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Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey

Posted by leeran on April 24, 2003, at 16:33:28

In reply to suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please, posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 14:32:18

Your post reminded me of something.

Every time I drive by a certain hotel in the metropolitan area where I now live I get a really uneasy feeling. This feeling goes back to something that happened about twenty years ago. It's odd to think about it because I ended up living out here, and at the time I would never have believed my life would take such a weird series of turns that would result in me occasionally driving by this emotional landmark from my past.

This hotel is very tall, and circular, almost like a tower. I was out here in my early twenties, on business (sounds so laughable because I was still such a baby and probably had no business being anywhere!), and I spent one night in this hotel.

Weird, even when I type this I feel shaky.

I had a room that faced toward the city and it was on one of the upper floors. Unlike a lot of other high rises, this hotel did not have screens or any kind of protective barrier at the window. When the sliding doors were open there was about six inches of a ledge with a railing - and then the wild blue yonder.

I am very certain when I say that I had never had any suicidal tendencies up until that night, and I don't even know if this WAS a suicidal tendency or just a weird thought that took on a life of its own.

Once I looked over the edge of that railing I became obsessed (now, as I type this I'm beginning to see that it was OCD at work) with the thought of "what if I walk over to that door, open it, climb over the railing and jump?"

Once this thought invaded my consciousness I couldn't let it go. I went out for awhile and came back after dinner and the thought was there waiting for me, like a weirdly packaged mint on my pillow. Like you, I wasn't in some kind of a trance. I wasn't on any medication and I hadn't even had a drink at dinner.

I remember that night so vividly. The movie "Coal Miner's Daughter" was playing on HBO and I can't think of that movie or hear that song without thinking of that scary night (such a blessing I don't like country music).

I just laid there, afraid to go to sleep because I might sleepwalk myself straight to that railing without knowing any better.

Writing this down makes it all seem so textbook simple, but it certainly wasn't back then.

It's obvious to me now that, after being alone for a few days in a strange city, I had crossed that scary line of not trusting myself. My fear of being alone, or of something bad happening to me, must have manifested itself into a feeling that I wasn't in enough control of myself to prevent myself from literally going over the edge.

It feels like I'm talking about someone else because it was almost half a lifetime ago, but I think it was probably some elaborate scheme I created to see if I was capable of trusting myself.

I've stayed in many hotels since then and have never had that urge again.

Strangely, one of my "life epiphanies" came twelve years later in yet ANOTHER hotel in this town. In fact, it was the day I officially acknowledged that there was something really wrong with me.

BUT, there are a LOT of things that are right about me, and about you, too, mmcasey (and about every one of us here on this board and everywhere).

Something about that night made me who I am today. Right at this moment. I think it might be similar to your moment with the pills. It happened, and now you're rummaging around trying to make sense of it. Maybe you won't make sense of it today, but you're willing to take a look at it now and that won't make it as painful later on.

When I checked out of the hotel the next morning I left that night up there in that room.

Last week, the night before I "crashed" we drove by that hotel on the way home from dinner. As usual, I looked away and turned up the radio. The static can be so safe.

BUT TODAY, thanks to Wellbutrin, and your courage in writing about your experience, it brought back that memory and as I am typing this it feels much less shameful.

I don't know why the word "shame" comes to mind, I suppose it's because I saw that night as a form of weakness in myself when in fact (for me), it was part of a mental illness I didn't even know I had. Had I been given a diagnoses of high blood pressure in that room it wouldn't have been remembered as shameful, so there you have it - the stigma of depression, etc. (didn't you bring that up a week or so ago?). Not only do we have to worry about the stigma from others, but we have to put up with it in ourselves!

Thank you, mmcasey, for being so open with your experience. You are SO brave and I'm kind of riding in your wake, like a "wheel sucking" leach(as bicyclers call it).


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poster:leeran thread:222030
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