Yesterday I posted about being surprised when Dr. Mind called to check on me after I missed a week of therapy. I thought it was probably related to my history of being very suicidal around this time of year and he knows that there was a lot of sadness with the holidays this year.
The more I thought about it the more I realized that I remember only fragments from the worst of that time and then I was still having suicidal/self-harm thoughts for another year and a half after that so that it almost became normal thinking that I had learned ways to work around.
I don't know if it ever hit me until today that I could have died. At the time of course I knew that but mostly that was what I wanted. I did not want to live a life where I couldn't be who and what I wanted to be. And while eventually I got help and did not hurt myself thanks to many months of extremely close monitoring (and 2 1/2 years of being on a safety plan-well, really more since even now the Crisis center's phone number is programmed into my phone and that will always be there now) I was helped to stay alive when it wasn't what I really wanted. I don't know exactly what made me get help and go to the hospital. I do remember admitting to Dr. Mind later that I almost didn't tell the hospital, thinking that I would leave and feel justified since I did try to get help and they didn't pick it up so it wasn't my "fault". But I was still so sick then that I didn't understand the reality of what I nearly did.
Today that hit me rather hard. I know the statistics. 25-50% of bipolar individuals will attempt suicide at least once. 15% succeed. It's a deadly disease. I just never thought that I would come so close to those statistics. It does make me understand why I'm being watched even 3 years later.
Because I actually could have died.
I don't know what to say beyond that. I'm obviously glad now that I didn't. I would have missed so much with my nieces; I never would have known the baby and Anne would never have remembered me. And while I very much wish my life were different, even in this more painful time, life is worth living.
And I could have died.