal any more. So ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha to anyone who wishes I had killed myself while in the market for death. Time to enjoy being alive. Let’s review some fucking books!