SUICIDE

Tomorrow I am walking in a Awareness Walk for Suicide Prevention. I have been hesitant to talk about my personal issues with suicide. I believe that if there is someone else that I might be able to help by being honest, then I don’t have a choice.

Before anything else though I have to tell you that I am by no means a professional. If you are suicidal right now and would like to hear from some professionals I would suggest that you follow this link. Or many others that are on the web. Today is NOT the day to follow through on it.

If you are someone who has never battled depression or believes that you just need to “cheer us up” or “help us look on the bright side”, I hope that you can learn more about us here.

If you are someone who has battled with depression and suicidal thoughts at one point or many points in your life. Welcome. You are not alone. I understand. There are others out here that do as well.

——-

When I was very small I remember feeling different. Much different. Different than the people around me, my family and most definitely the people that were on the television. I felt like everyone else around me had been given instructions that I missed out on. They seemed to know what to do and how to act. They seemed comfortable in their own skin and I was most assuredly not comfortable in mine. I tried to hide this feeling. I tried to blend in.

When  I was about 9 years old (maybe 10?) I was home one day watching the television and it was a program that I had never seen before. There were a bunch of kids on the tv show and one that I could actually relate to. I don’t really remember all of the particulars, but at the end it turned out it was an after-school-special on Suicide. What to watch out for. There was a PSA at the end that told you to tell a big person if one of your friends was acting like the kid in the movie. I wondered what you were supposed to do if you were the kid.

I’ve tried a whole lot of things in my life to deal with the depression, the suicidal thoughts and the feelings of inadequacy. Many of them did not work (or made it worse) but I would like to share some of the things that did.

———

If you are one of us. You probably feel alone. Different. Less than. You are probably a very sensitive person who seems to feel things more deeply than other people. You probably feel like other people don’t “get” you. I would probably love hanging out with you. You are probably also intelligent, sensitive and creative. These things for some reason all seem to run together (even when we are incapable of seeing it in ourselves).

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Please do not take another one of us out. Please do not believe that we would be better off without you.

What the shrinks call suicidal thoughts I have chosen to personify. Little Fucker. Lying little piece of shit that stalks. Stalker. He waits. Follows me around waiting for his chance to take me out. He whispers lies in my ears when I am alone. He waits patiently. He waits for things to happen that he can use to his advantage. He has taken out far too many people who I knew and loved. Good people who are missed. If he gets you, you will be missed. If he gets me I will be as well.

I have formulated battle plans. So far I can’t figure out how to attack or permanently eradicate the Stalker, but I have learned how to defend myself against his bullshit.

The first and most useful tool in my arsenal has been the journal. Even at a pretty young age I understood that actually killing myself would be a pretty major move. I knew that I was deciding to end my life early and it was a serious decision. I came up with the idea of creating a year long journal. I would write in every day for a year and if at the end of that year there had not been one single day that was worth living for, then I could go ahead and follow through. If however, there was a day in there. Just one that made things worthwhile, I had to put the plan on hold.
I think that I never made it more than a month or two.
I did start many many of them over the years though.
These feelings do pass. It is impossible to feel or understand that when I am in the middle of them. The Stalker tells me it has always been this way. It will always be this way and there is no other way out. And it FEELS that way. That’s one of the thing that perky people don’t get. They think that we just need to look on the bright side and cheer up. If you’ve never been in that place you have NO idea what it feels like. There is no end in sight. Everything in my heart and my head will tell me that it is never going to get better.
Having it written down proves to me that the lie is a lie. It has not always been this way. It can get better.

Another helpful tool for me came along later in life when I started to question Life, the Universe and Everything. How does life work? Why are we here? I came up with the concept of Life as kind of a video game. There may be a Reason why I am here that I am unaware of (completely conceivable since none of us Truly know). What if we HAVE to complete the game before we can move onto the next level? What if we quit the game early by committing suicide we have to go back to the beginning? Start over with THIS life? Things could be bad now, but they definitely sucked more at other points in my life. I DO NOT want to have to go backwards and start over again. I do not want to have to relive the pain that I have been through in this life.
As messed up as it sounds, sometimes when I am depressed and suicidal, thinking back to the even worse times in my life makes me feel better. It gives me perspective that things change which sometimes is all I need to get me through.

