me and january 04. 2018 – san francisco part one

(just a warning, friends…the san francisco confession is chock full of triggers.)  

 

it is the month of july. today is wednesday, and i’ve made the decision to fly to san francisco. i decide that i am going to fly to san francisco, and i’m going to kill myself by jumping off the golden gate bridge.

and now that i’ve made this decision, i feel like i’m able to breathe normal again. when was the last time i felt this way? when was the last time i could take a breath that wasn’t something that sounded like an inhale stuck between a defeated sigh and an optimistic choke? i can’t tell you. it happened slowly, then so suddenly, and until a couple of minutes ago it was my new normal.

i’ve been watching myself, slowly shattering for the last few months, and earlier this morning i realized that i can’t hide the cracks any longer. i’ve felt them on my cheeks and on my neck, and now they are on the backs of my hands and soon enough they’ll be crawling into my goddamn eyes.

this morning, i sat in a dark office at work and i cried. i needed to talk to somebody. i needed to try and make sense of things. but i’ve been scared, and sometimes i get so scared that i can’t even look people in the eyes for more than a quick second, just because i know they’ll be able to see everything. and i already feel like i’m so close to losing everybody that i care about, because how can they put up with me? i can’t talk to anybody about this. my friends, my friends are good people. the best people. but they all have lives. they have lives that do not deserve my intrusive bullshit. i’m too much, and sometimes, i’m way more than too much. like this morning, sobbing at my desk, i was way more than too much.

a couple of people passed by me and asked me what was wrong. i told them i didn’t know. but i do know. i know of a hundred different things that are wrong. some of them are awful, stupid, sickening, selfish, embarrassing, sad, (insert any other description here) – and now as i sit on my couch i realize that even if somebody were to kick my door down now with a bottle of whisky and an eager ear, i’m well past the point where i can talk. i’m alone now in this sun-lit apartment, and i’m ready to be done with it all.

when i was finally able to stop my tears this morning i had to sneak out of the office and walk as fast i could past everybody to get to the elevator. i was convinced that every single co-worker had heard me breakdown (they had not) and now they were watching me from the sides of their eyes as i rushed past them (they were not). i went downstairs, got into my car, and i was free from all of the imaginary glances and real-life questions. i had no idea what i was going to do, and i was alone. just myself – some empty guy with a broken heart and broken mind and small ears and black-framed glasses. a nap was not going to help this time. a dairy-free clonazepam milk shake with ice cream was not going to help this time.

but maybe a gun would.

for the past month, i’ve stopped playing candy crush on my smoke breaks, and while i sit in the company of co-workers, passing acquaintances, and even friends, nobody knows that i’ve been staring at my phone researching different methods of suicide. i’ve not even been actively suicidal, but i’ve been feeling bad, and sometimes this kind of shit comforts me. sometimes, when the bad turns to worse and beyond that, reminding myself that suicide is a real option is enough to get me through another day. i’ve said this many times. the reason is simple, and unfortunately not easily understood by those who have never been in this spot.

my history of suicide attempts is not a secret – if you’ve read this blog – and i’ve always tried my hardest to explain how dark that darkness is, how quiet and isolated, and how worthless one can feel when your suicide attempt becomes another messy-painted failure. long ago i promised myself that when – not if, but when – i tried again, i wouldn’t and couldn’t fail, and now i need to know that i have a fool-proof way out if it comes to that. so, i’ve recently begin to flirt with the idea of buying a gun.

even though most of my family lives in the mid-west, i’ve never shot a gun, and i’ve only actually held a real one once in my life. i hate them. they bother me, and i’m not a fan. but i’ve thought about it, and if that’s what it’s going to take, then i’m certain i can use one if it comes to that.

there are so many decisions that i need to make – what kind of gun should i use? what part of my head should i point it at? where should i go to do this? the one thing i do know is that i don’t want anybody that i care about to be the person that finds my body. once i’m gone everybody might say that i was selfish for what i did, how i thought of nobody but myself, but they won’t know that at this moment i am thinking of my friends and loved ones, and how i can spare them the horror of discovering my body.

i recently realized that i have no idea if i can even legally buy or own a gun. the laws are silly, a little confusing, and my paranoia is at an all-time high. i’m afraid of trying to buy a gun, the store doing a background check on me, and the seller coming back up to the front of the store demanding to know why somebody with an extensive history of various mental illnesses and multiple psychiatric hospitalizations suddenly has an interest in owning a firearm. there’s no doubt that he’s convinced that i’ve lost my shit and am now plotting revenge. maybe i’m a religious zealot. maybe i’m a political nut. maybe i hate my ex-wife and her ugly mother and her new boyfriend. or maybe my plan is to shoot up a church, a high school prom, a random AA meeting, or even a fucking taco bell. i can see this montage of hypothetical scenarios replaying itself in his head while he imagines himself stuttering through a heartfelt apology on CNN a week later.

never mind the fact that it is statistically proven that individuals with severe mental illness are less likely to commit a mass shooting.

