Surviving

Trigger Warning for suicide and self harm.

I don’t know how old I was when I had my first suicidal thought. My memories start at around 10 years old, when I was already self harming and wanting to die. Since then, I’ve struggled on and off with being suicidal. It’s often my first thought with even mild stress, even when I don’t want to die at all. Considering that, it’s not surprising that as my health has declined and I’ve been left in unbearable and increasing pain with no explanation and thus no recovery on the horizon, I’ve become suicidal once more.

This time is vastly different to how it was when I was teenager. Back then, even when I wasn’t actively suicidal, I still wanted to die. There wasn’t a moment that I wanted to be alive. Now, there isn’t a moment I don’t want to be alive. I want relief. I want the pain to stop. I want to be functional enough to live, and to enjoy my life. But those aren’t currently possible, and it often seems like the only pain relief available to me is suicide. I am hopeful in my ability to survive, but those feelings can become overwhelming.

There’s a lot that I’m holding on for, but sometimes my grasp slips and fewer things seem worth this daily pain. There’s a lot of people I love, and who love me. There’s a lot of things I’ve done that make me proud. There’s a lot of things I do that make me happy. But this pain is slowly eroding my ability to maintain my relationships, to achieve the things I want to achieve, and to do the things that bring me joy. I’ve written a poem about this and had it published, and I am proud, but more than that I’m tired. I’m tired of this pain, and of this fatigue, and I’m tired of surviving. I’m tired of knowing off the top of my head why I’m surviving, because I have to list the reasons to myself and to my therapist.

But I am surviving. And I’ll keep listing those reasons, and clinging to them. I’ll keep my poem, and the one that inspired it, close to me. I’ll try to forget when I can and for as long as I can that I’m surviving, and wrangle what joy I still can. I’ll love, and I’ll be gentle on myself. I’ll be proud of myself, and reclaim my life and my body even as I feel them both slipping away from me.

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