The topic of suicide has been heavily on my mind since the New Year started. No one plans on starting off the New Year with getting the news that someone you know has committed suicide. I would have never imagine the week prior when I seen her, it would be the last time. I was in shock that another person I knew had lost the battle to the demons that were raging a war inside of her. Now, everyone is left behind dealing with the pain and unanswered questions, feeling like a fish that has been gutted.
No one is immune from suicide. In reality, we are all seconds away from suicide being a possibility given the right circumstances. Many people may argue that they are capable of taking their own life but I ask, how much can we really bear in our darkest moments? I think, life circumstance can become so unbearable that they become demons. We start battling these demons when we start losing our hope. The demons win the war by draining the last ounce of hope that we may be hanging onto as our lifeline.
What comes from suicide? Guilt. What could we have done? Did we not see the signs? I don’t understand they seemed so happy… Then everyone starts talking about getting on the band wagon of suicide prevention and awareness. I think we, as a society are taking the wrong approach. I think we, as a society stereotype, we also have a knee jerk reaction to someone that is having suicidal thoughts because they need to be protected from hurting their selves. Why would they reach out for help and talk to us? Then it happens, suicide and we are questioning why they didn’t reach out for help.
Let’s talk about the labels that society gives mental illness, CRAZY! Who wants to be labeled as crazy? Mental illness is no different than any other physical illness. Our mind is part of our body, so when it is sick and needs treatment to heal, why does it get the bad rap of crazy? Why wouldn’t people want to hide if society is going to describe your illness as crazy?
Now, let’s talk about the knee jerk reaction, what do people fear most when they are struggling with suicidal thoughts and deep depression? They fear that they maybe baker acted and locked away. Now, who wants to voluntarily give up their freedom and be locked away with all the other crazies, because that is what we have labeled them?
We wonder why someone didn’t reach out…their not crazy. Their mind is tired, sick and under the weather, but they are smart enough to hide it. The sad part, this disease can take over just like cancer and another life is loss.
So, I really don’t think it is about prevention and awareness, I think we need to educate people to remove the crazy label. I don’t think we can prevent until we can educate and remove this stereotype. We have to start a revolution. People that are struggling with these demons of mental illness need to feel safe and comfortable to actually discuss their feelings without the fear of being locked away for their own safety. What effects, does being locked up have on their mind? Aren’t they already struggling enough without that fear? Will locking someone up, really prevent suicide or delay it?
I don’t claim to know the answers, I am just stepping back and trying to look at the whole picture. I have know too many that have ended their journey by suicide. Guilt is not our responsibility to own when it comes to suicide. I believe our responsibility is the lack of education about mental illness, this illness is no different than any other disease of the body.
In 1990, I personally lived with someone who battled these demons, I witnessed my ex-husband attempt suicide right in front of me, he didn’t lose the battle that day, but about four years later after our divorce the demons did win his soul. I wrote the following blogs about my story with my ex-husband called Suicidal Love, Broken Vow of Trust and Battle Lost, Suicide Killed the Demons, which you can click these links to read.
Also, in 2013, I was in a very dark time in my life and I too, started feeling the attack of these demons, they were trying to rob my “HOPE”, they knew if they could drain me of any “HOPE” they could own my soul. Well, that was five years ago, they did not win but that is another blog to write next. That will be my next blog, because it is important to let people know they are not alone in this scary world.
I write, because I think our stories are important and we shouldn’t be shameful of what we have endure. It’s important to share so other people don’t feel alone and isolated. Sharing our stories, may give someone hope that they need not to lose their battle. I have dealt with many adversities in my life, my life blog story is not pretty, it is raw and truthful but I have survived by smiling through all those adversities. My life has not been easy, but if my story helps one person, then all of those horrible experiences is well worth it.
You’re not alone, you are beautiful!
The Girl that was Abandon