It’s been a rough couple of months for me. I’ve felt myself slowly begin to lose hope in things, ever since my little sister Kelsey passed away. Car crash with her friends, they were hit by a drunk driver. She was only 15.
I remember back when we were younger, how we used to fight like cats and dogs. How she would take 30-minute showers and leave me with no hot water. How I would log in to her Facebook on her phone and post embarrassing statuses. Back then we used to always be fighting… I would give anything to have that again. As cliché as it sounds you truly do never know what you have until it’s gone.
With my only sibling gone I quickly began to turn back to my old ways. By that I mean drinking, smoking weed, using pain killers, just anything I could to numb the pain. One of the hardest feelings of losing a sibling which I don’t hear many people talk about, is all the guilt that comes along with it. Seeing as she was my only sibling, I felt the weight of the world descend upon my shoulders. I felt an intense pressure for me to be successful. I have to be great, I have to be happy, if nothing else than but for my parent’s sake. I know that may sound selfish, and I have tried ignoring it, but the more I do, the better I think I am becoming, the worse I seem to myself.
It just felt as though all my hope and enjoyment had suddenly evaporated. No matter what I did I could not escape the terrifying thought of how insignificant our lives truly are. The thought just about drove me crazy, and it began to seep into every aspect of my life. I found myself suddenly reclusive and unreasonably distant from everything. All the passions I once held, all the dreams I had worked for, died with Kelsey.
As luck would have it, the time for random UA’s arrived at my work, and of course, my name was drawn. With my recent intake of all sorts of illicit substances, I knew I didn’t have a chance. And seeing as how I had no chance to pass the test, I quit my job. This of course led to further depressive sentiments as my 3 years employment was suddenly all for nothing. I struggled to find new work, and began to grow increasingly irritated and hopeless. Eventually my girlfriend got tired of supporting my depressed and lethargic ass, and left me. I don’t blame her, I would’ve left too.
Which leaves me here, in my pathetic rock bottom of a state. Unwilling to die and cause my parents and friends more pain, yet unwilling to live or seek help. I find having any reason at all to put on a smile each day is now all but impossible. I’m not even living anymore, just existing. I find myself criticizing and obsessing over every mistake I’ve ever made while simultaneously brow-beating and metaphorically bashing my head into the wall in a futile attempt to atone for my sins. On the precipice overlooking the eternal great unknown, and I hear it calling my name.
I’m at my Witt’s end, but I’m done caring about what happens to me. However, I don’t write this for sympathy, nor do I want anyone’s help. Like I’ve said, it wouldn’t matter anyways. Everyone is busy with their lives, they shouldn’t have to waste time on some who has fallen through the cracks like me. The only reason I write this, is because I’ve been noticing some strange things about myself lately.
It started about a month ago. I found myself waking up on a cold hard floor. The bathroom floor at about 4am. It was peculiar yet not unheard of for me to do this, especially after drinking too much and laying next to the porcelain for vomiting convenience. What struck me as odd however, was I had absolutely no memory of going in there. Don’t get me wrong, I had drunk about a 6 pack and snorted a Percocet the night before, so I was reasonably buzzed. But even in my most drunken states I’ve never completely forgotten everything. Always had at least bits and pieces at the very least. The event was strange, but I ended up just reasoning that I must’ve been significantly more gone than I realized.
It didn’t stop there though as a few nights later I found myself waking up in my car. I was just sitting there in my garage, leaning against the driver seat window. Why or how my inebriated self would choose to crawl into my 97′ Jeep Cherokee at 2am was beyond me. I had been sufficiently intoxicated the night before like most nights, but no matter how drunk I got I had never attempted to drive. I may be stupid, but not that stupid. Y’know, because of the whole my sister being killed by a drunk driver thing. Tends to make you want to avoid destroying anyone else’s life. Doesn’t help that the dirt bag responsible got nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a benign 3rd degree manslaughter charge. Two and a half years for killing someone. God bless the United States justice system.
Anyways I began to wonder if perhaps I was suffering from some sort of sleep walking disorder. The thought crossed my mind of visiting a doctor, but I hadn’t the funds nor insurance to afford that. And so I did nothing. Typical.
From that point on though, things began to get exponentially more troubling. A night later from my previous event I found myself waking up in the exact same spot. My piece of shit Cherokee, only this time the car was running and garage door closed. I awoke in a violent fit of deep-throated writhing and coughing, struggling to breathe. My vision was blurry and my head was pounding like someone had beat me unconscious with a baseball bat. I managed to narrowly open my car door and fall to the hard cement below, further increasing my headache.
