Have spent the last week shifting along the mental spectrum, a visit to every shade within its confines. No preference, and no discernible pattern. One day no meds needed, the next day 50 valium didn’t make a dent. I just don’t get it. And in the end, now, I just feel numb.
My attention for the last 24 hours has been occupied almost exclusively by Sister Suicide. We’ve been fairly quiet, often just sitting and experiencing the torment, because what else is there to do really? The torment – if I go into the ER they will ask what is
manifesting. I can only equate it with some kind of evil pneumatic catsuit enhanced especially by Pinhead from “Hell Raiser”, with the pressure – pain, psychic AND physical pain – lodging into my very organs for hours. Every bone would hurt and bones don’t even have nerves. My fingers especially. Every breath felt like there was a truck behind it, like my lungs and everything in between might wind up in my lap. Every so often I would shut my eyes and hold my face in my hands to keep from crying – I suppose we all need to once in a while but I had one last week in bed – my husband was awake but didn’t bother to acknowledge my existence – and every time I opened my eyes I flinched, sure that some 300 pound gladiator in chain mail and a demented welded animal helmet would be there swinging a mace at my skull.
Following that we would count our meds. I have switched out my bottle of tricyclics for trazadone – the tricyclic helps me sleep but its also toxic as fuck, trazadone can knock me out too, though it isn’t as reliable – I hope the withdrawal isn’t too bad. so that I have 300 pills within a few months and if I want to be a pacifist about it I can get a luxury suite an the Omni Hotel on the water in town & enjoy a weekend before shutting down my CNS. But that’s the only option there, so that isn’t an immediate fix.
There are the train tracks, the regular rail would do fine but we just moved here and I’ve never taken the train, am not familiar with this set of tracks. On the south shore, where we lived before, the Amtrak Acela passed so close to our house we could hear it. It always made me shudder. But last summer I would walk over at night 10 minutes or so before one was due to fly through and I would stand barefoot in the dark and wait for it. The air would move, individual particles moving about bare skin in July and a low rumble under bare feet on the warm concrete and then the sound, alive and violent, and I would stand as close to the tracks as I dared when it finally swept past, it all took place in a heartbeat, but there was some comfort in knowing it was there, schedule published online, and, while gruesome, it would be a quick, painless death. But I don’t want to drag a hapless engineer into my own demise. I’ve been on a couple of trains that have hit people. The drivers were always traumatized. I was traumatized. Anyway, a drive in the rain wasn’t necessarily a bad idea – but a drive to the southern suburbs of Boston for an unscenic contemplation of the tracks – no thanks.
So next we think of bridges. Wikipedia has a spectacular, easily searchable listing of every viable bridge in the world. Well, probably not ALL of them. There’s the “Suicide Bridge” page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_bridge The Golden Gate wins that contest, no surprise there. Then there’s the the List of Tallest Bridges in the U.S. By Height – because success rates drop with the height, or lack thereof, of the bridge: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bridges_in_the_United_States_by_height. Sadly, none of the bridges are in my area. The Tobin in Boston has a marginal success rate, otherwise there are some bridges out in Western Mass along the Turnpike but I would rather bank of a sure thing. I think I would need a passport to get onto the Niagara Falls bridge – 20-25 souls a year there.
The latter part of the work day I was preoccupied and M and I didn’t speak the entire ride home from the city. I took a shower. When I was small my father was a violent alcoholic, but once he sobered up – after my own personal Apocalypse and a lenient sentence from a liberal Massachusetts judge – he would have dark periods and just take me in the car and he would drive from wherever we were living – Jamaica Plain, Sharon, Millis, Taunton – and head to the end of the Cape and back. As if that was what he needed to do rather than get violent. I don’t know if he invented the solution or if it was recommended as a form of therapy in the early 1980’s but it seemed to work for him, and for my part I have ALWAYS loved long car rides with the stereo as loud as I can bear (and somehow, to this day, I tend to choose music from that era. Journey, Toto, Fleetwood Mac, The Stones). So I thought I’ll take a shower and go from there. I stood in the hot water and actively wished for the Cenobite-inspired pneumatic suit to not be waterproof, I thought Well, you could drive down to Cape Cod like Dad used to. Bring that new bottle of Limoncello with you. Cross the Sagamore. Drive as far down as you want. Get a room if you feel like it. Drive back towards the Sag if you feel like it. Down the Limoncello if you feel like it, somewhere in the close vicinity of the bridge but not so close as to attract attention. Walk up and jump off the bridge if you feel like it. Or drive home if you feel like it. Or go to an ER if you feel like it. But I cannot stand Cape Cod. A fox even leapt off of the Sag’s sister bridge – the Bourne in Falmouth – in 1985. Dying there would suck. And then there are the barriers. Back to that whole blue-state thing again.
I got out of the shower. I shower least of anyone in my family. Thankfully my body chemistry is such that I can pull it off for a few days. I love the shower part – I just hate the towel, & the whole process with the coconut deodorant and the q-tips and even the shimmery coconut body butter that at this moment I am happy enough to be breathing in – then having to select something to wear and blow dry my hair. I f’n hate it. But the routine, tonight, well, my bones still hurt but the coconut is nice and it talked me off the bridge. I still had to sit on the edge of my bed for a while and consider whether to check in. The Cenobites were gone. They’re probably just waiting in the closet. My room is warm. It has giant gilded frames of my favorite paintings – well, limited edition prints – and on my antique sewing table-turned-night table I have some gorgeous pottery vases, nothing to put flowers in, more like sculptures really. I stared at them for a long time, then I picked up a green one, shaped like a pear but with a nickle-sized opening at the top. Pear colored too, patterned with what can only be described as a Japanese kimono inspired by geodes, expertly glazed. I held it, studied it. I realized Sister Suicide had left. Writing this out, it sounds like some exercise out of DBT hell (I know it works for lots of Borderlines, but it was agonizing for me). It occurs to me I purchased these vases as a gift to myself AFTER a DBT session in Northampton at the wonderful Pinch Gallery (http://www.pinchgallery.com/). Ironic? Maybe. I wonder if the vase is clean enough to drink limoncello out of…