Monday, 12 November 2012

Thoughts on suicide

I've been suicidal.

Who am I kidding? I've made multiple attempts.

There was a time when I simply could not see how I would ever be able to live my life. It was too hard. The pain and guilt was too much to cope with. I had also convinced myself that I was a burden to those who cared about me, and that I would be doing them a favour by removing myself from their lives. I did not deserve to stay alive, to continue to wreck havoc in their lives.

I hated myself that much.

But in the end, it was ok. I found a way to deal with life. I even found happiness. There was a way out of the dark hole of depression and self-loathing after all.

I have not yet arrived at the end of that road. I still struggle with guilt and self-loathing. Sometimes I still feel like the pain is too much, I can't handle it. But now, I have a child. Single parents can't kill themselves. I have an obligation towards my child to stay alive. She has already lost one parent. If I deliberately take her only remaining parent from her, I am no better than my mother who walked out of my life when I was 11. If I take my own life now, it would be as if my abusers have reached out from their graves, and hurt my daughter too.

I CANNOT allow that.

So I have to stay alive. I have no choice.

Now, when the thoughts of suicide intrude into my mind (they are never invited, they just come) I reach out. I call my therapist. I post on-line. I talk to my one friend to who I can say "I wish I could just die" without causing him to freak out. I spend time with my daughter.

One of my most powerful weapons against suicidal ideation is a small tattoo on my right wrist. It covers the scar from where I cut my wrist as a teenager. It is a design that, to me, is a very powerful symbol of the fight to stay alive. It is a reminder of where I've been, how I got out of that dark place, and why it is always worth trying again, even when I can't see any chance of success. The fact is, I've managed to get out of that dark hole before... It isn't big, but it has motivated me to keep going many times...

These are my thoughts on suicide:

  • Suicide is not a coward's way out. It is the last resort of those who have lost all hope of finding another way out.
  • Suicide is not an easy way to get out of facing your problems. It is an act of desperation that is carried out when the problems seem too big to face.
  • Suicide is not selfish. It is an act that is carried out when the pain has become so much that there is no more room to consider others.
  • Suicide is rarely about one specific thing that has happened in the person's life. People commit suicide when pain that has been building up for a long time become to much. When you are so depressed that you can no longer see any possibility that the pain will get better, suicide is a way to make the pain stop.

If you, or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please reach out and get help. Call a local helpline. Talk to someone. If you have no one to talk to, go to your local ER and ask for help. They will be able to help you.

Don't bottle these feelings up inside, it will only get worse if you do.

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