I got a tattoo of Audrey Hepburn

What can I say? I didn’t recover like I hoped. If I was coming out of my depression, I never fully got there. I’m not at my worst, but

I’m still depressed, and I keep thinking suicide…When you’re done with this book, it’ll be okay to let go. My shrinks know that’s what I’m feeling and we’re working on it, hoping to find something to occupy me after I’m done.

I’m moving forward in the book, but at a snail’s pace. I reverted to handwriting on notecards to try to map out Chapter Eighteen. It feels different, not staring at a computer. I don’t know why this chapter is so difficult and I have no idea when I’ll finish it. My daily post-it note goals are far from ambitious; if they were, I know I’d be setting myself up for certain failure; I’m failing more often than not as it is.

Yesterday, I told my psychologist that sometimes thinking of suicide feels like a relief. Sometimes I even feel excited about it. She asked me what I’d be relieving myself from. I said, “Depression and loneliness.” I think it made sense to her. She nodded. I’m going to be installing an app she recommended that will help me remember our plan if I ever get close—who to contact and such. It’s in my to-do list to install today.

I don’t know if anyone reads these things. If anyone does, posts like these are not cries for help. I have therapists who are very good to me, and I have a small but strong network of friends I can reach out to. I guess I’m just writing things down for those who are wondering when the hell the book will be finished and what led up to my own ending if indeed, I end up having one.

Share This Post

It’s been over a month since I posted. It’s not that I’d forgotten, I’ve been waiting to have something happy to post. But the truth is, I’m writing about suicide while feeling suicidal. I haven’t mentioned it here, but I’ve talked about it in my personal (private) blog how in sync Orly and I have been emotionally while working on her final book. Loneliness. Isolation. Despair.

Yesterday I woke thinking about the James Joyce quote I have tattooed on my stomach:

“One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”

For decades, I always saw the full glory of some passion anchored in my youth—when I loved more intensely and my daydreams were larger. But it occurred to me yesterday that it is right now that I am in the full glory of some passion with Orly, as I’ve never felt so invested in something I was writing. On the one hand, this felt great and redemptive. The pinnacle of my life had not happened twenty-seven years ago as I had thought; it’s happening now. But on the other hand, it’s telling me to, or at least making me feel okay with letting go of my life when I finish writing her story. I told my shrink, two sessions ago, that I need to find something to occupy myself with when I finish this book, and I need to find it now so that it’s there waiting for me, because I don’t see what my purpose will be when I lose Orly to her story being over.

There’s a stage play I’m considering writing, but I don’t feel strongly about it, and I don’t know how to create passion. I wonder if the passion I feel right now is the result of writing Orly for so many years or because there is so much of me in her final installment. Throughout Scribbles of the Empress, I find myself offering Orly reasons to live and at the same time I’m panicking to find my reasons after it’s finished.

This isn’t a cry for help. If I want to convey anything, it’s that I hate feeling like this. The last sentence of the opening paragraph of Chapter Four is: Wanting to die hurts in a way that no other pain does. Orly and I are saying that in chorus. We hate feeling like this.

Share This Post