I've struggled to put into words what I've been going through over the past four months with two suicide attempts. When you are on the inside looking out it's so difficult to explain to others the idea that you really have no meaning in life, that life would go on without you, not skipping a beat. Go ahead. Tell me I am seeking attention or feeling sorry for myself. The truth is that it matters not to me, what anyone says about me. Maybe that's part of the problem.
Most people believe that suicide is an incredibly selfish act, and they are not completely wrong in thinking this. However, for those of us who have attempted to kill ourselves we do not see it as such. It's the complete opposite in our minds. I see ending my life as a service to others. Taking myself out of so many unbalanced equations would create equilibrium and bring relief to those whom I have created heartache for. I know. It sounds twisted. It sounds as if I don't care, am cold. Believe me, this is not the way I am. People have their perspective and I have mine, no matter how twisted it looks. And I agree that when I re-read what I've just written it makes me sick. But that is how I see the world in which I live. Depression is an awful sleep mate. I liken it to a gigantic wool blanket that is drenched in water. It completely engulfs me. I can't get out from under it, and it almost suffocates me. It would be such a relief if it would just show me mercy and smother me, but I can't get that lucky.
I am an educated person. I go to church. I come from a comfortable background, am a business owner and in most circles, would be viewed as successful. In my circle of one though, I see a person who has no worth, who is hopeless and who creates more problems than she solves. Realistically I know this is not true. I know that if I crunch the numbers, looked at the facts, all flashing arrows would be shining towards a very bright NO WAY. But depression and bi-polar disorder doesn't look at facts. Depression and bi-polar disorder seeks out feelings and emotions, distorting reality into some Picasso-esque landscape and creating a false reality where I have no identity, no meaning, no reason to go on.
These disorders have cost me dearly. My marriage of 22 years? It's gone. My relationships with my children? Crippled. Friendships? Well, you truly know who your real friends are. My business? Don't get me started on how desperately I have had to search for what little integrity I've had left in order to ensure my career continues.
And people don't appreciate your wicked humor when you try to shoot straight with them. When I respond to "How are you?" With "I'm still above ground," I get one of two reactions: awkward silence or mouths agape, with almost disdain. People don't like to talk about this topic. It's uncomfortable. It's prickly. It can't be packed up nice and neatly in a fancy box with a pretty bow. The fact is it's my life and the lives of millions of others in the world, diagnosed, and many undiagnosed. It's a conversation we need to be having, just like we have with all other healthcare issues that require self-educating and maintenance. It's a daily decision that many of us battle with before our eyes are completely open and our feet hit the floor in the mornings. It's a decision that's made throughout the day for many who decide that it's best to lose the struggle rather than continue in the pain.
I know there is help available, though it has to be sought out and is not readily available in all areas, or affordable, not to mention the lack of treatment and follow-up for families of suicide survivors. And I am seeking treatment with all I am. Honestly. But when you've lived with the same self-defeating thoughts for a long time, the lies you've told yourself become the truth you live by.
Even if the living of them leads you to your death.