That word — suicide is not always an easy word to talk about in mental illness circles. It all depends on what point of the circle you land on. Either someone has thought about it, attempted it, know someone who has thought about it or attempted it. But the hardest thing to accept sometimes is knowing someone who was successful in their suicide attempt. I have known people to successfully commit suicide. It always leaves a hole in your heart.
My Brush with Suicide
My first thoughts of suicide were in middle school. My plan was to overdose on a bottle of ibuprofen. However, at the last minute I could not go through with it. Instead, I left pills on my bedroom floor in plain sight where someone would surely see. It was my cry for help. Suicide’s grip on me was released for the time being until I realized no one had noticed the four brownish red pills on the floor.
Time to End It Now!
Recently I had an incredibly horrible week. I could not function at work. No! Hear me loud and clear: I could not do my job to the point that my productivity suffered. I felt alone. No one to talk to. God seemed too far away and too holy to understand.
The thoughts started leaking into my brain one by one until they created a scene right out of an after-school educational documentary on the warning signs of suicide. Now I had a plan. I just had to execute it. The plan seemed way too easy. My life would be forever changed! No more fat body weighing me down physically and mentally. No more lost memories. No more jumbled speech. No more hearing voices. No more horrible sleep patterns. No more loneliness. No more fear. No more crazy moods. No more deep dark depression. No more pills every two hours.
Thursday evening was approaching, the second of two weekly support meetings for the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance. I had been staying away for fear of rejection, but something compelled me to go to that meeting Thursday night.
The crowd was very small and I finally felt comfortable enough to share towards the end of the hour-long session. Afterwards, I had three people show an interest in talking to me and I even got THREE HUGS. Now that was the icing on the cake! I felt so accepted. I did not feel as lonely at that moment. The thoughts of suicide became a distant memory.
The mentally ill’s way of thinking is not the same as other people. We are not trying to be martyrs or looking for attention. We want relief, peace, tranquility, calmness, or just a simple way out from the struggle beneath the pain from living day to day with a mental illness. To us, the only answer is suicide. It does not matter that it is forever and that it leaves behind hurting loved ones.
Other Alternatives to Suicide
I have thought about suicide more times than I would care to admit. However, I have learned over the years there are other alternatives to suicide.
- Pray to God and worship Him
- Reach out to a trusted friend or family member.
- Call the suicide hotline below.
- Distract your thoughts: listen to music, read a book or magazine, take a walk, do rigorous exercise, I like to scream into a pillow to get rid of the tension, I also like to punch the air (our punching bad is not available at this time), spend time with your pet: take them for a walk, brush them, give them a treat or feed them a meal, give them a bath.
- Go somewhere you will be around people even if it is just the gas station.
- Write a list that describes your best qualities.
- Sing at the top of your lungs and dance, too.
- Do something for someone else: rake your neighbor’s leaves; take out a house-bound person’s trash; walk your sick friend’s dog; babysit for a friend
Suicide Prevention Lifeline — Call 1-800-273-8255