I’ve been battling addiction with varying degrees of success for 11 years now.
But something’s different since my last relapse, which was pretty bad. I’m actually happy more often than not. I like being sober. I’m singing random songs when I wait for the bus. I think I am FINALLY experiencing the Pink Cloud, some people talk about in recovery, when everything feels new, exciting, and good, and they love sobriety. I’ve become that woman, I used to hate in rehab, who is in a good mood, not having significant cravings, and isn’t overwhelmed with problems, although I still do have some major challenges ahead. I don’t know how long this mood will last, but for now I’m enjoying it.
The other thing I’ve been thinking about yesterday and today is suicide and life. Yesterday I volunteered at the Distress Centre, and had a good shift so left feeling pretty happy. When I got to the subway station where I intended to catch the train North, I was told I couldn’t get on because someone had jumped in front of a train two stops north. I caught a shuttle bus, and got home with minimal inconvenience, but it made me think.
In March 2013 I was hospitalized, in a psych hospital, for 4 weeks because I was suicidal and seriously thinking of jumping in front of a subway. Fortunately I was honest with my psychiatrist and agreed to to into the hospital instead.
So I understand that jumper. I understand how your mind can be in a place that’s so deep and so dark, that you don’t see any other option but to take your life. And my mind occasionally still goes there. If I’m ever diagnosed with a terminal illness I’ll ask for physician assisted suicide. And my mind occasionally still goes, “Well if X happens, I’ll just kill myself.” But I’m usually able to give myself a mental shake and go that’s not worth dying over. And I’m not constantly dwelling in the darkness.
I know that drinking could take me back to a suicidal place very quickly, so staying sober is my first priority right now. But I’m also afraid of another depressive episode, of which I have at least one a year, sending me back there.
It’s like when I look at my arm and see the old self-injury scars. It’s hard for me to imagine now, that I was once in a place where self-injury was a daily occurrence and my preferred coping strategy – but it was.
And then it was drinking and I don’t want to go back their either so I need to be vigilant.
But at least for today, I want to live.