“Is anyone thinking of suicide? Oh, don’t do it! Don’t do it, people will be so mad at you if you do that. They will be so mad at you! It’s not the season for it. Early spring, early spring.”
Sometimes I’m surprised at how many people still read my blog. I say this because last week, I was sifting through some old posts, and it was jarring to see how depressing and discouraging most of them were. That said, I write what I know, and what I know is that the last four to five years of my life have been harrowing to say the least.
If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Insta (@clairebrosseau) then you know that last week I did the CN Tower Edge Walk. In case you don’t know, the CN Tower is the tallest standing building in the western hemisphere. It stands at 1815.4 feet tall. My sister and I took my dad for father’s day and we recorded our walk around the top and took pictures. The response I got from the people who watched what I posted commented that I looked so brave. Because it was Father’s Day, I slapped on a fake smile that cracked my face and my heart. Going up the 147 floors, everyone was nervous in the group but me. I felt nothing. I told them all I was excited, I was pleasant, and I kept that smile on for my dad. All I could do was pray that my safety chords would break & that I could jump off. Because I’m familiar with carabiners (I used to rappel) I was sneakily trying to loosen them, but they lock you in. Walking around the tower, gazing down at the tiny city, looking over my favorite baseball stadium, I felt nothing. Leaning forward over the city was the only time I felt alive, wishing I could just fly away.
Coming home on the subway, I was very much at peace. I knew I was going to kill myself after midnight as to not ruin Father’s Day for my family forever. I was prepared, had the tools I needed, wrote the notes, instructions for the cops and my sister. By 1030pm, I was ready, but I knew I had to wait until midnight for my dad’s sake. I haven’t felt so at peace in a long time.
When midnight rolled around, I was ready. I was sure I did not want another failed attempt and what I had planned would definitely kill me. I remembered a documentary I watched once about survivors who had jumped off The Golden Gate Bridge and lived. The all said that on the way down, they regretted it. Everything in my being was telling me to do it- that I couldn’t live like this anymore, that this nightmare had to end. But I was growing tired, and a little voice inside me told me not to do it. At least sleep on it tried to scream through the loud, ominous noise in my brain. So that’s what I did. I slept on it.
On Tuesday, I had a session with my drug councilor and told her everything. She informed me that as a doctor, it was her responsibility to contact the police if I was a threat to society or myself. I told her I was aware of that, but not to worry, my heart was starting to lighten up a bit. We made a plan to speak on the phone on Friday morning at 10am, and if she felt I wasn’t safe, she would want to see me again. 10am came & went, and she never called. It didn’t occur to me to call her, as I was preoccupied with getting ready for an audition I was on my way to. As I left for my audition, the cops were at my door. I knew what was going on immediately, I just didn’t know who’d turned me in. I’d been making statements about suicide for about three weeks. They informed me that it was in fact my drug councilor who’d called the to put me on an F1. (A Form 1 is a legal document stating that you are either a threat to society or yourself and are legally bound to stay in the hospital for up to 72 hours.) The cops started explaining this to me, and I cut them off- telling them this wasn’t my 1st rodeo. They did me the courtesy of not handcuffing me in front of my neighbors. This was my worst nightmare. There are many times in the past year that I should’ve admitted myself to the hospital, but in my heart going back to a psychiatric ward was the worst thing that could happen. I just can’t go through it again. I know it’s for the best, but I just can’t do it. I’ve been in & out of rehabs and institutions for years and I’m DONE. But here I was again, in the crazy department of Toronto Western Hospital. They take EVERYTHING away from you. Everything. No books, no pen & paper, no shoes, no clothes NO PHONE.
I expressed loudly and clearly that I did not want to be there, nor did I need to be, and had my councilor just called (like she was supposed to) she would have known that I was coming up for a little bit of air. This was the absolute WORST place for me to be. Many doctors and psychiatrists assessed me. I begged all of them to let me go, reassuring them that I was safe, and would not hurt myself. They let me go a day later, where my mother, sister and father greeted me with sadness in their eyes and warmth in their arms.
Where do I go from here? Since I had 24 hours to do nothing but stare at the ceiling and think, I decided I have to make some serious life changes if I want the life I think I need. You should know, I do try. When I’m well, I try to ride out the wave and focus on staying healthy and busy. Sometimes that doesn’t even help. There never seems to be a real catalyst for my lows anymore.
I’m not suicidal right now. Today I feel okay. Sensitive and fragile, yes. But that’s pretty much my baseline. I have friends and family checking in on me everyday. I’ve received many messages, texts, emails and comments encouraging me and it really means the world to me.
The reality is, although over the past 25+ years we’ve tried a myriad of different drug cocktails, nothing seems to last. I’ve tried nearly every possible type of therapy. As I get older, the disease gets worse. It’s very difficult for me to be hopeful, but I’m trying my best. A lot of women (& some men) have promised me that my best years are ahead of me. Could this be true? Am I able to find solace in their advice?
I’m glad I didn’t kill myself last Sunday night. I need to know how the Blue Jays will fare this season. I’d miss my annual Canada Day baseball game with my dad. I have to see if the project I’ve been working on for the past 2 ½ years will come to fruition. I have to see my niece grow up. I have to believe that I will find love.
I just have to believe. And that’s the hardest part. Believing.