Today I wanted to die.(Blog 3)

This morning I went for our usual 8-mile walk with Maria, along the Forth and Clyde canal and using the magnificent Helix network of paths, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to travel throughout Falkirk on specially designated paths.  The sun was shining, the skies were blue, and it felt great to be out walking my dog!

Until of course we neared home, and Maria ran across the full length of a park and into a cemetery.  I was too exhausted to run or even walk fast and when I reached the graveyard, I was unsure which way to go, but two wide-eyed deer ran past me at speed, and so I knew to go in the direction, they were running from. 

I spent some time wandering around, whistling and calling Maria’s name, but knowing she would find me again.  I began reading the grave stones I passed and each one reminded me that I was alive.  And that life is short. And to make the most of each day.  Then Maria arrived covered in muck.  I knew I should have used a stern tone with her but she was super ecstatic to see me, and I couldn’t help but pull her into a cuddle, telling her how much I loved her.

As Maria lay sleeping on her tartan covered, executive chair, next to my desk, I spent the afternoon preparing for a couple of talks I was giving in a school the next day.  I found it difficult, not only to concentrate but for my thoughts to form.  There was a fuzziness in my brain, like I knew the answers and sentences were there somewhere, I just couldn’t retrieve them into conscious thought. 

This is why I am such a firm advocate of the wholly scientific term, ‘winging it’ … because I have to be.  Many a time, my mind just doesn’t allow me to prepare for stepping up on stage and without a fool proof plan such as winging it … I would worry too much and it would ruin my enjoyment. It helps that I’ve adopted a firm belief; that all I can do, is do the best I can.  This is an amazing belief to have but it does take commitment … to do the best you can.

It’s bed time and I don’t feel good.  I’m anxious.  I don’t want to do talks tomorrow.  I don’t want to go out and face the world.  How can I stand up in front of an audience and talk … I can’t even think … then the voice that gets me through everything steps in … because Ishbel you are phenomenal at winging it.  People are going to love you, so just be yourself … that’s all you have done so far … through all the anxiety and all the public speaking is just be yourself … people love authentic people, regardless of differences. 

Then I lie my head on my pillow and I cry … my thoughts turn, and I pull Maria in close … the only reason I am alive is for my dog Maria.  She is the only reason I don’t kill myself.  Maybe I didn’t have the guts when I was younger, but I do now.  I notice tiny little thoughts creeping into my head that Maria is better off without me, that she will be happier with another human. 

But how much Maria adores me and how sick she gets when she’s apart from me and how she yelps when she greets me, with her tail wagging for an Olympic gold medal.  The way all she wants is her tummy rubbed and for her eyes to be looking into mine.

Maria’s love is stronger than any of my thoughts trying to justify why it would be okay if I killed myself.  But my friend who killed himself, was surrounded by loved ones, so perhaps it’s not Maria’s love that is strong enough.  Perhaps it’s the chemicals in my head that allow me still to use reason. 

Maybe it was me who rescued Maria, but it’s her who’s helping keep me alive now. 

Because I just want it to end.  This pain that is life.

Ishbel xxx

(Please note this is a live journal of my mental health journey … my thoughts may not always make sense!  Each blog post is published 5 days after it’s been written so as to minimize people’s worry during my low mental health moments.)

15 Replies to “Today I wanted to die.(Blog 3)”

  1. I picked u up in a taxi from calderbank going to airdrie train station..and that give minute conversation was great .amazing you cycled the world .i told you I just took up cycling then I was going to tell you I cycled to the kelpies.until you trumped me by your story..?chin up ??‍♂️??

    1. Ha ha ha!!! Hope you’re still enjoying cycling! The Kelpies are awesome … did you take in the Falkirk Wheel too? Using the canal path networks? Thank you so much!

