I read that article about the little girl and some of the comments that followed. It is my hope that this article will give you an inside look at the suicidal.
About 6 years ago I was involved in a car accident where people burned to death.
It changed my life forever.
Minutes before impact, I was a happy, successful dude with a great sense of purpose.
A week later I woke up with no energy, no drive and no way to explain why I felt the way I felt.
I had no physical wounds, not a scratch.
It was like something had switched off the optimistic circuit in my brain. Suddenly my problems looked bigger, comments hurt more and I preferred to be alone.
So off I went to le shrink who told me that I had PTSD.
Basically my coping mechanism had been set to 'reset' because the shock of the whole ordeal was an overload.
It was like a virus had corrupted my software and fogged up my view of the future.
Unbeknownst to me, I already had a slight touch of ye olde Bi Polar disorder and this incident shoved that disorder into high gear.
Everything simply became too much. Things that I could previously handle, were simply impossible to handle. A raised voice, a phone ringing too loudly... all sparked this anxious feeling inside of me. Someone driving a point home in an argument would feel like nails against my soul, over and over.
Then I had my first 'episode', committing acts of self destruction when I got pushed over the edge. People ask why...
Imagine your head rushing with burning fury while your chest burns with toxic anxiety. You just want it to stop. You will do anything to make it stop. Frustration dominates every fibre of your being and you can't think clearly about anything other than wanting that nightmare to stop.
Then you make peace with your illness. And plan the end.
A feeling of peace comes over you as you start the justification process. "I am a burden on my family and a burden on myself. This is the best thing I can do." Suddenly you feel better. Soon it will be over. And you are able to be more patient and loving with people around you. Your new sense of purpose and acceptance of your fate makes every problem fade into the background for soon it will be over.
Your mind tells you that this is not a selfish thing; this is a brave thing, the right thing to do for your friends and family.
From the moment you decide to end it, it is as if you are walking towards the light, hypnotised like a moth to a flame.
And those are how the final moments feel. A bittersweet cocktail of sorrow and relief.
The short cut appears so much easier than that long road of pills and counselling sessions. The only thing that saved my life was a strong sense of responsibility for my dependents.
I clawed my way out of the pit and managed to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix (insert heroic music here).
Ironically, it is the same sense of purpose that drives me and keeps me content. That sense of purpose that brought me so much peace in the last minutes before death now courses in my veins. All that has changed is a different set of objectives.
For those in the pit right now, I offer this bit of advice:
Surviving depression is all about trigger management. If you take a quick look at the world around you, you will note that some people make the fog thicker and others make the air sweeter.
I override the part of me that said I need to tolerate the air thickeners and simply got rid of them. Family, friends, whatever. They were killing me. Some people I simply stopped hanging out with, others I was brutally honest with.
Whether they meant well or not was irrelevant (and still is) I ditched them like a burning potato and surrounded myself with people who make the air sweet. Not cheerleaders but coaches and mentors who actually see a bigger future for me than I do.
A friend of mine was under financial duress and did not want to accept bankruptcy as an option. Only when he ditched his ego and did the debt counselling thing did I see him smile and laugh again. That thing was triggering him like crazy. He couldn't sleep at night!
Sometimes you need to lose a battle to win a war. He rehabilitated financially and is happier than a pig in mud.
When kids take their own lives it is horrible. I say that we should ruthlessly manage the triggers. It all starts with one event. One bully at school, one financial mistake, one whatever. Bullying and teasing is not a natural part of growing up. If you ever think or say that to your kid it is a big mistake. Sort that bully and it's parents out like your kid's life depends on it. (It does).
If you see a friend headed down the road towards the light, step in and help that friend clean shop. Get rid of those triggers and get some clean air in the room. Sometimes parents or spouses are the triggers and drastic decisions have to be made to save someone’s life.
To the suicidal I say this: Nothing is more important than a full life. You deserve a chance to get through the fog of hell clouding your senses and experience life on your own terms.
If school is a nightmare, change schools 50 times if you have to and fight for what you want. If your work is killing you, find a career that sweetens the air even if it means 100 different career changes. Nothing is worth ending your life or living in a perpetual nightmare. Your kids don't need Ferraris and mansions, they need happy parents.
If you are unhappy with your life, change it. The greatest thing about life is that we get to own our own futures. You make your own destiny and anyone who tells you different is an ignorant fool.
When someone tells you "you can't" what they actually mean is "I can't". Don't pay for other people's lack of faith and acceptance with your own life, that's madness. Let the douchebag live his douchebag life, you pursue the life of your dreams. Who the hell said that you can't? You blerrie well can!
Move to a different continent if you have to. People will tell you that you are running from your problems. That may be true but at least you are not giving up on life itself.
I don't know if this will get published, it's a bit risky but if it does, I hope it helps some readers understand what happens in the mind of people who have given up and maybe (just maybe) inspires someone to give life another shot.
I did and I am a million times the man I used to be. For me it was a car accident, for you it might be a bully, financial issue or a failed relationship... Go see your shrink, take the prescription, sort out the triggers and live a full life. You deserve it, fight for it!
May the force be with you!
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