July 15th, 2014 10:19 AM
Suicide. Yes I said it. The one word almost everyone dreads to hear, think, or even talk about. But why? I am sure there are several reasons, even personal reasons, as to why people do not want to talk about suicide. Stigma is the common denominator between almost all the reasons one can think of. Yes, stigma. The annoying little voice who says, “you are a disgrace to feel, think, and behave the way you do because of anxiety, depression, ADHD, ADD, bipolar, depression, personality disorders, schizophrenia etc.” This tiny voice actually speaks in a pretty loud voice for everyone to hear. And you know what? Its voice is so loud to the point where several people will stop and take the time to listen to the “stigma”. I am not going to be a hypocrite here because there was a point in time when I used to listen to the “stigma” which is why I ignored my mental illness for several years. So what was the “stigma” actually telling me?” Here are some words that I’ve heard from the “stigma” :
- You are a Christian, you were raised in a Christian household, therefore if you commit suicide you will go to Hell and God will condemn you. You are a sinner. Your family will disown you if you take your life.
- You should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking ‘suicide’. You are weak, a true disgrace, and filthy.
- Shut your mouth. You better not speak up about what is on your mind and stop crying! Do not say a word about how depressed you are feeling today to the point you want to commit suicide. You know the people around you are not going to believe you.
- So you want help? You do not need ‘help’. You better self-medicate or move on from the depressed, hopeless, loneliness feelings.
The list goes on and on. At the age of 14 I started to obsess about suicide and suicidal thoughts/ideation. I became so obsessed to the point where I felt so comfortable speaking about suicide openly to close friends. Now of course this scared my friends greatly but it did not bother me one bit. The stories I read, I could relate to the feeling and pain of the characters. Then I learned about “suicidal threats” from a non – fiction book and started to use suicidal threats as a way to get people’s attention; essentially a cry for help and that I am truly hurting on the inside and need to be wanted, cared for, and loved.
Of course, the “suicidal threats” were not taken seriously and this made me mad, furious. So what did I do? I started to act out my threats and bring them to life as yet, another silent cry for help, attention, love, care etc. This worked. But my parents tried to ignore the fact that their first daughter really did need professional help. I got the help I needed but there was still a miniscule part of me and my brain that just wanted to ‘suicide’. Yes this seems odd and like my psychiatrist puts it, there is a part of me that enjoys the methodology behind suicide because I can mentally and physically relate to the inner pain that causes such action. I’ve become so prone to the thoughts and feelings of suicide that I no longer show emotion towards the word. In other words, I tend to now smile get excited, and laugh openly when I talk about suicide and to others they find this offensive, weird, and crazy. I am currently working with my therapist to look deeper into why I am doing this and positive mechanisms/ tactics to use when such thoughts and feeling arise.
As most of you know my best friend recently committed suicide and you are probably wondering how I reacted to the news if suicide is greatly important to me. The day I found out she ‘suicide’ I completely shut down; loss significant touch with myself and my life. I experienced the same natural grief anyone experiences during a significant loss of a loved one. I cried for hours, for days, for months because I lost someone who meant so much to me to something that is genuinely important to me. I am not going to lie but a part of me was (somewhat still is) jealous that she successfully ‘suicide’ and I’ve always failed. Sounds terrible and sick right? Yes I know and I am aware of my thoughts but this is how my mind operates.
Why is suicide so important to me? Suicide is important to me because I feel like I am still a burden to the world, my family, and friends with everything that is going on with me. I feel like I am not retaining and listening to the help I am receiving; I am not believing that my medications are truly working even when I feel happy, stable, and good. In all honesty, there is a small part, probably around 15%, that just does not want to go on with life; does not want to deal with the rejection, anticipation, and all of the things we have to experience in life to learn what life is truly all about.
This 15% throws all the love, the care , the appreciation I get from family and friends out the door and focus on trying to make sense of what the world would be like if I was no longer physically in it anymore.
This 15% wants to say goodbye to the things that I have difficulty doing like making friends, keeping a stable relationship with others, being happy in the things I enjoy doing, academics, etc.
This 15% does not want to return to and finish some of the most important things I’ve started because I am afraid of failure i.e. completing my Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering.
So what is the 85% doing? Living and appreciating the gift of life. The 85% is thankful for getting a second chance at life that many people do not get if they attempt suicide and it successfully happens. The 85% wants to seek help and be open about the feelings, and thoughts that come up in the middle of the night. The 85% wants to be strong and fight the stigma and show the world that yes, I can and will graduate with my Bachelors in Chemical Engineering despite the fact I have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
The 85% recognizes the true purpose of life and what my passion is and the goals I want to achieve one day. I know one day I am going to speak at mental health conferences and share my story; I know that I am going to write and publish a book about my story; I know one day I am going to find true love and get married to someone who supports my illness and loves me for me.
The 85% recognizes the importance of psychotherapy and taking medication. I know and truly do believe my Viibryd and Seroquel are working to make me feel happier, stable, energized, and alert. I know that there are people out there who care and love me and want to be there for me. With that being said I will let them in and let them stay and lean on them.
Will the 85% increase and the 15% decrease? I honestly do not know. But what I do know is that I do believe in myself and love myself for who I am that I can recognize when I am getting ready to experience a downfall and suicidal thoughts/ideation. In that moment I know I have support people to go to and a hotline number to call. I know that I am not embarrassed to think, say, and feel the way I do because it is not my fault; it is not my fault I have MDD and BPD, it is not my fault I have a chemical imbalance. I love every second of my life right now; every single breath that I comes out; every step; every word I say everyday.
Even though suicide is still important to me, I am not going to let it stop me from getting the help I know I need or cause me to avoid taking my medication; I am going to rise above the 15% that still wants to pull me down and break me. I am in control of my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; not the ‘suicide’.