What caused those of us who have gone down that dark road?
I am officially a week away from my ten-year diagnosis and suicide anniversary. This milestone is very important to me because there was a time in my life where getting to this point was a just fantasy I convinced myself was possible. I never actually believed that I would be alive this close to this anniversary.
I seek to better understand suicide in my writing, and more importantly why so more than once I have turned to suicide instead of seeking help.
The word suicide is such an interesting and powerful word. Those that have lived through it are forever scared, and those who unfortunately succumb to suicide are forever missed by the ones that loved them. I fall into the first category, and I have written about suicide in a very broad sense in the course of my blog, you can find the piece here, and here is an excerpt for that piece:
“In the darkest places of my mind, I still remember how it felt when suicide was all that consumed my thoughts. What a dark place I must go to again, but this time only to better understand. Some are put on this earth so that they can help others deal with the same problems, I like to think this is one of those times.”
To get to that point, where there is nothing but despair, hopelessness, and darkness, is far from a great place to be in life. To reach that point where taking your own life is better option than living is, to me, the worst feeling in the world.
Why do we go to place? How can suicide feel so familiar? I feel as if the more I think about suicide the less I really understand my own past experience with suicide. How could I get to that point? I know in my own experience lack of sleep was a contributing factor to when my mind went from “suicidal idealizations” to “I am going to do this tonight.” But, I have trouble sleeping now, so while it is a factor, it just another excuse to try and justify the “why.”
There is the depression aspect of my suicide attempts. I was so deep in the darkness that the only way out in my mind was suicide. I have been depressed plenty of times since my last suicide attempt, and my suicide hasn’t gotten that dark. Is it the fact that I am so determined to not go down that road that keeps me grounded?
What stands out now is the war that was waged in my mind, it felt so endless and even now I feel the struggle pulling at the threads of sanity. I am better equipped at battling those types of thoughts, but this the result of years of fighting what seems like the losing war. This war is one that will never be won, but I can still fight the battles and win victories for the rest of my life.
It will always be there in my mind. The possibility. I can fool myself and say that I am a better person. I am a better person, but this version of myself is just a version that knows the past and has learned enough to know where suicide can lead. The problem? It is always possible that I could go down that rabbit hole of my darkest depression cycle and end up back in a place where suicide seems the “easy choice.”
I am very far away from my darkness at this moment in time, but in my life, I fear that things could get so bad that suicide might be the answer once again. I fear this every day.
I wake up everyday feeling happy to be alive, but it wasn’t always so on this journey. Could it be so easy to slip again?
I can remember the peace that came over me the first time that I chose suicide as the answer to my problems in 2007. For the first time in months my mind was clear and I could see the end as something I needed deep down. I thought that this solution, committing suicide, was the only option. Trying to feel that feeling now, I know it was only a temporary feeling because it was far from real. I was just in so much pain that I couldn’t imagine a world where I could exist.
The darkness just doesn’t go away. It will always be my constant companion in life. Suicide is a dark place and it felt so endless when I chose to go down that route. My family will always wonder if and when they will go through that again. It is so easy to understand because it was so easy to turn to suicide. I always hope for the best, and I implore that anyone who is turning to suicide to seek help.
I will be exploring my own past over the next few weeks for my memoir. It will be the most important chapters that I have written up to this point. I am still seeking to understand the “why suicide” question. It is such a dark subject but I feel as if it will be the most important thing I write because if I am going to advocate against suicide for the rest of my life, I need to better understand my own past.
Our pasts shape who we are, and if this place, my blog, is going to be the start of something bigger, then we should explore the darkest places of our past.
Photo Credit: Mila Young