I decided at the end of January to kill myself.

The word order is important in that last sentence as I’m clearly not dead. Yet.

What happened was that I’d applied for a role with a certain sub-national transport body (I won’t name them), in a subject area I’m very familiar with and for a role I was well qualified to do. Not only that, I’d pretty much done it before.

The interview date had been fixed for the following week. As Friday night closed with no sign of an invitation to attend, I realised that I wasn’t required.

Which, sadly, was it for me. If I can’t get a job in area I know inside out, in a job function I’ve been working in for over 17 years with a string of qualifications, what hope for me is there?

I cried myself to sleep.

It’s no fun to realise you have no worth, no value to anyone. I might not the life and soul of any party (possibly, a wake) but as a fellow ‘on the fringes of the social group’ student told me over 30 years ago: I might not come out, but it’s nice to be asked. And I can’t remember the last time I turned down an invitation. At least a job would help cover up that sense of loneliness – it had been doing so for decades.

In the midst of my blubbing, and with my confidence level lower than a very low thing, I did a quick calculation of the amount of savings I had and the expected Universal Credit income and realised that my crunch month would be June. At some point in June, the money would run out, leaving only one logical – if not wholly sensible to you, dear reader – option available to me.

Hence the important word order in the first sentence. I had time to plan.

Next steps

And if I’ve learned anything it’s that proper planning prevents piss-poor performance.

If I’m going to kill myself, how? Tombstoning off my balcony probably wouldn’t do the job, I’m only seven floors up. The river depth is half a metre most of the time so drowning would require some effort. I could walk off the end of a station platform, but that seems a bit unfair on the poor driver.

I could threaten to jump off a road bridge, but inconvenienced road travellers have nothing in the way of sympathy for suicides. The Police would probably talk me down by laying a trail of Fruit & Nut to tempt me away. And then they’d want to send me away for counselling, when all I really want is a job, and to feel useful again.

By the morning, and a fitful night’s sleep, my deliberations were starting to resemble a poem by Dorothy Parker. Nevertheless, I persisted.

When it comes down to it I’m a bit squeamish, so I don’t really want to know anything about it. That just leaves somehow dying in my sleep. Some sort of poison and Nytol it is then.

As it happens, I have a short list of lethal drugs and poisons on my iPhone (yet another reason I won’t be able to enter the USA) for that book I’ve spent the last four years trying to write – it’s an important plot point, if I ever get that far. What I hadn’t twigged was how difficult it was to get hold of any of the poisons I’d researched. Some were prescription drugs, but how to get a prescription? Was there a legal alternative? (Actually… possibly. Shh.)

But as I stated in a previous post (which no-one seems to have picked up any hints from), how will anyone miss me when I’m gone if you don’t miss me now? How will you know when I’ve actually done the deed?

How about a timed tweet? Announce it to the world, with a suggestion of letting building management know before decomp sets in (I’m nice like that). I’d also set up a future-published blog post, because you can do that in WordPress. I could be dead as you read this.

There you go then. One suicide, properly planned.

Ask me tomorrow

So: assuming I am actually still here, why am I still here?

I got a six-week contract which pushed the decision date off by a month or so. Then we sold mum’s house so I have money to last a couple of more years, if nothing else changes.

Were it not for the financial stability I might have been even more aggrieved that I was not to get a recent role with a certain national transport body (I won’t name them). Twice. And part of the project I’d be working on I can see from my window. Fortunately my head is not now in the same space (although a bit of feedback from the interview would have been nice. Perhaps it was delayed by a signalling failure).

That doesn’t mean I’m ‘better’, it doesn’t work that way. It just means I’ve delayed the date a couple of times. A bit like Brexit.

I was watching one of my favourite TV programmes of the 1990s yesterday, and one of the characters said:

“There comes a time when you look in the mirror and you realise that what you see is all you will ever be. Then you accept it, or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors.”

Londo Mollari, “Chrysalis”, Babylon 5

My mood swings hourly. I have no reason to get up in the morning and no income. Nothing to do but be alone with my thoughts, listen to music, read the news and get a bit more depressed every day. A few visits to London for CIPR things, the very occasional evening out with friends. Inside though, there is next to nothing. And stay away from mirrors.

My confidence level is still lower than a low thing, and the constant rejections don’t help. You wouldn’t know it to meet me though, would you? If you read my blogs you might get some inkling but not in person, I suspect (unless you’re one of the two people I’ve mentioned this to in person, of course).

Perhaps… perhaps, that’s the problem. Perhaps I need a full-on meltdown. I might feel better for it.

Be careful what you wish for…