It’s been a while since I’ve written here. School and work makes for a busy time. I’ve slowed down today because I believe I ate some bad pre-cut watermelon. Who knows? Not why I’m writing.
Suddenly all the world is paying attention to suicide. It’s a passing fascination. Like most things Americans pay attention to, it never lasts too long. But, I’m asking you to pay attention. Not simply because two famous people committed suicide. Suicide is rising and rising fast. It is now the 10th leading cause of death in America. More people die from suicide than die from automobile accidents. I couldn’t say why more people feel this hopeless but I bet social media and our current climate of hate going public may have a big piece of it. Most of all, we still continue to stigmatize mental health. Oh, we might support a cause or dress up for a fundraiser, run a race just about anything but treat it with dignity and respect it deserves. The same people that run a race will gladly gossip about the neighbor who’s too depressed to take care of his lawn. It’s just not ok.
You think you will never be touched by suicide? Well, I hope you are right but you are probably wrong. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life. Sometimes it is horrible and far too much to bear. I’ve written about it before so I will not replay old posts. I’ve tried to kill myself more than once.
I realized something a few months ago. I don’t know how long it’s been going on because it happened very subtly. I don’t think about suicide at the present time. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, it is the first time in my entire life since about the age of 11. I used to have thoughts about suicide every single day for 37 years. I didn’t miss a day. Thoughts of suicide is not ideation and not intent. It’s just thoughts. I contemplated it every single day of my life. It sat with me. Like an old friend or a heavy sweater. I know that sounds confusing. I wasn’t suicidal every day, I just never let those thoughts leave me. It’s a hell of a burden. I don’t know why. Maybe I was born with this. Maybe it was an accumulation of things. It really doesn’t matter. I just know how it feels. It isn’t an easy thing, it isn’t cowardly, it isn’t selfish.
So, pay attention. Be kind and put kindness in the world. We don’t have to agree with each other to be kind. I think I am presently free of that cloud because I have changed my way of thinking and seeing life. I have thrown off a lot of baggage. I change what I want and what I feel. I don’t need to please the world any longer. I’m comfortable in my skin, faults and all. I also had some good people help me. I am sure it can come back but I’m not going to dwell on that.
If you know someone who is suffering here is the number-1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Hotline.
A really good post about passive suicidal ideation