Erase the stigma. How does suicide affect you?

Today is suicide awareness day and I wanted to put together some sort of post regarding this, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it.

I didn’t exactly want to fill my post with statistics or facts, we all have heard those and I didn’t exactly just want to post a bunch of pictures of awareness, because we have all seen these today on social media.

What I did was reach out to people on social media to tell me their experiences or thoughts on suicide.

These are real stories, not fiction. The names have been changed and the authors are anonymous.

What I think is so important about this is that it truly does help people struggling feel like they aren’t alone.

It helps people who have lost others to suicide feel the same way and hopefully promote education and understanding as well as take away the sigma that those of us with mental illness receive when we are struggling.

I have written about my own struggle with mental illness and I, too, have struggled with suicidal thoughts. For some of us, like myself, these thoughts almost never go away. It’s not necessarily that I am planning or wanting to kill myself, it’s just that the pain inside, the noise and confusion in my head makes me wonder if things would better if I were gone.

I know in my heart that they wouldn’t, but the thoughts are still there.

I have never attempted suicide, but I have done just about everything in my power to assist the universe in taking me off the earth. Fortunately, none of this worked.

Suicide is so misunderstood.

I have heard people say that people who kill themselves are selfish, self-absorbed, evil, or sinning. I have heard they must be bad people, immoral, drug addicts, or atheist.

I will tell you now, it is not selfish.

When someone is suicidal, the pain is so deep and so intense in their head and heart that nothing else matters. I mean that nothing else matters in the sense that the depression colors everything over with black.

Think of it this way.

You have a volcano. The volcano is rumbling, creating lava and fire and you know it will erupt, but you aren’t sure when.
When it does erupt, the lava, the fire comes spurting out and after it’s done, it consumes everything in its path with ash.
You can no longer see the trees, the green grass, the flowers, the houses, the people or the pets.
The ash is extensive and all consuming. The world is now gray and dull and dead.

The volcano is depression.
Suicidal thoughts are the ash.

The suicidal thoughts cover everything else. That’s how the depression works. It’s not because we don’t care about our loved ones, or that we don’t care about how it affects our loved ones, but we just can’t see it anymore because the depression has caused so much pain, it’s hard to imagine one more day alive.

But what happens afterwards? What happens when someone gets through the thoughts and is able to get help.

When all that ash is present, it takes a community to clean it up. It takes lots of effort, lots of team work, lots of support. Eventually, the ash is cleaned and the grass starts to grow, the flowers will burst through the soil and the trees will be planted, but this takes time.

This new life is recovery.

It’s not an overnight process and it takes a lot of work, support, and teamwork through the patient, doctors, counselors, and their support system.

Eventually, after the right help, the suicidal person can begin to feel positivity again. They can see color in their world and they can see life and their impact on life.

The volcano is in all of us. The volcano stays there, dormant for those of us in recovery and rumbling for those who are struggling.

The wonderful thing is we can help others, ourselves and those affected by suicide in any way by becoming aware.

Educate yourself. Research. Ask questions. Reach out.

This is how suicide has impacted real people…. (names have been changed)

By Anonymous: “Jimmy was a former coworker and current friend of my boyfriend. I had only met Jimmy once, and he seemed like a chill, nice dude. My boyfriend would talk about him occasionally. At one point, he got laid off from their place of employment, and their manager chose to not hire Jimmy in a different position, even though he easily could have. From that point on, things seemed to be rather frustrating for Jimmy. It took him a while to find a job (which he just did recently) and he was in the process of looking for a different vehicle.

I don’t know the full extent of what happened, but from what I understand, he attempted suicide on Monday (9/4) and officially passed away on Wednesday (9/6). When my boyfriend told me, I couldn’t believe it. It was too tragic. He was 27 years old, had just gotten an IT job with a big company.
My boyfriend had spoken to him in the phone a week earlier, because he was trying to help him look for a vehicle to buy. He told me he never once got the idea to that Jimmy might be suicidal or even upset about anything at all.

I just want people to know now how important it is to reach out when you feel like something isn’t right. I know it can be difficult, but I promise, you are loved and you are worth saving. More people care than you would ever imagine. Please don’t lose hope in yourself or the people around you. Help is always just a phone call away, but you have to say something. You are not a burden.”

By Anonymous-
“By the end of 2011 my first girlfriend committed suicide. She was emotionally unstable, and I was the only one who could help her balance her emotions. Then I had to leave for a family vacation and I was not able to communicate with her. When I came back, her brother told me that she felt too depresses because I was gone and she killed herself. I still blame myself for her death
If I were there for her she wouldn’t have committed suicide”

By Anonymous-

“My mother took her life on November 28th of 2012. 16 days after my 24th birthday, 11 days after my sister’s 14th birthday. Back in 2004 we lost our youngest sister, who was 2 1/2, from a drowning accident. My mother was never able to deal with her passing. My mother also had a number of illnesses that basically made her life miserable. I saw how much pain she was in everyday, physical mental and emotional. I tried to help her as much as I could but you can only help someone so much, who doesn’t want to be helped. My mother was a beautiful, unique and kind person. Her heart was the most purest of anyone I’ve ever met. I wish she knew how important she was to my sister and I. I know she thought we were better off without her but she was wrong. I still need her, even being an adult I need her. My sister was only 14… I had to take care of her as well as I knew how. She wasn’t there for her prom, graduation, to teach her how to drive or witness her getting her first job. She won’t be here for when I get married, she won’t be there to meet her first grandchild. It hurts me to the core. Even after almost 5 years it hurts just as bad as it did the day she died. Your heart never heals, you just learn how to live with it. I never hated her for leaving, because I saw how much she hurt, but I just wish she knew that there’s always another way.”

It’s important to understand what someone goes through when a loved one commits suicide as well as what suicide attempt survivors go through after their struggle.

If you or someone you know is suicidal and need help, don’t wait. We love you and we want to help.

you can text 741-741 for text help

call 1-800-273-8255

Visit the links at the bottom of my blog for help and resources.

Stop the stigma and speak out!