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The Connection That Kept Me Here When I Was Dancing Around Suicide

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Do you ever feel like you’re dancing when you do housework? You know. Dancing around the issue you can’t face. Or the emotion you don’t want to feel. Or the racing thoughts that threaten your personal stamina. The real overarching issue causing me to clean every crevice of my house was the suicidal chatter. I placed the medication bottles in the middle of the kitchen table. They quickly became my totem pole. I looked to them for answers, guidance, reassurance. I envisioned the moment as a sacrifice. I was giving myself up to the demons strangling my mind. I could no longer bare witness to my own agony and despair. The pressure and speed of my thoughts had to be doing structural damage to my brain. I could feel the impending explosion.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

Sprinting around my house from task to task, starting one after another, was the only thing keeping me from bowing down to those pills. I was literally afraid if I sat down I would drink the bottle to quench my agitation. Round and round I spun faster and faster. If I indeed had a tether to reality, it was unraveling.

I scribbled words onto a red piece of paper. Revealing my pain. Asking for forgiveness. Apologizing for being such a burden. Insisting it was no one’s fault. Begging him to believe that deep in his soul. It was a tired explanation. What’s there to say? I mean really. I can’t do it anymore. I simply give up. I love you tremendously. You love me incredibly. Love cannot conquer my demons. My inner emotional pain. The shattered pieces you don’t see. “I am sorry” is not enough. But it’s all I got. I can’t ask you to understand, but so hope you do. At least some day soon. You ask how I can do this to you? My sweet. I don’t know. It’s all too much. I’m being crushed. I hurt in ways that have no words. Silent pain is deadly. I have fallen victim. 

The pen falls heavy to the floor accompanied by tears. My totem pole patiently waiting for me to pay homage. As I weep, I pile up the wreckage I have created. Proof. Proof I am no good. Proof I am nothing but a burden. The voices are becoming quite demanding. Loud. Booming. Malicious. My resolve cowering as hate fills the room. The idea of getting up tomorrow makes my body weak. In the past, I’ve counted the pills obsessively. No time for numbers. My soul has been withering away for long enough.

I reach for the pen. My hand brushes against my cat. A little life that would feel my absence. In between my husband’s shoes lies the pen. I grumble. He takes off his shoes wherever he’s at. Bathroom, outside, living room. Rarely is it the bedroom. I will never trip over them again. I scribble on the red paper. Last words: I love you more than you can ever know, Rhonda.

I refocus on my impromptu plan. Staring. Bottles staring back. The house is clean. Laundry is folded. Nothing left to do. My phone rings. My phone never rings. It’s my little brother. He could need me right now. I ran just to utter the word “hello.” Turns out he did need me. He needed to tell me he was thinking of me.

One red piece of paper sitting at the bottom of the shredder. Me with tears streaming down her face with a cell phone glued to my ear. One little brother just wanting to talk to his sister.

 As I sat and listened to him talk I glanced over at my mess of medications on the table. I heard his laughter and “saw” his smile. After we hung up I put all those bottles back in their place: the safety of my medicine cabinet. I danced again later on that day, but this time to my favorite record. It’s amazing what connection can do in the midst of bipolar disorder.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

Originally published: May 31, 2016
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