  2. Your post makes perfect sense my dogs kept me alive and all my thoughts were on a more rational day I couldn’t ever do that to them, they give you unconditional love and you owe them! Especially your special girly you saved her now it’s her time, please don’t let her down no matter how hard it is at the moment! And Falkirk is just a name! A home is what you make it! Don’t let a place define you, you are bigger stronger than that xx

    1. Love love love this …A home is what you make it! Don’t let a place define you, you are bigger stronger than that … amazing words! Thank you so much! xxx

  3. You are loved, you are wanted and this world is that bit better with you in it. Do not let the darkness overshadow your brilliance, do not let the light you can bring to this world and to others be dimmed by its presence. You may not realise it, but by going in to speak to the children within the school, you may be saving more lives than your own. People need someone to look up to, sure, but also they need someone to believe in and to understand that to struggle is to truly live. To be given an opportunity to let your light shine out and not be put out by negative thoughts
    Truly, I believe the meaning of life is to live, to love and be loved, and trust me, you are loved. My Mum first told me about your travels when I was solo travelling as a young woman around the US and then Thailand, she has watched your journey unfold and keeps you in her thoughts whenever she sees your blog posts. We lost a member of our family to the darkness and it’s the ones left behind that are forever shut out from your light. So please. Keep your light on, keep shining and never give up, as to live is one of life’s greatest gifts.

    1. This has got to be one of the best messages I’ve ever had. Phenomenal words! Thank you so much! I’ll read your words over and over thank you x

  4. It’s hard to know what to say to you Ishbel, your thoughts are playing havoc in your brain and due to chemical imbalances which you can’t really account for. Seretonin gone walkabouts? Try chocolate, try music, try exercises…..try everything you know to stimulate the feel- good chemicals to wash through your brain cells. Phone and talk to the Samaritans to see what advice they give. You know you can say “no” to doing talks when you’re this exhausted? The talks can wait till you are well again. You must take care of yourself first and foremost otherwise you are prolonging your return to fitness. Please listen to your body. Xx

    1. Could be seratonin. So many coulds … wish I knew. I use exercise – have done throughout my life … it’s amazing! I hope I find out what’s wrong soon 🙂 xxx

  5. Well I often feel this way too Ishbel, unfortunately my 28year old daughter has recently started thinking this way too. I wish you, I and of course my daughter didn’t. Your voice of reason is good. When I feel well I rarely think of how long I have been feeling this way, but when I’m bleak I think I spend the largest part of my life like this. It can’t be so. I’m not that strong.
    Feeling depressed is so dam destroying that it makes our negative thoughts get far too much air time.
    I guess you have many people that you can talk to about what is happening in your thoughts , I suppose I do also, I often feel alone and lonely but I suspect it’s more that I just don’t think my friends value me THAT much and probably they would if I didn’t keep my inner thoughts to myself.
    If this sounds similar to you Ishbel, Im writing to you today because I am concerned for you. I think it’s important to know that someone, even a stranger to you, is offering to be an ear for you, not judge you and state that as I have followed your journey over that last 2 or so year, that I havnt yet read your book, and love cats as much as you love dogs (I love dogs also), would be happy to offer support for you.
    I hope you take time out from your depressed thoughts soon and just enjoy the moments and reflect when things are going well also.
    Take care Ushbel. Thinking about you, Joan in Australia

    1. Hi Joan, thank you so much! lol yeah I isolate myself then I feel lonely ha ha ha!!! I hope your daughter gets the help she deserves and needs and you’re so right about negative thoughts having lots of air time! I’m feeling better these last few days thank god! 🙂 And thanks for offering to listen 🙂 xxx

  6. Aw Ishbel. Sending you a huge loving hug. You are amazing. Love yourself as others love you. You gave so much love to Lucy and now to Maria. Save some for yourself.
    And thanks again for that cup of coffee at Nil Bar. Jxxx

    1. It was amazing meeting you in Nil Bar! We had been connected online for so long through all the ups and downs. Thanks for your words xxx

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