How long has it been? I would ask myself; every day of every week for every month that passed.
124 days it had been since I stepped off land and went to sea. And 1 day it had been since I started feeling this way. Lost at sea, not in body but in mind. The world seemed to shrink and crumble down. All that I thought I knew to be true, now, no longer were. All that I believed would happen were now lost and never ever to be found. Along came the 5 stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Living in denial for weeks - months. The quickness of how it all happened, like a quick stab to the heart - one would not even know until he started bleeding. It left me in disbelief - that all that was happening around me and to me were real. Every day would become a struggle; mentally, physically and emotionally. Draining me of all my energy. Pain would become a friend through the course of this period. The only thing that gave me comfort.
Waking up at 7 am to start the day and working till around 8 pm. The jobs that were more laborious in terms of physical strength would become a favourite because of the physical pain involved. Holding the jet chisel, chipping away rust till your arms were numb or fixing things with your bare hands until something pricked you and cut you. The more cuts and bruises you had the better, And when all of that ended, I would go back to my cabin. The tiny cabin in which you were free to do whatever you wanted - to yourself...
Days with bad weather were welcomed with happiness because it makes you feel absolutely horrible. Constant churning of your innards, dizziness, nausea, lack of appetite. I have now come to accept that I'm a horrible person for doing the things I've done. Intrinsically a bad person who just can't stop fucking things up. It was hard to try and act normal through it all. You could not show that something was wrong to others, they would be concerned and would start asking questions - did not want that. Practiced smiling and laughing in the mirror. Short smile, wide smile, giggle, laughter each suited to various situations. That is how you got through.
You also lose faith in this period. That if there were really a God out there then would he not do something about this? Why would he let a person go through it? Why would he do it to you? Why has he not done something to stop it. God is not real. If he is, he does not care about you and you have no right to be mad at him because you brought this upon yourself. You do not deserve mercy. You do not deserve compassion. You do not deserve happiness.You are the scum of the earth. You do not deserve to be respected as a human being.
Found a rusted cutter while cleaning out a drawer, hid it in my pocket till the day ended. Went back to my cabin that night, stripped myself of all clothes. Stared at my naked body in the mirror; that face that had done so many wrongs. Made small tiny cuts near the left wrist, then the right wrist. Working my way up the forearms - criss-crossing the lines as they went up. Deeper and deeper. This became a routine for every day of every week for 8 months. Having worked all the way up to my shoulders with the cuts and since they had not yet healed; I moved on to my torso and chest. The more the days went by the deeper the cuts became. The more I practiced smiling in the mirror...
I have sneaked out to the deck after work hours during sunset so it is relatively dark so people will not see and stood on the railings; wanting to jump, the hypothermia would get to me within minutes. It would have been a wonderful way to go - nobody would have realized until the next morning. I have screamed into pillows and when that was not enough I have gone down to the engine room with the engine roaring while the engineers slept and screamed and screamed till my lungs gave out and my throat felt like it was going to rip apart.
Somewhere in between, I re-learnt how to splice rope. Had a small 2 foot long rope now in my possession. I have lost track of how many times I have contemplated suicide. I have not done it because of friends and family who still cared. They do not deserve that - to go through something like that. I could be selfish like I have always been or live and possibly make them happy in the future. I no longer cared for myself. So suicide was out of the question but pain and suffering and punishment was not. New year's eve came around and I sat in the dark making a resolution; to die. Not a quick death but a slow painful, suffering one. I would wrap the rope around my neck and pull on it. Pull on it till it strangled me. Eyes would go red, face would swell up from all the blood unable to flow back to the heart. Breathing becomes heavy, veins pop up and you feel a burning sensation neck up. Pull and hold it till your vision gets blurry near the edges and breathing becomes shallow - till your face is twisted into something unrecognizable then let go of the rope. Catch your breath, let the swelling go down. Repeat.
This was Depression...
I'm very thankful for all the people in my life who have stayed with me and put up with all that I put them through during this period. Thank you very much for everything. If you're reading this and you relate to it; just know that it gets better. It really does. Because you're stronger than you think you are right now. You're more capable in getting through this, I believe in you. No matter how hopeless it seems. Just know that there will always be people to help you back up, who care about you and for you. Take on the entire world.