Worth Living Ambassador Thomas Morgan
My name is Thomas Morgan. I am a 21-year-old Sociology student at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. I am a brother to a younger sister, an older sister, and an older brother. I am a son to two wonderful parents. I have Bipolar Disorder and I am a suicide survivor, but I am so much more than either of those things. I’m just trying to figure out the specifics of who that is.
Caution: Thomas discusses Suicide with graphic language
Coming Out of My Fog
This is a fairly long article, and before I begin I just wanted to clarify that I am in a good head space right now. I have great friends, I have been seeing a nice girl, I am beginning to get a regular schedule back in my life, and my family just found out that I have another older sibling on my dad’s side! I haven’t felt this good in a couple months.
In April, I went on my first vacation outside of Canada with my best friends to celebrate some of them graduating. I managed to keep up with my medications, as well as maintain the proper diet to go along with them. I could not name a single bad experience or thought I had on that trip. The entire experience was something out of a dream.
The problem with dreams is that, eventually, you wake up. Within a week of coming back, I began to have this mixture of feelings between dread and numbness. You see, one of the things I had never taken into account was that stability with Bipolar Disorder requires a solid routine. I had become so accustomed to my friends constantly being around and always having something to do. When I returned, I had nothing to do but play video games. I had my friends, but as I got deeper into the episode the less I saw that. Then my car broke down and when I called to inform my parents of this I found out my Mom had been extremely sick since I went to Cuba. Thankfully, she is doing much better now.
All of these things threw me into a deep depression. It felt as if it was just a tiny snowball rolling down a mountain and within minutes it hit the bottom and was 300 pounds. The few problems that started the descent had ended up being just small parts of the entire episode. They compounded with countless other thoughts, events, and voices.
I would only leave my room to use the washroom. I didn’t eat for three days. When I did, I ordered a family meal for pizza delivery. It was gone within less than 12 hours. My dad, who knew I was feeling depressed, would call me between three to four times a day. I can honestly say that the only time I had felt this down was back in 2013 in the weeks leading up to my suicide attempt. That voice, the screaming, came back one night. It had me on the floor crying. I needed to feel something, I needed to show myself that I was not out yet. I kept telling myself I was not going to make another attempt. I wasn’t strong enough alone, but I had people behind me who loved me who I had to keep going for. Like I said though, I needed to feel something. Anything that would make me feel alive.
I wasn’t myself when I thought this plan through. I got up and grabbed one of my knives. I sat down and stabbed myself in the leg about six inches below my waist. I nearly did it right above my anniversary tattoo on my forearm, but I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want to look at the scar in a few months and be reminded. At least with this positioning the wound is constantly covered. It may be unsurprising looking back at it, but that didn’t help the situation in the slightest. Now I was just a depressed mess with a bloody leg. Who would have guessed?
Anyways, I began drowning out the voice with music on my computer. I made sure to start accomplishing what some may consider little things, like actually getting out of bed, brushing my teeth, and cleaning my desk. I slowly began feeling better. Little victories were soon followed by big ones such as showering, cleaning my room, and leaving the house. I tried to give the impression I was stable much sooner then I actually was, but each day was a little bit easier.
Once I actually began to feel stable again, I began writing more spoken word poetry. When I opened the book containing my poems, I found something I had clearly wrote during the depressive episode. I was in such a fog at the time that I hardly remember writing it. Originally, I was going to tear it up and throw it away, but I decided to keep it. It is my way of describing what I conquered this time, similar to my tattoos.
My life is filled with nothing but long nights and short meaning.
There are days where I hold my hand over the fire
and no matter how hard I try I can’t make that beautiful.
It isn’t poetic.
It just burns. It burns and burns
and I can’t…
I won’t take my hand off that flame.
It’s the only warmth I feel.
In my first article for Worth Living, I stated that I accepted my mental illness, that it made me a better person. I still believe that. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have days where I feel like the entire world is falling down around me and it’s my fault. I do. Often. But, everyone has their struggles, and there are people who have it far worse than I.
I debated sharing this information with anybody, but eventually I decided that it was what would be best for me. I don’t like things going unsaid. If I have thoughts about anything I tend to make the message loud and clear. Some have told me I share too much when it comes to my illness, suicide attempt, or depression. Fuck them. I share the stories I share because talking about my problems is what I have found to help my mental health more than any medication or exercise. I encourage anybody reading this to try having a similar outlook, do what helps your mental health the most and forget about those people that make judgements. There is no “magic pill” that works on everybody. What works for one may not work for another. It is entirely dependent on the person.
Please, if your own life or someone else’s is in danger, dial emergency immediately. Don’t hesitate. There are also various help lines you can contact to talk to somebody, or even to get some information. You are not alone.
Kids Help Phone (Ages 20 and Under): 1-800-668-6868
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness: 1-855-242-3310
Canadian Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Trans LifeLine (All Ages): 1-877-330-6366