*Thought this was a pretty epic story by Meggie Royer – for anyone who has thought about the day after it’s all over.
I made myself breakfast in bed. I added salt and pepper to my eggs and used my toast for a cheese and bacon sandwich. I squeezed a grapefruit into a juice glass. I scraped the ashes from the frying pan and rinsed the butter off the counter. I washed the dishes and folded the towels.
The morning after I killed myself, I fell in love. Not with the boy down the street or the middle school principal. Not with the everyday jogger or the grocer who always left the avocados out of the bag. I fell in love with my mother and the way she sat on the floor of my room holding each rock from my collection in her palms until they grew dark with sweat. I fell in love with my father down at the river as he placed my note into a bottle and sent it into the current. With my brother who once believed in unicorns but who now sat in his desk at school trying desperately to believe I still existed.
The morning after I killed myself, I walked the dog. I watched the way her tail twitched when a bird flew by or how her pace quickened at the sight of a cat. I saw the empty space in her eyes when she reached a stick and turned around to greet me so we could play catch but saw nothing but sky in my place. I stood by as strangers stroked her muzzle and she wilted beneath their touch like she did once for mine.
The morning after I killed myself, I went back to the neighbors’ yard where I left my footprints in concrete as a two year old and examined how they were already fading. I picked a few daylilies and pulled a few weeds and watched the elderly woman through her window as she read the paper with the news of my death. I saw her husband spit tobacco into the kitchen sink and bring her her daily medication.
The morning after I killed myself, I watched the sun come up. Each orange tree opened like a hand and the kid down the street pointed out a single red cloud to his mother.
The morning after I killed myself, I went back to that body in the morgue and tried to talk some sense into her. I told her about the avocados and the stepping stones, the river and her parents. I told her about the sunsets and the dog and the beach.
The morning after I killed myself, I tried to unkill myself, but couldn’t finish what I started.
By Meggie Royer
The self is a story, a product of our telling and not some essence.
Bipolar Disorder keeps getting pigeon-holed as more depressive, that we are always suicidal or unhappy. I’m in a great mood, except for the insomnia, it’s a bad time. People need to be aware that they need to use ‘people first’ language whenever referring to any disorder or disability, this is a must. It becomes increasingly hard to see the overwhelming darkness and turmoil that had for months each year ruled my life, I’ve happily put it in a box and forgotten what it looks like. It’s a beautiful spring day, summer is coming, its hot, the sun is out, I see no room for negativity. ‘Winter is coming’ is extremely problematic, people with a bipolar disorder are usually highly susceptible to seasonal change. Psychologists recommended better diet and exercise to avoid winter depression, I did both, I gained weight and lost friends.
Winter is dark and dreary, needing more sleep, having less energy, low motivation/depressed and little control over our appetites. When the weather starts to get brighter, my symptoms of depression will simply change or disappear completely. All the weight I put on during depression disappears in a matter of months; I exercise excessively, high motivation and extreme goal setting ideations. The weight loss is definitely a confidence boost (I had gained 7kg); I can go up to any guy/girl, I will be socially active nearly every night of the week and have mountains of energy to conquer all the things I let slide whilst depressed. Yet the only time I even thought about seeking the help of a psychologist was for my chronic anxiety. During different mood cycles my level of anxiety would become unmanageable, to the point of avoiding almost all social contact. Making the first step to see my psychologist for my anxiety really just opened the door for all the other stuff to come rushing out, I’m still trying to work out if it’s a good or bad thing. Hopefully my next ‘winter’ won’t be so bad.