Suicide Myths, Selfishness

“Did you really want to die?”
“No one commits suicide because they want to die.”
“Then why do they do it?”
“Because they want to stop the pain.”
― Tiffanie DeBartolo, How to Kill a Rock Star


***Warning, could cause triggers! This post has taken the better part of three days to write. I had to stop many times because of how certain emotions came to the top.***


Mention the subject of “suicide” and the room grows quiet. I really do not understand why, could it be that it is part of “death” that makes people uncomfortable. Or maybe they just do not know how to approach it without sounding ill-informed.

I cannot tell you how old I was, I guess enough to understand what people were talking about in very hush tones. It was about a great uncle who had died. I gathered enough of the conversation to understand that he committed suicide. It was years before I was told how it happened. He was found in the garage, doors closed, car running, he was laying under the exhaust pipe of the car.

When I abruptly ran into my bathroom with a bottle of sleeping pills, I turned on the tap, placed the whole bottle of pills in my mouth and drank some water. I really cannot tell you what all happened after that, except I woke up in the hospital, placed in the mental health ward.

This attempt was not pre-meditated, the only way I can describe the moment was that something inside me snapped. All sanely thought left my mind. I had no thought about what would my family and friends would think. All I knew was I just wanted this battle of hell that was raging with my emotions to stop, for the screaming to stop! Just to have some silent time! Thoughts of an after life were far from my thoughts, maybe I had reached the point where I just didn’t care one way or the other.


I wrote that part of my life for a purpose, to show that people don’t always experience suicide ideation. Mine, it seemed like it. came on me without warning. Now maybe in my subconscious the thought of suicide was brewing. I really just don’t know!


Myths About Suicide

Throughout the rest of the year I would like to explore the myths about the subject of suicide.

People Who Attempt or Commit Suicide Are Selfish

Here is my answer to that myth. When I attempted suicide it was not out of selfishness, but, rather it was that I just wanted the breath taking pain to stop. I was an emotional train wreck. At that time I did not know that there were avenues that I could access to get help.

Thoughts about my family and friends that I would put them through a hellish nightmare. They would have been wondering if there was any signs about the emotional state I was in. Leaving them to question if they were failures for not seeing those signs.

So, dear reader that those who attempt or succeed in the act of suicide is selfish is just a big myth!

What You Don’t See

“I’d never known that I could feel this broken and whole at once.”
― Rachel L. Schade, Silent Kingdom


For this post and the following two I will be working around the above image, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

If I did not reveal that I had these you would never know, yes physical challenges are noticeable, sometimes a person’s age, gender. The parts of me that you don’t see are those emotional scars.

All of the diagnostic tests cannot reveal these traces of past hurts, some a long time ago, others distant memories, and even some which seem they are fresh. These scars reminds me of all the times I have been lied about, used, abused, some can even be reopened like ripping the scab of a fresh wound.

They can at times cloud my judgement screaming at me, “watch out they will turn on you”, “careful they only want something then disappear” “have you forgotten all the names they have called you”. Yes, if I am not diligent there will be decisions made with a hand on the scale of judgment.

Then there are those now when I look at them that only brings a smile. Remembering the good times I spent with my grandfather singing, or the times I would just call my mother just to hear her voice. Yes, they are gone, the scar remains, but for me they are still here somewhere within my being.

One positive note about those unseen scars, they have taught me not to make snap judgments about my fellow human being. To treat them they way I want to be treated. Be understanding when they seem to stand afar off, it just might be that they have scars of their own, more than likely they do. When it comes to my speech is to try my best to keep it civil.

So dear reader I recognize that life brings scars, scars do not heal quickly, they can be like the ghosts that spoke to Scrooge in Charles Dickens writings.

Oh I Wonder, Wonder, Wonder…

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Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future. Swami Sivananda
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/past-mistakes-quotes

Every once in awhile I find myself wondering how different my life would been like if I hadn’t made some of the mistakes throughout life.  Some mistakes I guess is just part of growing up, curiosity, exploration, yet why did I not ask for advice from my parents, teachers, or a friend.

I doubt very much that not many people find their grade eight teacher knocking at their door. Well for me this was true.  We were just starting to supper when the knock came.  He wanted to talk with my mother, meanwhile I am trying to think if I did something stupid that day in school.  He gave some suggestions for my mother to help me after graduating high school.  He wanted my mother to encourage me to pursue becoming a lawyer because he believed I was intelligent enough.  Well, I never followed that path!

