**Trigger Warning regarding Suicide**
He doesn’t know it, but I took his bottle of Vicodin and hid it in my backpack. I pictured how I would put on my make-up and my prettiest dress, do my hair, swallow the entire bottle of pills and lay on my bed clutching my favorite teddy bear after leaving good-bye notes for everyone. But, the thought that I hadn’t spent all my money yet stopped me.
He doesn’t know it, but I took the scalpel from his kit and sat there staring at it in the warm bath. I pictured what it would be like to place a small cut deep in the veins and watch the blood ooze out. But, the thought that I’d be found naked and with messy hair stopped me.
He doesn’t know that I’ve looked at his gun case and wondered if I could shoot myself in the head successfully. But, the thought that I’d most likely end up making an awful, ugly, terrible mess stopped me.
He doesn’t know it, but as he goes off on a deployment I may not be the one who comes back.
These are the thoughts that plague my mind when I’m in serious times of doubt and fear.
What You Don’t Know
What you don’t know about those of us who often think about dying is that it becomes a reassuring blanket that you can wrap yourself in when all else seems to be falling apart.
What you don’t know is that usually we feel like everyone and the entire world would be better off without us.
What you don’t know is that we create a world that makes us feel safe, but that world isn’t real and when it starts to collapse we sense that we’re going down the rabbit hole with no hope of return.
What you don’t know is all those ways you try to make us feel better never helps. The “You’ll be fine” or “It will all work out” comments only make us want to tear out our hair and smack you in the face.
But, the biggest and most important thing you don’t know is that many of us will NEVER, EVER give you the slightest insight into the fact that we feel the way we do. We won’t tell you directly that we’re suffering or that we’re considering doing the deed.
When you ask how we’re doing we’ll say, “fine” because we have the ability to put on a mask that shows we are coping and that we are strong and that we are succeeding even when we feel like we’re falling apart.
What you don’t know is that although we try to be strong sometimes the world becomes too much to handle
What you don’t know is that we wonder and think and read and try to break free from the subconscious battles within our minds, but the negative stranglehold has a strong grip and does not want to release us so easily.
What It’s Like
This is what it’s like to live as someone who struggles with serious depression and/or suicidal ideation. This is what it’s like to truly believe that killing yourself is a reasonable solution to your pain. Call it selfish. Call it shortsighted. Call it whatever you want, but until you have felt this way you cannot judge.
So, as I write this I ask myself why. Why should I go on? Why should I keep trying? I mean, who am I kidding? If my boyfriend and I break up can I really handle starting all over, AGAIN? Isn’t five times enough? Do I really have to go through six?
The thought of losing my love, my person, my safe place to fall all having no income, possibly nowhere to live and nowhere to turn pushed me into a state of pure desperation and apathy.
Some days it seems like you have fought and fought and changed and changed and done all the work and it’s still never enough and you become exhausted beyond all belief.
I wonder how Anthony Bourdain who had friends, a child, money, love, talent, respect and the best job ever couldn’t get his sh** together and be happy how the hell can I?
Maybe the scars run too deep. Maybe the childhood betrayals cast their spell which cannot be broken. Maybe we are unsure how to get out of where we are. But, maybe there is a way.
How Does It Happen
In the wake of the spate of deaths that occurred in the news how often did you hear the family member say the person was somewhat happy, seemed fine and/or was making plans or that their suicide was not something they would have foreseen?
The day after Anthony Bourdain hung himself with his bathrobe in Paris his mother said, “she had no indication that her child might have been thinking of suicide and had “no idea why” her son might have decided to kill himself. However, his friend Eric Ripert stated he had been having some dark days prior to his death.
Chester Bennington of Linkin Park took his life at age 53 and his wife stated she was “completely surprised” by his death. She said this despite knowing he had relapsed from substance abuse which had been a life-long struggle.
What you don’t know is that you can’t ignore the truth of what is going on around you. What you don’t know is that we want to be happy. We want to feel normal like everyone else, but it’s a constant fight.
The problem is our dark thoughts. We live with them. We battle them and most of the time we can win, but in many cases the struggle becomes too much, and we feel like we have nowhere to go and no one to turn to and no one that truly understands so we take the next step.
Some will come out alive after that step, but many will not.
Do you think I tell anyone when I feel suicidal? Do you think your friends or family will tell you? Most often those who are having suicidal thoughts will keep it to themselves. Usually the suicide will be impulsive and not truly thought out, but I do believe people give you hints about how they are feeling and about what is going on inside their head.
People who are suicidal will say things that tip you off if you are paying attention. They’ll say things like, “I’m not sure its worth it anymore” or “I don’t know if I have the energy to keep going” or a statement that is sounds like they are just tired and frustrated but if you listen close they are usually saying so much more. But, even these statements will be few and far between and only parsed out to those who we feel connected to and heard by.
If you know or love someone who struggles with depression take time to reach out. I’m not here to say you can save anyone who has serious mental illness or drug addiction problems, but for those who fluctuate between good and bad days and I believe you can make a difference.
It isn’t your job to try and save anyone and it isn’t your responsibility if you know someone who has taken their life. People make their own choices and unfortunately, they make the wrong choice when
they feel they are faced with no other options.
What they don’t know and understand is that THERE ARE ALWAYS OPTIONS.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary situation.
If only my friend, Tim Beine who took his life recently had understood this. To those of you who have suicidal ideation, please remember this and repeat it to yourself and you will live to see another day.
Although I still have suicidal ideation it usually passes within a week or two when it used to be a last for weeks and months and even years. I have enough insight to know that I have the power to go on and I have to power to change and as long as you are alive you can keep trying.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to a counselor, friend or family member, and even if you don’t feel comfortable telling someone you know you can always email me. I’m not a therapist and I can’t change your life for you, but I can relate to what you’re going through and hopefully give you hope that nothing ever stays the same so and if you stick around you’ll see it for yourself.
Life may be a struggle and it may suck at times, but the only way to make it better it to face another tomorrow head on, strap on for the ride and go forward my friend.