**TW: suicide, including methods**
I’m aware that misadventure isn’t the correct terms here; it means something that happens to befall you. The things that might befall me aren’t happenstance, or bad luck, but what else can I say? Am I choosing my own demise? Not exactly. And I choosing my own life? Definitely not.
Unless you are of a certain age, you probably don’t remember “choose your own adventure” books. It was a simple enough concept. At various points in the narrative, the reader was given choices, and how the story continued from there depended on the choices made. So if you entered the castle, you could choose to open the heavy wooden door in front of you, in which case you would turn to page 61 or whatever. Or you could opt to go up the worn stone staircase, which necessitated turning to page 97.
This week I am constantly aware of choices, of forks in the road.
The hand that, as I described, hovered over the dossette box a couple of days ago. Should I have just taken the lithium? Should I have secreted it? I turned to the page for the option “leave it where it is” but I could easily have flipped to a different page.
Before I left for therapy this morning, I looked at the very long lightening cable I use in the living room and I remembered that it was of course taken away from me in hospital. I had the thought – and I have never had this thought before – that I had a choice as to whether to play with it or not, to see whether it was even feasible to make a usable ligature. I chose not to. Not at this moment.
When I was coming home from seeing the psychologist I got off the Tube at That Station. I felt a pull towards going over the bridge, just to see if the huge bloody fence has really been put up where I think it is, just to check that jumping there really isn’t an option any more. That’s what I did just before I went into hospital, went over that bridge, a bridge I had no business crossing. Near the ticket barriers today I was aware that this was another point at which my fates could diverge. It was very, very difficult.
I left the station.
Outside, I knew I could take a bus, a bus to the next station along, a station where I would be able to stand on the platform edge with no impediment.
I chose not to.
I certainly didn’t make that decision because I “chose life”, because I don’t want this life. I told Tom the other day, in a very small voice, throat constricted because I was crying, “I don’t want to be bipolar anymore.”
The thing about choose your own adventure books is that of course they only have a finite number of endings. Although it doesn’t feel like it at the time, you are being channelled towards one outcome or another.
Whilst it may look like a really positive thing that I’ve chosen not to take the options above, it’s actually more about moving away from the stuff I’m afraid of than towards “choosing life”. As my psychologist said this morning, my “protective factors” are currently the fear of certain outcomes.
There’s the bungled attempt with injury leading to permanent, painful physical harm or organ damage. There’s being picked up by the police because I’m behaving suspiciously, which could lead to be hospitalised somewhere I don’t want or like. Frankly I’m not that keen on going back into hospital full stop, although most roads seem to lead there, but I guess the least bad option would be to be back where I was in the winter. But least bad means they are all bad.
I suppose it’s still in my hands, at least for now.
The alternative is to put up with what I’ve got. Also bad.
A finite number of endings.