***MORE BIG TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR SUICIDE, INCLUDING METHODS***
Yesterday I forced myself to be more honest than I have ever been about my suicidality. I told the Home Treatment Team Consultant, the team Registrar and my partner Tom everything I had been thinking about and doing to try and arrange my own death. I disclosed that I had made an email address under and assumed identity for making enquiries related to the project. I told them that I had started taking out sums of cash to visit numerous pharmacies to buy over the counter drugs to assist in an overdose, and that over the next few days I planned to take out more, up to my daily maximum, in order to make further useful purchases (I won’t go into the details as it’s unfair on others to have to read about the horrible minutiae of death), including renting a hotel room somewhere in central London. I was honest about having read enough on pro-suicide websites to know what those minutiae should be. I was also honest about having more than one plan, and that among other things I had been looking into buying nembutal online and researching train timetables.
I tried to explain that I felt that my brain was at war with itself. I was no longer having some many intrusive, shocking thoughts that caused me distress. On the contrary, the part of my mind which was working in opposition to my rational self was calm, almost relaxed, and very sneaky. As I waited at a tube station my rational mind thought nothing more than, “We should be on time for my appointment, that’s good” but sneaky brain was thinking, “Oh, look, there’s the barrier passengers should not cross. How easy it would be to do so, wouldn’t it?”
The thing about sneaky brain is it is running all the time in the background, like a piece of software that’s running while you’re doing other tasks. I am not really aware of sneaky brain until I get a pop-up message: “It looks like you’re taking out some cash! Wouldn’t you like to take out another £280 and hide it between the mattress and the bed slats?” “Tom’s letting you sort out your meds for the next few days, why don’t you see if you can slide that blister pack of 400mg quetipaine into your pocket? He’ll never know.” It was sneaky brain that found me suddenly switching from browsing Facebook to funeral planning, reading emails to researching relative lethality of methods.
Yesterday’s disclosures were a result of the sheer exhaustion of the tussle between sneaky brain and rational brain. It was also the result of a fear that sneaky brain might entice me to do something that left me living, yet gravely harmed and thinking, “What have I done?” I didn’t think I could take the pushing and pulling any more and the only way I felt I could stop it was to “out” sneaky brain and its doings. As a result of this, I ended up handing over my debit and credit cards, so I now have access to no more money than the £3.50 in my purse. All my meds, whether from GP or HTT are hidden away by Tom, who is now watching me like a hawk around stations and driving me places so I don’t have to take trains.
Initially, I felt a huge sense of relief. I was able to enjoy a trip to a museum with Tom after the appointment (although I almost had a panic attack at one point, which I just about managed to breathe myself out of). I felt, and I am told seemed, in better spirits all day. But this morning I woke and and my very thought: what have I done? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, CHARLOTTE? You have given away your every means of escape and now you are trapped, and it’s all your own fault. You are down in this pit of darkness and you have given away your torch and encouraged others to roll up the rope ladder. Sensible brain has vanished with the ladder and it’s just you and sneaky brain down here, becoming increasingly desperate. What have you done?