Happy Anniversary of Sorts

This is always a very difficult time of year for me due to some lovely little grief issues that pop up.  I think that’s part of the reason that, around about this time last year, I attempted suicide.  [Gasp from the crowd.]

I remember making that first cut across my wrist and then a deeper one on the other wrist.  I got dizzy and nearly fainted, but nothing particularly serious happened.  Being persistent if nothing else, I finished the attempt a few days later and did some serious damage to nerves and muscles in one forearm.  Thinking back on that it seems like such an odd time in my life. I’m happy to say that my arm healed with only a tiny scar, and I’m even happier to say that those suicidal feelings are far away.

For me attempting suicide was a very carefully thought out and planned thing.  I weighed pros and cons, journalled, made plans, wrote notes to my best friends and just generally went about finalising things.  Stereotypically, the suicidal person has fallen into a ‘no one loves me and no one will ever understand me’ sort of mentality.  It’s important for people to realise this is *not* always the case. My therapist thought at first that I had been feeling like that, and it took a bit of convincing to make her see otherwise.  I *know* my friends who are my family would do anything for me.  I know they love me, and I’ve even learnt to trust them.  I just got tired.  There was no longer enough room in my mind for the past and future to both exist, and since I couldn’t change the past, preventing the future seemed like the only choice.

So I made that cut on my wrist and woke up in hospital, sorry to still be alive.  Oddly, my first thought was what to do from there, as I hadn’t planned on being alive just then.  It took about a week for me to stop considering trying again, and a few months before I could say I was glad it didn’t work.

I could go on and on with those cute little sayings about how ‘suicide is not the answer’ (it isn’t) and how ‘you should always tell someone you trust if you’re feeling suicidal’ (you should), but I find those sayings slightly condescending.  If you’re feeling suicidal, you are obviously facing a situation that seems impossible to take, and you deserve help with it.  You also deserve understanding and someone with rather steady nerves who can stay calm and talk you through things.  It might be embarrassing for you to admit your feelings, but it’s important to realise that being suicidal doesn’t make you weak or cruel or a horrible person in any way at all.  It simply means you are suicidal at that moment and need help finding another way of dealing with things.  My greatest fear was burdening my friends– once I was sure I was going to go through with my plans, it seemed pointless to upset them by telling them about it.  In hindsight, I know that was faulty logic.  My friends would have been the people who talked me through things, but I couldn’t allow myself that.

So happy anniversary of sorts to my suicidal plans.  Thanks for not coming back.

If you’re feeling suicidal, click here to view a page that really helped me.  The writing is very straightforward but not at all jarring, and it was one of the few pages that did not make me feel guilty for my thoughts.  Also, click here for a list of suicide hotlines in the US. In the UK, the Samaritans can help you through your suicidal feelings and provide information on how to get further help when you are no longer in crisis.

And by the way, tomorrow isn’t so bad after all.

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