It’s been a weird few weeks; I’ve ended up with my thoughts going down a lot of familiar bad paths. I’m hoping some of the thoughts are just because of the time of year- around the time of the worst parts happening I tend to get caught up in them.
Anniversary doesn’t feel like the right word, but I don’t know what to use instead. A day where time makes no sense, and the last four years fold down into seconds. Where I remember everything I did and felt as if I was doing it again, a feeling so absorbing that for a while I want to re-enact it. I have two of them, and one is today.
February 25th, 2012 was the day things got weird.
I remember the detachment leading up to that night- the complete alien separation from thinking or feeling. Like the switch of all attention flicked to off, and I couldn’t care about or feel attached to anything… including existing.
Being unable to care was something I couldn’t understand, somehow worse than anything I had been feeling. There’s nothing I hate more than an answer I can’t know. So I started thinking about ways to break the apathy, to force myself into answering the question.
I couldn’t have explained it coherently at the time, but my logic was something like: If I did something to hurt myself, and it didn’t do any major damage and I was happy about that, then I’d know I was ok.
If I did something to hurt myself and felt disappointed when it didn’t do any major damage, then at least I’d know the answer.
If I did something and by sheer chance it killed me, then it would technically solve the problem anyway.
I wasn’t going to act on that plan, then suddenly I was acting on it.
I wasn’t planning on telling anyone – it was going to be my own experiment, just so I could find the answer. Looking back at it now, that degree of detachment seems scary, but at the time it felt completely logical.
After I did it, it didn’t feel like I had done anything. I went and played Xbox with a friend, like nothing was out of the ordinary. Probably two hours later, I suddenly realised what I’d done- I don’t know whether it was the anxiety from that or from what I’d actually done, but I started to feel ill. I panicked, and texted a friend to talk to her, saying I’d done something stupid. She guessed exactly what I meant- it must not have been quite as hidden as I expected.
The rest of that night and the next morning is fuzzy. I know that my friends mum drove me to the hospital, but that I hadn’t needed treatment, just overnight observation. They came back to pick me up the next morning, and I can’t remember what we talked about, just that when my friend mentioned depression my response was “but I’m not depressed”. Logic was not my strong point then.
Parts of that night are lost to me, but some parts seem almost burnt into my brain. The rest of the year, it’s just something that happened. But on the anniversary, it becomes something different; remembering it puts me right back in the situation, making me feel like I want to do it again, to get it “right” this time, even though I know that I don’t.
It’s a confusing feeling. For me, that night feels like a indelible mark; like making that decision, knowing I could make that decision, changed things and changed me.