Suicide

And now for a bit of light reading:

suicide pic

Warning: The below content may cause you to feel unhealthy amounts of concern and sympathy for my situation. Sympathy is nice but it don’t pay the rent. If you want to help me, please share my stories.

 

Suicide is another topic we generally don’t like to talk about. It creates a huge divide between people. Huge. Like the ocean, suicide has the ability to make us feel small and helpless because its pull is so powerful and so unpredictable. It frightens the shit out of people. I understand why. It’s as scary as it is unnatural.

We’re all slapping on the SPF 25, getting pap smears, taking our multi-vitamins like good little puppies, all in the hope of winning the rat race and evading pre-mature death.

We’re afraid of death by car accidents, terrorist attacks and cancer, but the thought that the biggest threat to our survival might actually be our own mind, is an unpleasant pill to swallow.

What makes The Shining such a fucking scary book is not just those freaky twins.

theshining

It’s the fact that the guy swinging the axe isn’t some stranger. It’s not the bogeyman. He’s the father and husband. He’s familiar. And he’s supposed to be safe. You think you know someone…you think you know your own mind. Until it turns on you. It’s very unnerving.

It pisses me right off when people say: “Oh suicide is so selfish!” “Suicide is an act of cowardice”.

Imagine standing at the top of a cliff, getting ready to jump, not knowing what’s waiting for you on the other side. You don’t even know if there is another side.

Close your eyes for a minute and imagine that scenario.

Which cliff did you choose? What are you wearing? Is it windy? What do you see when you look down? Is it high enough? What if the impact of the jump isn’t powerful enough to kill you? What if it just breaks your legs? What if you fall awkwardly, resulting in your protruded rib cage piercing your lungs? What if death is slow and painful? What then?

There are so many unknowns.

I don’t think there is a braver act in this world. Suicide is neither right nor wrong. But it is always tragic. It is a reaction to our problems outweighing our capacity. Our mind and body are simply overwhelmed. Most of us don’t want to die. We just want everything to stop. I didn’t want to kill myself per se. I wanted to float aimlessly through space. I just wanted a bit of nothing for a while.

Writing about suicide is difficult. What if I’m rejected by society? What if you all club together and pelt me with rocks and sticks? What if the next time we see each other you say “how aaarrreee you?” just a little bit slower and softer than usual? You’ll have that concerned look in your eye. You’re thinking “Oh you poor lamb. You poor troubled soul”

What if you’re angry with me? I’ve committed the biggest sin there is. The ultimate taboo. And you don’t know why. And you’re really pissed off. Really fucked off. What a fucking attention seek.

You’re reading this and you’ve already labelled me. You’ve put me in a drawer. Don’t hate yourself for it. We all do it. Stereotyping one another is essential to our species survival.

But I’m still the same person I was before you decided to read this. I haven’t changed. It’s you who’s changed. How has this new information affected you? Are you entertained? Educated? Indifferent?

willyoueverletmeout

I agreed early on in my blogging career that I would not censor myself. I knew it would get ugly. I want to write openly about Depression and with as little shame as possible.

In case you were wondering, this is not a cry for help. You, my precious readers do not have to worry about my life. That is not your job. I have a therapist for that. Let’s not blur those boundaries.

I’ve had one failed suicide attempt. Even writing that. Saying that out loud for the world to read makes my heart ache. I am so ashamed. It takes my breath away. What am I doing? My friends, my parents, even my boyfriend will read this and be shocked and sad and angry. I am sorry. I am so sorry everyone. But that is the truth. Depression is a motherfucker. And suicide just happens to come with the territory.

At my lowest, after my fourth batch of anti-depressants, failed me, Depression flung me into a dark hole and sat on my face. I couldn’t eat because I had no appetite and was constantly nauseous.

