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Why a Bathroom Mop Made Me Decide Not to Die by Suicide

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Editor's Note

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

I locked myself in the bathroom and cried.

Bathrooms, for me, are sacred spaces. I have never had a sense of time; I oscillate between being absent-minded to extreme panic. In bathrooms, I find myself surrounded by an awkward silence — one that embraces rather than pushes you away.

In the movies, I’ve been told that bathrooms are dark places — the intense lovemaking, contemplation, breakdowns or a killing. As a 20-something diagnosed with depression, I find this funny. I laugh at how all these actions account for a single, isolated emotion. I do not understand this isolation, for my excursions into the all-tiled heaven seem to be an amalgamation of everything isolated.

When I lock myself in, I cry, I laugh, I think or I simply shut down — all this before I open the door and finally embrace reality. It’s a blessing to not be aware of the passing time. I tend to think of it as only passing and live in it, in its truest, present sense.

Every bathroom has a mirror I can stare into. I often take a long stare at my face, thinking of what I look like right now. Somehow, I do not recall what I looked like, but my mind can tell I was happier.

Tears streamed down my face and I tried to fight it with the water that gushed through the tap. I thought of the tap, its edges, and how they’re weren’t quite sharp. I broke down and there was a mild ache in my stomach. The voices outside began to consume me — my mother, my grandmother. They weren’t talking about me and were engaged in a conversation about a family wedding. They had no idea I came in to hurt myself.

I looked for things around me. There was a mop I thought I could harm myself with. I grabbed it and lifted it up but I couldn’t do it. I rested my head on the stick and cried. It was something about that strength in my tiny hands, my intention to grab something that was otherwise so perfectly irrelevant in order to kill myself.

There was no clock to tell me the time but there were objects that were reminders of a past I seemed to have trivialized.

This inanimate object was a reminder of all the days I didn’t look at it — the days I looked at the mop and thought it was insignificant. The days I was definitely happier. I realized that significance; life and time go hand in hand. The days I thought I was insignificant, the inanimate was significant. They turned insignificant during my happier days. They are here to tell me I can still be happy in the future if I choose, right now, to live.

I have never been truly happy but I can imagine what it could feel like. It hurts to have an imagination because you think it cannot happen. But simply living for an imagination is a reason to believe.

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Originally published: September 29, 2018
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