Too tired to fight, yet too scared to run

  April 2nd, 2018 by tonytakitani

I was looking for a way to take my own life when I first came across this site and this project. In reading the stories here and knowing that I was not the only one who was suffering, I found some measure of solace. It took me a while to come to the conclusion that I, too, should share the story of how I ended up here. However, because I am not at all a good writer (as a non-native user, writing in English actually makes me anxious), I find writing down my life story a difficult and agonizing task. Day after day, I opened the word processor, wrote down a few thoughts and then deleted everything I’d written because of how shitty they made me feel. Tonight, though, I’ve finally overcome my enduring feeling of powerlessness long enough to write this post. I hope that these words will resonate with some of you here, and make some kinds of impact on your decisions, whatever you ultimately choose to do.

If a therapist asks me “When did you start thinking about suicide?” I would give last September as my answer. For more than half a year now, not a day goes by without me thinking of putting an end to my existence. But my problem goes deeper – much deeper. I’ve been living with anxiety, low self-esteem, and loneliness since adolescence. In my country, mental health is horribly overlooked, and with the exception of the elderly, people are usually stigmatized on the basis of their mental health problems. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” (Tolstoy). But what if unhappiness is the norm and happiness is the exception? Basically, that’s how I saw the milieu wherein I grew up. To suffer in silence is the rule. My parents internalized that rule. I did as well, for a time.

Things apparently changed when I fell in love for the first time. For the first time in forever (yep, that’s a Frozen reference), I could tell another person about my anxiety without fear of being judged. Without being ignored. I was high on love and I couldn’t get enough. But it did not last. After graduation, I went abroad to study. I was determined to preserve this relationship at all costs – and so went home on my first summer break to visit and reassure her of my commitment. But instead of love, what awaited me was a monster from my darkest nightmare – betrayal and deception. Unfortunately, I was there to witness it all. I was broken like never before. I screamed but my scream did not even make any intelligible sound.

After that “incident”, darkness and loneliness were, once again, my only friends. It took me a year to get over the bitterness and be somewhat normal again, although I was empty on the inside. To chase her ghost away, I tried to start a new relationship, but my attempts didn’t go well, mainly because I was too nervous to let my feelings shown, and when I did, things tended to get fucked up very quickly (figuratively, alas). But just when I was about to be exhausted by rejections and half-assed romances, I received an offer from the person I considered one of my closest friends. Without hesitation, I decided to give it a try – she was someone I trusted and cared about deeply. And… it actually worked! We were not each other’s type at first, but we quickly fell deeply and madly in love. Although it was, from the very beginning, a long-distance relationship (about 370 miles long), neither of us was unsure of our long-term commitments. We visited each other at every opportunity. It was simply bliss.

Yet, just when I feel like I was on top of the world, the whole world came crashing down under my feet. When she decided to break up with me, it was three months after our sixth anniversary. Six years – three in college, two in grad school, and just when I moved to the U.S. to start my Ph.D., she told me that she loved me no longer. I never saw it coming. I was broken by love once… but this time, it feels unreal. I begged her to stay. She hesitated for a while, but then said that she couldn’t. And all of this was done through text messages. My anxiety, already intensified by grad school’s stress, was at all-time high while my self-esteem hit rock-bottom. And unfortunate events kept happening, one after another. All the pillars of my (already shaky) personal security, identity, and purposefulness collapsed entirely, one after another.

Finally, the pain has become so unbearable that the only way to put an end to my misery was to commit suicide. Or so I thought. The problem? Methodology. The poet Dorothy Parker put it quite succinctly in her poem, Resume,”Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you, And drugs cause cramp. Guns aren’t lawful; Nooses give; Gas smells awful; You might as well live”. Guns are lawful in America, I know, but the idea of blowing my brain out did not seem very pleasant to me. I’d prefer drugs – but they were the unlawful ones. So I picked the rope. Bought straight from Amazon.

I’ll spare you the details. The short version: I failed. Not one, not twice, but several times. After those attempts, however, I finally sought medical help and got an anti-depression prescription. Still, I keep it a secret that I attempted suicide from my family and friends. They may never get to know that their son/ friend, broken and battered inside, could have had his life ended by a tree branch in a cold winter night. Or… perhaps they might. The rope’s still in my closet, in case I get the gut and am desperate enough to attempt it again. In that case, this may well be my suicide note’s first draft.

(3am. too tired to continue writing)

 

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