National Suicide Prevention Week Reflection.
I will not pretend that I am an expert on mental health. Also, I will not simply show symbolic support for suicide prevention. Other than researching, there is only a few things I can do. One of them is sharing my own experience with a suicidal thought.
While preparing for my move across the country to start my job, it seemed as though everyone had an opinion on the decision I made. Those closest to me would ask me how I would handle certain challenges. I explained to them my solutions, but my solutions weren’t good enough for them. When asked again, I tried a new answer: I’ll keep that in mind. However, that also wasn’t good enough. They continuously harassed me with nit-picky questions and concerns at any given opportunity. No matter how research I did or responsibility I demonstrated, it was never good enough. I asked them to stop asking me these questions as it caused me a lot of mental stress, but they told me to change my perception. They claimed that I needed to change my attitude.
Now, this was all during the first lock down phase of COVID-19. There was nowhere for me to escape. I tried to change my attitude as suggested, but couldn’t. Eventually, my move caused one of the biggest blowouts I’ve ever had. All of sudden, those closest to me began to hate me. They took every decision I made for myself as a personal attack against them, then insulted me every moment they got. I was accused of being selfish and not caring about their needs. My move had to make them comfortable, regardless of what I needed. With the constant verbal and emotional abuse, I felt weak and crazy.
(How could me choosing to rent a house instead of buying one cause this much pain to so many people? How could living with both my dogs be such a cruel act? How does accepting the fact that I may have to live somewhere with no dishwasher or laundry unit be a personal attack? Why would going to the laundromat be such a inconvenience to them?)
It was as though I was being continuously whipped. My back was bruised and bloody. I could hardly stand. Hot tears occupied my eyes as each whip came. I begged for them to stop whipping me but they wouldn’t dare unless I gave into their needs. Eventually, I would fall onto the cold ground with my face kept warm by tears. The only way to survive was to give them what they want. (I must give in to their pettiness, so they are happy.)
Eventually, after the blowout, I woke up feeling nothing for days. Coffee brought no morning energy, walking my dogs was a simple chore, and playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons brought no joy. Then, thoughts of death would creep into my mind while aimlessly doing other activities. Death seemed like the only escape from the hell I was living in. A hell not caused by own actions, but from those around me. I attempted to explain how I felt but my feelings were met with laughs.
“Aren’t you being a little dramatic?” They asked.
After each invalidation of my emotions, I tried to find someway to feel something positive. But, nothing worked. I spent most of my hours crying since my mind couldn’t escape from the pain.
(Why did moving have to cause this much drama? Why is asserting my independence such a burden to those around me? Will I get my autonomy? Maybe when I am dead I will be truly free. Finally, I’ll get to be my own person.)
When you’re anxious, many emotions can overwhelm you. When you reach the tipping point, then suicide becomes an option. However, anxiety also creates a fear of committing the act. All of sudden, you’re stressed about death. Then, a numbness takes over. You feel nothing until something pulls you out of those thoughts.
For me, therapy pulled me out of those thoughts. It turned out that I wasn’t crazy or weak for feeling like death was my only option. I was reassured that I didn’t have to change my perception and those around me were causing the harm. Simply talking about this experience with my therapist helped me deal with a suicidal thought.
Please take the time to learn more about suicide prevention.
Thanks for reading.