Bed of Nails
February 17, 2021 Journal Entry
Thoughts of suicide are heavy this morning. Early this morning. I could not sleep, got up at 2 am. Just to clarify – I don’t have a plan and I don’t have the means. So you don’t have to fucking intervene. I’ll be just fine.
What happens when I go to the ER? Well, it’s humiliating. They don’t have clothes that fit. They give me paper pants and a shirt that are too small. They won’t give me a gown because of the ties. I might strangle myself with the ties.
They put me in an observation room with nothing but a bed, a blanket and a pillow. No books. No magazines. Nothing. I wonder how you kill yourself with a book. Shove the pages down your throat until you suffocate? A camera on me at all times. It doesn’t even have a bathroom, so I have to call the nurse to help. To watch.
I wait for hours for the crisis team to show up. The last two times, I’ve waited until evening for them to show. Usually by then, after sitting on the side of the hospital bed, with my legs dangling down, swinging my feet, rocking my body, with hours and hours to think, and hours and hours to come down off any substance, I’m desperate to leave.
Once they finally sit me down with a social worker from the crisis team, they listen to my issues. They’re sympathetic, encouraging, validating. I sound balanced and normal and sane. Because that’s how I sound. Even when I want to kill myself, that’s how I sound. I know how it works. I know how to do it. I’ve spent my life doing it.
Sometimes, they call around to different hospitals. Because I have a history of self-harm, you know. Then they come back and tell me there are no open beds. Will I be OK to go home?
“Oh ya. I’m much better,” I say. “I don’t have a plan. I don’t have the means. I know I can’t hurt myself. It’s something I don’t believe in, it’s something I know I would never do. I just get anxious sometimes.”
I sound so convincing. I know to be convincing. We’ve already established that. Plus, I want the fuck out. It’s been of no help. No help. Maybe the desire to die has passed. Maybe not. But it doesn’t matter anymore. I want out.
They tell me to follow up with my counselor. They have me sign a no self-harm contract. They wish me well. They tell me I’ll do good. They walk me out to my car. Why? So I won’t throw myself in front of a slow moving car in the ER parking lot? Then I get in my car and drive home.
If they do deem me ill enough and are able to get me a psych bed (which happened twice in Louisville, never in Washington), I’m admitted, they give me Klonipin and let me sleep.
During the day, they coerce me to attend 12 Steps because that’s all they have. They aren’t prepared for psych admits, only chemical dependency admits. And I have to go to fucking art therapy. What a fucking joke. There’s a special place in hell for art therapists. Fucking waste of skin. I bet they make buck, too. Motherfucking idiots.
There is no one that can take away the pain of wanting to go, to go away from here. No one. God? Well, I stick it out because I know he’s a good friend and he’d be proud of me. He is proud of me. So, I white knuckle on through. I just push on through. But even the respite of sleep eludes.
Wanting to die is like laying on a bed of nails. It hurts all over, and I have to lay there until my mind tells me it’s safe to get up. And sometimes I have to lay on the nails a long long time. And sometimes I can get up but then I have to get right back on. And sometimes I don’t have to lay on the nails for a while. But I know I’m going to have to again, soon. Maybe not real soon, but soon.
So I take some fucking Tylenol. Because I always do that when my body hurts from being suicidal even though it doesn’t do anything. But taking it gives me some comfort. Because Tylenol works for a lot of things. So maybe it will help this time.
It’s 4:43 am now. I’ve been writing all this time. I’m drinking coffee. I feel better, anyway. I’ll watch a movie now. Maybe in a couple hours I’ll be tired, and I can go back go bed.
And then I’ll get up tomorrow. Like I always do. And feed the cats. And make mom tea with Miralax so she can poop. And sausage and eggs. And then she’ll watch Hallmark movies. And I’ll write some more. And everything will be back to normal. And maybe I’ll get to stay off the nails for a while.
Maybe my mind will be well enough to see the good things about me and my life right now right this moment. There are good things. Well, we’ll see what happens. I could really use a day off from the bed of nails.