Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Hamlet Decision

As I mentioned in my first blog post I will be exploring and writing about the things in my life that I struggle with. Some of those things are ugly and dark and this one is one of the darkest I've written so far. It is of course the truth and although it is about one of the dark times it is a reminder to me that I survived. Not that I was kidnapped or forced into heroic deeds to save myself or others from impending doom. This fight was against myself and it is still one of the biggest fights of survival I have faced. Depression and self hatred is one battle that is fought on almost every given day. This day in particular was life and death. I'm glad I chose the first one. I have been on both sides of the coin. When I say this I mean I know what it's like to lose someone from suicide. 3 someones in particular and knowing what it feels like to be in so much emotional pain and woe that it seems like the only option. I sympathize but I pray I never hurt my family and love ones in that way.

“To be or not to be...” this opening to a Shakespearean soliloquy is one of the most frequently quoted partial lines I have ever heard. Hmph! Shakespeare would be the one to make the prospect of suicide poetic. Truth of the matter, being in the moment of contemplation is anything but. It can be a form of madness, a chasm of grief, but poetic? Sad to say I have thought about this more than once and I have been in and put myself in situations that it is a wonder that I am here now writing about it and not six feet below in a dirt nap.

Working in an office no matter where can be a dehumanizing experience and with the idea of global corporate takeovers things can become even more so with drab cubicles and mundane ideas of buying out something being run by people who care, and have feelings to an artificial form called a corporation. Corporate is black and white. People have gray areas. Those gray areas are what make people different it is what makes Sally outgoing and happy and what makes Mary shy and sweet. Corporation’s job is to squash all of that. Take that out of an equation and make Sally and Mary the same. As an artistic type, that was the beginning of work week misery.
(Okay, I hate the corporate ideal. You got that part. Don't worry, I'm moving on.) As a person dealing with depression, I would like to mention that I hadn't at this time been seen or treated chemically for this matter. I hid my sorrow publicly with jokes and sarcasm because it was a coping mechanism that had seemed to work so far. This particular day was different. Aside from the self injury rituals I was performing almost daily, I was also starving myself. In two months I lived off 4 foods celery, raisins, pickles, and on occasion half of a 100 calorie snack pack. I was also purging when I slipped up and ate a pear or cookie. Anything that varied was a reason to hate myself more. This particular dark day was evaluation day. The day most people look forward to as a day to get a raise. It's also known as the day your boss gets to tell you how you don't measure up according to corporate (Oops! Thought I was done). I had gone above and beyond my job description by being available to doctors and some staff as the “Spanish translator” some people teased me with that. Truth is I should have sent corporate a damn bill. My job was to prep charts, relieve front desk, relieve switchboard, answer the phone as medical records, which was another umbrella for whatever the heck no one else wants to do. I also had to get records from satellite clinics for insurance companies on behalf of patients. Not to have to go into exam rooms and see people in many forms of undress and tell them that they have cancer. In any language that sucks! I did get a thank you but it followed with how I will never get a perfect evaluation because we always have something to improve on. Those words rolled around in my head all day and by the time lunch came around I was screaming in my head that I was worthless and no matter what I do in my job I will never be perfect. I will always be striving for something always unattainable! At that moment I was done. I had been longingly gazing at the parking garage every time I passed one of the offices with windows. Not because my car was there and I wanted to drive off in the sunset and give corporate the proverbial finger but because I had started having twisted fantasies of throwing myself off the top. On most lunch breaks people make decisions between the spaghetti or the salad, to eat outside or inside, to eat what is in the brown bag you brought from home or spend extra cash on a restaurant choice. That day mine was Shakespearean. I stood at the top of the parking garage slight breeze blowing the hair across my forehead and I touched the wall. It was warm. Not what I was expecting. The sun had been beating down on it. “Is this high enough?” My spoken question startled me. I had spent most of the day in my head. Every question and every word had been unspoken. I glanced at the lager hospital parking garage visible from where I stood. Nope. Too close to the hospital. Need to make sure this is over. I need to make sure not to waste anymore space. I stood there playing tug of war with my psyche. Angry with myself for not achieving enough and knowing this would be penance. How? This would be a nuisance to whoever had the unfortunate job of cleanup. This place is better without you. You are poison. Will my bills be a burden to my parents. This place is better without you. You are poison. How will my best friend handle this? This place is better without you. You are poison. Everyone of those questions were answered the same. Now I had to look for a car old enough not to have an alarm. One close to the wall I can climb on and see where I would land. No, I might change my mind if I look. This place is better without you. You are poison. I need to get a bit of a run and leap. Do I really want to do this? Yes, this place is better without you. You are poison. My dog, what will happen to Freckles? This place is better without you. You are poison. Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! “Shut up!!!!” For the first time ever I told that negative voice that reminded me all my life that I wasn't enough to shut up! Why? I don't know really. Maybe it was the India that wanted to live. Maybe because I stopped being selfish and thought of how my precious beagle who had done nothing and had spent earlier years chained to a stake outside until I brought him home to live with me. He deserved a good life and I couldn't insure that unless I was here. (Call bullshit if you want but at that moment that is what I clung to).

So in the moment of hopelessness and despair, what do you cling to?