Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ending it all

    The other night, I very nearly shot myself. Before you become too concerned, it was one helluva weird dream. The usual one about going to the GIC and coming away with a prescription instead of the words I'll be given in reality, except with the weird twist that the prescription gave me hallucinations: that I could reach through solid objects as though they were jelly. Yes, you don't want to venture between my ears, it gets pretty odd in there.
    Anyway, the final plotline involved my taking a handgun and being about to shoot myself in the head, at which point the hardware interrupt triggered by what passes for self-preservation subroutines in a human brain kicked in and I was dragged abruptly into wakefulness, the dark and quiet of a very early morning, my wife slumbering peacefully beside me. Probably the only reason I can so vividly remember the events of my dream; when I wake up at normal pace any recollections are hazy.
    Other people might shrug off such an experience as just a bad dream. Forget it, turn over and go back to sleep. But this one stuck with me because I've been there, I know I have that capability within me and having banished that particular demon I am particularly keen not to grant it re-admission.
    I never went as far as choosing my preferred exit route, back when I was deep in the closet. It certainly wouldn't have been a handgun, leaving aside the British legal framework which makes them almost impossible to own legally I wouldn't have the first idea how to use one. I'm guessing most Americans know more about cricket than I know about handheld firearms. Television drama has taught me that handguns have about a thousand rounds in their magazines and never need reloading though, and that every shot from a police handgun is a lucky one with pinpoint accuracy being preserved no matter the distance, visibility or wind.
    Instead, I found myself planning. How would I leave my affairs in order, how I might ensure my wife had a solid financial foundation. This became a constant refrain alongside the thoughts of suicide, which made things worse in a way, the last thing you need when you are suicidally depressed are money worries especially when you are on a sound financial footing.
    Having left all that behind it all seems rather stupid, looking back. But the experience never completely goes away, there is always that worry somewhere not far below the surface that it might return. My wife and I agree that if I fall down that particular hole again then saying the right things to the folks at the GIC and embarking on the road to transition would be my only option, but risking one's life in that way to get there does not seem like a sensible path.
    Gosh, what a morbid post! My apologies. It's been something of a brain-dump. I'm not going back there so no worries, but when your unconscious mind confronts you with these things you have to work them through.


  1. Yup, morbid. Yup, familiar. Especially the part about how to arrange it so the family is ok...

    Don't apologize please for honesty around here.


  2. Having suffered severe depression you know you aren't immune, but then nobody is. So at least having beaten it you gain the knowledge that you also have the capability to stick two digits up at it again.

    I find it difficult to drop off to sleep and find myself being self-critical at these times. My self-preservation mechanism kicked in when I was learning hang gliding but when dropping off and my brain isn't firing on all cylinders logic escapes me and I kick myself for failing to get my licence. Any other time I count having tried as a success. I think its a good idea to do a brain-dump and when logic is present address things that come up.

  3. I cannot make a comment about depression as I have never suffered that way myself. I can't even begin to understand how and why folk get depressed but I accept that they do. I can understand then that being depressed can bring on weird dreams. Having said that, I dreams weird dreams from time to time (see my blog). Dreams are really brought about by the brain trying to cope with the information it receives and it sometimes becomes confused. I think this is why dreams are mixed-up. It's like shaking all the words of a story into a bag and then trying to sort them blindfolded! We simply dream about recent events and things which bother us in our daily lives. Occasionally we dream of events that happened years ago and even they get mixed up. Could it be that consciousness is required to make sense of anything?
    Hey Jenny, at least you woke up before you shot yourself! Would it have made any difference to you had you not? LOL.
    Well I hope any suicidal tendencies that you might once have had are all buried, never to rise again.
    One final dream what you are............Love

    Shirley Anne xxx

  4. Jenny,

    During my own dark period I remeber anticipating a bleak future, but I don't remember consciously considering suicide. However. My own stupid methods of dealing with 'the condition' at that time inadvertantly led to three extremely close calls that could have (should have) had a much different ending.

    My story found my younger self stumbling into a relationship that surprised the bejeesus out of me, eventually turning my life's direction onto a more postivie path. Now having 'the condition' resurface I can sense the closenes of that old familiar darkness, trying to lure me back in. Occasionally it truly can be a struggle.

    Ultimately, I do believe life worth living. Perhaps there's truth that experiencing the bad makes the good so much sweeter.

    Take care,

  5. The thing to remember about dreams is that they are representational, not literal.

    It's all symbolism; everything actually means something else.

    They are the way our subconscious mind processes conscious events, and emotions.

    A suicide dream, psychologically speaking usually means either you are feeling a desperate desire to escape from the realities of you waking life.

    Or is symbolic of a personal transformation or the beginning of a new stage of your life.

    It doesn't mean you want or are thinking of killing yourself.

  6. After a lifetime of assuming that I would one day end it all I find it strange to be totally free of such thoughts now.

    If I had been in a country with easy access to hand guns I felt sure that I should have just picked one up and used it without a moments hesitation. I also feared tidying up my life because that would have left no impediment to action!

    Caroline xxx

  7. Morning all, thanks for your comments,

    Worry not, I don't believe in the prophetic power of dreams. Otherwise I should by now be able to fly, among other weird and wonderful things my subconscious mind has had me do over the years.

    Instead this was simply an unwelcome reminder of an episode I hope I left behind for good a few years ago.

  8. Well, first things first. Don't know a thing about cricket (not even sure I spelled it correctly). Isn't that the Brit imitation of baseball, or is that rugby? Sorry, Jenny, not a sports type. But, also know absolutely nothing about hand guns or any kind of guns. Never shot one, never held one, never owned one.

    About the dream, I had one of those once. Didn't particularly upset me because I am just not the suicide type. Catholic upbringing, etc. Could never do myself in. Likewise, I hope the same is the case with you. I need you for moral support, Jenny, and so does your wife.

    Calie xxx