Mmm, blank new wordpress article, just waiting to be filled by my words. The cursor is blinking, annoying and expectant. Yeah, you flash on and off, you superior little git. How about this for an opening line: my name is Amanda Clark and I have decided to die.
Feels pretty good, seeing that there. You can trust black on white, monochrome goes with everything. I haven’t taken this decision lightly, but I’m fed up of feeling like –
I don’t know what I feel like. Words are hard and whenever I did creative writing at school my work’d come back scrawled with red pen, like a bloodbath. Amanda tries hard, but ends up sounding trite and contrived. Well, fuck you, Mrs. Moran. Poor Mrs. Moran. Everyone knew she’d had serious authorly ambitions back in day, writing bonkbusters in the pre-50 shades era until EL James came along and harnessed the power of mummy porn. Mrs. Moran’s literary dreams had faded to nothing so quickly she’d had to pen a ‘Top Tips’ column in Let’s Chat!, a weekly magazine that specialised in domestic advice and funny cat pictures, before resigning herself to a life of corridor-whispering and Lynx-stinking teenagers as a secondary school English teacher. Well, dreams die Mrs. Moran. Serves you right for being such a bitch.
I need to remember to edit this account so I don’t come off sounding like a bitter old cunt. Sorry Mrs. Moran.
Bethany said that writing stuff down helps, but she didn’t specify how or why or what it’s supposed to ‘help’. Bethany is twenty-nine but dresses like she’s forty-five and appearing on the Loose Women panel. She’d be nice-looking if her forehead wasn’t so scrunchy. Someone should tell her that bangs work on all face shapes, even pointy ones.
Bethany is my therapist. She has lacklustre auburn hair but a kind smile and she likes to wear clacky costume jewellery more than is strictly necessary. I sneaked a look at her phone background once and caught a glimpse of a tall, dark-haired guy rough and tumbling with a butterscotch-coloured pooch on a sandy beach. The guy was so hot I was overcome with jealousy and hated Bethany violently for a full four minutes. How come she has it all together? What’s her secret?
Bethany’s office has a view to the mountains. When she takes bathroom breaks (frequent, but not strictly allowed. Silly Bethany is not currently aware that I’m a suicide risk) I place my palms flat on the glass of the window and make tiny ammonites while I try to concentrate on my breathing. So far I have seen Bethany eleven times, since The Trouble started again. She is blissfully unaware that almost 90% of what I tell her is pure garbage and bears no relation to my mental state. Bethany just leans back and watches me and lets me babble on, as smug as a sow in a pigpen.
I don’t know when I started lying. Not these kind of lies; compulsive, nasty little lies that worm their way up my gullet and wiggle out of my mouth into the blank space and hum of the air conditioner. Bethany keeps it cold in her office so she can model her extensive cardigan collection. She offered one to me once – lemon wool, very Stepford wife. She hasn’t offered since. I guess the disgust on my face wasn’t as well disguised as I thought. Now whenever I go round goosebumps prick my skin like hailstones but it’s good because it gives me something to think about other than her questions and – oh, the point. Now I’ve got 31 days to think about it. 30 and a half. I need to stop making mistakes and using up my minutes correcting them. Time isnt infinite anymore. Run white rabbit, run.
If I was reading this I’d think I was in the middle of a quarter life crisis. Generation Y problems, I’d nod knowledgably to myself. Selfie generation. Kanye West. He started it, wearing those weird things and getting a God complex. I’d probably go out and get a frappucino and think – yup, none of those kind of problems for me. Venti please. Keep the change. that’s if I was separate and not looking into my life like an orphan peering through a (dirty) window.
Amanda’s 30 Day Goals
(Bethany told me lists were good, for focus)
1. Improve my writing skills. Redundant, this one but if someone’s going to read this I’d rather it be edited nicely. Could be a best-seller. Need someone appropriately tragic and a bit chubby to play me in the movie of my life. Fat Kate Winslet?
2. Be nicer to my sister, Janine. Be appreciative that break-ups are hard and don’t respond to her 3am facebook messages (‘Mandy, he’s seeing someone ELSE, the BASTARD!’) with ‘go away, sleeping’.
