So it’s after Christmas. I had kind of a rough Christmas. I was listening to Fairytale of New York and it brought back all these feelings I had about a friend of mine who committed suicide 8 or 9 years ago. I just heard that song right after I found out he had died and it made me cry super hard. Anyway it made me cry super hard again, and then just think about him, and miss him.
This Christmas was hard for a lot of people. There were a lot of deaths in my communities this season. And some were very violent deaths. And some were suicides. And the daughter of my old late babysitter and friend Jasmine died recently, which brought up my feelings about Jasmine’s death which was also a suicide. It really isn’t fair, any of this, for any of these people. When I think about people I have known who have died, very few of them were people who lived to an old age and died peacefully. A lot of deaths of very young people. Like 20’s and 30’s.
I remember when I started struggling with feeling suicidal, like at such a young age, like seven or something, I honestly didn’t think I would live past 30. I sometimes wonder if that’s why I was so ambitious, because I wanted to burn really brightly before I left. Kind of tragic.
But that’s not how it worked. I have been suicidal so many times, but each time gets a little bit easier, as weird as it sounds. I find my suicidal episodes are really intense but brief. Like they ALWAYS pass. And like not even in a long period of time, in the last few years my suicidal episodes last less than 24 hours. And I’m turning 42 next year, I’ve gotten really really good at coping mechanisms. I know who I can talk to. I know excuses I can give myself for why I need to stay. I can take care of myself really well even if that just means ordering food and staying on my couch watching shitty tv for a day. I know which people close to me are NOT good to talk to in those situations, because they aren’t empathetic, or they just get annoyed by my distress. So sometimes I just won’t talk to those people for very long, even if they are close to me and you would think they would have their shit together.
But people in their 20’s especially, haven’t had the amount of episodes I’ve had now at 42 that taught me how to look out for myself. I think when I was most in danger was my 20’s, because of so many reasons. Like, I didn’t have a plan for my life in my 20’s so there wasn’t a long range vision of my future. I was using substances which increases the chance of impulsively doing something. I didn’t know where to reach out to for help. I did call a suicide hotline though when I was in Vancouver and it got me in touch with a counsellor who was SO HELPFUL. But even my last manic episode when I was 29, AFTERWARDS when things seemed so bleak, like so so so bleak, it was very hard to see the future and what good things could be waiting. I knew there must be something but I had to do a lot of visualizations to try and see it. A lot of people did try to help me, and I’m glad they did and some of them really did get me through long dark nights.
Anyway, Matthew’s death day comes up in January. And I still wonder with him, and with Jasmine, if there’s something I could have done that would have helped them. Like if I called, or if we had seen Jasmine, or anything. Like everyone left behind has those questions I think. And I wonder what they would be doing in their lives now. It’s a lot to grapple with.
I didn’t realize this Christmas would feel so dark. I don’t feel suicidal though, which I’m glad about, but I did have some thoughts a couple weeks ago, which was hard to deal with. BUT I made it, again, like always. I dunno. I’ve kind of made peace with it, that this dark thought just likes to come up in my head. It’s totally because I’m bipolar, it’s not really me wanting to die, it’s just a symptom of my mood disorder. And I haven’t had long depressive episodes like I used to, not for a long long time. There are just these intrusive bursts of despair that leave as soon as they arrive. I’m sure there are bursts of extreme happiness too, but generally people don’t worry about that too much unless I’m like, TOO HAPPY and get aggro and then it’s like okay Thirza you’re manic right now. But mania has really stayed away from me for a long time.
Anyway, I miss Matthew. And Jasmine. And I worry about who else I am gonna end up missing. And I don’t know how to save people. And I’m not even very good at being with suicidal people myself. Although I do remember sometimes the best thing was just being with someone who were gonna make sure I ate and put me to bed. And just be around them, and not even to talk to them all the time, just like sitting there quietly while they did laundry or something. I dunno.
When I think about having kids, I remember that genetically they have a really good chance of inheriting bipolar disorder. And I think about the challenges of raising a kid who has suicidal feelings. That’s really hard. I think about ways I might be more prepared for it than my Mom was. I think I would take my kid to a psychiatrist sooner than I went.
There’s some people who don’t think people should have kids if we have bipolar disorder, like just because of genetics. But even tho I have this disorder, I still am glad I’m here. I still feel good MOST of the time. I still have a life that is worth living. I hate the idea that people think my life isn’t worth living just because I have a mood disorder. Like that’s so shitty, how can you think that about a human being? Gross.
My kids lives will be worth living, even if they did inherit my mood disorder. At least I would know where we are starting from, at least I could get them help. Everyone has some kind of thing they have to live with. At least I know how to live with it right now.
I feel bad for the ones who couldn’t make it though. Sometimes people’s pain is just too much. Some people I know, I kind of think there was no other way it was gonna end. It never makes it less tragic though.
Anyway. Dark Christmas. But the sun is coming back. And a new year is starting. And there’s always good things coming, not ALL good things, but enough.