These days I’m acting as though I have hope. I’m getting up and getting ready for a day. Planning meals for a week. Making plans to get together with people. Clearing out the old books and papers to make room for the new future.
But I don’t feel hopeful. On the contrary, I feel hopeless. Not helpless, at least, but hopeless. Why engage in meaningful activity when I feel miserable to be alive? Physical pain is Not Helping, but the pain is much, much deeper.
I’m haunted again by thoughts and feelings I had during my most recent hospitalization:
- I’ve had a good life, and how could I ask for more? Don’t need to see or do anything else to have had a good life.
- The thin lines that connect me to people, places and things are tenuous at best. Easier to snip them and float away.
- Ready to leave this world and it’s constant suffering for a sweet nothingness. Not sure at all I believe in heaven, and I don’t believe in a hell. I don’t know what happens to us when we die. I hope we just return to the collective unconsciousness and have no more suffering. Just nothingness.
And therefore, suicidal thoughts come back into play. I’m not acting on them. I recognize them as thoughts and feelings. And I keep acting as though I have hope when really I have these other thoughts going through me. I have choices. I have to keep reminding myself of options, limited though I feel they are. This is still dangerous space, though. I’m not in denial about that.
People are trying to be helpful by reminding me of things I used to believe in. Sadly not helpful. They tell me they are holding hope for me when I can’t hold it for myself. This is moderately helpful. I don’t feel so alone. The most helpful is knowing that I’m not walking this road alone. I can find a little hope when it’s not so lonely. Sometimes it’s just that tiny amount of hope that helps me get through that moment or hour.