I stumbled haphazardly to the garage door, throwing it open just in time to prevent the CO2 from doing irreversible damage. I crawled out onto the driveway and attempted to catch my breath. Slowly my heartrate began to stabilize, but only after I had regurgitated my dinner of Taco Bell and whiskey into the front lawn. As with previous nights, I had no memory of how I got out into my car. Again, I did my best to recall the previous nights, but no matter how hard I tried I got nothing. Absolutely nothing.
The next day I pondered over these troubling recent events. My lack of coherent recollection had begun to deeply unnerve me, and I decided it would be best to at least talk to my parents. It had been quite a while since our last interaction, and I knew they had been worried as of late. Despite my hesitance I knew it would be good to see them again. And so I loaded up and drove my Jeep an hour back to my parents old home.
My parents were ecstatic to see that I had come to visit. Mom insisted upon me staying for dinner, while Dad poured me a bourbon and we sat down to catch up in the living room. We talked about a lot of things. Politics, society, God, mysteries, all the usual stuff. My dad and I would often talk about any number of various things for hours on end. He is a very intelligent man who always keeps an open mind, and I value his input quite a bit.
Eventually the subject of my late sister arose, and things decidedly took on a much more solemn tone. He asked me if I had been coping alright. I of course lied and told him I was ok. He asked about work and my girlfriend, and again I lied not wanting to worry him or make it seem like anything was wrong. I’ve never been good at admitting when I feel down or depressed. I just hate the thought of someone else knowing how much of a pathetic sadsap I truly am. I cannot imagine how some people within society go around looking to be victims of something. I abhor the feeling, and in fact outright refuse it. I’d rather be dead than admit I’m struggling. Sorry, I tend to go off on tangents sometimes I know.
Regardless, Dad seemed satisfied with my answers, although I’m not sure he was entirely convinced. We sat talking long into the night, and ate a delicious meal of dumplings, baked potatoes and perogies. Mom was always an awesome cook, and I only realized how much I missed her cooking after I had gone long intervals of surviving solely on ramen noodles and cheap deli meat.
We sat around after dinner for a while, dad and I puffing cigars while mom sipped on her tea. My parents never outright admitted it, but they were different ever since Kelsey had passed. They put on a happy face whenever anyone was around, but I know it was all a facade. Mom harbored a look of deep sorrow in her eyes now, and Dad seemed to drink quite a lot more than he used to. I guess we all had our problems, but none of us wanted to admit it. We continued chatting late into the night, while sipping bourbon all the while. Eventually I got to the point of being too inebriated to drive, and so I decided to stay the night there.
I ascended the stairs after wishing my parents goodnight, and made the trek into my old familiar childhood bedroom. It was exactly how I remembered it. Posters of bands like Disturbed and Godsmack still draped on the walls, with my pride and joy: a signed Broncos jersey from Ed McCaffrey in its glass case on the wall. I took a gander at all my old juvenile paraphernalia for a while, and decided to take a look and see my sister’s old room as well.
I found her room relatively the same as well. Pictures of her and her friends all enshrined on her desk, with her large collage of her favorite bands and actors on her poster board. Pretty much the standard high school girl’s room I guess. I got caught reading a picture book on her desk for a while. Pictures of Kelsey with her soccer team, family photo’s of us on our annual trips to California to see family. I felt myself overcome with sadness upon viewing it, and began to quietly weep as I flipped through the pages. I would’ve given anything to take her spot. I flipped through the pages for an hour or so, before finally heading back to my old room to get some rest.
Sleep was almost instantaneous when my head hit the pillow. Next thing I know, I once again found myself waking up on the bathroom floor. I squinted while the oppressive bathroom light beamed down from above. Disorientated and weak for some reason I tired lifting myself from the floor, but to no avail. I began to become slightly panicked, as I felt a warm thick liquid pooling around my torso and arms. I thought for a moment I had pissed myself, but the reality was far more disturbing. Eventually I struggled to lift my neck and discovered the source of the warm liquid feeling. Blood, a ton of blood. More blood than I had ever seen in my life, at least outside of movies and stuff. It was everywhere.
I began to panic as I attempted to sit up and view myself more properly. I stumbled as I felt severely light-headed from losing so much blood. I managed to fling the door open before screaming out into the dark. Moments later I felt my consciousness fading and once again everything went black.
