“And you want to get out of here because you don’t have the strength to stay.” -Go Radio
This post has been heavy on my heart for a few months now. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off and putting it off…out of fear of what others will think. But I’ve decided that, yet again, this is weighing too heavily on my heart and mind to simply ignore. Most of the people who will take the time to read this know that I had a nearly successful suicide attempt in June of 2011. It’s been almost two years and the effects have dulled but I know they will never wear off.
Lately, I’ve had more than a few people ask me to talk to someone who they know who is struggling with serious thoughts of suicide. I replied hastily that when I wanted to be dead I did not give a single care about what anybody said to me. “Nobody understands. Nobody is going to stop me. No one will notice. I can’t wait to just be done planning this. They think they know but I’m totally different.” The thoughts I was having were serious and consuming. But I didn’t want to talk. And I didn’t know of anyone who had been through that like I was going through it.
Suicidal thoughts are unnatural. That’s just a fact. Human nature is to survive. Naturally, everybody sometimes thinks about dying. I’ve never spoken to someone who has not wondered who would be impacted by their death. What I learned after nearly dying is that more people than you would think are severely impacted by the loss of a life. You do not know how many people are affected by you on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis. I am doing a disservice by not speaking about the effects of suicide that I have learned in the two years since I was hospitalized.
From here on out, I’m writing in a numbered list of things that you don’t think about when you’re thinking about suicide.
- You have no idea how amazing your life will be. All that you think about when suicide has crept into your mind is how miserable you are and how you just want to get out. You aren’t thinking about how great it will feel when you get your driver’s license. You aren’t thinking about celebrating with you sister when she is proposed to by an amazing guy that you consider a brother. You aren’t thinking about finally finding someone who will treat you with respect and dignity. You aren’t thinking about missing graduation, your wedding, the birth of your first child. Truthfully, you aren’t thinking. You think it’s you thinking. But the part of you that wants to be dead, is not the part of you that will die. That may not make sense. But I can tell you that I have NEVER wanted to be dead. There must have been someone else living in my body to make me think that I should not have been on this Earth. It does not make sense to me how I did not see how amazing life is. I still go downstairs at one in the morning crying to my Dad on some nights because I am scared of the fact that a part of me once tried to kill me. You don’t want to die. You think you want to die. But I promise you that you don’t. Life has so many amazing things left to offer if you give it the chance.
- You don’t realize how important you are to people. After my suicide attempt, it was several months before I went totally public with the experience. I was too overwhelmed already with trying to figure out what to do next. However, the small group of people who did know were impacted in a way that I had no idea was even possible. AND I SURVIVED! A woman whom I used to babysit for came and visited me in the hospital once I was moved out of the intensive care unit. She asked if she could talk straight with me and I told her absolutely. All she said was, “What would I have told my baby girl.” At this time, the little one I would babysit was about four and a half and I had been babysitting her since she was born. I never thought of her when I made my decision. The four-year-old who brought me so much joy, would learn at a young age that sometimes people get unhappy and leave forever. Luckily, I’m here to hold her in case she ever does learn that. You will leave a mark on this world that is gaping if you decide that you don’t want to be here anymore. And that is not a good thing.
- You don’t understand the pain that a family really feels when suicide is brought in. You die and you become a past tense member of your family. “I had two sisters…now I have one.” The feelings of guilt, and anger, and stupidity, and blame can tear a family apart at the seams. It does not matter how much you enforce in a note that it isn’t their fault, (or that it is), they can’t ask you questions once you’re gone. They have an extra chair at the dinner table and a voice missing when everyone is singing along with the radio. Maybe your family is the reason you want to commit suicide. I’m assuming that if that’s the case, you are a teenager. You only have a few more years and then you can leave. You can get away and never have to deal with that again. Truthfully, regardless of you thinking that they would be relieved if you were gone, your family loves you. And a house just feels different when it’s down one.
I am going to write a follow up post to this one because I have a lot more to say and I have already said a lot. If you are one of the people who is having issues with suicide, I can’t stop you. But I can tell you that you’re wrong. It isn’t your only option. It isn’t the only way you’ll be happy. People will miss you. Amazing things are in store for you.
Me? I’m doing amazingly. I still take my antidepressants everyday. I still see my therapist twice a week. I still have nights where I want to self-injure so badly that I start shaking and sweating but I don’t do it. I was, “one pill away from death.” I have seen what it does to a family, and I survived. None of us can even fathom how horrible it would have been for my family, my friends, and my church if I had “succeeded.” I’m happy now. I truly am. I obviously have my bad days but not once since I was in the hospital have I wanted to be dead.
Stick it out. This world is not done with you.