Today, I feel the black tar of despair clogging up my pores. I wonder, as I have done many times before, if I will actually survive the incredibly painful process of divorce.
The physical pain is intractable, unrelenting. Today, it is so bad that I actually feel sick – and I cannot get comfortable in any position. My will to do anything about it has become a dulled, blunted blade, a useless weapon against a sharp, devious and shape-shifting enemy.
Emotional anguish does, of course, make things worse – and probably sets the whole frozen-muscled, spasming awfulness in the first place.
The problem is complex, but part of my inertia stems from a very deep feeling of being worthless and without intrinsic value – an inevitable part of a difficult relationship and stressful divorce, I am led to believe. I suppose, during the darkest hours, I fear that I do not, in some odd way, deserve to survive, that my death would make things much easier for those who survived me.
It is hard to fight against the objective logic of this thought. It is harder to keep bright and cheerful when my whole body seems to be wrenched into hoops of contracting agony, and no painkillers dent the waves of misery or prevent them from smashing destructively upon the shores of my body and soul.
This endless typing does not help. I know that. The posture is constantly adding to my thoracic spine’s irritation, and inviting the demons of referred pain to come and play in amongst my ribs, down both breasts, in shoulders and arms.
And yet I am pointlessly, stupidly obsessed with trying to get the word out – God only knows why. I cannot seem to control myself, or be sensible, or look after this fragile body of mine. It’s as if, at a very deep level, I believe I do not matter, cannot truly make a difference in the world. It’s as if I fear I will disappear altogether if the voice that is my writing is not heard.
Why, then, do I fight so hard for a survival which I am far from sure is going to be worth the winning? Why don’t I just give in to the lure of a drug-induced fading from this life? Why don’t I use rope or knife, car or other weapon to ensure that my time on this earth is limited and controlled by me?
Why, when every day is excruciating (emotionally and physically), do I strive to find something to hope for? Why engage with others when there is no point?
Suicide is, I am sure, the ultimate act of selfish ‘Fuck You!’ ism. We are all brought up to believe that survival at any cost is what we should aim for – and that taking the train out of life’s station is only for the weak, the cowardly, the mad, the terminally self-absorbed.
That, even to look at a knife and consider drawing it across the delicate veins of wrist or throat condemns one to punishment in this world and Hell in the next…
But some days, when there is no relief to be had, when I wake up terrified and desolate, when I cannot focus for the pain and hope seems like a snook cocked by a cruel deity with no true sense of humour, some days when survival just seems too bloody hard to break a sweat for, yes, I, like many others, cast my mind onto the imagined relief of calling a halt, of saying, ‘Survival is not always the right answer to the unspoken question.’
I am sinking in black quick-sand today. Tomorrow, with luck, I will cope better, be less despairing. Tomorrow, I hope, the pain might be less, and the sheer number of emotional balls slammed at me from too many directions might be lessened in number.
Do not, however, despise me for articulating that which many affect to condemn out of hand. Do not hold it against me that, occasionally, I flirt with the idea of death when life as a partner in the dance turns away and leaves me, vulnerable and alone, a wall-flower in the ballroom of survival.