It’s not that I want to die. I just want to be able to not lie awake all night, unable to sleep because the demons love the night time. To not feel like I can’t breathe because the darkness is so suffocating. To not want to run far away because trying to stick the smile on is too exhausting.
Sometimes the suicidal thoughts are overwhelming, and the energy it takes to silence them is draining. I’m told to think of my girls, how would they cope without me? What would their life be like without me around? I don’t understand why anyone would think that my girls aren’t the focus of all my thoughts. I don’t want to leave them, nor my Husband. We have a lifetime of memories still to make, so many experiences to enjoy together, as a couple and a family. Of course I want to watch my eldest grow up, argue with her through her teenage years, see what decisions she chooses to make about her life, celebrate those milestones that are still yet to come. My youngest fights incredibly hard every day to stay with us, there’s so much more I want to show her, and I want to be with her right to the very end. I don’t want either of them growing up without a Mum, I love them with every bit of me. It is because of my little family that I am still here, that I do fight this with all my energy, that I haven’t given in to it when some days it would be so much easier to.
It’s very difficult to explain to anyone who doesn’t suffer from mental illness how it makes you feel. How on the outside you might look like you’re doing just fine, but on the inside you’re a chaotic mess and only just holding onto your sanity. Everyone’s experience is unique, the reasons for their feelings, the way they deal with them, their lifestyles and family/friends, but from talking with many other people working their way through their own battles, one thing seems to unite each one of us. If we talk openly about suicide, we are told not to do “something stupid”.
The Oxford Dictionary definition of “stupid” is – “Lacking intelligence or common sense”. Personally, I find this really insulting. I know that there is no malice meant in it, but just because you don’t understand how I feel, doesn’t make me stupid. I may be desperate and scared, but that doesn’t mean I lack intelligence. It’s not surprising that the word “stupid” is used so often by society when the media and TV mention it regularly. I am fed up of watching programmes where a character is feeling low and their families are worried about them “doing something stupid”. There was an episode of a popular soap opera recently during which a character who had been having a difficult time, then had an accident. I lost count of the number of times in 20 minutes the word “stupid” was said in conversations about what had happened, Did they do something stupid? They wouldn’t have done something stupid, would they? I hope they’ve not done anything stupid.
No one should feel that their only choice is to end their life, but devastatingly, people do. In that moment when you feel like you’re losing control, that you can’t breathe and you’re absolutely terrified, I truly think that if you’ve found the strength (and it is a strength), to reach out and say this is how I feel, that to be told not to do “something stupid” could potentially have catastrophic consequences.
If you’ve broken your leg or been diagnosed with cancer, you’re not told that you’re stupid when you say you’re suffering and in pain. I too have an illness, just because you can’t see it doesn’t make it any easier for me. There are some days that I feel I can’t cope and there are some days that the suicidal thoughts take over. When that happens, I say so, I tell people. I don’t expect anyone to have the answers and I don’t expect anyone to be able to help, but I have a big mouth and if I say it out loud then that’s my way of trying to silence the demons a bit. By saying it, I am doing my best to stay with my family, to put my girls first, they are the ONLY thing I think about in that moment. No one else can understand my demons, they are personal to me, but they are also very real and every now and then they become so overwhelming that I need everything to just stop.
My feelings, and my reaction to those feelings are not stupid. Please, don’t judge me.