My life was saved because of writing to the dead.

I was not convinced I deserved to die until recently.

I have been suicidal before in my life, but never had the guts to do it. I am painfully aware of the statistics surrounding suicidality and the fact that a third of us attempt suicide at least once. These increase with comorbidity.

I knew that this wave of depression would be harder to survive because I started to burn the most important of bridges. I quit my job, got into arguments about the smallest things, and took steps to make my family dislike me. I have rapid cycling. I knew about the new diagnosis for a long time.

I am writing now and I am alive. This is a recap of the event. It was a process when I asked for help.

I thought I was lucky and grateful because there were people worse off than me. I know, it’s quite shitty. It wore off quickly for the same reason. People were struggling more than I was. This thought took up a lot of time. It didn’t allow me to put my life into a wider context and get out of the cycle of being unable to problem solve and falling into bad mechanisms that I should have control over.

People react to success in many different ways. I don’t know if my mood went up because of burn out or fear of not being able to excel in the job market as much as I did in education. My family moved to another country to be closer to my family, sacrificing everything in the process. I grew up in a household that valued hard work and productivity. My parents are smart and resilient. People talked about my achievements and potential after they inspired me. I felt like I couldn’t deliver.

I thought I had it all figured out without beating around the bush. I was told that I was a fake, unsuccessful creative who hasn’t created anything of worth in a year. My perspective was ruined by years of self-pity, laziness and addiction. After graduating with a master’s degree, I decided that everything I did was not good. I was flawed.

In the past, I explored my feelings through writing. I have been practicing freewriting/journaling for many years. I was not able to write at the time. I was afraid of the psychological side of it because I was struggling with the physical aspect. Over time, I gave this simple activity a lot of weight and significance, so I felt too embarrassed to write. I was used to being marked or paid for it. I didn’t know what I was writing for for the first time. I knew I had to do that. I needed that final confirmation that my dialogue was exhausted. It was settled. I think I needed an answer that was different from the conclusions I was coming to.

I was still around. I was hurting myself as a result. I felt like I wasn’t present in my body when I was hurting myself. The sentence could be carried out at any time. I was confused by the compulsion to wait just a little longer. I already thought I was unable to live a dignified life.

I need a safe place to think about life and death. Talking to experts is the most efficient way to talk about life and death, and there is no better expert than a dead person. Correct? I picked the first dead person that popped into my head. Nobody to judge me, no risk of damaging or straining a relationship, and no chance of causing any real harm were the obvious advantages. It had to be kept completely private. My writing couldn’t be addressed to anyone, just in case.

I began writing a letter to Babcia Marysia. She has been dead for about two years and a half, and she didn’t know a word of English. Since I remember Catholicism, I rejected it. I don’t know what will happen after death. Talking to the dead was something that religious people did.

I never rang my grandma. She never let me know this was true. I felt ashamed, but I was grateful for how loving this simple act was. The shame was not as bad as it could have been.

It still felt a bit embarrassing at first. It was very awkward. You were supposed to have that phone call a long time ago. I thought I didn’t ring her enough before she died. I wanted to apologize. I apologized.

I wrote about everything in every state, and I will probably never discuss it again. It took weeks for me to come back and say I was back and that I couldn’t do anything anymore. To spill out a little bit more.

I spent a lot of time writing to her, trying to explain my life away to make myself feel better. We grew apart because of distance and because life never stopped for us. I lost touch with my parents when I moved halfway across the country because of the problems, conflicts and my way of dealing.

I was drawn to certain aspects of life that the living have control over after I explored death by writing to someone who was dead. I feel like it is proof that your body and mind are the most important part of keeping you alive. I believe connection is a significant part of keeping you alive. We all need sustenance. It was true for me.

You have no control over someone’s past love towards you, if you write to a dead relative like my grandma. Even if shame comes up, it is towards a dead person. Things are not better there. You have to let go of something. I promised to try my best to not treat another human that way. I started to focus on the living. I could do something.

This whole process gave me a safe place to frame my life in a way that reflected my family’s and forces that were at play long before I was born. There is a war. I could suddenly see trauma and patterns everywhere. We have had many alcoholics, drug users, criminals and suicides. I was not the only one who fell into a club. I began talking to one another. I started to feel normal. My narrative became intertwined with other people. I kept writing and that made me want to talk to those who were a part of my story. They would remind me if a violent change in mental state made me forget.

I was carrying my rosary on my body. My mum gave me a few over the years, and they always reminded me of my grandma, who prayed for everyone in her life. I don’t use them to pray, but I use them to remember, which I suppose could be seen as the same thing.

It is easier to climb back up with the help of others. The act of writing kept me busy. I got more time. It was a way of building a bridge back to my loved ones and myself.

Reach out.

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