If you watched last week’s episode of the new show A Million Little Things (you should, it’s great), you heard a character explain this:
Of people who jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, only 1% survive. But, 100% of that 1% said they regretted it the moment they jumped. One said, “It’s not that I don’t want to live. It’s that I don’t want to live like this.”
YES. That’s it.
In January, I was diagnosed with anorexia AND depression. Most of this blog has focused on the anorexia part. It’s more concrete (even though it’s extremely nebulous), more visible, and frankly less embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to have an eating disorder, but at least anorexia pretty much was viewed as a good thing (you know, being thin and crap) while depression is just…well, it’s just sad.
As a reminder, Seattle’s weather (IMO) is GARBAGE from November-June. It’s gray, wet, and cold. See this previous post for a longer discussion on Seattle’s “seasons”. For the past eleven years, my mental health has taken a dive in the Garbage season, recovered slightly each glorious summer, and then taken a further dive the next Garbage season.
Eleven Garbage seasons brought me to a desperate point last Garbage season. I decided I absolutely could not live in Seattle any longer. I had been trying to convince JJ to move to Texas for a few years, but now I was serious. I could not live in Seattle anymore. Period. It seemed my choices were:
I sat on my couch, wasting away on 600 calories/day, in my pajamas with two long-sleeved layers, thermal blanket, and space heater and thought through my options. If JJ wouldn’t move, those were the only ones I could come up with. Both sounded even more depressing.
I pictured each.
What would life look like if I moved to Texas w/o JJ? What would LK’s life look like? No. I couldn’t take LK from her dad, even if courts allowed it. And, I DIDN’T WANT TO BE DIVORCED. I love my JJ. I just didn’t want to live in Seattle.
The better option appeared to be suicide. Just end it. Everything had become unbearable, including living with myself. What would life look if I wasn’t here anymore? I don’t have much to offer anyway. As a depressed person, I felt hopeless, undesirable as a friend or anything else. I wasn’t anything anyone would miss. The only people in the world who would REALLY care were JJ and LK. Remember, I’m alone. All I could think was that people would be upset for a short time, and just like the news, it would pass and life would go on just fine. JJ would move on, I knew that. LK wouldn’t remember me much, if at all. And she would probably live her life devastated that her mother gave up instead of sticking around. She might even blame herself. Nope, not going to kill myself. Besides, I DIDN’T WANT TO BE DEAD. I just didn’t want to live in Seattle.
I started outpatient treatment in late January and inpatient treatment (of various forms) in early April. JJ realized we couldn’t stay in Seattle and began job hunting. I started to learn about finding my self-worth within myself and the qualities I admire, not based on what other people think, how many friends I have, or the number on the scale.
I realized that it’s not that I didn’t want to live. It’s that I didn’t want to live like this.
It’s mid-October and I just watched my car get loaded on a tow truck to be shipped to Texas. I have accepted a job at UT Austin. LK and I will fly to Austin on November 3rd, with JJ to follow as he gets a job or by six months, whichever comes first. I am almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which was the original weight loss goal in 2017. I will live 20 minutes from my best friend, and 1.5-2 hours from my family. I will have LK and JJ. I will have an awesome job at the university I wanted to be at.
I want to live like this.