Hello darkness, my old friend

I’m no stranger to depression. I’ve fallen in and out of love with it my whole post-adolescent life.

I spent almost a year in my early 20s barely speaking, never going out except for college classes. Doing homework then sleeping the rest of the day or night. Sleeping all weekend. Barely eating.

I failed three classes that semester. And the semester after that, two.

That same period, I slashed one wrist open with a utility knife while drunk at a proto-hipster party in my leafy small town. My straight friends were coupling up downstairs, including my best friend, whose room I was in and whom I was in love with. (He was younger than me yet he’s dead now.)

Falling in love with straight boys became a pattern before I left Indianapolis and went to school out of state.

Shocked into sobriety by the knife’s edge, caroming down the stairs with blood pouring off my hand and onto the floor, I saw another good friend, the only other gay guy at the party, poised over the kitchen sink about to drop in a plugged-in toaster.

We saw each other’s, pathetic abject states and burst out laughing simultaneously, a little too freely.

I’m not sure how I hid from my mom that suppurating gash and bloody seepage. She knew something was wrong but couldn’t or didn’t want to acknowledge it.

I couldn’t hide it from my straight crush that night. He discovered me sobbing outside:

\”GB, you hurt yourself and I’m pissed!\” he said, while cleaning me up.

I’ve gone through periods of cutting in my life, as well, but nothing as bad as that Everclear night.

I’ve also attempted suicide, using the helium method. There has never been any long period in my life when I wasn’t troubled by suicidal thoughts.

Looking back now though, all that seems mild compared to the nauseating, uncontrollable, unassuageable waves of panic, terror, and despair I’ve been feeling lately in isolation.

Every fucking night I wait for them, hoping they won’t come but they do. I fight the urge to slap my forehead repeatedly or to pound the walls with my head or to find something to hurt myself with.

Or else I’ll stop short in the middle of the room or the hallway or the stairs, on my way to the toilet or the kitchen (for my 10th cup of coffee). I stand as if I’ve struck my shins on a chair, dizzy with pain and irrational grief.

I’ve never experienced compulsions before nor emotions that threatened to overwhelm me or felt like they were out of my control. These hit like an external force.

My first instinct to deal with them is to take a long walk. But I’m afraid of going out. It’s become harder and harder to leave this building to buy groceries or medical supplies. I struggle to maintain hygiene habits and to keep my room and the bathroom clean and tidy.

I’m writing this, finishing this off, obsessed by but trying to ignore the plasticized fecal smell coming up and off my abdomen. I wear colostomy bags longer than recommended so it’s lucky I’m alone in the building.

Back when life was normal, I’d worry about it often — whether or not my colleagues in the kitchen could smell me. The bags available here that I’ve tried just do not work well for longer than three or four days. I don’t have the money to experiment, either.

I never have more than 500 pesos MX to buy two bags regardless of the week’s haul. Now that the border’s closed indefinitely, who knows when I’ll be able to get the good ones muled again.

That’s another thing. I’d budgeted enough from the last three donations to buy two bags, no more. But the price of one two-piece set from Coloplast has gone up to $335 pesos! An increase of 85 pesos. So I could only buy one.

One set is now just under $14 USD at today’s exchange rate. That’s more than twice what they are in the States for the next-generation model. I’m wondering how other ostomates in Mexico get by. I mean, really. Especially now.

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Anyway, I’m tired of complaining. I’m tired of feeling shitty and panicked. I’m almost tired of watching movies all day long. I don’t even have the psychic energy to masturbate anymore.

Downstairs wait utility bills totalling 7600 pesos ($315 USD). I don’t know what part of that I’m responsible for but I can maybe cobble together 1000 pesos.

What happens now?

Featured image by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

Written with StackEdit.

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