On New Year’s Eve 2016, I put on a white sequined dress and a white rabbit fur coat to go out to a bar for an hour and a half. I had two small glasses of wine, and then went out to some shitty dive for a few glasses of cheap champagne with a couple of friends.
2016 was a hellion of a year: I moved to Portland on a whim, to run away–once again. Unceremoniously exiting left was a skill I had honed into an art form. Now you see me; now you don’t. My CPTSD was reaching its peak of unsustainability; by the end of the year, when I wasn’t self-medicating, I was chopping off my hair in a (clichéd) rage and putting matches out on my wrists. The few friends I had in town were either active alcoholics or rubberneckers–people who either capitalized or reveled in my own self-destruction.
I knew things would have to change, otherwise I was going to die. Maybe not immediately, but within the next few years, I would try to kill myself, again. I wanted to die every single day, and toward the end of the year, suicidal thoughts were constant. I started painting again, just to keep my hands busy.
Every day, I woke up and burst into sobs. I wrote on my bathroom mirror in lipstick: DAYS WITHOUT CRYING, with the prayer that I could start counting them soon. I ran through the list of ways that I could kill myself–what would be the least painful? I started researching bridges suited for jumping. I took inventory of the pills in my medicine cabinet, more than once–laying out the bottles on the bed, trying to calculate how much would be required to send me off. I considered how much will and risk it would require to throw myself in front of a truck–and whether or not I could do it knowing it would traumatize or hurt someone else in the process.