There are a lot of posts going around lately about how to help/not help someone who is depressed or suicidal. Some of them are good, and some of them make me wonder what the writer was smoking. Anyway, this isn’t one of those posts.
This one is about me. Maybe it’ll resonate with other people, and if so, cool. If not, whatever. It’s only meant to be about my situation and my experience. It might piss you off, but I’m not in a place right now where I can care about other people’s feelings. I’m an asshole, I know. I should probably apologize but I’m fucking sick of apologizing for having feelings.
I get suicidal fairly frequently, although much less frequently and much less seriously than in the past. I have major depression secondary to complex PTSD and dissociative identity disorder (DID). Basically, some shitty people did a lot of shitty things to me for a lot of years, which will mess anybody up. But the trauma and the depression aren’t the primary causes of my suicidality these days, at least not directly.
The primary cause of my suicidality these days is that I’m trying to survive an impossible situation with no hope of getting out of it. Hell, at this point there’s not really any hope that it will improve.
Because of the side effects of shitty people doing shitty things to me, I’m on disability. Basically, I have zero ability to cope with stress. When I get stressed, I dissociate, or I cut, or I starve myself, or I binge and purge. Basically, I can’t function because I’m too busy being crazy and destroying myself. So I get SSI and SSDI. That’s designed to keep poor and disabled people out of poverty, but it doesn’t actually work that well for a lot of us disabled folks. See, I’m supposed to live on $700 a month.
To put that in context, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in my state averages $925; average rent in my town is $820. That doesn’t include utilities. In the summer, electric is around $50 a month, and internet is $100. When you add heating in the winter, it’s much more expensive because we have oil heat and a pellet stove. Then there’s food costs, transportation costs, medical costs. You can do the math: there just isn’t enough money. It’s not like I’m spending money on outlandish things; I’m talking about basic necessities here. There is no money.
I’ve done everything there is to do. I’ve applied for subsidized housing in my town and several of the surrounding towns, but there are long wait lists. I get food stamps, but it doesn’t cover enough because my illness requires an expensive diet; there are no special provisions for that. I eat one meal a day, usually. I get Medicare and Medicaid, but sometimes I still can’t afford to fill my prescriptions. I get fuel assistance, but when I have to fill the oil tank, that’s a lump sum of around $600. Buying pellets for the pellet stove is a similar lump expense.
I get every form of assistance offered to poor people, but it’s still not enough. I still can’t survive. I still can’t afford an apartment on my own, and I can’t find another roommate. I still can’t reach public transit since they cut the stop near me and I’m too disabled to walk to the next stop. I still can’t afford enough food to eat a healthy diet on a regular basis. I still can’t afford to pay most of my bills every month. No amount of budgeting is going to solve this, and although I shit a lot of stuff, money isn’t one of those things.
It’s enough, I think, to make almost anyone suicidal. You do the best you can, but it’s not enough to survive. You’re too sick, too disabled, too poor. And the people in power, the people who could make it better, they don’t care. They don’t even know you exist because they’ve made you invisible.
And yes, I’m getting mental health “services” too, but they’re laughably inadequate. I have no therapist. I have a psychiatrist, but I haven’t seen him in at least four months because I can’t get to his office. I’m not even really sure I have a case manager anymore, since mine left and no one’s bothered to tell me who my new one is. I’m pretty much on my own because my old case manager decided I was fine. Yes, clearly I’m doing fucking great.
I don’t have friends or family I can borrow money from. I can’t get a loan. I can’t get a job. Believe me, if there were an obvious solution, I would’ve found it by now. No solutions exist, so fucking stop telling me what to do. I’m not stupid.
And stop guilt-tripping me for being suicidal. I think this situation would drive almost anyone to suicidality. For me, it’s even harder because it triggers emotional flashbacks to all the times no one took care of me when I was a kid. It feels like no one gives a shit whether I survive. And no, I don’t need a lecture on how that’s not true, either. I know people care, but honestly, that doesn’t do me a hell of a lot of good when the people who care can’t do anything to make my situation survivable. I know that makes me an asshole, but there it is.
Don’t lecture me about how it will affect my friends and family if I kill myself. For fuck’s sake, do you think I don’t know that already? I’ve lost friends to suicide. It hurts, but honestly, it hurts less than it did when I lost a friend in a car accident. He didn’t want to die. He liked being alive, and there was a lot more he wanted to do. My friends who killed themselves were miserable, and they didn’t want to keep on living. Now they don’t have to suffer anymore. It’s a relief to know that they’re dead and not having to hurt anymore just to avoid hurting other people.
Again, to be clear, I’m not about to off myself right now, so don’t anybody freak out and call the cops on me. But don’t fucking tell me to swear I won’t do it, either. I won’t make that promise. If I hit a point where I truly can’t survive, I’m not fucking going to force myself to live through hell just to keep other people from being uncomfortable. And honestly, I’m not sorry for that.