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Ashamed and Embarrassed
Yellow head
I've created yet another terrible situation for myself. I was supposed to go in to work for a short four-hour shift on Thursday, but did not go. Instead, I walked the streets of Bradford and Manchester, having I found myself overcome with feelings of despair and the powerful urge to kill myself. This seems to have become my primary response to any problem since my difficulties on the nursing course. Before these events (which obliged me to leave the course and the care work I was doing at the time) I would never have considered suicide, despite the seriousness of any problem. But now death is the first thing I find myself thinking of. This suicidal impulse seems to have become hard-wired into my brain. A poisoned, black dagger in my mind.

This was a real feeling too, not just a vague frustrated response. As I walked down the hill towards the town centre, the dawn sun was just coming up at the other end of the valley, and I thought to myself that this would be the last sunrise I would ever see. Later while waiting for a train from Bradford to Manchester, another traveller asked me if I knew when the train would arrive (the station information monitors were annoyingly blank). I told him that the train was meant to arrive on the hour, but was running eight minutes late. After the man had thanked me and walked off, I remember thinking that this man would be the last person I would ever help. This little trip I went on took me past many familiar sights, all loaded from forty-seven years of living in this area, and I thought to myself as each one passed, that this would be the last time I would see a particular shop front, street, park, etc.

My thinking (such as it was) was that I would to go to Manchester and throw myself from some high place. I like Manchester. I find it vibrant and modern, and it feels like it's in the twenty-first century, unlike brown-coloured Keighley or Bradford. So I thought I would rather die there, in the future, rather than the crumbling past.

Of course what then happened was, what always seems to happen when I fall into these troughs of despair, I lacked the courage to follow through. My fear of pain and death trumped my self-destructive urge. I staked out many likely places, but was unable to make the final step. I still feel disappointment with myself for this.

Getting the bus out of Bradford in the evening (I had spent all day walking aimlessly. I was tired, thirsty and my feet were aching, aching, aching), the bus headlights picked out a sign for the Samaritans. It seemed fortuitous, like a sign. I jumped off at the next stop and walked back along the dark street until I found the right building.

They were very good, allowing me to talk it all out. The woman there let my use her own mobile phone so that I could ring my parents and let them know where I was. They even gave me a little money so that I could get the bus home (I had nothing left).

Later this morning I intend to ring the care home and try and explain why I didn't show, and why i didn't ring in. What I'm going to say, I'm still not entirely certain, but some aspects of the truth might be a good approach?

Calmer Today
Yellow head
In the movie Three Kings, George Clooney, playing an experienced special forces major, councils a combat virgin how to find courage under fire. "First you do the thing your shit-scared of," he says, "and then you get the courage afterwards."

Anytime I have to do anything nerve-wracking, I always remember this line, and somehow it helps. First you do the thing your shit-scared of and then you get the courage afterwards. It should be the other way around, but in life, you make the best of what is given.

Well luckily, I don't have do anything life-threatening, but I did today have to ring my new job to explain why I didn't go in yesterday and why I hadn't even rung, and I found that anxiety-provoking enough.

I thought it best to tell the manager what happened, even though it was embarrassing, rather than lie to save my feelings. I find that people will often respond well to honesty, and this was one of those cases. She didn't appear to mind and was concerned about my health.

So all is well on the job front, at least.

Thanks to everyone for their kind notes of support.

My camera is off being repaired, but before it broke, I did manage to take a few photos behindthecut.Collapse )