Jack of Many Trades

Our Lady of Suicidal Ideation

Originally posted: 2012-04-03

The first thing you have to understand is that it's never been about wanting to die.

It's about wanting the thoughts to stop, or it's about the idea that I simply cannot deal with the tightness in my chest anymore, that I'm too tired to go on dealing with the anxiety that keeps me awake. This past week has been the first time in months that I recognized the suicidal thoughts.

When I find myself in these dark places, it's the Dark Lady that takes my hand. I've tried to identify her with Ereshkigal and with Hel, though having known them both I know she isn't either of them. I studied other goddesses too; Xuan Nu is the closest I've found, the closest I've gotten to a reaction from her. In many ways she reminds me of Kuan Yin, too.

And when she takes care of me... Sometimes she leads me out, and sometimes she leads me deeper. Sometimes the only way out is through. Right now, that's where I am. The only way out is through, so I keep walking.

I came in from the wilderness a creature void of form “Come in” she said “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

Recently on Pagan Confessions, someone posted a secret that read: I think my goddess has been telling me to kill myself for the past year... and it's starting to really scare me. If you're familiar with how Tumblr works, you can read the responses there for yourself. There are plenty of people who seem to think that a goddess that would discuss suicide is no goddess at all.

My experience was different. Ereshkigal dared me to kill myself, to teach me that I did not want to die. The Dark Lady walks me through my darkest thoughts, rather than turn me from them. They're a part of who I am, they're in some way necessary. If my Lady accepts me in this way, who am I to argue?

I think dealing with psychopomps is a natural for the suicidal. We both spend a lot of time thinking about death, about the journey, about ways to get there. We know the road pretty well, at least part of it.

My Lady keeps me talking when silence would drown me, and she wraps me in quiet when all I can hear is my own noise. She shows me my heart, when I think I have none. She gives me the key I need to unlock my own doors, to go deeper and fight the monsters in my dungeons.

She taught me, also, that sometimes the monsters under your bed are your best allies.

I've been thinking about her a lot lately.