I never thought I would broadcast something like this on this blog, presently, I know of no other way to process this. One song says it best. As always, if you are not of the HM persuasion, lyrics here.
Yesterday, the day before my birthday, I have come the closest to a suicide attempt. When talking about mental health, especially at this extreme, it is important to make the distinction between the actual events and the perception.
My desperation, outright frustration and utter sense of desolation is because of the situation I am facing. With each passing day, I am facing one simple truth that, unless a miracle happens, I will be homeless. No, I will not be rough sleeping, there are plans in place for me to have somewhere to sleep, but I will be homeless. It is a fact that I have tried to change. The wheels of bureaucracy do not turn fast enough when you want them to and the upgrade to priority in housing puts me at the top of a queue, but still in a queue: I still have to wait my turn. I am doing everything I can, performing damage limitation on the, what is now becoming, inevitable.
On March 12, a notice to quit was issued: we have to vacate the property by May 17. See previous blogs for insight into this: Going through changes, Frantic acceptance, and Endings. I’m leaving the personal side to this story alone, it is told and any further deliberation on it will be done behind closed doors; I have to grieve for the end of that relationship and my ex-partner deserves better than to have her name blackened on a blog. Since the split, I have done my best to get myself in a position where I will have somewhere affordable to live and that has taken a great deal of time and effort.
I have done my utmost to get the house packed up as possible; it is now in a position that all there is to pack is out in the open: kitchen cupboards have been cleared, drawers have been emptied. Barring odd bits of rammel (detritus, oddments), there are books in the living room to pack and clothes. The next big task is to get the furniture that is not moving with me to a house clearance place. After that, I will have to move my stuff into storage.
It is thoroughly disheartening to know that while I have the status that puts me at the top of the list, I still have to watch the numbers sliding down. Without moving away from the point of this blog (yes, dear reader, my blog posts do, sometimes, on occasions, have a point), I had placed a bid on one property after having gone to look at the immediate area and decided that it would be worth trying for, I placed my bid on Friday and went to look on Sunday. Until Sunday night, I was at number one; the top spot. Until the close of the bidding period, being number one halfway through means nothing. When I slipped down the numbers on Monday, it hit me hard. Hard is an understatement. It’s not the first time this has happened: I start in a high position early in the bidding period, only to have other people come in and take priority over me. Dear reader, the sad fact of this is that there are others who have held a priority status longer than me and in the eyes of the machine, those people get the higher positions. Despite my situation, no matter how desperate, I have to wait my turn.
Tuesday morning. I checked the listings again. Each place I had bid on, I was slipping down the numbers. I felt broken. I can use superlatives, adverbs, any kind of word to express how hard it hit me, but that hits the note: broken. I cracked. In the living room, I broke down. Tears, sobbing, as hard as I did in the early days/weeks of the divorce proceedings with my ex-wife. I could not see. I was hysterical. All of that crying, feeling of helplessness I could deal with, what hit me in those moments scared the living shit out of me. In my head, I knew where I have kept paracetamol, I could see the tablets and was ready to take the overdose. Broken. I have been told that what happened next is psychosis. A voice, not mine, said: look at you, you’re pathetic. Words alone, manageable. It was when the voice laughed … mocking me. Could not take any more. I phoned my worker at mental health services, he told me to go and see him the following day (this morning). He calmed me, told me what I could do if I dipped again to keep myself safe.
Knowing that what I experienced is a psychotic episode, has made me realise that yesterday’s incident was not an isolated one: it has happened before. My worker told me that what happens, in the case of auditory hallucinations, is that the brain can no longer deal with what is happening; it is under distress to process, so presents a split. Inner criticism, inner monologue takes on a different voice that is not recognisable as your own. In every sense, that separation feels real. I felt, in those few minutes of hearing that voice, that someone was standing over me.
It is very distressing to know that for however long that psychosis was happening, I was fighting myself. Fighting for control. Fighting to keep myself sat down and not act on impulse.
Dear reader, I live to fight another day. Against the odds, I am here to accept that what is happening is inevitable. For how long the inevitable will happen is down to me, down to the choices I make. I have chosen to live.