*Trigger Warning. This post contains content that some people may find disturbing*
I have only been affected by suicide twice, personally. In my freshman year of high school, one of my classmates committed suicide. We had a large class, so I really didn’t know him much more than passing him in the halls, so I wasn’t profoundly affected. Two days ago, a young girl was brought in by an ambulance. She had committed suicide, but her mother discovered her and called 911 anyways. We exercised all the appropriate measures, but honestly there was nothing to be done. I am surprised by how much this young girl’s death has affected me. I didn’t know her, I simply recognized her as a human being going through insurmountable anguish. To truly put a human face to the enigma that is suicide is startling and powerful. I have been thinking about the young lady most of the weekend.
A fellow bipolar blogger has been suffering for some time. A family illness, inability to keep a job due to her bipolar disorder and financial troubles have her feeling desperate. Fortunately, she made the brave decision to check herself into the hospital and she’s feeling much better. For those who do not suffer from mental illness, suicide seems so selfish, so impossible to understand. There’s no one reason why people contemplate suicide, the reasons are as varied as the person.
As any of you who regularly read my blog know, save my “real life” identity, I am quite open about my struggles with mental illness. I’ve always sought to break down barriers and reduce stigma, to help people feel less alone. In that vein, I am going to share with you one of the most painful experiences of my life, to help explain what can drive a person to suicidal thoughts. I find that open and honest discussion about things can lead to understanding and change, so…here goes:
My ex fiancee and I had broken up. I will not divulge what set me off because I like not being sued for libel, but it was bad. The day I found out I came home and exploded. I screamed at the top of my lungs, my face on fire and tears streaming down my face. I have never felt such pure rage. Things got physical and I packed a bag and called a coworker to see if I could spend the night at her house. I went out to the car without telling my ex I was leaving and drove to my coworkers house. I was still crying, still enraged, shaking and nauseated. I was having a hard time finding my coworker’s apartment and that’s when I heard my phone ringing. It was my ex fiancee, looking for me. I refused to answer. I pulled over to get my bearings and was idling not far from a telephone pole. At that moment, there was a crystalline calm as I stared at the telephone pole. I remember thinking I could just slam my car into it. The pain would stop, the embarrassment would end. No more pain. My ex was still calling. I picked up the phone and told him I wanted to die. I hung up and finished driving to my co worker’s house. With her support, I made it through the night safely. There were other very dark nights, but none matched the breathless desperation of that night.
I wish I could say that I have gotten over that pain, that I don’t have dark thoughts every now and again, but I do. I wish I could make my ex understand that I wanted to kill myself. This wasn’t some run of the mill relationship to me, he was in every breath I took and my life will never, ever be the same. I honestly hope that it was worth it to them. I hope maybe that crosses his mind when he’s having a tender moment with his current girl, that that tender moment nearly came at the cost of my life. Is that mean? Petty and bitter? Probably. But depression spares me no miserable thoughts, so why should I spare them?
What gets me through the dark times is mostly the reminder that the dark times, like everything else, is transitory. Life is a cycle, with ebbs and flows and the light will come back eventually. There are too many things I want to do, too much coffee to drink, too much life to experience to end it. My life’s mantra is “the only way out is through” and I believe there is a reward for all suffering. If you are feeling suicidal, please seek help. There are countless resources available to help you. Stay strong and don’t believe the lies depression tells you.