A Lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber is an outspoken voice for local activism, local wine tourism, and more.

We Don't Talk About This

Seated on the edge of my bed with eyes closed, the low but steady sound of white noise came barreling in like a steam engine into my mind. I opened my eyes. I was observing the light - watching it shift and bounce between leaf and breeze, curtain and shadow, as it reflected off of my dresser. Studying the scene before me, I was imagining the subsequent stillness of this space without me in it.

I imagined my room and home, as a museum of my life. How the afternoon sun would shine through the blinds casting rays, and how the dust particles would slowly drift and sparkle within them. I contemplated the amount of time that would, or could pass before any of my museum artifacts were disturbed and misplaced. I imagined my mother, and perhaps my sister sitting on my bed, where I sat now, observing the task before them. I felt sorry for it.

I stood up and put on my jeans. I grabbed three items from on top of my dresser: my silver heart necklace from Mexico, my rose gold “avec tout mon coeur” Paris necklace, and my silver and amber pendant. I carefully placed each piece in my pocket. I held a knot of driftwood shaped like a heart, in my hand. I wanted these to be with me. Perhaps later, they would go through my pockets, and find them. They would ask about their significance, and maybe from those items, a story could be woven of who I was, and what I held dear. Not from the items themselves - but the sentiments behind them. These would be my unwritten letter.

Turning the corner, I made my way to the train tracks. I left the door unlocked, and my phone inside.  Arriving at the crossing, I waited. There is a sign posted at the track that says “each mind matters”. It is in both English and Spanish. There is a number that one can text message for help. It was a warm evening, but already early signs of fall - brown crispy leaves, were swirling at my feet. A man in a black hoodie walked by. I waited. Eventually I realized: it was the weekend. The last train had already passed. The wind pushed the tears sideways against my cheek.

I did not place myself before a moving train that day. Around midnight that evening I called an old ex; would he meet me at Denny’s? Take me to Denny’s? I was sobbing and I really wanted, no, needed a milkshake. I sensed his hesitation through the phone: “I’ll pay” I negotiated. At 2:34am we watched the moonrise over an empty Coddingtown parking lot. When I hugged him goodbye, I gripped him with everything I had. I was holding on for life, in so many ways. I wanted so badly to beg someone to help me stay. To hold me, and not say a thing. I am slipping, and that evening I nearly lost the battle.

We don’t talk about this. I do not talk about this. When my therapist asks me what my updates are, I gloss over the weekend. I do not talk about this. When my ex calls the following day to check up on me, he asks about the hug. “Something felt...different.” he says. I change the subject.

I scared myself that day. I had always believed that plans to end one’s life were more methodical, more thought out. But we don’t talk about this, so how would I know? We talk about our anxieties, and the desire to be alone, and joke about canceling plans, but we don’t talk about the impulse to die.

I will eventually speak to my therapist about that day. I can tell you, dear reader, because I cannot see your face. I can turn off the notifications, and not be in the same room. I won’t hear the uncomfortable shift of your body in the chair, or the sudden stiffness of surprise, or the hesitant breath held in anticipation of what to say. I am familiar with carefully chosen words, and often, I admire them as elegance under pressure. But I do not wish to experience them - not now. But I do know that eventually, we will talk about this.


If you, or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicide, please don't wait. Reach out to someone who can help. A great place to start is is the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.   
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A Mused Blog | A Northern California Sonoma County Blog