This month (September) is Suicide Awareness Month, this past Tuesday was World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10).
Suicide is not something I talk about a lot. I did mention it in one of my blogs (Behind the Smile), but did not go into detail, since the blog was not primarily about that.
I do want to talk about it today (well I am writing this blog the day before it will be released…but you get the point), since it is Suicide Awareness month….I want everyone reading to understand that there are many different reasons why people have suicidal thoughts, make plans and eventually succumb to those desires. For some, it may be life itself is just too much to handle, it may be that they feel their loved ones would be better off without them…I honestly do not know all the reasons for anyone but myself….so I can only share my thoughts and feelings.
After my blog, I had several people talk to me about my own feelings….assuming they knew what I go through or they knew the reason I have suicidal thoughts. Not one of them was correct. And it made me wonder how many people out there who have never had these types of thoughts, think all suicides are caused by the same reason. I can guarantee you that I have never once thought my family/friends would be better off without me….I have never thought my life was too difficult/too tough to just continue going. Those thoughts/feelings are not the reason I am suicidal.
When I get episodes of PMDD my head tells me all kinds of lies. It brings up wrongs of the past (ones that are solely myself and ones that others have inflicted on me)…even if they have been dealt with many times over….it brings up current issues or problems that I may have (or imagine I have) and it also creates future scenarios that have yet to be. Now, this is all in my head, whether it is truth or lies….I believe it. But even those are not the reasons I contemplate succumbing to the darkness. The honest to goodness reason is that the feelings I feel and the overwhelming sadness or anger (depends on the episode) which affects my physical as well as mental state, is just too much….I just want it to stop. I want to stop the feeling of my chest crushing/squeezing until I can no longer breath….I want to stop the millions of fuzzy visions of every possible horrible thing that has happened to me and that I can imagine will happen to me in the future from reoccurring in my brain (it is a little hard to explain, but they all come at once….but yet separate, I can pick out what they are but yet it feels like they are one big blurry jumble of a mess)….I want to stop my hands and feet from tingling and the need to move them (like I could start running and just never stop)….I want to stop the feeling that all this is happening to someone else and I am just a by-standard watching….I want to stop the feeling that nothing will ever be ok again and this is how I will feel for the rest of my life.
I have never gotten past the thoughts and simple "in the moment" planning of suicide…I have never planned any out…cause my suicidal thoughts are always in the darkest moments, moments when I just want to never feel like I am feeling again. When those feelings pass, sometimes it is even hard to remember exactly what it was like, so I no longer feel the desire to end my life. But I know they are real, I know I had them and I know they will return…which scares me and actually can take some of the joy of the “not those times” away….wondering and dreading when the next episode will hit.
Now for me, because it is cyclical I should, in theory, be able to be prepared for them….but unfortunately my cycles have never been very regular, and now that I no longer bleed, it is even harder to keep track of them. Sometimes they catch me completely off guard and sometimes I can feel them coming….which a lot of times can be worse because I get anxious and fearful of what I know is to come.
I do not get suicidal thoughts every month, or every episode….which I am extremely thankful….sometimes I completely skip PMDD symptoms for a month….but more often than not, at some point during my cycle I will have them. I do try and limit stress, as I have heard that stress can make symptoms worse thus making suicidal thoughts more likely, if you read my blog last week, quitting my course was one such decision I intentionally made to help de-stress my life. I have heard that diet and exercise can also help, and am working towards seeing what those can do for me. I am also going to try some Bach Flower Remedies. I have also read that talking about my feelings can help…I am not very good at talking about my issues/problems with others….which, if you regularly read my blog you may be like “What?” LOL Cause I do share a lot….but I don’t share a lot in face to face situations. I would never bring up these feelings with friends (Ben and my older kids I have gone into small details) for several reasons….1) I find it hard to describe….I am not even sure I did a good enough job in this blog to help someone to understand the depth of despair one can feel…2) I cry…a lot. So when I talk about anything hard I cry and then cannot get the words out (on here no one has to know that I can hardly see through my tears) and 3) I would never reach out during an episode….I am down too deep in the well for anyone to even hear me, so I suffer in silence.
But in the end, the reason for this blog was never for anyone to feel sorry for me (or my family who has to deal with it)….but for those who may never have thought of suicide or felt like it was a valid option….to think twice before you assume you know what someone else is going through or why they may make the decision that they do….and remember (I read this on a different blog and it spoke to me) you can be suicidal and not want to die. This is me…I love my life, I love my family….there are just times when I feel like true utter darkness is preferable to the deep well that I fall into and wonder if I will ever get out.
Suicide Awareness is not only to mourn those who lost their fight….but to help those who are still fighting. I pray that I will be here each year during Suicide Awareness Month to say I fought another year and survived.
P.S. I specially asked Ben not to include personal pictures of myself for this blog post. Although it is insight into my mind/life, it is not about me...it is an awareness for all who suffer.