When committing suicide by hanging, I would want the right quality bit of rope: I would want the knot to slip easily as I dropped, then hold tightly as I thrashed. I would not want to “dance til noon”. The metal steps out the back would be a good place, as it would give me a longish drop to get the knot good and tight: the shock might make me unconscious instantaneously. When I got the rope, I would consider the appropriate knot.

I am not suicidal at the moment, but I gave this some thought in December. Then when I might see an NHS psychotherapist and was assessed whether my depression was severe enough, she quizzed me in detail about my suicidal ideation- or fantasy. I did not think about being found, either the shame of it or the shock for the finder. Yes I made acts preparative to suicide, in 2003 and 2009. She found my depression moderate, which might have been severe enough, but my anxiety only mild to healthy, which was not enough. I wonder if my anxiety would manifest more if I were living with someone else. Clare, you are not bringing in any money, and the house is a tip again. And I would go quakey and start to greet.

Feelings manifest themselves consciously when they need to, when the conscious mind is making demands. So I thought I wanted to go to the Quaker meeting, and then manifested anxiety symptoms. No, I do not want to see those people. And my inner rationalist looked on, perplexed but persuaded by the manifestation.

-Who are you angry with?
-The whole fucking world.
-Are there people you warm to?
-Yes, actually, including some who do not warm to me.

I am seen as someone to fear, which perplexes and bamboozles me, because I see myself as gentle, and have been at great pains to establish to my own satisfaction that I would not get physically violent. And because I find my own force of character difficult to understand, whether I constrain it or let it run free. It terrifies me how badly I can come across when I mean well.

I want to be able to sit in silence with these people and chat over coffee after. I want that to continue, and if that seemed reasonably stable I would want them to give me a task which I would find worthwhile. Quaker Voices printed my writing, but it has shut down.

-What does being Quaker give you?
Pain. But also contact with stimulating highly intelligent spiritual empathetic witty people. This is a connection I don’t want to lose, but if my becoming distressed is a Wrong that I commit, which could justify my exclusion, then I might be excluded at any time for something I cannot control. When we fall out, we fall out really badly and can be self-righteously vindictive.

I will try to come across as loving and positive, and hopeful, and not let rage and terror too much get in the way.

-Are there enough warm souls to carry you forward?

And yet when I said I could not be my whole self, that my distress was unwelcome, he denied it. Perhaps he does not know. I want our naked humanity to come out. There was some backslapping about the story-telling event, when lots of us gathered to hear a story-teller from Bedford. I felt that was a missed opportunity, that we should come together to see each other, to know and be known, not to be entertained, but the friendly togetherness and light small-talk was adjudged a success.

I value the silence. I find it hard work, to be present with my whole self, to accept my whole self, to know my whole self- sometimes I approach that, sometimes I don’t.

In December, I gave the matter of how I would hang myself some thought. I do not want to be maimed. I do not want to survive it. I want it to be as quick and painless as possible. I note that I am using the present tense, even though I do not want to do it, now.

16 thoughts on “Hanging

    • I think rather “live each day as if it could be your last” is better. That stoic ideal, or the rationalist thought “well, I could kill myself, have I other options?” Does not fit the desperation or the misery the suicide feels. “At least I may save my honour,” thought Piso at the last, but we have different views of honour.


  1. I once received a diagnosis of “severe depression” without even trying. I wasn’t there for depression. I thought that the doctor and I were just chatting, so I told him everything. Clare, this post confirms what I suspected when I shared my “abyss” experience. Now I’m concerned. Promise yourself that you won’t as I promised myself. Just do it, and know that you must never break that promise. You’re intelligent, talented and people like you. Your blog is excellent too.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh God, the assessment forms. How many times have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things, in the last two weeks? Not at all, several days, more than half the days, or nearly every day? I don’t know, I don’t keep score. Looking at it now, I may have underestimated in places.

      I tend to hope that my frontal lobe will prevent an impulsive aggressive suicide, harming others, such as jumping in front of a train, and my survival instinct will prevent cold, calculating behaviour such as working out what knot to use. Suicide is always a destructive, meaningless act. I am not sure about the promise, though, I would be breaking far more than a promise if I ever did it, and I do get to thinking about it. And thank you for being here and valuing me.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Your insights and your voice are precious and so very important. Your courage is palpable and helpful, and much appreciated. It can be difficult to stay here, but here we are. And we need each other, need community, desperately. I hope you choose to stay and to fight the good fight. Suicide is always an option, but so is joy. I wish you a long life of joy. You are needed. You are loved. And you are heard.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you. I am valued. This blog is valued. Yesterday, someone commented on a post from 2014, I just read through this whole article and its comment section and started to cry. … This article gave me a lot of answers today, so many in fact that my head is spinning. It is important.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. It is easy to confuse not being heard with being misunderstood or even, disliked. But actually, not being heard, has much more to do with what’s going on in the mind of the other. I might be feeling ill, unhappy, a bit overwhelmed at the existential futility of everything, but that does not imply anything to do with you. It is with you that I can feel loved, or noticed, or helped, or understood. And I have always felt that, with you, even though I may not say so explicitly. Our loyalties are often shredded.

    We feel love when we notice it, and how can we not, in the shape and colour of a hundred daffodils, or in the smile of a child? Let us both decide that we understand each other, love each other and are always available for each other. Knowing you, helps me too. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. After reading this, I contemplate the old plan, acknowledge my old pain, let the tension and color fade from my thoughts…

    And then I breathe out the fear and walk again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I came back to this through your present post, through the link. I am so often out of the loop.

    You are loved. Esme loves you, albeit from a long distance, and others clearly do too. You are very lovable too, which cannot be said of everyone I think. Your words have a great deal of power, sharp, witty, kind, strong, fearful, sad, furious — one and all are valued by those who have been here will be to and those yet to come.

    I stayed, I think it’s worth persevering, grabbing those small hands that reach out to pull you forwards, where ever they come from. I hope you are here, or there, or both for many decades to come. Do grow wrinkly with me, it would be awful to do it alone. ❤ Xxx

    Esme sending her love to Claire upon the Cloud


    • Thank you.

      I am feeling loved up after the Yearly Meeting of Quakers. As I left this lunchtime, two women chased after me to give me a hug. And I shall quote your words about my words to anyone who will listen. Love.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.