In the wake of Robin Williams death, at the time I’m writing this there’s still no confirmation of how (do we really need to know?) but there’s a lot of talk about suicide.
With this in mind, here’s a couple of scenes from my one man play, written last year, and based on personal experience I had some years ago.
I feel distant from these feelings now, and am grateful for that, as its allowed me to write about it in this and my book. I will never forget that I’m one of the lucky ones.
The show has been my most successful in terms of script writing, and has already had a number of successful performances. Maybe I should take it to Edinburgh?
Sam: When we have past lives, we keep having them until we get it right.
I have no memory of this in a past life.
And no idea why it happened.
It continued for days.
Days turned into weeks
Weeks turned into months.
I couldn’t remember feeling well.
I couldn’t remember not feeling angry
I couldn’t remember being happy.
I had these thoughts, these delusions in my head
and it felt like that’s all that was there.
Whatever knowledge I had, whatever dreams I had
couldn’t get through because there was only violence in my head and it was all against me.
After four months it got unbearable.
At 3am I got dressed, and went out.
Walked in the fields.
Cold. Dark. Alone.
Shouting, Screaming, lashing out at nothing in front of me
because it was all in my head.
I just couldn’t get it out.
made my way back.
Still crying when I got home.
Didn’t wake anyone else up.
So no one knew.
(He sits in one of the chairs)
Next day I went to my doctor but I couldn’t describe what was wrong with me.
So he gave me sleeping tablets.
Seriously, sleeping tablets, are you fucking kidding me?
I went home not knowing what was wrong with me.
Still no diagnosis.
Still no idea.
I tried not thinking about it.
I started taking the tablets.
But they didn’t help.
So I took them all.
Well, I stopped half way, got scared.
Didn’t know what to do.
Went to bed.
Woke up next morning.
Carried on as normal.
Next night I did the same thing.
Took the rest of the bottle.
Woke up next morning.
Went back to doctors
I was already on the waiting list for therapy see.
So it was fine.
I got told to go home and sleep it off.
That was it.
(He lies under the duvet)
Got home and got back to bed
and I Lay there, feeling –
Not knowing what to think.
Not knowing what to say.
I was staring the lock as if it might force itself open and pull me towards the door.
Pulling me as I cling to my bed, my duvet pulled right over me
Saying to myself over and over
“I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die,
I don’t want to die"
2am turns to 3am.
The clock getting blurrier as I close my eyes and then finally I fall to sleep.
The thing is, when you’re in that place you can’t think of anything else.
I couldn’t remember ever feeling happy, or remember ever feeling as if anything else mattered.
I couldn’t remember being well, I couldn’t remember that I had a past, and most important of all, that I had a future.
I’ve been thinking about a couple of posts I saw recently. Well, one on Facebook and one article in the local paper. Both were about suicide, and the one on Facebook in particular mentioned that the person who knew the man who committed suicide had no idea he felt that way.
Which left me thinking about why I, and others like me, don’t talk. I’m not going to go on about any male ego bullshit, I’m trying to come up with helpful answers. Stuff that I’m not 100% sure about, but may help people who want to understand.
I had my therapy appointment today at 10am, and this was actually something I was looking forward to, a space to talk about how my anxious feelings have been getting worse. This appointment was cancelled at 9.10am today. No apology, just cancelled with a phone call.
Which left me in a bit of a turmoil, because while I’m quite lucky in that I have others to talk to, I knew I would go through a number of excuses and thoughts and feelings before I made that call. And in the end I texted. Because it was easier for me.
So I’m wondering, on what grounds would people, who ever they are, not tell anyone how desperate they were?
I go through a number of things when I want to talk to someone. Standard thoughts of ‘I’m not worthy’, or I don’t know what they’re doing’, or I want to be in the right ‘frame of mind’ come up, along with feelings of being incredibly nervous and wondering, before anything happens, what the conversation is going to be like. I’m often thinking I’m going to run out of things to say, and that’s going to be just awkward.
There are other thoughts too, but they all boil down to feelings of self worth, and that maybe I am taking up someone’s time.
The truth is, of course I am taking up their time, but they wouldn’t have given me there number, or spoken to me, or known me all these years for that to be a problem.
This original quote has been attributed many times to Nelson Mandella, but it was actually Marianne Williamson who said it in first in her book ‘A Return To Love’, which I think is a good point:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?"
What that means to me is that you might help another person out by making that call. By sharing with others they may then go on to help you, or help someone else, because you've shared something personal.
So that other person who you connect could be more empowered - by you. In fact, who are you to not make that phone call. To not tell someone how you are feeling?
Latest update: My Therapist has been signed off for the next two weeks.