Saturday Blog 27: Struggle with Suicide and Bereavement of Others
I will never again go to the Square on a Saturday! I got stranded there because there were no buses to take me home. I waited two hours and Twitter was no help in finding out why or the public transportation system for that matter. I had gotten a text saying severe delays due to traffic but not that there would be no service to the Square. I was so pissed. I hadn’t eaten anything but a bag of chips so was starving when I came home. I was lucky my sister was home and could pick me up. Then I got a migraine that just made things worse. So I am writing this blog a little later than usual because of the migraine.
I watched this video about “Life after Suicide”. It really made me think about the people I would be leaving behind and the affect it would have on my “kids”. It also made me feel grateful that I can talk about my suicidal feelings with my therapist and psychiatrist, openly and honestly. I think that if I kept those feelings to myself, I would probably act on it. It helps to hear my therapist say that she would be devastated if I went through with my thoughts. I don’t know how my psych would feel. Probably the same as I have known her for over twenty years. The thing is, I don’t want to live. I had made a decision with myself when I was young to take my life so I wouldn’t be old. Here it is twenty plus years later and I still struggle with suicide. It’s like it gets bashed around, deeply thought about, planned, and just never happens. I haven’t made a suicide attempt since I was eighteen and then I spent two and half months in a psych unit at the local hospital. I had met a psychiatric resident who believed in me and we worked together for three years. It was the most stable relationship I ever had with a professional, aside from my current therapist. I was still in and out of psych hospitals. When I was first hospitalized, I was damned if I was going to end up like the people around me. I was in a lot of psychological pain that I wanted it to end. Even though that pain has subsided somewhat, I still think about suicide. I now suffer chronic physical pain and it keeps the thoughts swirling around in my head.
In the video, the woman who talks throughout it says that you need to talk about suicide. In London, they have a place called the Maytree where suicidal people can stay for up to five days to deal with their crises. It is run by none other than a suicide attempt survivor. I have no idea if a place like that exists in the US. I know in my town, there is something called a residential place that is similar to what they were talking about. It was so long ago, I forget the criteria for going there. I know you had to be a part of the Department of Mental Health system to go to it. I was so ill then. I didn’t stay at the place. It was run down and dirty looking, nothing like the Maytree. But it was an alternative to the hospital. I don’t know if they exist anymore with budget cuts to the mental health system. They closed so many psych units in the last twenty years. Even the world famous McLean Hospital isn’t what it used to be.
Also in the video, there is a segment with Dr. Rory O’Connor (person that I got the video from) that talks about entrapment and how a suicidal person often feels trapped and feels the need to escape. This is often true. I feel trapped because of the guilt I would place on others by my death. I die and others feel hurt. In the meantime, I am left to deal with my own suffering that no one else can feel. How is that fair? And don’t dare tell me life is unfair. I know that already, I live with it every single day. I pissed and crapped my pants today and didn’t know it so don’t bother telling me that life is unfair. Another misery that I have to deal with and don’t want to. Dealing with the physical pain is one thing; it’s quite another to deal with your bodily functions not working right.
Throughout the video, I thought about my friends David and Melinda, who lost their significant others by suicide. David lost his fiancé almost six months ago. His fiancé was my friend Chris. I had felt guilty about his death because I am so involved with suicide prevention and yet I never reached out to Chris. I never knew the demons he was facing. He was always a stand up guy and looking at him, you never knew he was depressed. He hid it well. We will never know what made him take his life. David has been open about his grief on FB and it has been one of the reasons why I am still here. The grief he feels is so palpable it hurts to watch him go through it. Chris was the first friend of mine to die by suicide. I have had other friends die, but not like this. It is a unique death that no one can understand or make sense out of.