Last night I contemplated suicide for hours. I felt so trapped. I was afraid to move. I was afraid that if I got off the couch I’d act on my thoughts. It was like I didn’t want to do it but it was my only option. I’ve never understood everyone who I’ve judged because of their suicidal ideation more than I did last night. I didn’t want to talk to anyone because I didn’t want to be talked out of it or dragged to a mental hospital. I thought well maybe if I can just push past everything I’m thinking and reach out to a friend everything will be okay. It was like I was trying to hide and escape from a killer that was in my own head. I longed for someone to just break in and kill me. Then there would be no moral guilt or eternal consequence. But alas I live in a safe neighborhood…so I just remained paralyzed on the couch afraid of what I might do.
I thought of reaching out again, maybe I could just text a friend to pray like they had never prayed for me before, no questions asked. I liked that plan for a moment and then thought, but which friend would I contact? If I asked one friend, then she would see through my written words and oblige, but never trust me to be alone with her child. If I asked another friend, she’s new to her faith and I don’t want to put too much pressure on her and cause her to face any insecurity that she may deal with in her spiritual infancy. And lastly, if I asked my other best friend it would terrify her. She would have the police at my door before I could decline her first follow up call. I didn’t want to go to a mental hospital. But is that where I needed to be? Why was I so quick to force another friend to go when she was suicidal but for me that was an unreasonable option?
Then I thought, maybe that’s the friend I should reach out to. I fought so hard to rekindle our friendship after never being able to completely be at peace without her in my life. I began to cry even harder as I thought of how poorly I had treated her because I didn’t really understand what she was going through until now. (SN – Throughout this entire ordeal I’m lying on the couch, ugly crying, sort of inadequately breathing, while in pitch black darkness and silence following a movie that I watched as approximately my 6th attempt to pull myself out of the depressive episode that was plaguing me all day) So at this point I had decided that reaching out to that particular friend was what I wanted to do. In the past there had been times as I was struggling with my mental health that I only wanted to talk to her but I couldn’t and now I could so I decided that I should. I stood up (for what felt like the first time in days) and picked up my phone which had been on do not disturb for the majority of the night. I glanced through my notifications and saw a text from one of the friends I didn’t want to trouble because of her budding faith and decided to open it because it was a video which she rarely sends. To my surprise it was a video from her visit with my niece that I had asked her for a few days prior. I truly think seeing that precious face was the key to me starting to emerge from the very dark place I was in. Seeing my niece calmed me to the place that although my dark thoughts did not subside I found myself scrolling through my notifications and ending up on Twitter as if there wasn’t a war going on inside my head. I ended up reading a tweet and retweeting it with my commonly used #KeepTalkingMH.
I decided to click on the hashtag which eventually lead me to YouTube where I began watching videos from people who were dealing with their bipolar diagnosis and honestly watching hours of those videos (I was up until 3 AM) is what ultimately got me off the couch and got me to the place that I’m alive and able to write this today. Seeing these people (one of which I really related to) helped me to not feel so alone and so crazy. I think that’s part of the reason I’m writing this post because I’ve experienced how important it is to share your story in part because of how it might help someone else. One video in particular impacted me the most. It was called something like “Reasons not to kill yourself” and I thought hey why not, if the shoe fits ya know? I think that video was the words from a friend that I needed to hear. It was filled with all of these things that I believe but in that dark moment had forgotten.
I want to end this post by saying – To anyone who’s struggling with mental health, please know that you’re not alone. Having to fight your own mind is the most difficult thing to do and it’s exhausting but don’t give up. Every moment that you’re alive has a purpose. Your presence on this earth matters. People do care. There is someone out there that needs you to be alive. And in the midst of you being deep in despair you may feel like that’s not true (I did, trust me I get it) but keep fighting against those dark thoughts. You are so loved! I love you and you are loved unconditionally by our Heavenly Father who beautifully and wonderfully made us. Even though sometimes our minds tell us we’re worthless and hopeless – we’re not. And to be transparent- Did what probably triggered me last night get resolved? No. Do I struggle to believe the inspirational words I just said some days? Absolutely! But deep in my heart I do believe that every breath I take has a purpose. Maybe I haven’t yet met someone who’s life will be monumentally changed because of me. Maybe I couldn’t bring myself to end it all last night because someone who’s already in my life would be forever changed by my absence. Whatever the reason I’m glad I’m still here. I want to push past my discomfort and try to share my story to help others. I’m going to keep fighting.