By Susan (From ‘Clarity of Mind’)
He ‘gave’ me my first Bible. I say ‘gave’ because he came back from boarding school, forgot it, and I took possession of it. That was my first Bible which I read from beginning to end. It was called Bible Stories for Children and I treasured it. I think it was the first book I ever owned. When he came back for holidays, my name was scrawled all over to let him know that I was now the owner. There wasn’t much objection but we fought a little. The next book I acquired was a story book with over a hundred fairy tales. Again, as with the Bible, I scrawled my name all over it and eventually this became our tradition. He would bring me a book each time he came home. We would fight about why I did the crossword puzzle instead of leaving it to elders - him. We would fight about taking books before one finished reading. We fought about so many things but we were the only ones allowed to hurt each other. An outsider would not dare come between us. I suppose that was how we showed love. This was my brother. And then my brother died. And once more my world came crushing down. The hole my mother had left in my heart, he took a bull dozer and dug even deeper. That is how my heart felt.
I had to be the strong one this time around. The others had been there for me when my mother died. They rallied around me when they discovered I went to visit her gravesite and helped me accept her death. It was therefore my turn. In order to keep my depression in check, which I knew would eventually creep up on me, I decided to start numbing my pain once more. I was very efficient. I helped everyone else but myself. There were people around me too but I did not want that. I went further into my Codeine and all was well. Or so I thought. On one of those days I decided to quit, I broke down. I did not want to leave my bed. I just wanted to sleep and never wake up. How could my brother be gone? I wanted to be gone too. Everyone would be better off without me. I made plans. I bought sufficient drugs, a mix of them to ensure that I would not wake up. To further ensure success, I also got hold of surgical blades sharp enough to slash my wrists and finish the job. If you recall, I’d mentioned memory problems and when it was time to get the job done, I could not for the life of me remember where I had hidden my drugs. The drugs were to numb me so I would not have to feel the pain of the blade. I could not go through with it with only the blade. And that’s when the flood came in and completely overwhelmed me. I did not get out of bed for a week. I had responsibilities but I could not be bothered. Person after person came to talk to me. My partner brought his friends, my friends, his family, mine, my child. I looked at my child’s sad little eyes, not knowing what was wrong with mummy and I pulled myself out of bed. It was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do. However, I did not stop with the codeine and Valium completely.
What continues to bother me as I continue in my recovery is that those that know about my situation treat me like an egg, like if they said something hurtful, I’d break. Maybe I would, maybe not. The constant whispers and looks, the ‘are you sure you can do it?’ questions make me want to stay caged in my head. It is comfortable there. I come out once in a while to the real world and its terrifying but as I said earlier, I have good days and great days. At this point I should add that I also have bad days. But every morning I get up and every so often I ask myself if it is worth it. And you know what? I’m still here so it must be. Till next time - This is Susan.
Catch up with Susan's earlier blog here http://www.gedefoundation.org/blog/2016/10/31/clarity-of-mind