I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, a sort of regular thing.
There was a medical student there, and as part of her training she had to do a patient survey with me.
The subject of my mental health came up and I explained that I have depression, pretty severely at the moment. We talked about medication and why I won't take it, and she asked (as part of the survey) if I had suicidal thoughts.
Tricky question, that.
Answer it wrong and you get to stay in the comfortable padded rooms of the local psych hotel, complete with poorly fitting fashions and all the meds you can (whether you want to or not) take.
Sometimes? That sounds kinda nice. No kids, no chores, no pets, no one else's feelings or hurt or needs or anger to tiptoe around. A whole staff dedicated to taking care of me. Like a spa but less formal. And then there are all the other crazies in there for entertainment - way better than reality TV any day!
Oh, well, yeah, there's that whole not-allowed-to-come-and-go-as-one-pleases thing...that kinda puts a crimp on my style, yo.
And the not having my daughter to cuddle up with for an afternoon nap, or my kids to wake up to in the morning.
And cafeteria food. Oh, Gods, the cafeteria food!
So it's wise to consider carefully and answer as honestly as one can...but for me, that's a tricky thing because honestly? Yes, I have suicidal thoughts. Lately, it seems like they're a chorus, constantly humming in my head. I am sick of life. Sick of feeling flattened, worn down, worn away, worthless and useless, and if I could just shuffle off this mortal coil without having to do the deed myself I would be delighted.
I don't want to live.
I don't want to experience what the world has to offer, or my children's laughter, or how they grow up. I don't want to be responsible for them or their well-being. I don't want to sing. I don't want to write. I don't want one fucking thing to do with anyone or anything. I want, with damn near every bit of my being, to be dead.
All. The. Time.
But I DO, in fact, want to be part of my children's lives...I just don't like feeling like I am screwing them up.
And life is amazing, even when I hate it. Luckily, it doesn't hate me back. Yet.
And I may not want to sing , but I need to. It's part of the fabric of my being and, like oxygen, I cannot seem to do without it (even when I believe, absolutely, that no one wants to hear it)(my disease, my thoughts, and I can believe in pink unicorns but that doesn't make them any more real).
And I would very much like to feel like a writer again, if only there was time or opportunity and I didn't feel so overwhelmed by everything else that needs doing and so unnecessary to the writing world.
And, you know, there's that promise I made all those years ago...the one where I said I wouldn't off myself. And I don't break my world. Ever. Even when I really, really, really, really, really want to. A lot.
So. I know that when medical folks ask about suicidal thoughts, what they really want to know is if there's any imminent danger of one acting on those thoughts...and in my case, there is not. So I can tell them "No" and it's the answer that best fits the question even if it' not, entirely, honest.
Because in the end? It doesn't matter what I am thinking or feeling or what I want. And really, institutional Jell-o is all the motivation I need to smile and keep on as if nothing is wrong in the world, and since I cannot actually DO what I would like to about how I am feeling, it's all good. Right?