Warning for Suicide and Self Harm Triggers.
I really was trying not to write this post but I need the contents out of my head and written down somewhere. I really have been doing very well recently, and I’m generally pretty happy with my life. This is only a reflection of the last 24 hour period. This is so I move past it, stop crying, and leave it somewhere.
Five years ago I was in a relationship.
He was not someone I’d usually go for. He wasn’t as intelligent or educated as the people I normally date. He wasn’t a geek – he didn’t even have internet in his home. He watched a lot more TV than I could ever handle and hated the music I like.
We met in a pub after a practise for Samhuinn. We bonded over both being on anti-psychotic medication, got drunk, slept together. He made me change my relationship status on Facebook the next morning. I should have felt pushed or pressured but at the time I didn’t mind.
We went to art galleries and he encouraged my drawing. He was enraptured by dating someone as free-thinking, mused constantly about how I didn’t tell him what to do or try to mould him into a presented vision of a perfect partner.
However, he was also a bipolar alcoholic. I started to have to be guide to his moods, telling him if he seemed manic or depressed. He went on drinking binges which he fully admitted to being attempts to kill himself by drinking himself to death, his organs already heavily damaged by alcohol and drug abuse. Every time he’d phone me, and I’d go over to his and spend a weekend kicking him out of it, sitting with him while he went through detoxing, sleeping next to him while he shook and hallucinated.
I swallowed my own feelings. Smoothed everything out. Soothed everything. Focused on him.
My flatmate banned him from our flat when he drank a whole bottle of Jack Daniels in one sitting then fell over half-naked in the hallway in front of her. She didn’t like him.
My own last suicide attempt was when I was with him. I can’t remember much. I think I’d snapped from swallowing my feelings, said something I regretted, and chased regret with all the paracetamol I could find. I was dragged to hospital to sit on a NAC drip. The decongestants and whatever else was in the large amounts of cold and flu remedy I’d used for the overdose and anti-emetics I was given to go with the NAC made the walls of the room I was in swim while I talked to a mental health professional, trying to persuade him I didn’t need sectioned so I could go home the next day.
I was told after this one more suicide attempt would kill me, I’d be so damaged they couldn’t save me, end of the line buddy.
The idea was pretty attractive at that time.
Skip forward, Valentine’s day. I can tell something is wrong because he’s calling me every hour to find out if I’m coming over, and I keep telling him I have some chores to do and I’ll be there soon. I finish up as fast as I can to get there. I’m so worried that at some point I fail to notice the hourly calls have stopped.
I get there to find him semi-naked and asleep. He’s slurring and can’t seem to focus. I beg him to tell me what he’s done. I ask if I can take him to hospital or the emergancy mental health service, cry, beg and plead for insight on what’s happening. Cider bottles are on the floor. He swears blind he’s not drinking then stops to glug cider from a two litre plastic bottle, spilling some down his front. At some point he admits he’s taken a very large amount of ecstacy.
It all snaps into place. He’s trying to kill himself. He’s invited me along for the ride.
It’s too late for buses to run so I spend the night trying to stop him. Trying to persuade him to go to hospital. Trying not to cut myself as large chunks are gouged from my emotional being. Everything I remember about that night boils down to one scene, staring out the window into the night with my phone clutched to my ear, my lifeline, my flatmate on the other end of the line, telling me to come home.
I leave the next morning as soon as the buses are running. As I leave he gets down on his knees, physically begging me not to go, saying he can’t do this without me.
I feel like my heart is being pulled out my chest as I leave. Ripped out to remain in that swirling hellhole of darkness with him.
A week or so later he asks to meet up with me. In my leaving he destroyed everything in his flat, so refuses to meet there. Instead we meet in a Starbucks in town. I can’t physically speak and can barely look at him, I feel like my entire being has been peeled raw so that even the slightest breeze sends shudders of horrifying pain down my nerves.
He doesn’t speak.
Eventually he gets up and leaves. I face a last tidal wave of emotion. He did all
that to me and then walks out. Abandons me. Anger flashes, regardless of everything I’d honestly been prepared to try and work through what had happened, try and rebuild. Instead I text him to say we’re through, and go home to lick my wounds.
These last few days as Samhuinn approaches, I have had so much happen to remind me of this collection of memories. I’ve spent hours feeling like I’m in his flat, realising how many of the details I can still remember of his rooms and his face. Standing in the doorway being begged not to leave as everything I am splits into two. The days worrying that I’d never hear from him, or that I’d hear that he’s dead. Picturing the destruction of his flat after I left.
I am over him entirely in terms of the relationship. But not what he did to me.