As I mentioned in an earlier blog, September is National Suicide Prevention Month as well as Self Improvement Month. I wanted to share more on my story as well as the story of how this affected a close friend of mine from the past.
*Trigger warning – Talk of suicide, self-harm, and death
Suicide prevention month and Self Improvement month go hand in hand. Self-Improvement is an ongoing quest for most of us and some of us Suicide prevention is a self-improving task we do constantly.
I wonder constantly how it feels to not want to end your life. For me, it is this constant mystery of how I can be so afraid of dying and wanting to do everything I can to stay alive. Yet I also sit and look in a mirror for what sometimes is a scary amount of time wishing I could end it all.
I admit with therapy and life changes this has been something I do less and less. However, it is never far from my mind. What sets me apart? What has happened that I no longer act on the thoughts that I have? I guess that is the part of therapy that has worked. I think about others’ feelings. I think about Jeremy, my best friends, you, my readers, my nieces, my mother, my Instagram friends, and my followers. I think about God and how deeply disappointed my grandparents would be. Therapy has given me that. I care about others more than I care about myself. I understand the effect even someone who isn’t very close to you anymore can have on you during news of a suicide.
A few years ago, I woke up one morning and all was right with the world or as right as things could have been at that moment. I got on my phone like normal checking my socials and for some odd reason, I checked messenger and had a missed call and then what looked like a long message from a very old friend of mine from school. It started out with, Hey Girl you may need to make sure someone is with you before you keep reading. My heart dropped. I was terrified of what I was about to read. I of course kept reading because my sweet friend had no idea that I was always alone even with people in the room at that period of my life. I read the next words over and over again trying to understand what they truly meant.
“I wanted to tell you before you read it at random on Facebook. I wanted to protect you as much as I could. I know you were close in school and had connections to his grandparents. I wanted to tell you that last night _______ killed himself.” Over and over and over I read these words. It was 9th grade suddenly and this taller-than-life, funny, surprisingly smart popular guy sat behind me, and soon we became fast friends. I had known him most of my life and he wasn’t one to ever tease me unless he ended it with “don’t be mad I was just teasing”. He would soon be someone that defended me and kept me feeling semi-safe. We shared English homework, I kept the kid in the gum and whatever candy I was packing that day. Next two years I had a friend. He changed though after one of his friends died in an accident that he was present for. He dropped out of school. I didn’t really see him after that too much. In the rare moments we would, I’d always get a hug and how are you doing “he would call me by my last name!” Mostly because he knew I hated it. I read it again…_______ killed himself. I didn’t realize it but tears were flowing down my face. His poor sister, His poor kids, his poor family. Then my mind just went to where it does for me in these situations, I ask God Why am I alive and this great guy is not?
I have learned this is part of how peoiple that struggle with Suicide react. It’s not just me that has these feelings, it’s anyone that has struggled with suicide. Even though it has been years now, I think about that moment a lot. I think about him a lot. I wish I could understand. I of course after that heard the rumors or theories of what happened but at the end of the day, no one really knows.
Would anyone know why I did it? If today I just finally cut deep enough or swallow the right amount. What would you say? Would you be surprised? Maybe some of the things you would say are, that she finally had a good man, a home, everything she could want! She was loved, she and her mother had fixed their relationship. She finally got closure with her ex; she had a growing social media… She was a mental health advocate, she had so many resources to help her.
Truth is rarely do we know why someone commits suicide. Sometimes there are letters but rarely does it explain. I never wrote letters. There was never anything to say. In all the attempts I have made in my life I never wrote a letter. If they had dug people would have seen me contemplating it in my diary but nothing more.
This month I want to really focus on Mental Health in the “suicide” state. How can we prevent more deaths? Learn to recognize the triggers in yourself and in others. I Want to also hold space for those we have lost. Maybe learning how to hold that space better and not let it lead to asking why not me. I am thankful that God has intervened in my life so many times, even if I don’t know why.
I invite you along. Maybe you want to hold space for someone you have lost. Maybe you are struggling with feelings of suicide, and just need to know a better way. Stay here this September we are digging in.
- I am not a therapist; I have no real medical experience in treating any mental health issues. I do have my bachelors in Social Services and studied a lot about mental health and helping others. I also have my own personal experience to draw from. PLEASE if you are feeling like you want to harm yourself or end your life seek help NOW. Do not wait. If you need to, DM me and let me help you find the help I would be willing to do that.