Its been a while since I last posted. I visit the site once or twice a week lately, but don’t stay very long…unsure why. Many of you have shown concern for me…I am surprised by this, I would’ve never guessed people would do this. I don’t see myself as the type others would think about. Anyhow. Thank you for this, it makes me feel…human? Better? Alive? Please know I’m grateful, Idfk Anymore.
A lot has happened since my last post March 28th. I wrote that post as I was sitting in the emergency room, having been remanded into custody by a counselor I’d been seeing weekly for almost two months. He works for the county and is required to report patients who display suicidal behaviors, and I guess I was off the charts in terms of doing so, so he called the cops and I was escorted into the E.R. in handcuffs. I wrote that post the evening before I was forced into the psych ward for five days. I was seen daily by a psychiatrist and put on a regimen of medication. The meds have helped stabilize my mood swings, and I am still on them. I wore scrubs and no shoes for five days. Scrubs and socks. I took a shower every evening, and had to shave with a nurse watching me because razors are sharp and can be lethal. They let me have my hoodie, but only after cutting off the elastic string, because countless people choose to hang themselves each year with the strings from their hoodies. I participated in group sessions three times a day with other patients in scrubs and socks, and had three delicious meals each day. At 8 pm, we were given snacks. I usually opted for a cinnamon roll and banana bread, which I kept on the table next to my bed to have something to snack on during the night. Staff acted as waiters and dispensed coffee to any patient who requested it. Decaff only after 2 pm. I checked out a James Patterson novel and spent idle time reading about a New York cop named Michael Bennett as he pursued a mad killer. I spent time on an enclosed outdoor patio, watching the free folks come and go, oblivious to the likes of me and my fellow patients, trapped against our will in a secret, unmarked hospital. I got a nice tan, as the days were bright and sunny. I met Kate, a rather tall girl, around six feet, who checked herself in voluntarily. We sat up late one evening, watching tv and solving all the worlds problems. I wish I’d asked for her number, but its probably best that I didn’t. I felt a strong attraction to her, and she seemed interested in me…as we sat together, reveling in each others company inside a secret, unmarked hospital. I think about her often, and wonder what might have been. Kate.
I visited the site yesterday to re-read a post of exactly two years ago, the death of my pet-child, my furry son. I was surprised to see a post inquiring about me.
I don’t recognize the world or myself anymore. So much has changed in the past two years…since my boy died. My cat, Hooks. My reason for living. I haven’t processed it and am only now beginning to properly grieve. A huge part of me died with him. I don’t want to go on about him. I do that enough by myself.
But…seriously, I don’t recognize the world anymore. I can’t place it, can’t figure out the details…the air I breathe is surreal, the details are pointless. I still want to die, even though the lithium I am taking is supposed to curtail suicidal thinking. It hasn’t. Not one bit.
System, in a recent comment, you wrote: “It’s very hard to re-adjust after an attempt *that* organized. Its’ a traumatic experience similar to ego death. It’s difficult to get back into a regular routine after literally being on deaths doorstep, arguing internally whether you should knock on the door or not.” I don’t know how or why you wrote that, or why you even know that…but in the weeks since I failed at exiting, I’ve been trying to find some logic to what is going on, why the world is suddenly such a foreign place, why I am such a stranger to myself, and what you wrote resonates.
I’ve got a new job. I’m clean, haven’t smoked pot since February 1. My insomnia is clearing up nicely, I’m sleeping much better. I was forced into the psych ward for five days on March 28th, the day of my last post. On the 24th, four days prior, I ended up at a local park, sitting in my pickup truck with my loaded gun, surrounded by 6 cop cars. I sent a goodbye text to family, who called police. They found me, parked under a bridge at around 5 a.m. at the park, and called me to talk me down – my sister gave them my phone number. I was speaking with a police officer by phone for about twenty minutes when I accidentally fired my gun inside my truck – the hammer was cocked, and I was going to release it, but my thumb slipped off the hammer and it fired. The cop heard the gunshot over the phone and asked what happened. I explained the situation to him, and fifteen minutes later an armored SWAT vehicle came rolling into the park and took up position in front of me. A sharpshooter was perched on top of the vehicle with a high powered rifle aimed at me, ready to shoot me if I presented a threat to any of the officers. That’s awkward, folks. I sat and talked with the officer, his name is Kevin. We spent the next two hours on the phone, discussing life and death. All with a trained sniper zeroing in on my head or chest. All I would have had to do was lift my gun and point it at him, and he would have killed me, plain and simple. What I couldn’t manage to do, he would’ve gladly done for me.
