written Sunday, January 6th, 2019.
This Post Contains a Frank Discussion of Suicide
I’ve been in a crisis for three days now. The one good thing that I can say has come out this is the writing. The pair of French-titled posts are my favourites, with “Un Destin Inéluctable,” among the best things I’ve ever written. It’s uplifted me a bit and inspired me to really think outside the box more often then I was when it comes to this whole writing thing. The surrealists developed the technique of automatic writing, the process of emptying and freeing the mind, writing down any thought that comes before it’s replaced with logic and reason. It’s like meditation and how they teach you to take the thoughts as they come, but just keep them rolling out of your mind as easily as they roll in. Only this time, you roll them all the way out, down your arm, into the pen and onto the page. Along with this sketching I’ve been doing, I’m going to dive into that a bit.
I’m trying to find the art form that will give me freedom of the soul, as well as piece of mind. I’m in this interesting position of watching my little sister become a hippy-dippy type that lives in a van down by the river (by choice), tied with the memories of how much my step-father loved art.
He showed us books of art as kids and explained things to us. He was the reason why I knew that the Ninja Turtles were named after the renaissance painters; he not only just told me that, but he showed me works by all four of them. When I went to Italy for school band, he was a huge champion of the Vatican and the art inside—he said that no matter what you believe, you cannot deny the purity of DaVinci. My father loved DaVinci.
When I got to see the Sistine Chapel, when I got to walk through that sacred hall—even though it was flooded with tourists in defiance of the “no talking, no flash photography” signs—it was like I could feel my baptism tingle. My catholic upbringing and periods of belief all came rushing back to me and I was viewing things through the eyes of a true believer. St. Peter’s Basilica is the most awe-inspiring place I have ever been, and to think that I was just seventeen and feeling all of this, makes me wonder what I would go through today with my father in my heart.
When I think of his connection to art, his paintings (as seen in the photo for this post) and his photography, naturally, I think of his one natural-born daughter. Amorette is a living embodiment of his passions, and I truly think it’s the blood of our mother that lets us soar like we have. My sister has fallen in love with a man who is a very spiritual person, all about connecting the mind, body and the earth. He challenges my positions respectfully, making him a valuable person to have a round. He’s also expanding my sister’s mind in ways I never expected from her.
I’ve been escaping into art, learning about surrealism, watching movies by French directors and searching for a form of expression that will quell this wave of emotion in me. I’ve taken to drawing lines with a ruler. Last night while watching Mulholland Drive, I lost myself in cubes and lines, trying to accomplish depth while never having seriously drawn anything before. I’m not trying to do anything, but there was something about creating order in a world of my own making that soothed me. I’m glad I started this, I’m interested in seeing where it goes.
My journey into surrealism over the past three days has taught me that surrealism itself is what bridges the art, and therefore, the lives between my sister and I. The chaos, reduction of logic and emergence of subconscious fuels everything around us and giving ourselves over to it is was the only way to regain control. Amorette and her Motorhome-life is exemplarily of this. I think her art will reflect the growth she’s about to go through, as will mine. She’s dipping a little toe into my world, and it’s inspired me to dip a little toe into hers.
Thursday night I did something that was completely foreign to me. In a real moment of crisis, I called a friend to be with me, rather than trying to fight the intrusive thoughts alone. It was a big step, as I usually feel completely alone in those moments. I’m tired of being a burden to everyone around me. I just responded to a text from another friend with honesty about my situation, but I keep staring at her response and feeling horrible about throwing that into her day.
On Thursday there was a moment at work that made me spiral. It felt like my first real introduction to an adult-level crisis. It’s fucked up to say, but it feels live I’ve weathered the death of a loved one better than this one meeting. It’s new to me—because I had never seen myself with a future before this job, what I was dealing with felt like the death of a dream. I was disappointed beyond recognition and angry. Angry at myself, at them, at the system, at my mental illness. I tried to get through the evening, but by the time six o’clock rolled around, I had whipped myself into such a frenzy, having imaginary conversations with these people in my mind that I was exhausted. I lay down to sleep, and that’s when the thoughts came.
I had clear visions of jamming belts in doors and leaning into them until my problems went away. I thought of the scarves and ties hanging at the other end of my room, the keys to the fashionable end of an unfashionable life. I thought of the balcony and the fact that my belts probably wouldn’t support the full hanging weight of my body, and then I had a business idea for suicide-proof belts that release the buckle with anymore than fifty pounds of force applied on the clasp (prisons love him for this one simple idea!). And then I thought of my mom finding me.
I gathered anything that could be used to hang myself, along with the craft knives and sleeping pills and put them in the living room, closer to my mom’s bedroom. The simple act of walking towards her closed door brought me closer to the centre again. I went back to my bed, intent on sleeping the emotions away this time, but began to sob. I don’t know how much time had passed, or when I picked up the phone, but it was seemingly already dialing. The night that followed was full of tears and shame, but I’m here to write this on Sunday morning.
I slept on the couch last night, an effort to get away from the negative energy that I’ve filled the bedroom with. I have music playing constantly today, and it’s seemingly sorting out my mind for me. I can already feel myself breath easier. Nothing feels as heavy as it did this morning or in the days past. The only true cloud over my heart is those I’ve hurt with my illness. It’s hard to lose control of yourself in the presence of a person whose sensitivity drew you to them. Like the friend I text today, I pain for the woman I hurt in my darkness.
They support you with all their might and you survive, but each time you take a pound of flesh. They’re just like you, and you know what it feels like to be on the other end—but you’re not as patient as them. If the tables were turned, you’re scared that you’d fail where they succeed. Though, can it be called success if, for one life to live, another has to be degraded?
This series of events, my garbage fire, have changed me in a way that I don’t yet know, but can feel. To truly live, I have to kill a part of myself to be set free; a spiritual suicide is needed in the place of idols and reverence. The past days have proven to me that alignment of ideals is a rare treasure and misplacing your priorities will lock it out of your life forever. All idols are false— but there is a golden compass within yourself, encased in lead. Place yourself in the fire and allow your body to burn, melting the impurities away from the compass. Only then will the needle point true.
I can only theorize what I think will happen, but in the face of the world and other people, my plan always changes. I’m a slave to my nature. I have a doctors appointment on Wednesday, and I think I’m going to ask him to up my meds. I have failed myself repeatedly over the past month, and the things that I was amazed that I could handle at the onset of this medication have become impossible once again. It’s only through the dust of the collapse can I see this. My new normal feels like my old normal, and that is a dangerous place to be—it’s a place that takes everything from me. The ship I’m on has weathered the storms so far, and in my last rebuild I strengthened the hull. Now I’ve got to reinforce the mast.