Late September, 1994

she is the reason i speak, 34" x 14", charcoal, ink, graphite, pigment, paper, ©CKS

Late September 1994
Memoir ~ #ReasonsISpeak

I am a #StigmaFighter
CKS


My nights are incomprehensibly long without reprieve.  Yesterday I called upon another temporary suicide; their numbers are ever increasing, and my ability to continue; weakening.  The day is coming, I feel, when I will commit permanent suicide my friends.  I find less and less solace in such a temporary state.  “If only,” I whisper, “that I could find peace.”

When committing a temporary suicide I am unreachable.  I do not hear the phone, the door, not even the incessant bark of my dog.  Nothing exists.  I neither dream nor sleep.  I neither scream nor weep.  It is as if I, myself, cease to exist.


I neither dream nor sleep.
I neither scream nor weep.


First, my head lays limp on the pillow.  My eyes darken and blur.  Feeling leaves my extremities, and the voices I feel inside me stop.  It is an indescribable point of no return. Something pulls at me in those last few conscious moments; though I care not what, because in the next moment I reach oblivion.

The unfortunate always occurs like clockwork.  I come back.

I come back from my sabbatical, and life throws itself into me, and I become lazily conscious.  My rage-filled eyes burn into bright red screams as they open slightly; seeing the day.  My body is burdened heavily with weight unseen.  Precious oblivion is over.  I feel the touch of clothe against me.  I feel the unusually disconcerting tightness of my skin; caused from dried blood.

It is yet another beginning.  A re-birth unwelcomed, but even though I tread dangerously close to death, my fear of it haunts me.  So, I retreat and stumble my way through yet another day.


TRACE the past.
It is always there, waiting.
The darkness erodes logic. 


It is Friday of a particularly grueling week.  Alcohol has lingered with me all week.  I managed through, day after day, calling on my temporary suicides to bail me out of my overwhelmed self.  But, I am tired.  I am exhausted.  I am drained of all sense of reason, and as I step into my cave I know the time has arrived that I willfully have prepared for and have just been patiently waiting for my exhaustion to reach out of me.  And, I  know.

I know by the difficulty I have unlocking my door.  Fumbling and shaking, it is surreal, and life begins to play out, in slow motion.

Once inside I don’t even notice that I failed to lock my door.  I have my instructions, and I have prepared well.  There is nothing left for me; no hope, not light, no desire, and no will.  No compassion and no empathy left within.  It is the end.

So, I go to my cabinet and pull down all my stash of medication and over the counter pharmaceuticals and line them up on the floor by my futon.  I take my family size bottle of rum out of its hiding place and place it on the floor also.

I am beyond all sense of right or wrong.  I do not care about anything but the alcohol and the pills.  I linger momentarily in the fantasy of what I am about to do.  I have written no letters of sorrowful goodbyes.  I have made no calls with morose messages of despair.  I do not care.

Slowly and methodically I take twenty pills with one glass of rum every fifteen to thirty minutes.  Time quickly becomes irrelevant and at some point I reach oblivion without even noticing.

There are no exotic thoughts of success, no white light stories, no sense whatsoever; other than I woke up in my own puke on a hospital gurney with rage; rage immediately pounding inside me to take action.

My intent evaded success.  I was alive and miraculously so.  I closed my eyes and lay there motionless as a lifeless pathetic soul.  All I had done had merely brought depression to a new low.  I was utterly hollow, yet gravity weighed heavy on my bones.  I couldn’t move.  All I could do  was to shut my eyes and begin to cry.  The tears streamed down like ribbons.  Tears dripped down the side of my face soiling the pillow that held my head.

To this day I have never known exhaustion as I did in that moment.  I did not care if energy ever recovered itself.  Why?  because within myself, I had wanted out.

Soon, I recognized a sense of touch on my shoulder, and yet I could not answer its call.  The hand of a stranger or possibly someone else attempting to gently awaken my state of being.  My exhaustive state precluded control over myself, but I must have made a movement, for I do hear a voice saying that I am able to be awakened and that this was a good sign.  Not for me!  I, myself, ME, Connie, without question; wanted to die.


I wanted to die.


I have never been more miserable.  I had no choice but admit defeat.  My behavior, appearing erratic and crazy to some, only served to infuriate others.  I do not remember much of anything else of the situation until I woke up in a strange bed, in a strange place, that I knew I have never been before.

At first, I questioned my humanity and glimpsed a moment of peace in believing, maybe, I were dead.  However, it was not to be.  I remember the scene change.  Feeling completely void of life; yet breathing.  I managed to sit up; put my feet on the ground and sighed; as if it were a mighty feat.

I stood up and waffled my way to the doorway.  I managed just well enough to stand in the doorway, upright.  My mind was not able to record or process what I saw.  I must have been staring loudly, for it was not long that a woman called my name, and made some sort of comment to the fact that I was awake, and again, that it was a good thing.

She explained that I was in a psychiatric hospital and that I would probably only be there for a few days.  As it was to be, I was there, as an inpatient, for six weeks before being discharged to day treatment.  Freshly DID with a journey onward walking.

September 1994

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower


National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

*she is the reason i speak, 34″ x 14″, charcoal, ink, graphite, pigment, paper, ©CKS