Content warning: recurrent theme of suicidal ideation
Days and weeks and months, indeed whole years, that I never wanted, expected or asked for keep on arriving at my door. They form quietly in the night then present themselves with the audacity of a cavalry, foisting the enormity of themselves upon me with such force that I have no option but to endure them (alone) in all of their miserable entirity: seemingly endless days of pain and sadness and grief and my brain trying to kill me, almost succeeding, then resuscitating me at the last second, only to go through the same charade again, bruises not even fully bloomed let alone fading.
For so long I did not want the gift of life, for life only felt, to me, like death dressed-up in a cheap wig. I did not welcome the days. I tried to prevent their (re)creation, more than once, and yet the days and weeks and months and years have kept on coming; so steadfast in their predictability, so reliable in their disappointment, like socks at Christmas from a well-meaning aunt or opening a book-shaped package to find it’s one you’ve already read, the You Have Been Denied Permission To Die is continually given to me. All of the wrapping is recycled from prior sad gifts but they are creative with how they address me on the name tags. FOR: WASTE OF SPACE, TO: USELESS OXYGEN THIEF, DEAR: SHIT HUMAN BEING, FOR YOU: STUPID BITCH, TO BE OPENED BY: UNGRATEFUL LITTLE GIRL.
In the mornings, or when I wake from an overdose, or when I haven’t slept and can hear the birds singing, I have to open my unwanted gift, accept its reality, and then muster a weak “thanks for this,” “you really shouldn’t have,” “thank you,” not because I am truly grateful, but simply because I am British and too polite (I may be mad but I have manners).
The gifts are never love or money or happiness or hope; they are always the same, always just another packaged opportunity to suffer, to ache, to fight, to lose, to fail, to exist. Sometimes, if it’s a special occasion, they also wrap up one of A Previously-Buried Trauma for me to open along with More Life. They spoil me. They exhaust me. And they tell me that I am so lucky.