Like many (most?) amongst the Bipolaratti, I too have entertained the notion of killing myself. I’ve even had one incident since getting diagnosed with bipolar, but thankfully, only the one.
Having said that, I’ve not trended much towards suicidiality. I’ve always done my best to pull myself along by self-cheering, and reminding myself that it could always be worse. I’m not sure how I convinced myself of such at all those pits I had to climb back out of after the worst of depressive episodes, but anyways.
That One Time…
The longest period of depression that was leading to the contemplation of suicide was when I was 19. I had been bullied into attending community college on my own dime after being utterly burned out at the end of high school. I was working full time atop a full time school schedule (as I had been through the second half of high school), except unlike high school, I had a shitty car eating up most of my money. It was nice to have that measure of freedom, but not so nice to almost die all the time because the breaks apparently didn’t know how to work (in spite of being replaced completely at least once, if not twice).
Suffices to say, was running on the ghost of the fumes after the tank is empty, and it was killing me. I remember sitting at home on a rare night off, sobbing with exhaustion, doing my best to keep my brain from going down dark paths. I was ‘saved’ by having to rescue some alcoholic idiots, which pushed me into my Meg Murry-esque saving fault: anger. I got angry enough to realise that I desperately had to change something in my life, and opted to join the Air Force.
That Other Time…
In some ways, it was a great idea to join the military, but in a lot of other ways, it wasn’t. I mainly liked my job, but I worked rotation shifts, never got enough sleep, and had sleep paralysis complete with seeing my loved ones trying to kill me while I laid there unable to move. I drank enough to float the entire Navy, and in general was in horrible shape the entire time. The closest I came to suicide in all that was trying to throw myself off the balcony while drunk because my cheating boyfriend kept gaslighting the fuck out of me. He stopped me, and was rewarded with a Hello Kitty stool thrown over my shoulder straight into his face. I hadn’t felt suicidal per se at that time (outside of being incredibly depressed and isolated), but that flash point made me decide that I needed to die immediately.
Kk, Time to Die Now
Really, that’s the big problem with me and suicidal stuff — it comes out of nowhere. The incident that occurred in 2012 was just my brain screaming for some relief from the combination of extreme physical and mental pain that were happening within that particular framework of hours. My psychiatrist didn’t seem too concerned by that, and I guess I didn’t want to dwell on it either? I also suspect the chances of that sort of incident occurring again is lower now that I am better at candidly telling things to my spouse instead of having to push myself into rage to overcome despair.
Now, why am I sharing this? As it says at the top, today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Because of my own experiences, and because of the experiences of my friends, I care deeply about preventing suicide. While my personal experiences have been transient and blessedly infrequent, I have friends who have spent months or years in a suicidal fugue. It matters to me that I can be there and supportive of my friends without making them feel cornered by trite ‘truisisms’, or trying to force them to think about what anyone outside of themselves. Certainly, I want all of my friends to live long and full lives, but the best thing I can give them, and they in turn can give me, is a safe space to think out loud.
And that, really, is the main thing that I am putting out there for World Suicide Prevention Day. You are not alone. There are people out there who you can talk to if you are feeling suicidal. Yes, ‘everyone knows’ about the hotlines you can call, but what if you’re not a phone person? Most of my closest friends with mental illnesses are emphatically not phone people, so having to try to handle calling someone while being in a distressed state is just impossible to consider. And even worse, most of the ‘big’ places like the Samaritans here in the United Kingdom have little to no online support — many places I saw when Googling around had limited online hours.
To that end, I made the below. The first three have online text chat availability, while the last one is a fairly comprehensive directory of things. If you are feeling suicidal or alone, please — reach out to someone who wants to help you. Hell, feel free to contact me if you want someone to talk at, though my old lady hours mean that I’m not going to be up for more than a couple more hours today.
Really though, you guys all matter out there, and I would be sad to lose any of y’all (for what it’s worth). I hope everyone is having a good day, as I always do, and if not? I hope the bad passes swiftly.