World Suicide Prevention Day was last Sunday
Suicide is such a heavy topic, isn’t it? Having been in the thick of it, and now working in the mental health arena, I have a lot that is stirred up on special days like Sunday, and my saddest memory from a very long time ago comes rushing back.
A dear friend of mine was in a terrible position, her marriage was on the rocks, she had no job due to her anxiety levels, and it all got mashed up together into a deep depression. She had attempted suicide a couple of times which was horrific for us all who loved her but affected her husband beyond words. One night he came to see us, utterly exhausted, and waiting for her next attempt, and wondering if she would be successful next time. She was refusing any help, and it felt like a bottomless pit of despair. I said I would go and hang out with her and see if I could spend the night there with her so he could get some sleep at our place, I haven’t witnessed many worn down in my life.
I went to see her. We chatted for an hour or so but when I asked her if I could stay she flipped out and screamed at me that she ‘didn’t need a FUCKING babysitter!’. It felt as though it wasn’t going to be a good thing me staying as it was agitating her so much, so I went home.
She took an overdose later that night, and her husband found her in a pool of vomit, passed out on their bed, but still alive. Can you fucking imagine this?
I was WILD. I couldn’t believe she was happy for me to have possibly had to spend the rest of my life (had she been successful and died) knowing that I had walked away that night. I thought she was selfish. I didn’t forgive her for years. Not until I felt myself how awful mental illness can be, and how a person who wants to die or thinks about dying, just wants the pain to stop. They are not thinking about anyone else. The only thing they think about for others is how they will all be so much better off without them. They feel like they are a burden, and can see how they are affecting their loved ones, but can’t make it stop.
I have one piece of advice, GET HELP. Suicidal thoughts are as serious as it gets. If it’s you thinking this way, please put your hand up and ask for help. If it’s a loved one of yours that you know is feeling this way, get them help. SEEK professional help to make the pain stop. Start with your or their GP. I know, we all think a general doctor is pretty useless, but in fact, GP’s are there to refer their patients onto the right services. You will always get into a service much quicker with the referral from a GP unless it’s at crisis point and you need immediate help. Getting private professional help is an option too.If it is at crisis level, call the mental health crisis team.
If it is at crisis level, call the mental health crisis team.
If you are in New Zealand you can find your local DHB crisis team number on the link below:
You may be seeing via the media how much pressure our mental health system is under, please don’t let this deter you because, for the system to be under pressure, that means the system is helping LOTS of people. You deserve your place in there too. It’s easy for the media to focus on suicide numbers than talk about the amazing help that is there to help those in need. It may require some patience, as I know there are wait lists for some talking therapies, but you can certainly get started on balancing out those chemicals in your brain with appropriate medication.
Be brave and do what you need to do to make the pain stop. You are worth so much more than your darkness, you deserve love, happiness and fulfilment.