When I looked out past my mother’s newly bought 19th floor condo balcony and imagined myself jumping up and halted in midair before plummeting, I did not think of it in menace as I once might have had as a very angry something teen-year old. I’ll admit it gave me a sense of rush, a thrill that brings a strange nuance of a chill to your fingers the way you know you’re entering a panic attack. When she called me back to show me something about her bedroom, I turned around with a gut sense of guilt and conscience – wherever they may be – but also an odd sense of disappointment in a way that ended on relief. The same as a child that was denied to do, say a dare-devil’s dare by their parents and was secretly glad they didn’t have to risk it and admit on the truthfulness that they were too scared or cowardly, but because someone else said so. Or in this case, someone else called to and I guess it was just the wrong timing.
Perhaps it is strange that that would be the first thought in my mind. It was triggered due to the slightly decanted way the edge of the balcony slopped. I’d imagine it was to discourage rain to pool but the thought shot up to my head the moment I felt the descent in my toes. Adrenaline does weird things to your body. It makes your appendages feel lighter, like they are ballooned from the inside and struggled to be lifted against the heaviness of reality set in human flesh.
When I confess these things aloud, I do them lightly. I say them in passing and roll my eyes at myself in comedy. I am so very silly. I shrug, and I pull an easy smile. I do it so well that sometimes, actually if we’re going to be confessing things, more often than not I genuinely cannot make up my mind as to whether I am an undiagnosed depressed, or maniac, or some sort of tempered state instead of just too sourly caustic. It’s a hard thing to place in my mind when you think to yourself that a medical stamp of approval could either be your friend or your vice. I wouldn’t even bother indulging in the idea of medicine unless I was feeling insecure enough to do so to get attention (god forbid), so why bother trying to be examined?
Examined, though. What a funny word that rings in my ear. I, who have been to counselling on account of my grade 5 teacher’s advice after I had confessed on the first day of grade 6 school that my father had died over the summer. I was smiling, and then I was crying.
This I, who has felt so obliged and called to the mostly women counselors and advisers who has taken me into their private offices and allowed me to indulge in a good cry and had me leaving always empty and tired. Have I changed? Do I no longer want help; too proud, too self-concerned, that I no longer want to reach out and have a second opinion because I don’t want to be ‘examined’?. They always told me I was so strong for having taken a step into their office for help, but now I don’t know if I ever wanted the help but the pathetic greed of whining to somebody more adult than me. Too wrapped up in myself and feeling just for it. Probably they didn’t even take me that seriously for my word – I don’t even know how to weigh them myself. I am so very cowardly and so very hateful. Sometimes people who share similar thoughts live like this forever and sometimes they shock themselves with the one last courageous thing they do. But you and I might disagree on that said courage. Some people call it cowardice. I find my judgement on morals to be impaired since I have not gone for two years. I question not for the first time whether I have grown due to that exempt, or have just grown smaller. Except you wouldn’t even judge me for that. Of course you wouldn’t. You would nod in good humor and tell me that we are only human.
But when I walked home this evening after work I knew that I had an issue. I knew so succinctly that I had an issue I would need to face one day or another, but I did not know whether I wanted to honestly face that. Not for now.
I knew it the moment I felt the strange chill in my arms and fingers while I nonchalantly told my coworker the non-serious issues of my past. Of my anxiety, my trust; revealing ever so slightly the feelings behind why I felt the way towards sex and alcohol. I knew his advice was right. Blunt as it was. Get buzzed. Pick up somebody. Relax.
The buzzing in my arms felt lighter and lighter. Like somebody had injected helium. If my body could sing out it would be in that high pitched voice.
Oh but I couldn’t…and already while I joked around with the idea of contemplating death before he left, I felt myself in contradiction. Why would I feel the need to pull up his number on our employee’s contact information to apologize for what I had said. Was I genuinely sorry as soon as I placed myself in the shoes of someone receiving the message of another person wanting to die. It would surely be an awkward and terrible message. (Was I caving then? Or just being manipulative?) Maybe not here though; maybe that’s why I feel so free to type all this aloud. You wouldn’t feel it the same way.
And as I walked on home and read his reply 50 minutes ago, I sort of cried to myself in self defense..in pride..in diligence of a back bone. I told myself I could do anything a man could do. I thought of my mom. My poor mum, whose every attempt I make to share with a third party comes off as bitter and vindictive. But I do love her, and it saddens me that I have to state it in defense: I will protect her. I will live. I am strong. I will not depend on anyone. And a small illogical voice pleaded, oh don’t be nice, it would be so very bad for me to want to depend on somebody. I might just develop a sort of puppy dog adoration. An adulterated childhood crush that would include a mentally premature sexual encounter followed by a fully matured use of wrong anger and sharp anxiety. I would run and I would thrash my way out of the woods in combative callousy, and if the other party had any shred of humanity they would most definitely be hurt. Maybe I would sigh in relief that I proved myself to be the exact same person I played out in my head to be. Apart from digging your own grave, it’s like shooting yourself in the foot and feeling glad it had felt like it would – it hurts and it’s stupid. And I would already know the response to that. I know that much as I had wished to have companions, even stringently this past week, I have gotten a short bitter sweet taste of it tonight in the caring words of a comrade and now I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want it at all.
He said, “No worries, as long as you don’t think it doesn’t matter. Night.”
But you see, I am a bad person. Just a bad bad, deep dark hole. And I can’t stop myself from that.