Also, I didn’t have the energy to walk to the shop, figure out what I was going to make, select the food, wait in the queue, pay for it, walk all the way back, chop the food, cook it, and lift it up to my face.

computer says no

I felt like I was walking under water. I was heavy. And my brain was cloudy. I couldn’t read books because I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t watch movies because I couldn’t follow the storyline. I was exhausted but I couldn’t sleep because I felt so jumpy and anxious. I saw no way out.

One evening, I was alone at home. I had a cranking headache. I took two painkillers. They did nothing. I took two more. Still the headache remained. Then I took two migraine tablets. Then two flu tablets. Then two anti-anxiety pills. Still I was wide awake and the headache persisted. Then I thought, why don’t I just continue taking all this stuff. Yes, that sounds like a good idea. That sounds like something a respectable adult would do.

There was an all-you-can-eat medication buffet happening in my bathroom that night.

After munching my way through as many tablets as I could find, I patiently marched myself to bed and waited for peace.

Peace did not come. Instead my stomach began to throb and hurt. My lower back ached. I managed to fall asleep for an hour and when I woke up I was pissed that I hadn’t slept for longer. Like forever.

I felt dizzy and nauseous. Someone had obviously used my stomach as a punching bag while I was asleep. I started losing the sensation in my arms.

I thought, oh my fuck what have I done? Fuck. I did my best high-school cheerleader impression and stuck my fingers down my throat. I puked up all the contents of my stomach. And then some.  I rewarded myself by resting my hot, stinky body on the cool bathroom tiles.

After a few hours, I came to and pulled myself into bed. I slept until the next morning. When I woke up, my back was sore and I felt like Jean-Claude van Damme had just done a number on me.

I didn’t tell anyone except my therapist. I didn’t go to the doctor or the hospital.

As I mentioned above, I do not want sympathy with this post. I don’t want you people flocking to me with your head tilted to one side asking me if I’m ok. I will be really fucking annoyed if you do. I don’t want all that. Instead I want to highlight that suicidality is a common side effect of Depression.

Depression is a disease of the mind. It physically and chemically alters our perception of reality. Of course a healthy person with a healthy brain would say “But that’s mad! Why would you wanna die when you have everything to live for” I don’t want to sound arrogant, but the concept of suicide is going to be very hard to understand with a healthy mind.

Our human instinct is to do everything we can to remain on this planet. The survival of the species. This instinct is not something that we’ve had to learn. It’s innate. We don’t even think about it. We only realise it was there, when it’s gone.

I remember a story of a plane crash many years ago. The survivors were stranded on top of a snowy mountain. With no food, but plenty of cadavers around, the survivors began to eat the dead. When faced with death, people will go to extraordinary lengths to survive, even eating human flesh.

againstscience

Depression subdues that natural desire to stay alive. Which makes it such a dangerous and unpredictable disease.

If someone throws us in the water before we’re able to swim, do we not struggle and fight for breath? Do we not look left and right before crossing the road, so we don’t get hit by a truck and killed?

We fight to stay alive all our lives. Until the very thing keeping us alive (our mind), the very headquarters of our bodies, is telling us that no, life like this is not worth living, death is better than life. And we believe it. Because it’s always known what’s right before. And we only have one brain. One mind. And why would it lie to us?

porkypies

Depression warps our way of thinking. It throws everything out of balance. It lies. It tells us things will never get better. It tells us that death is better than life. It tells us that nobody loves us. It lies and says us that we’re a burden to those around us and that everyone is fucking sick of our constant whinging. It tells us that the world will genuinely be a better place without us. Depression is an illness that lies. And suicide is the final stage. Stage IV. It is the sad and tragic realisation that the disease has won.