3. Find an owner for Nigel. Nigel is my grumpy green iguana. We loathe and love each other in equal measure. His love for me directly correlates to how often I feed him purple radish heads (not really often enough). Ensure Nigel does not end up in the hands of crazy exotic pet-seller who only wants him for his organs or to breed him with others to create weird mutant king-lizards.
4. Oh yeah. Kill myself. That’s the biggie.
Methods, madness. Decide how to do it. NB: DO NOT tell friends. Last time I told Katherine (Kitty-Kat wholesome best friend, flatmate, a sensible twenty seven and formerly the person I’d tell everything to) about my secret urge to be mown down by a bus (news coverage potential good. Definitely get a Youtube video out of it and comments from online trolls who spend time alternately eating Kentucky fried chicken, watching snuff vids and masturbating. Creepy. But fascinating.) she looked at me a bit funny. Then I caught her googling how to get your friends sectioned in Hong Kong (harder than you’d think. The Chinese have a problem accepting that mental illness is a ‘thing’. They’re all like, hey, I know what will make you feel better, let me stick this bunch of needles in your face … but sitting, talking through your problems? No way, Jose. That’s why Bethany’s so expensive. Expat-friendly therapists for troubled white girls don’t come cheap). Since the nighttime sectioning incident we’ve been a bit strained, so telling her this plan seems unwise. And she’ll tell Janine.
One person I could tell is Adam. I could tell Adam because when he’s with me I have a sneaking suspicion he listens to roughly 3% of what I say, between checking his (perfect) reflection in Corona bottles and updating his instagram (#instagood #instahot #instalikesplease. #instapsychogirlfriend, more like. See how many likes you’ll get then, prick.)
Imagined conversation with Adam re: suicidal intentions goes something like this:
Me: Hey. Thinking of topping myself. Any suggestions for clean up / consequential emotional devastation wrecked on friends and family?
Adam: Yeah babe. (always babe. further sneaking suspicion that the handsome prick has forgotten my name, occupation, hair colour, breast size and purpose for living.) Sounds good to me.
Urgh. I HATE him. He’ll be sorry later, after the deed. Imagine him turning up at funeral laden with lilies and sobbing broken-heartedly into casket, red-eyed and clean shaven and smelling of coconut, mmmmm. Unrealistic. More likely to be instagramming casket #deadgirlfriend #yolo. I double hate him. Triple.
Actually I’ve been planning this semi-seriously since I was twenty four and since my life seems to be going down the shitter it’s time to bite the proverbial bullet and give myself a countdown. Alison at Slimming World back in the UK says that 75% of people respond well to self – imposed time limits and that we should visualize ourselves being slim by a set date – say in three months time- to achieve optimum results, but she would say that, the smug slim cow. So I’m visualising myself being dead, dead as a dodo by August 31st. It’s a cheering image. Why will become clearer in time, I guess. It’s too painful to go into now and I’m tired. My phone tells me it’s 01:44am so strictly I’m into day 30 already, shit. Must prepare these things better. Summer holidays are looming large and everything seems so hard and cliffy. It’s just no good when an abyss opens itself up right in front of you like this, and everyday seems mundane and shitty and waking up is pointless because all you’ll do is notice you’re out of milk for tea but the nearest 7/11 is four minutes away and you haven’t washed your hair in five days and going outside is literally the most brain-baffling task that your mind doesn’t want to compute. Thought tonight about taking a ton of pills but a) unreliable – do not want to end up coma-bound and have the likes of Sandra Shilbottle (NB that’s really her name, I’m not pulling your leg. Inevitably and viciously referred to as Sandra Shitbottle amongst my inner circle of like-minded bitches, and Katherine when she’s feeling cruel) resident attention-seeker and village-idiot extraordinaire force-feeding my prone body grapes and cooing about how we’re such good friends and WHY didn’t I turn to her in my hour of need?? and b) got to give myself a chance.
Thirty days to turn my life around. Thirty days for something good to happen, for me to wake up smelling the coffee and the roses and decide it’s not worth chucking in and balling out to the big man in the sky. Thirty days and then it’s bye bye baby, baby bye bye.