oh, the bridge (part one)

i’m sitting on my couch, on a wednesday afternoon, and i’ve decided that i’m going to fly to san francisco to jump off the golden gate bridge.

and now that i’ve made this decision, i am finally able to breathe normal again. and i could cry at how calm i suddenly feel.

i’ve been watching myself – slowly breaking for the past few weeks, and earlier this morning, i finally shattered. everything that has been building up for the past few weeks finished swallowing me while i was at work this morning, and all i knew how to do was sit in a dark office and cry. i feel like everything is crumbling around me. i want to talk to somebody. i’m scared. i’m scared to look at somebody and tell them i want to die. in my mind, i’m so close to losing my friends because they cannot handle me any longer. i know i am just too much sometimes. i cry at my desk. a couple of people ask me what is wrong, and i tell them i don’t know. of course i know. i know of a hundred different things that are happening, and some of them are awful, stupid, sickening, embarrassing, selfish, sad, and now it’s too late to talk to anybody – and i’m ready to be done with it all. i am alone now and frightened.

when i’m able to stop the tears i sneak out of the office and try to walk as fast as i can past everybody, just to get to the elevator. of course i feel like they had all heard me sobbing (they had not) and are watching me from the sides of their eyes as i rush past them (they were not.) i go downstairs and into my car and now i am free from the imaginary stares and real-life questions. i have no idea what i am going to do. leaving work will get me away from the people, but now i am alone with myself. just with sean. with a broken heart, and a broken mind, and no idea what is going to happen next. a nap is not going to help this time. a clonazepam dairy-free milk shake is not going to help this time.

but maybe a gun will.

for the past month, i’ve stopped playing candy crush on my smoke breaks and while i sit in the company of co-workers, passing acquaintances, and even friends, i stare at my phone and research different methods of suicide. i’ve not even been actively suicidal, but i’ve been feeling bad, and sometimes this kind of thing helps silence everything inside me. sometimes, when i am at my worst, reminding myself that suicide is an option is enough to get me through the day. the reason why is simple – going to prison would be awful, but it would be a lot easier to tolerate if you knew you could walk out at any time.

my history of suicide attempts is not a secret, especially if you’ve ever read my blog, and i have tried hard to accurately describe that dark, worthless, feeling that comes with having failed at killing yourself. i long ago promised myself that i will not fail again, and i need to know that i have a fool-proof way out if it gets unbearable again. and i’ve started to flirt with the idea of using a gun. i’ve never shot a gun, and only ever held a real one once in my life. they make me nervous, and i kind of fucking hate them. but if that’s what it’s going to take, then i’m pretty certain i can do it if i have to. i know nothing about guns, but fortunately i do know a lot of people that know a lot about them.

there are so many things i need to decide – what kind of gun i should use, what part of my head i should point it at, and where i should go to do this. i know that no matter how i might do it, i do not want anybody that i care about to be the person that finds my body. once i am gone they might say that i was selfish for what i did, but at least they would know that i was thinking of my friends and loved ones and wanted to spare them the horror of that discovery.

i realized recently that i have no idea if i can even legally buy or own a gun. i don’t really understand the laws, and i’m afraid that they might do a background check on me and come back demanding to know why somebody with an extensive history of various mental illnesses and multiple psychiatric hospitalizations suddenly wants to own a firearm. in my mind, i see myself trying to nervously explain to some nosy gun dealer that he has it all wrong, and that i have no interest in shooting anybody except myself. i can promise and swear to god if he wants me to. i’ll sign a blood fucking oath if it means that he will just take my money and give me the gun and not ask me any more questions. i suppose that getting the gun is going to be the hard part. after that, picking out a location where i actually want to die will be easy.

as i sit on my couch, my mind is wandering, and for some reason, i am thinking about the bridge.

it has been years since i’ve watched the documentary about golden gate bridge jumpers, and not once has it ever entered my mind as a viable option. as much as i hate guns, i hate heights even more. i also have a phobia about being in large bodies of water where i cannot see the bottom, and having unknown fish or other unknown critters – while it could very well just be seaweed, it’s most likely something far more sinister – gently brush by my legs. these two things alone have been enough to never even allow the bridge to nominate itself for the honor.

now that i’ve remembered that bridge exists, maybe this means that i’ve fallen down far enough, maybe out of desperation i should at least give it some thought.

for the past two hours i’ve not been able to get it out of my head. i went online to watch the documentary again, and as i looked for it i stumbled on an article about the potential suicide barrier that might be going up around the bridge to prevent people from jumping. after that article i found the original story that was published in the ‘new yorker’ that the documentary was based on. and i couldn’t stop reading. i read about the bridge, the history of the bridge, the stories of the jumpers, the statistics, and how suicide from the bridge was a four second fall of almost 250 feet that would cause my organs to explode on impact. i set a timer for four seconds to see just how long four seconds was. i did it over and over again. i closed my eyes and imagined myself stepped off of the ledge. i thought about how four seconds seemed so quick while i was on my couch, but i could easily believe that it felt like twenty minutes when you were falling to your death. only a handful of people out of well over a thousand have ever survived that jump, and i read their accounts of the instant regret they felt as soon as they let go of the rail. while i believe them, it does nothing to dissuade me. i think about how many of them didn’t survive, and how many of them had no regrets at all. i thought about how i could never again try swallowing pills and taking the chance of waking up, and how this was exactly what i was looking for. the odds of surviving are so small, and this whole idea was becoming more attractive and possible by the minute. i read that sometimes they couldn’t find the body of the jumper – depending on when and where they jumped it was possible for the body to be quickly swept out to sea and lost forever. while that isn’t the norm, even the possibility of that happening to me is a bonus. ideally, nobody would ever have to drag my dead body out of the water. and the longer i thought about everything, the more i found myself starting to not even give a shit about the height and the questionable marine life. i could deal with the height. maybe i just won’t look down. maybe i will just climb the safety rail to the other side, position myself on ‘the chord’ and fall backwards. maybe i will just close my eyes. it really won’t matter at that point. and as far as the water creatures go…if i don’t die on impact, i’m not going to be too concerned about what might be touching my body or chewing on my eyeballs hours later.

so the bridge is the answer.

today is wednesday.

and now that i’ve made this decision, i can breathe normal again. maybe for the first time in weeks.

i’m going to call in sick tomorrow.

i’ve decided that i am going to leave on friday morning, and there is so much to do before then.

Published by sean zeman


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