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26 thoughts on “Suicide

  1. “The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”

    -David Foster Wallace

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Depression and suicide are the ultimate taboos in our societies, and they are so largely misunderstood that you are made to feel guilty or selfish or ashamed should you walk down that road. And the burden becomes twice as heavy, because of the stigma attached to ithe sickness
    What people don’t understand is that the feelings of blackness and hopeless despair are not something you can snap out of just like that. The suffering you are in can’t just be erased with a little “effort and willpower”. You can not “choose to just cheer up and look at the bright side of life”, because there is none actually. You are in a tunnel of pain because you are SICK, and there is a chemical imbalance in your brain which causes your overall health to deteriorate. And this is not happening because you are mad, or because you are selfish, or because you are weak. Depression is an ILLNESS, a disease, a condition that prevents your system from functioning properly, just like pneumonia, or a broken bone, or cholera. Why is it so difficult to accept? Our so-called modern societies have such an archaic, backward view on mental health problems. It’s almost like nothing has really changed since the Middle Ages : I’ve noticed that the word “suicide”, for example, is never said out loud, but barely whispered, in general. How come that, in 2015, we can explore the planet Mars, but not talk about our innermost feelings?
    Depressed and suicidal patients need to be treated the same way that other people with life-threatening illnesses are treated, whether it be cancer or any other sickness. Because the truth is, they are all facing the same enemy : death. What people need to understand is that suicide is not choosing to die. It isn’t choosing to end life. But rather, for those who find themselves in that situation, suicide is sadly the only way left to end the pain, a pain so terrible and overwhelming that is has crushed their soul, their mind, their heart, their body, their whole being. It is a pain so unbearable that it is impossible to endure any longer. No, suicide isn’t so much about death as it is about pain. Isn’t it so for any other illness?
    Thank you for having the courage to write about something as difficult as “the tunnel”, as I call it. You chose all the right words and you stayed honest and uncompromising while sharing your story. Sorry for the long comment!
    Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No sympathy here…but maybe a delicious empathy sandwich? With loving arms and smiles and maybe some palomitas and dulce de leche?? Oh and the Universe just told me that it prefers that you continue to breathe and blog because you’re brilliant xxox

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on my spanglish familia and commented:
    “Suicide” is not a word you want to spread on your toast and digest in the morning, but this is how I woke up – to this word – and I honour it and the brilliant author who attempted it and is still with us to share her journey with Depression and ironically put a smile on our faces. Put a smile on her face by reading this, digesting it, and accepting that suicide is not synonymous with cowardice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for this blog – it meant a lot to me.

    Passing down judgement on those that are suicidal is common in our society. Often it is from a complete lack of understanding and can also be from loved ones that are so scared and concerned that they do not know what to do or say.

    To say that the act of suicide is the “easy way out” or that it is “selfish” is nonsensical and ill-informed. This seems difficult for people to accept. Until you yourself has faced the complete black hole of suicidal thoughts and depression, you do not get to make such judgments…

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    1. Yes. I actually used to say ‘suicide is so selfish’ back in the day. I thought that’s what you were supposed to say. It’s only this year that I really understand it. I think people who can’t sympathise with suicide and jump to conclusions are very lucky. Because they’ve probably never experienced suicidal thoughts. And I hope they never will

      Like

  6. Some countries have ‘death cafés’ to talk about the oooooh taboo subject of … death. Obviously. I like your post – I always like your illustrations.

    I reckon I’ve sounded like you on my blog too, I used to sorta yell DON’T CONSOLE ME.

    Eh well. Fuck depression …

    Like

  7. I tried to commit suicide one. June ’13, I think. There are huge gaps in my memory of that year. I thought I had a good combination of meds to do it. Dozens of sedative pills, 20 odd diabetes pills and a bottle of scotch. I started but lost my nerve. Ended up ODing on the sedatives which mixed with the alcohol to give me sleep, a hangover and a screwed up gut. I just wanted to get that out. Never went into even this much detail about my attempt anytime before. Being judged is something I’m too tired of. I’m not cocking my head and saying, “How aaaarre you?” but I will say it was brave of you to bring this out in the open. It’s not phenomenally cathartic as some people might think, but it’s a little less weight on ones shoulders. Thank you.

    Like

  8. That was really quite hard to read, and must have been even harder to write. I am so glad that you were not successful in your suicide attempt. It must have been bloody awful for you to reach such a low ebb, thank you for sharing your story with us.

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