There are many topics that people steer clear of when discussing things with people. Politics, Religion, and Sex are the three major ones. But even there things are changing. One topic that I haven’t heard a lot about, but I know that people struggle with on a regular basis is mental health. Be it non clinical depression, full on depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, or even Seasonal Affect Disorder, people often don’t speak about it.
I believe it’s time that we break up the wall that is around this discussion. This discussion is a lot more important to me than politics or religion. It needs to be brought to the light. The more we are open with the people around us about these issues, the more we as a society will be able to move forward and heal. So many of these issues were brought about by something in the person’s past. This means that the discussion about mental illness really encompasses so many other topics. This discussion will open the way for healing in so many areas.
So, since I think we should be open about mental illness, what better way to do that than to share about myself.
Throughout my life I have struggled with self doubt. I learned some not helpful messages when I was a young child that even today I struggle with. My self doubt has turned into depression. There have been several times where I have wanted to take my own life. The first time I remember was my first year away at college. I remember having a large bottle of ibuprofen sitting across the room from me. I was really sad about things that were going on at home and things I was experience at school. I remember staring at that bottle for a long while. I ended up falling asleep instead of taking the pills.
In the last two years I’ve contemplated suicide a few times. Last year my mom died. I had moved and then ended up quitting a leadership position I was in elsewhere in the state. I was really low at that point. I didn’t want to live any more because of all the feelings I was having at the time. There was a lot of loss that I’d experienced, even before that year. I think there was a lot of grief I hadn’t let myself experience yet and I was keeping it all inside.
During the last few months I’ve contemplated suicide several times. This time it felt more serious for me. Mounting bills and some other upheavals in my life and I went straight down again. This time my boyfriend found out about my thoughts and spent time with me as I cried and shared what was going on inside. I finally went to the doctor for help. I’ve had two conversations with my doctor about this. It’s been difficult talking to her about it. I feel like hiding when I’m in that exam room. I don’t make eye contact when she asks questions like, “Do you have a plan?” I hate myself for even thinking about taking that way out of life. I don’t hate myself for having the feelings of despair or wanting to die, but I hate that I would be even plan something that I thought my dad was a coward for attempting so many years ago.
I have more I’ll continue to share through this blog. I wanted to start there to let people know that no matter how hard it is to say what you are feeling out loud, it’s worth it in the end. You are worth living. Just like me. You won’t fall apart when you share those dark thoughts. There are people out there that can handle hearing those thoughts. They want to hear them so they can help. So you can heal.
If you are ever alone and are planning on attempting suicide and you don’t have someone you can call, you can always call 911 and they can come and bring you somewhere. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800–273-8255. You can even live chat with someone on their website as well http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/