A Note on Suicide

Hello, my darling!

There has been a lot of discussion about suicide lately due to the events of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Maybe you’re tired of seeing all the things about it and don’t need my part of it. That’s okay – you can stop reading now.

I thought, “maybe I am too deep in it right now to talk about it so openly.” “Maybe this isn’t something to discuss so openly.” “Maybe not everyone needs to know.”
But these are all the things I am working to change! I think we do need to talk about it. We need to feel okay to talk about it. And if I have to be one of the ones who breaks myself open and shows my vulnerability to the world to help others feel brave enough to do the same, then that is what I will do.

Very recently I was very close to suicide. The closest I have ever been. I think that suicidal thoughts are more frequent than most of us think. They can range from just “omg. I want to die,” to “If I were to kill myself, here’s how I would do it,” to a constant nagging thought that the world would be better if you weren’t in it.

Sometimes it’s a strong belief that no one would actually care if you died, that no one actually cares that you are alive, that no one actually cares that you are in their life… so why even bother having a life. This is where I was am.

And here’s the story I am telling myself about what you will all think of me telling you this:
They are going to think I am just asking for sympathy. They will think if I was really depressed, I would have done it and not be talking about it. They think “just get over it, just decide to be happy.” They think I am just feeling sorry for myself.

All of these things ARE things I have heard in the past – to me, about others, about depression and suicide in general. And maybe for some, it can be true. But here is a very important thing to remember about everyone: YOU DO NOT KNOW THEIR TRUTH.

Accepting sympathy and care is actually super difficult for me, and for many others who live with depression. Depression is just a part of me, my other parts help save me and help me be able to talk about this now. If I could just “get over it” and “decide to be happy” I fucking would. And – damn straight I feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for all who have ever felt this way.

When someone is reaching out about this, even if you think “it’s just for attention,” pay attention to that. Yeah- they need your attention right now. Don’t just blow it off. It takes a lot to reach out.

Okay – back to my story. And not that it should matter, but I am telling this for those who have been there- to know you are not alone. For those who might be there – to know how I am getting through it. And for those who do not understand it at all – so maybe you can see a little bit into what it’s like to go through it.

The true beginning goes back years, which is not the point of this post, so we will skip ahead.  The few months leading up to this, I kept falling deeper and deeper into this darkness.
The few days before, I felt almost nonexistent. I was able to go through the motions of my life, went to work, saw some friends, took care of my dog. But inside – I was nothing.

The day of, I woke and was hit hard with no being able to go through my day. I knew I would be useless at my job, so I called to say I couldn’t make it in. I knew I’d be useless taking care of my dog, so I dropped her off at daycare. I was back at home. My husband was away for work. My dog was at a good place. I was laying there thinking “this is the perfect moment just to do it.”

Next:

“This is the right time for it.”
“You should reach out to someone. But don’t tell them why.” So, I texted my sister just a hello. No response.
“What will happen to everyone else if you go through with this?”
“They’ll be sad, but they’ll be okay after a while”
“I am just a burden on everyone. I bring everyone down. Their lives will be better without me in it.”
“Okay – you need someone to talk you down from this” So, I texted a friend with more detail.
“No – it’s better if you go. Here’s the plan. Just don’t fuck it up like you do everything else.”
Sent a vague message to my husband, almost saying goodbye.
Felt a strange calm rush over me. Like – “now it will all be okay. This is the right thing.”
Got up to go get the supplies I needed.
Collapsed onto my couch terrified.
Called my mom. I was hysterical. She could barely understand what I was saying, but she understood enough. “I’ll be right over”, she said.
Husband called and I said “My mom is on her way over – it’s okay”
Friend called. I said “Just talk to me until my mom gets here”
I credit my mom to why I am here writing all of this to you.
The rest of the day was spent with my mom, sister, niece. It was a nice day, and the support I received from everyone was overwhelming.

I am still in the thick of it. The thought is ever-present in my mind, but I have my resources. I have my mom, sister, husband, some friends. I have my therapist, who also gave me numbers for crisis centers. I have my actionable items. These are so important. Some are so simple, but they just help get you out of that mindset.

They include:

  • Coloring (yes – it’s truly awesome)
  • Going for walk
  • Just going and sitting by a tree (nature is most healing)
  • Splashing my face with cold water
  • Yoga
  • Imagining what I would say to a friend in my situation (really helps if I write it down)
  • Giving out kindness
  • Driving with the windows down
  • Drinking a favorite tea
  • Writing
  • Reading

There are so many things you can do to break your mindset from where it is. I have my list written down and with me all the time. I also have a list of my V-People (people I can be truly vulnerable with) right next to my bed. These things are reminders to myself of all I can do to get myself back to me.

It’s a process, as are all things, but each moment I am working through it. Of course, we fall again, but each time we are able to pick ourselves back up a bit more easily because we put the work in before. And yeah – doing all this work sucks, and it’s exhausting. But it is worth it because we all have so much to give to the world.

Find what it is the world needs from you (as opposed to what you need from the world), and hold onto that. It doesn’t have to be something major. You don’t have to be president, or Elon Musk, or Bill Nye to save the world. Simply going through this work is incredibly important because it shows the path for the next one to go through the work.

Simply being who you are is incredibly important. It shows others they, too, can be who they are!

There is just so much on this subject, and I have been living with it, failing, learning, growing, failing again for so long. It will be a life long process, but the great thing is – it will be a life.

I hope that if you have a loved one going through this, you let yourself be there for them as you can. Know that you don’t need to “fix” it or change anything. You can’t take away their pain. Being there for them to talk to and lean on is enough.

I hope that if any of this resonates with you, you know that you are not alone. That you reach out to the V-People or the professionals in your life and that you get the support you need.

Look up your local crisis center.

Call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Crisis Hotline.

Text CONNECT to 741741 if you are in the US.

Want to chat?  You can reach out to me in the comments, Instagram, or Facebook.

Please reach out if/when needed.

You are a beautiful being and the world needs you. 

 

Live Your Wild Life,

Mandee

 

 

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