never mind that, because according to sean hannity or bill o’reily or the fucking NRA…

and in my mind, i see myself trying to nervously explain to some nosy and nervous gun dealer that he has it all wrong, and that i have no interest in shooting anybody except myself. i will tell him that i promise and that i swear to god if that’s what he wants me to do. i’ll sign a blood oath if it means that he will just take my money, give me the gun, not ask me any more questions, and not call the fucking police. we all know that if i offer a pinky swear, he has no reason not to trust me, right?  i stress out about this purchase. this will be the hard part.

picking out a location? that will be the easy part.

it’s when i begin to think about locations – anonymous hotel rooms, private property fields in the neighboring suburbs, downtown alleyways with dumpsters and mice – that my mind begins to wander. and for some reason, i start thinking about that bridge. that beautiful and majestic bridge. that bridge that sits in the middle of my mind every time i hear the theme song to ‘full house.’

it’s been years since i’ve watched the documentary about golden gate bridge jumpers, and even back then it never entered my mind as an actual option. as much as i hate guns, i hate heights even more. i also have a long-standing phobia about being in bodies of water where i cannot see the bottom, and having unknown fish, or snakes, or other unknown critters – while it could very well just be something as innocuous as seaweed, it’s most likely something far more sinister – gently brush by my legs gives me the goddamn willies. without even thinking about it, these two fears have been more than enough to keep the bridge from even trying to nominate itself for the honor.

but now i’m thinking about the bridge. and maybe this means that i’ve fallen far enough. far enough to that place where my rational mind is a now a stranger that i never knew.  maybe this means i should at least give this some more thought.

and that’s what i’ve done for the past two hours. i went online to watch the documentary again, and as i looked for it i stumbled on an article about a potential suicide barrier that might be going up around the bridge to prevent – or deter – the amount of people that jump from the bridge every year. i read that article four times, and then i found the original story that was published in the ‘new yorker’ magazine and ultimately inspired the documentary. i read that story repeatedly. repeatedly. i read about the bridge, the history of the bridge, the personal stories of the jumpers, the statistics, and most importantly, how suicide from the bridge was a four second fall of almost two hundred and fifty feet that would cause most of my organs to explode on impact. i found myself setting a timer on my phone for four seconds, just to see how long four seconds really was. i did it over and over again. i closed my eyes, held my breath, and imagined myself stepping from the bridge. i set the timer, and the seconds ticked – quickly, and i’m falling, falling, and do i spread my arms out or hold them tightly at my side? what the fuck do i do with my arms?

4…………

i’m falling. i know the time is going quickly, but i have enough time to think. to imagine. one man who jumped from the bridge and survived in 1985 famously said that he changed his mind the moment after his leap: “i instantly realized that everything in my life that i’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable – except for having just jumped.”

3…………

and behind my closed eyes i am weightless and i am just a feather floating to the ground.

2…………

this was the answer.

1…………

and a fucking splash. a glorious splash.

and then darkness.

i think about how quick four seconds seems while i am on my couch, but i can easily believe that it could feel like twenty minutes when one is falling to their death. only a small handful of people out of more than one thousand have ever survived that jump, but to me, the odds were spectacular. the tales of instant regret by survivors did nothing to dissuade me. i think about their last-minute epiphanies, and i’m happy that they survived. it’s what was meant for them. it’s not what is meant for me. i think about how i can never again try swallowing pills and taking the chance of waking up. i think about how this is the solution i’ve been looking for. the odds of surviving are so small, and this idea is becoming more attractive by the minute. i read that sometimes they can’t even find the body of the jumper – depending on when and what part of the bridge they jumped from, it was possible for the body to be quickly swept out to sea and lost forever in a matter of moments. while that isn’t the norm, even the possibility of that happening was a bonus. ideally, nobody would ever have to drag my dead, bloated body out of the water. nobody would have to see what damage i had just done. nobody would have to see me as a bag of skin filled with shattered bones and ruptured organs. and the longer i thought about everything, the more i found myself starting to not give a shit about the height and the questionable marine life. i can deal with the height. maybe i just won’t look down. maybe i can just climb over the safety rail to the other side, quickly, just in case somebody decides to try and talk me down or even grab me. maybe i can climb over the safety rail to the other side, position myself on “the chord,” turn around, and fall backwards. maybe i’ll close my eyes, or maybe i’ll leave them open. it won’t really matter at that point. and as far as the water creatures go…if i don’t die on impact, i won’t be too concerned about what might be crawling on my broken legs or chewing on my eyeballs hours later.

so the bridge is the answer.

today is wednesday.

and now that i’ve made this decision, i can breathe normal again. maybe for the first time in weeks. and i book a flight to california for early friday morning.

 

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~ by alltheavenueslookugly on 2018/01/04.

2 Responses to “me and january 04. 2018 – san francisco part one”

  1. Oh, Sean… I love you. I understand, but I love you. ❤

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