Prior to that, I sat at home for almost fourteen hours, unable to find the courage to pull the goddamn trigger. The funny thing is this… that day I ended up at the park surrounded by cops was also my first day at my new job. I was scheduled to start at 8 a.m., but at that time, I had a sniper aiming a rifle at me. Around 10 a.m., Officer Kevin informed me that if I surrendered my gun, they’d let me leave and go home, plain and simple. I slowly opened my truck door, and laid the gun on the ground, and drove home. The entire park was closed off by cop cars, and they just backed off and let me leave. Just like that. I went home, took a quick shower, changed into clean clothes, drove to my new job, explained to the lady that hired me that I was three hours late and would understand if I didn’t have a job anymore. (Officer Kevin called me at home before I left for work, and he offered to call my work and explain that I had been involved in a situation requiring police intervention, if I thought it would help. Nice enough guy.) She just sort of chuckled, and said “It’s fine, don’t worry about it.” She didn’t ask for a single detail, and I didn’t offer any. I went to work, with no sleep, having spent the past seventeen hours contemplating killing myself, with my apartment situated so that whoever entered would find my cats and my final wishes in plain sight, and that would be that. Instead, I simply ended up being three hours late for the first day of my new job.
Four days later, I was committed to the psychiatric hospital by a counselor I’d been seeing for the previous two months. He heard about the incident at the park, and as is his job, he called police when I went in for what was going to be our final visit, and I was taken away in handcuffs. I spent a night in the hospital emergency room, then the next five nights in the psych ward. I was seen by a psychiatrist every day and put on a regimen of medications, mirtazipine and lithium. (I am still on the meds, and have to admit they’ve helped quite a bit with the panic and anxiety I’d been dealing with, but not the suicidal thinking.) I explained to my boss that I was being admitted to the hospital for a mental health observation, and handed her a letter from the psychiatrist who treated me when I was discharged five days later. They don’t seem to really care, and nothing was said of it. Even though I was in the secret, unmarked hospital for five days, I only missed two work days. I am working for a huge retail chain everyone on Earth has heard of. I’m just an insignificant blip on their radar, and so it goes. Nothing was said, I doubt the lady who hired me even remembers anything about me by now. The place I work for is a giant corporate monster. I am just one of their numbers.
And here I am. I am facing a misdemeanor charge of “unlawful discharge of a firearm” in June. I have finally set an appointment to speak with a counselor to deal with grief over my boys loss, and the ensuing depression. I am taking my medication religiously. I am straight, given up pot. I have had my work scheduled cut from 40 hours to around 25 to allow myself time to look for some type of support groups to become a part of and to better facilitate counseling appointments. When I have a better idea of how these options will work out, I’ll build up my work hours again. Right now, I need to work on working on some “issues.”
And I am a stranger in a strange world. I am out of synch with myself, with reality. I don’t have my gun anymore, the cops still have it. My lawyer advises me to let them keep it for now. I will. I’ve begun the process of grieving the loss of my boy, something I should’ve done a long time ago…it is painful, it is sad and difficult, but I recognize that I am beginning to let him go, and as I do, I am taking steps into the world for the first time without him. It is daunting. He was my life, my love, my heart and my soul. He was my reason. Just underneath my surface, there is a fast flowing river of pain, and the current is strong, yet I manage to skirt the raging waters by tip toeing along the banks. The banks are eroding, and without help, I am going to fall into the river and be swept away by the flood waters of grief. The world without him is two dimensional, flat and unappealing. But there is no going back to him, there is no returning to what was, there is only this…right now, and the next moment, and they disgust me. This life, this world, this planet, this species…disgust me.
I am still alive. I could not commit suicide when I was prepared to do so. I couldn’t do it. A simple squeeze of my right index finger, and it would’ve been over so quick…and I couldn’t do it. A trained marksman held me in his aim for almost three hours, no doubt waiting and hoping I would give him reason to add a notch to the barrel of his rifle, and yet I could not give him reason…it would have been so simple to make him feel threatened, and in half a beat of a human heart, he would have fired, and that would have been that. There is a reason I could not die, would not kill myself…I haven’t figured it out yet. There is right now…and right now…and there will be moments following all the right nows, and there will be emptiness and confusion as I move through each one, searching for meaning where there is none.
I’m a day late, but on the two year and one day anniversary of your passing, little boy, I miss you and I love you forever.