Bruises are loud. They say embarrassing things in public. Bruises are blabber mouths. They gossip. A lot.
They aren't attractive like eyes, with colors all melding in a perfect palette. They aren't political like tattoos, not usually anyway. Although, they could be gotten from a down and dirty protest march.
Bruises sometimes lie to our brains, who tell our mouths to repeat the story. Often, this doesn't turn out well for any part of the body.
My bruises are true. And brave, oh so valiant. Every week and sometimes twice, my bruises proclaim to my feet that they may walk. Every week and sometimes twice, my bruises tell my immune cells to sit down and shut up, and to, for heaven's sake, stop picking on those joints.
I know they get a bad rap, and mostly, rightly so. But my bruises mean a lot to me. Just one look at them and I know that all the rest of me will be just plain fine.
Just before I swallowed the pills, I wanted to melt away. About 20 or 30 minutes after I swallowed the pills, I slipped into sleep, a rare thing.
Some time later, no one came to save me. No one swooped in to pull me back, giving me hope, listing my talents, telling me I was loved. No medic pumped my stomach or injected me with death-defying drugs. No gathering of friends made me comfort food while joking about dead-serious topics. The most desired love of my life didn't shake me and make me promise never to leave him ever again. None of the movie situations happened.
I just woke up.
When I say it now, as I have many times when I talk about suicide, I shiver a little. I have listed the things I swallowed on paper. It was every pill I could get. It was enough. More than enough. But I woke up.
I don't know why or how. I do have some strange chemical composition. Mosquitoes won't bite me. Never. If one lands, it hurries away. Coffee doesn't keep me awake. Other things. For some reason, the lethal dose of drugs I swallowed and processed through my body gave me a long, deep sleep. And then I woke up, very thirsty, a little queasy but alive.
I have severe depression, which most often presents itself in me as a cancer of the will to live. Medications put me in remission. Talk therapy keeps me waking up from month to month. My love for the view of deep blue in my daughter's eyes keeps me alive when all else fails.
But I still occasionally find myself face down on the tiled floor of my front hall wanting to die. It's not such a bad place to be for those times. There aren't any sharp objects, pills, weapons, ropes, or anything dangerous within my reach there. A cat or dog will usually lick my face or climb on my back or both. Time passes. I get up on my grievously bad RA knees and go back to living.
You can't depend on someone else saving you. Robin Williams' homeless, broken former professor character in The Fisher King saves Jeff Bridges' suicidal shock-jock character. That was just the movies.
Sometimes no one comes. And you will not wake up from those pills. You just won't. Suicide is not romantic. There is nothing less romantic than a dead body.
I am known for my angry response to someone's suicide. There is nothing worse than seeing your own mistakes played out in front of you. I worry that others, particularly teens, will follow the leader. I grieve the mothers that ache for a view of blue or brown or green eyes.
But I am also known for my ability to hear the pain you want to pour out like the blood dripping from a cut wrist. I understand that it just hurts so much. That it won't stop. That the chemicals in your brain are trying to make the chemicals that move your muscles kill you.
If you want to talk or find help, I am your girl. Call or text or FB message or come over.
But you are going to have to save yourself from the pills or rope or sharp things by asking. Robin Williams can't swoop in like in the movies and pull you back from the fire.