I am a survivor of suicide attempts

I wrote a quick blog yesterday about the stigma of suicide. I asked wouldn’t it be nice to say to people you survived suicide like you survived cancer? I listened to the WEEI radio to hear my Sox game and it amazes me how quick people are to say they survived cancer but hide in the dark when talking about taking their own life. Both people are fighting for their lives. Granted one is bodily and the other is mostly mental but it still begs to question why there is a different in the illness. Suicide is the result usually of untreated depression or other mental illness. Most people think that it is depression that causes people to think about suicide but it is not. You can be psychotic and think about killing yourself. I know. I have been through it with my psychosis. I have had voices tell me to kill myself, in fact in one of the delusion it was considered a command order. Psychotic disorders often get tossed by the way side when considering suicide but a recent article in JAMA showed that it can pave the way to catching suicide attempts if asked about. The study showed that teens with psychotic symptoms are more apt to attempt suicide than non-psychotic teens.

But you don’t need to be in a mental state to be in the suicidal mind. That is what is so devastating about suicide is that people before they commit suicide look and act “normal”. I know that people who are suffering from cancer can look anything but normal. They can be bald or look skeletons. They are really fighting to be alive while those that are thinking about suicide just want to die. People with cancer are the lucky ones. Their suffering will end. People know this. But those of us with mental illness we continue to suffer and when we decide to give up and end the fight, we are looked down upon and treated often inhumanely. We then feel ashamed of ourselves for trying to end the pain and failing at it. We end up in the hospital to “save ourselves from more destruction”. All we want is peace, same as the cancer patient that is terminally ill. We want the suffering to end.

To some people, they believe that suicide is preventable. To some people it is but you are not going to catch the majority of people most at risk. You cannot stop every suicide. People have the right to kill themselves if they so choose to do so. It is the ones that survive that have the right to speak about it. Because those that survive depending on their reaction to their own attempt might be clues to whether they survive or not. I have survived the past several years despite making elaborate plans on killing myself. I really want to die but my reasons for living keep me going. I don’t like it but I can’t picture my sister telling my eight year old niece that I have passed on. She is my baby and I don’t want to hurt her or my other nieces or my nephew. My nephew is what kept me going during a very difficult time in my life. I wish that I had succeeded but because I didn’t, I got to see him grow into a man and graduate from high school. I didn’t think that he would or that I would live to see the day he did.

It saddens me that I am still alive when all I want to be is dead. I don’t know why I preserve. Right now I am in a lot of pain and I don’t like it. I don’t know if I am going to get any sleep tonight because of it. Where is the training of medical doctors to handle chronic pain? There isn’t any. I don’t get asked what my mental status is during medical visits anymore. It is just assumed that I am ok because I have a smile on my face. Didn’t matter that the day before I was in so much pain that I was in bed all day, taking pain pills every four-six hours. Maybe I was happy because I could finally get out of the house and go to my doctor’s appointment and I wasn’t in pain. The siege was over with. But now it has returned and the meds have not kicked in yet to knock my big ass out. I am tired of living with chronic physical pain all the time. It sucks the life out of you, what ever life is. And if it doesn’t, your mental illness will surely do it for you. There is no reprieve. No relief in sight. And that is why suicide is what it is. For people that survive it, they should be able to say that they have. But no one does. There are a few people that have been coming out slowly through the AAS blog but I fear that the ones that don’t come out, are the ones that will try again and maybe succeed.

I am a failure of suicide attempts. And because it has been so long since my last one I am not going to try again any time soon. Least for now. So I am in pain and I have one option left to me…to suffer.

stigma of suicide and ice cream

Last night I wrote a blog about being a loser. I don’t know if I am or not. I know most people would not consider me a loser but the reason I feel that way is because I am struggling with mental illness on top of being in chronic pain. I can’t stand either condition. I fight with myself constantly with suicidal thoughts. I am so jaded to suicidal thoughts that I seriously wonder why people get so out of whack when I bring the subject up. People honestly don’t want me to kill myself and I wonder why? People I don’t even know, like the people I meet on the internet, all think I should continue to live and I honestly wonder why? Or that I shouldn’t have these thoughts. Well, sorry, I do. I think about killing myself 85% of the time. I think about acting on it not so much, though I have come close a couple of times.

I think the stigma around suicide needs to change. People need to be able to think about suicide like they do vanilla ice cream. They either like it or hate it but regardless, vanilla ice cream is still going to be around. As long as there are conscious people, there is going to be suicide. It might be thought about like people like me, that are in chronic pain and suffering from depression. It might just be that the person is suffering from depression and they just feel like they cannot go on. They might have voices telling them they should not be around or just disappear. Or maybe the voices just tell them to kill themselves because they will be better off. But I do know this…people should be open to suicide like they are to ice cream. They should hear the person that is bringing up thoughts of death and thoughts of killing themselves or harming themselves. The stigma needs to stop. The hurting needs to stop and I don’t know if this blog will make sense and reach the people it needs to but as long as I am here and not in the grave, I hope that people will read this and know they are not alone. The feeling of being able to talk about this openly needs to happen. Too many people feel they are crazy and they don’t need to be. Too many people seek help and are turned away because they have suicidal thoughts need to be helped. They just need an understanding ear and an open mind.

So the next time someone is thinking about death or thinking about killing themselves, I hope that you hear their story as to why this is so. Because hearing their story is going to be the deciding factor on whether that person lives or dies.