Most working days, I work from home. At least I do these days. But sometimes I have to take the bus to work downtown.

This morning, I’m not working from home.  Or from downtown.  In fact, I haven’t been working anywhere. At least, not since a bit of an incident related to some medications.  That’s a different story, from an older day

This is a different day.

On this particular morning, I'm riding the same bus I take to work. But today I added a transfer through a part of Seattle I've only driven through. I'm not sure where this journey is taking me. But I have some expectations.

I'm working on my mental health.

I was hoping Rainier would be visible.

landscape photography of body of water between trees under foggy sky
Photo by adrian / Unsplash

Here I'm Talking about Suicidal Thoughts or Suicidal Ideation (But Wasn't Able to Say It While I Was Writing This)

It's hard to know where to begin or what needs to be said in moments like this. But I know for reasons I don't have time to get into that my life is about to change forever.

It's hard to know what you struggle with. We all do it.

Fuck these buses take the interstate ramps quickly

Anyway, the thing I struggle with is as hard to know as it as hard to say. But as far back as I can remember, I've been living with these thinking styles. It's not really something I would call a struggle. It's more of a strategy. Or a guideline. Definitely not a lifeline. But it's used like one.

You probably know the feeling. Although you probably have never told anyone.  

(For the sake of this text, your secret is safe with me.)

Because for some reason, it's continuously, slowly turning inside of me.

For as long as I can remember it's always been thought. Or a short option. An opportunity to assert my desires against nature. A way to make my will known. Or to finally feel like I have control over my own life.

These thoughts are not something that I use as a crutch, it's more like an order than a way of walking.  It was a path that was created in me before I had any idea what I was building.

five rope lights
Photo by Nick Fewings / Unsplash

For every selection, problem, opportunity, circumstance, past, present, real or not, there is a light flickering.  A cheap attempt at fading.  

I don't know where it came from.  But there is a unbalance toward darkness that is too uncomfortable for me to describe. I suppose it's why we call it darkness.

What I have been empowered by over the last few months is that I do not need it to be in total darkness

I can shine a light on the world and see myself in the same light that brought us here.

The tools I was taught to use for comfort were ineffective. I'm finding new ways to do things.

I'm about to go through the change I've needed. I'm about to get off for my next stop.

These bus transfers always make me feel so nervous. Like I'm about to make a huge mistake that is going to cost me my whole trip.

I don't want to be a victim to the same problems that faced fathers and brothers.  My emotional health is essential.  I've neglected it for too long.  And I'm ready to start talking about it.  

"emotional connection is the stuff of life, it is both the glue that holds a relationship together and the fuel that keeps it burning."  — Jonice Webb, Running on Empty

I want to do this for myself.  And for my wife. And my son.  And my brothers and sisters.  

And for the light of my father, that lives within me.

And for the hope of my mother who has suffered these thoughts twice as long as I have.

And for anyone one reading this.  What we're dealing with isn't out of your control.  Your mental health is within your power.  There is a light.

Photo by Andrei Lazarev / Unsplash

After all this time keeping it to myself, I finally opened up - only to find where my darkness lead me

And now that I have been open I'm amazed I actually seem to be getting help.

It wasn't an easy thing. And been a hellish few months. I've been locked away (voluntarily) and given a handful of different medications. It didn't take long to realize these tactics weren't all so helpful.

Where I came from was a place of comfort. And easily accessible. It didn't matter if it was realistic or not. It was always easy to get to a place where instead of working on my problems - I was caught up wondering how those involved with each problem would handle the situation if I had to leave.

Not that it helped any situation. But it was easy to get to. And common.

man running on road during night time
Photo by Joshua Ness / Unsplash

In fact so common, I don't think I can tell you precisely when it started

The first time I remember saying it out loud was in my father's 1-bedroom apartment during a visit after he separated from my mother.

I must have been 7. Who knows how long I'd been keeping that in. I also couldn't tell you how much it lingered. I know by the time I was 13 or 14 the angst driven nu-metal bug I caught in 1999 felt very comfortable.

I don't think I gave it a lot of thought because it always came so naturally.

Aside from a few isolated instances, it was never anything I felt like I was ready to act on – like I said,it was just a fleeting option.

But I think that those not affected don't seem to understand is it is not always driven by pain. And it's not always torturous.  Sometimes it's hard to feel anything toward it.  It's the indifference that terrifies you.  But it's still not sheer terror. You know.  It's the type of terror makes you petrified.  And that causes you to withdraw.  And when someone asks you what is wrong, all you can say is "I don't know."  Because that's all the voice in your capacity is capable of at that time.

Sometimes it's not even that. It's just a way to pass the time. Or a way to forecast a hypothetical. Sometimes it was just hard not to explore.

Photo by Magne Træland / Unsplash

Where ever it came from it existed as a place of comfort. And there was a lot of comforting. I heed expectations out of this experience.  But there's just one thing I hope for: to be comforted.

There is my stop.  There is my hope. There is my help.