I include the question mark because so many people struggle this time of year. For me, issues with deep grief and ritualistic trauma frequently permeate the lighter side of the season. This year I have made a concerted effort to participate, rather than hide myself away somewhere. I have gone Christmas shopping and made plans for both Christmas and Chanukah celebrations. This has helped, to some extent, but I find my agita spiralling as the holidays near.
My sister’s death from suicide on 7 December 2000 is the most painful thing I’ve ever been through, and its sting is still just as sharp as it was that day. I have had quite a few other losses, and they all still sting. My sister’s death, however, still drops me to my knees sometimes. She was my second self. We were rarely separated, and I still hold myself partially at fault for not seeing the signs in her. That day was just as painful as ever this year, and it started my mind down the spiral of grief and fear. I’m trying to bring it back up.
If you are struggling this month, please hold on. Somewhere out there, someone needs you more than you know.
In the UK & Ireland: Contact the Samaritans 116 123
In the US: 1-800-784-2433; TTY: 1-800-799-4889
I’ve always had this sort of fatalistic resignation to the fact that I will eventually die from suicide. I’m not at all suicidal at the moment. The subject of suicide just flitted through my mind a minute ago and reminded me of this. Maybe it’s because my mother and sister died from suicide, but something (someone?) in my mind has always believed I’ll eventually go through with that as well. Scary thought.
The resignation bit is the most frightening part of it all. My suicide attempt two years ago didn’t come with a great deal of emotion. I was depressed, but not overly sad, angry, frightened, or anything else. I simply *was,* and I accepted suicide as the last facet of my life. I could and still can talk about that time in my life as just another part of it all. I’m obviously still here and grateful for the experiences I’ve had since then. Still, I look back on my suicide attempt with neither regret nor relief. It simply was, just as I simply am. I have very little feeling towards it at all. It’s odd. I really am happy to be here now, and I’m *definitely* glad my FOC didn’t have to experience the pain of surviving a loved one’s suicide. I’m just not particularly worried about whether the suicidal thoughts come again. Because they do tend come and go in my mind rather frequently, I’ve accepted the suicidal feelings as part of my life.
I *have* learnt, however, that I do need to monitor myself closely when those thoughts come, as I know my lack of feeling on the subject can quickly turn to action. For whatever reason, though, whether ninety minutes or ninety years from now, I’m guessing that’s how things will end for me. Maybe it’s a premonition. Maybe it’s something about this transition from a past life to a future life. It’s just something I’ve always taken as fact.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention