I’ve contemplated back and forth for a while now about whether or not to even discuss this topic.  I’m always an open book, obviously..so that’s not my issue here.   But I always wonder when something I say will be TMI, when will someone read something I’ve written and think to themself…hmm…I could have lived without knowing THAT.   But I’ve come to the realization that its a topic that’s pretty damn important and touches more people than anyone thinks.   So whatever……..here it is….the good….the bad….the ugly….

Many, many years ago I met and married a wonderful penis person.  He kind of renewed my faith in penis people.  Most of the penis people I’d gotten to know up to that point weren’t always very nice.  However, what he’d never known, couldn’t have possibly known, was that I was kind of a troubled young girl with a saddness that positively engulfed me.

I’d harbored a secret that I plunged deep in my soul for a while and thought that if I never discussed it or thought about it or recalled it, it would just majically be unable to hurt me.  For a while, that would work and I’d be ok.  But, like many things that take refuge in your soul, it was killing me slowly and I was dying from the inside out.

We dated for years and finally married in 2000.  Now,  I felt dishonest and ashamed that I’d married this person that I loved and he didn’t really KNOW me and we had begun our lives together on a lie.  I was overcome by feelings of self loathing and disgust.  I’m not sure when exactly the plan started to come together or take shape, but I actively began preparing for my own death.  You always hear how people who definatively make a choice to die are generally overcome by a sudden euphoric feeling and actually, outwardly, appear to be quite happy.  That was precisely true in my case.  I finally felt some assemblance of control over things in my life……I quietly just ignored the fact that the only thing in my life that I felt I could control over was whether or not to have one.  But to look at me, to talk to me, one would have thought I was pretty much ok.

What Jeff hadn’t known was that each night while he was working midnights as a cop, I was home, sitting up all night long, writing and revising and fixing and rewording my suicide letter to him.  I’ve always been a writer in my heart and even a suicide letter still demanded my maximum best writing and I had to make sure the sentiment was just right, the details were all there and that I displayed my soul as best I could.  I actually wrote it much like I was sitting there having a conversation with him, trying to make him understand my pain.  Those letters were oddly written and very hard to understand.  And so I would write it again and again.

At this same time, I would routinely take out Jeff’s off duty weapon.  It was always loaded. I used to place it on the pillow next to me and wonder if it would hurt very much. And then I would sit with the barrel pressed against my temple and will myelf to pull the trigger.  Several things always kept me from doing so.  The first, of course, was the trauma it would cause Jeff to come home in the morning and find me that way.  I’d always wished that there was a way to ensure someone else would get there first and deal with the mess.  But we lived in Detroit at the time and the sound of gunshots on our street were pretty routine, so that wouldn’t be enough to ensure a call to the police.  And there was also the idea that Jeff might somehow get in trouble for not having his weapon secured properly.  I didn’t want him to have to deal with bull shit red tape because his wife couldn’t deal with life.  And also, I’d recently checked in to my insurance policy at work and discovered that it didn’t pay in the event of suicide.  Shit…..I decided I needed a new plan.

Ironically, right after we married, I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes.  I was insulin dependent immediately.  The doctors have no explanation as to why my pancreas suddenly stopped working, but it did.  Because I was still relatively new to insulin at that point, I’d had several issues with both extreme high and low blood sugars.  For those unfamiliar with those terms, either can kill you.   But in the interest of killing you faster, low blood sugar wins.  I’d had more than a few instances where I’d taken too much insulin and not eaten enough to compensate and my blood sugars dipped so low that I was unresponsive each time and literally nearly comatose.

And so a plan began to form in my head……….I could quite easily take entirely too much insulin.  It would be entirely painless.  And it would appear entirely accidental.  I still struggeld with whether or not a suicide note was necessary.  While Jeff could be lead to believe it was accidental, did I really want to leave him without one last goodbye??  Or perpetuate the lies and deceipt further??  Didn’t I owe him an explanation??

I’d made several attempts by this time……I was injecting large amounts of insulin at night before bed and feigning ignorance.  Each time, Jeff would come home just in time to rip me from the hands of death and pump my body full of sugar to combat the insulin.  He’d actually become so accustomed to dealing with my seemingly indifference to taking my medication properly that he began insisting I call him before I went to sleep and calling me in the morning to make sure I was ok.  On these days when I was willing the insulin to work its majic and release me quickly…..Jeff was painfully aware I wasn’t answering his calls and was always faster getting home to me.

This dance went on for a while….then one night I’d passed out from low blood sugar and left my journal beside me.   There, in black and white were all the things he’d never known……He dragged me back from my own mortality once again.  Only this time, he’d seen, literally, the writing on the proverbial wall.  Once I came to, he informed me of what he’d discovered.  With tears in his eyes, he asked me to please just talk to him.  He helped me put on my coat and I was certain he was preparing to drop my ass off at the local looney bin.  Instead of leading me towards the car, he walked me to the back yard.  He and I started a bon fire (he knew I always felt less caged in conversationally when I sit outside by a fire) and talked for what felt like forever.  I cried.  He cried.  The weirdest part was…..once that secret was released to the stars that night, I felt less like dying.  He then handed me my journal and I tossed it into the fire.  Those words within it couldn’t hurt me anymore and it felt right to have those hurt and angry words be eaten alive by flames.

I won’t act like there was some majical pill that made me all better.  I won’t pretend that it was easy to recover from that and feel better.  It was hard.

But I will tell you that there are many times, especially when I’m alone with my small little penis people, that I am grateful that none of those attempts worked.    When I’m jumping on the trampoline with them…Or walking through our neighborhood with Nicklas’s hand in mine and Joshua smiling at me from his stroller….or the three of us snuggled under the covers in those moments just before Jeff gets home from work.  The Sunday breakfasts where Jeff and I and the boys are all together and just talking animatedly over one another.  Or the bonfires that Jeff and I still have often in the summer time.  All of these are the moments when I find myself looking at my children and my husband and thinking to myself……I’m just so very very glad that I’m not gone.