Then there is the day I made the decision to hop on the back of a motorcycle.  We both worked at the same factory, both had doctors appointments the same day, both lived in the same small town.  Well, it was a beautiful summer day, no clouds, just a nice breeze.  We were travelling on Highway 401 in Ontario just outside the city of London.  I do not know where the driver’s thought were, but obliviously it wasn’t on the road ahead of him. He ran into the back of a car, the jolt sent me flying landing on my buttocks.  The results were, after x-rays in the emergency department , I had ripped everything away from my spine.  I have not ridden on a motorbike since then.  So, every time my back is feeling unbearable pain, I kick myself for riding on that bike.

I probably could go on and on thinking about my life step by step.  The only thing that would come of it is a major pity trip.  A pity party on the way to depression valley.

So dear reader, make yourself a note, when you are in your senior years take some advice from this soon-to- be senior.  Do not allow yourself to wonder, wonder, wonder!

 

Treading…

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You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.”

Timber Hawkeye

Sometimes I find myself thinking of how I was before I saw a psychiatrist and started taking medications to treat me for being bi-polar, it makes shudder.

I truly do not know how I survived throughout that time.  I would become enraged at the most insignificant thing.  I would scream, cry, threaten to move, and on and on and on.  I was a total mess.  There were times I would be up all night sitting at my computer just wasting time, then sleep most of the next day.

I was someone who really was overwhelmed with all types of anxieties.  Never knew when I would have a panic attack, did not know anything about what is called “triggers”.

Everything came to a full blown explosion.  After my grandmother died in 2004 I lost myself overtaken by grief.  It just wasn’t her death, but it was on top of losing my mother four years later.  I started plotting how I would take my life.  I started giving all my food to my best friend.  There was nothing logical about the things I was doing, and to be honest I truly didn’t really care.  After a couple of hours my best friend finally realized what I was planning.  All that I know was a short time later I was being escorted into a police car, on my way to the hospital to be admitted to the Mental Health Ward in the local hospital.

I was like someone who jumped into the wrong end of the pool and finding out you are in over your head.  Now from what I understand is never start flailing your arms around like crazy.  This burns up your energy, the best thing you can do until help arrives is, just tread water.

I really do not have much permanent memories of my first admittance for treatment.  I do remember how I felt.  I was going through the motions, but I was totally disconnected from everything happening around me.

So, now when I start feeling overwhelmed, just stop flailing my arms wasting my energy.  I just need to just tread water until help arrives!

The Next Big Wound

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If your body is damaged, wounded, it can be fixed, but if inside, mentally, you are wounded you cannot fix it, it’s hard. Haile Gebrselassie
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/search_results?q=mental+wounds

As a child I climbed a tree, one that I was told not to climb, along with my sister.  I was on a branch and said to my sister not to step on it with me.  Well she did not listen, the branch broke and down we went.  She walked away with just some scrapes, I broke my arm in three places, it hung in an almost perfect circle.  It healed rather slowly, but, it did heal.

Now when it comes to our mental wounds the initial sting of the wound fades over time and it’s place is a scar that we carry with us all of our lives.

So it is with me.  Scars of being told I would never be anything, I would always be poor, and the list goes on.

1999 was nearing the end and I had planned to sit up and watch the New Year ring in. I wanted to see if the Y2K threat would materialize, which it did not.  Just before December 31st I received a phone call from Ontario.  It was about my mother who became ill on Christmas day and now being rushed by ambulance to London, Ontario.  I was told to come home because this was rather serious.

I made a series of phone calls trying to arrange some funds to travel to Ontario.  I did receive the funds and found the next Grey Hound bus, the ride would be about seventy-two hours.  I remember half way through the trip I thought to myself well mom has gone.

In Toronto I decided I needed some sleep, I called my family and told them I was spending the night in the city and would catch the bus out in the morning.  I arrived at my grandmothers place and was filled in with all the details.

My uncle said he would take me but I would have to drive.  We arrived in London at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  We found my mother’s room.  I walked in and I did not recognize her, she had swelled up to three times her size.  She was in an induced coma and one of those thin silver blankets covered her.  It shocked my system seeing her that way. I stepped out of the room to get some air. As I was walking I felt someone pushing something against the back of my knees.  It was a nurse who recognized that I was about to faint. The nurse made me sit down.

That was January which rolled into February. One afternoon as I was approaching my mother’s hospital room a doctor approached me.  He told me to contact the family, if they wanted to see my mother once more.  Only my brother and one uncle showed up.  They arrived later that day. 

We were asked to step into a conference like room where doctors explained my mother’s condition, that she would not recover.  They asked for our permission to withdraw life support.  The next morning they did, within minutes she passed.  That was February 11, 2000.

In fours year after her death I hit rock bottom mentally.

So, I urge those whose has a mother still living, love her dearly, give her her roses now, not when she is dead.  You only have one Mother.

(continued…)