One month ago I received the best present I could have hoped for. The answer to my prayers from over a decade. Today is 22nd December 2019, my Big Day, and I have highlighted it inside a bold circle in my diary. Every morning since I got the news, I awaken to the thought that I am one day closer, and cross off another square with a large red marker pen.
Perhaps I should explain. I guess my story really started with a diagnosis of acute depression back when I was eleven. That’s what the doctors first called it anyway before deciding it should be called a Borderline Personality Disorder. The rest of my school life blurs into one incessant traumatic experience. The other kids were cruel, and I endured the stigma and their vicious taunts for three more interminable years before being interned in a psychiatric hospital for another two. Since then, the medics have added various other grandiose-sounding mental health issues to the list. The psychiatrists tell me I suffer from a “chronic attachment disorder” as well as a “severe anxiety disorder” Along the way, they have included psychosis and described me as “chronically suicidal”.
Myself, I just know that each extra day I am imprisoned here in this twenty-eight-year-old body of mine is unbearable. Marooned inside a head that feels like it is constantly being pummeled and pounded to a pulp with a hammer. There is no cure here on Earth for the pain within my brain when the Voices vent their fury.
What started with small seemingly silly tasks like “Pull out five strands of your hair and lay them on the desk!” quickly progressed to orders such as “See that jug of water? Pick it up and go and pour it over the teacher”. You can imagine what trouble that got a thirteen-year-old-me into at school. When I refused to comply, the threats, screams and raging insults would begin. Words I would never use, or didn’t even know the meaning of would ricochet around my head, deafening me with their intensity. I soon learned not to disobey their demands! Then, they wanted me to attack my Mum and hurt her. I was scared for her, terrified that I might give in and follow their orders. That was when I started slamming my head against the nearest wall or whatever hard surface I could find. The agony was the only way I could silence them for a while. Nothing helps. Psychotherapy, anti-depressants, uppers, downers – I have tried them all, believe me I have tried.
In my country, euthanasia is allowed on condition that a patient’s suffering is unbearable with no prospect of improvement. Very straightforward in the situation of someone diagnosed with a physical disease, but not all cases are black and white, are they? Take my circumstances. I do not have a physical terminal disease, but that does not mean I am not in constant pain and distress. I suffer from terrifying psychiatric experiences every single day. I am incapable of ignoring my Voices when they start giving me grief. We battle daily and I can only prevent myself from hurting others by harming myself, although I would rather not show you the proof of that here on my arms. The scars I bear are not a pretty sight!
Death is inevitable; it is the final stage of life. It is my wish to be allowed to die with dignity without hurting anyone else. Jumping in front of a bus would traumatize the driver for the rest of his days and that is unfair.
This path I have chosen is far from easy though. There are some very difficult moments, like having to say goodbye to my friends and family. I understand their sentiments, I really do, but it is not enough to stop me. My friends have promised to take a boat and scatter my ashes over the sea. I will then be free, and able to find peace at last. I love watching the waves. If I had not been given permission for euthanasia, I would have jumped from that jetty there outside my window. Instead, I have opted to die by physician-assisted suicide.
Last night, my dearest friends held the most beautiful farewell dinner for me, and those wonderful people will be here soon to stay with me when the two official attending medics hand me the small sealed bottle containing their liquid. I know it will taste bitter, so I’m going to down it in one, then lay back on my bed surrounded by my friends and drift away.
I am telling you this now because I want the world to know that mental suffering can be so awful that death can be the lesser of two evils - a longed-for release. Do I have doubts? No! Not a single one! I have never felt more certain about anything in my whole life. I want to die and I am ready. Please do not judge me, but pass this, my message and legacy, on to the world on my behalf.
As from this point onwards, I will no longer be available. Goodbye.
Author Notes: Any reviews would be greatly appreciated...