I awoke sometime later, once again to the view of harsh artificial lighting. The beeping and whirring of machinery could be heard emanating from around me. Groggily I peered around the room until my eyes fell on several fuzzy figures. My eyes began to slowly focus until I recognized the figures as my parents, my friends Chris and Alex and my ex-girlfriend Cynthia. They all wore expressions of something akin to sorrow and confusion. They moved towards me and embraced me gently. Mom and Cynthia began crying, while dad asked me what had happened. Alex and Chris offered support, but I could tell from the looks on their faces that they were horrified. I had no recollection and was unable to give him a clear answer.
The doctor entered the room a couple of minutes later and greeted all of us. He talked as doctor’s normally do, before asking me my opinion on what it was I believed happened. I told him the truth, that I had absolutely no idea. It was than that his look of sympathy changed to one of deep concern. It was very subtle, as doctors need to be good at hiding emotion for the patient’s sake. But it is the eyes that give away everything. Try as you may, the eyes do not lie.
The doctor then proceeded to inform us that I had suffered a partially severed radial artery, inflicted by a kitchen knife which was found in the same bathroom. My friends and parents were horrified and were certain that there must’ve been some assailant which had broken into my parents house that night and attacked me. However, those feelings were quickly abandoned when the doctor revealed that it appeared to be a self-inflicted wound. Mom and dad couldn’t believe it. And all people in that room minus the doctor seem to collectively stare at me in horror. They were shocked and horrified that I would try something so radical as to kill myself.
Mom began weeping hysterically while dad began to yell in a way that I had never seen him yell before. I’ve seen him angry plenty of times, but this time it was out of confusion and utter devastation. The tears began to flow from his eyes, as he demanded to know why I would attempt such a thing. My friends meanwhile simply looked on, unsure of what exactly to say or how to react to such troubling news.
I tried to console them, but how is such a thing even possible? I had tried to kill myself and I didn’t even remember doing it. How was I supposed to explain that to them? I found myself babbling and apologizing for some time afterwards. My parents outright refused to accept my apology and began to speak about having me checked into a mental hospital. I tried to protest, but honestly, that was probably exactly what I needed.
I began sessions with an emergency psychiatrist later on that week. She was a nice woman, who spoke kindly and genuinely seemed to leave all predisposed judgement aside. For the first time in my life, I was completely honest with someone. I told her everything, about my sister about me losing my job and the feelings of hopelessness which occurred after. I told her I wanted to die, but I didn’t want to die at the same time. I just wanted to cease to exist and have no one miss me.
Despite all that, I swore to her that I did NOT knowingly try to kill myself that night. Truth is, I’m probably too much of a coward to go through with it. I told her I didn’t remember a thing about that night after I went to bed, and that it wasn’t the only strange event for me.
She patiently listened to all I had to say in a session which stretched much longer than the hour-long time allotted. In the end she offered me a somewhat unorthodox explanation. She outright admitted that my case was bizarre and something she had not seen before. Despite the evidence she didn’t believe I was consciously suicidal.
She offered a theory about my blackouts and what it was that may be causing them. The constant focus upon the depression I suffered with and the hopeless feelings and hatred I put myself through on a daily basis would have seemed to have influenced my subconscious. By constantly dwelling upon these extremely negative emotions, she believed that I had altered the chemical makeup of my brain. She compared the symptoms to that of a remedial illness. Normally, the body uses antibodies to fight off infection, only this time, my body had been conditioned into believing that my own mind was the infection, and thus began to influence it to try and destroy itself. All of this without my conscious knowing anything about it.
I was flabbergasted by her explanation and to be honest completely disbelieving of it. However, the more I thought about it, the more it kind’ve made sense. I didn’t believe something like this could be possible, but seeing as how sleepwalking and sleepdriving are a thing I guess anything is possible. She called the diagnosis Subconscious Suicide Syndrome and recommended me for a local psychiatric ward for further evaluation and treatment. I wanted to object, but I know if I did that my parents would have gotten a court order to put me there. They would do anything to save me, and I know that, so I went along with the doctor’s and my parents’ wishes.
That brings me to today. I leave for the hospital in a few hours and hopefully they can cure me of whatever the hell this is. I gotta be honest though, I don’t have a lot of hope. The best they’ll be able to do is pump me full of some anti-psychotic meds and pray for the best. Maybe I’ll even get a little electroshock therapy or a full frontal lobotomy. I hope it works out, not for my sake, but because my parents don’t deserve to have to bury another child. But I don’t see it working, how am I supposed to escape when the biggest danger to myself has and always will be me? I can’t run from myself and I can’t force my mind to change. They can lock me up, sedate me and physically restrain me, but one way or another my subconscious will eventually get what it wants. The mind always wins in the end.
Wish me luck I guess.