*****   On a side note for those well meaning people who may try to help someone who is suicidal. Please do not try to sit us down and prattle off all of the great things that we have going for us. I don’t know how other people respond to that, but for me it makes things worse. Between my brain and the Stalker, what I hear is “I have all of these things going for me and my life is so great and I still feel this way…. I’m never going to be happy, nothing can make me happy, I might as well kill myself now. I’m defective. All of these things don’t touch me inside.” If you want to help, tell me that you love me even when I am incapable of loving myself. Tell me that I am lovable and deserving of love even if I don’t know it. Tell me how I have helped you and that you appreciate me. *****

Some of the tools that I have available may not work for everyone, but I will share them anyhow. I have a child. I love my kid with all of my heart and I would do absolutely anything for her. I know that she has seen depression. I hope that hers is never as bad as mine has been.
I do not want Suicide to ever be an option for her. If I kill myself, I am telling her that it is okay. I am setting an example.
I may be able to convince myself when I am depressed that she would be better off without me in her life… but even at my very worst I couldn’t convince myself that she would be better off dead. She brings beauty and light to the world and the Universe needs more of that.

Along that same line I have a cat. He is a rescue. He was apparently mostly dead when I found him and he shouldn’t have lived. He is sitting on my lap now. He is distrustful of most other people, but he loves me. He sleeps on my head and panics when I am out of town and he can’t find me in the house. He would not cope well with me never coming back.
My last shrink told me that it is dangerous to use an animal as a lifeline. What happens if something happens to the cat? I understand that cats are not immortal. He will not always be there for me, but while he is, he is a reminder that someone would not be better off without me. He doesn’t care if my thinking is defective, or I cry easily, or anything else. He loves my presence in his life.

Funerals. The funerals of some very wonderful people and the memories of attending them have helped me gain perspective.
I have been fortunate to have had some close friends who understood completely. Who “got”me. Unfortunately, some of them are gone. The Stalker caught up with them at a weak moment and whispered in their ear and they believed him. They thought that the world would be better off without them and they left this world by their own hand. I went to their funerals. I saw the pain. I see it still. I feel the loss.
Sunday I am going to go and walk with a bunch of people who understand the loss. They may not have been suicidal themselves and understand the whys, but they know the loss. They have lost someone that they loved and carry that hole inside of themselves.

If you are at that place today, wait. Don’t do it. Run away. Go to another state. Change everything in your life, but don’t make a permanent decision. Don’t believe the lie. Don’t let the Stalker win.
Don’t compare what is going on in your head and your heart to what you think is going on in people around you. Find one of us. We are out here. We normally keep quiet and keep to ourselves about it, but we understand.

Maybe I can love you enough today to keep you here today and you can do it for me tomorrow.

You are not alone and you don’t ever have to be again.

 

~ by justteejay on September 29, 2012.

12 Responses to “SUICIDE”

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. I can’t say thank you enough.

  2. I remembered another coping tool that one of my friends uses (who is still alive).
    He says that he is only willing to commit suicide by starving himself to death. That gives him time to think about it and change his mind. He says he hasn’t ever made it too many days in when a cheeseburger didn’t start to sound like a better option than being dead.

    Use whatever tools you can.

  3. Thank you for this TeeJay. It’s been a really dark couple of weeks. Today you made the difference that I needed. Thank You!

  4. This is beautiful. I have dealt with severe depression and have helped many others who reach out to me because they know that I know what it is. I grew up with parents who didn’t believe in depression and invalidated my first bouts with it. Thank you for articulating so many of my thoughts on the subject.

    • Thank you Natasha. I have found this so hard to talk about with people who don’t understand.
      Those of us who fight this battle seem to truly live in a different world, but it can be ever so beautiful too.

  5. Thank you for this. I wish these words could be shared with people, especially kids, all over, as I think it would really help others know they are not alone. You are such a wonderful person, please know that although we rarely talk these days, I think of you often, and love you much!!

  6. Yep – we’re kindred spirits. Thank you for putting this into words.

  7. Thank you! xo

  8. Were it not for my two beautiful boys, I’d probably be ashes in the wind by now. Thank you for your courage and selflessness in sharing this.

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