September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day and if it weren’t for Andrew’s amazing post where he created a Suicide Prevention Playlist. I would have missed it completely.
So, when I read his post, I spent the time from then till now listening to the playlist he put together. It’s full of heartbreaking, head banging, wonderful music. Some songs I’ve heard many times and others I had never listened to before. (I’m only surprised knowing him that he didn’t put in Iridescent (which I recommend all of you reading to listen to after you check out Andrew’s playlist).
So riffing off of his post. I want to talk a little bit about mental health and Suicide.
I’ve discussed on here before that I have some very personal experiences with this subject. Not just from suffering from depression, but from having an uncle who sadly committed suicide a few years ago.
Over the years, I’ve come to understand my uncle in a way that breaks my heart. He was a father, a great uncle, and an all around good guy to be around. He loved his family. He loved his daughters. But he also loved alcohol and smoking and because of divorce, financial struggle, and so many other things.. he had enough. I don’t think I ever blamed him. In truth, I blamed my grandmother. She had brought him to live with us and was supposed to help him and instead gave up on him. I wonder sometimes if he’d still be alive if she hadn’t.
My uncle was this super tall, heavily tattooed, mostly bald guy who terrified me when I first met him, but I watched one of my first horror movies with him and my cousins ‘the grudge’ and he taught me how to ride a bike, and he was always good to me. It really saddens me to know that he snuffed out his own light.
More then me, my cousins, his daughters, were devastated by the loss of their dad. Their hurt made mine deeper. I often cried for them.
On my own.. when my mind went darkest, I thought briefly about Suicide. Writing it, I know it’s the truth, but having it in black and white is surreal. Whenever I couldn’t handle my thoughts and I needed to be away I’d head into the bathroom, but every time, after a few minutes my mom would come knocking. She never ever left me alone. Even though the worst I ever did was cut off bits of hair.. she never let me get to a place where I could do more and when I realized that she knew before I did that my mind was going towards darkness it made me vow to myself never to act on those thoughts. For my family I made it a mission not to harm myself. To get my life together and to turn to positivity.
Early on, I often took to Instagram where they had posts that had quotes from people who felt as I did and I fell through the rabbit hole that showed me self-harm. I never got to the point where I cut myself. I’m lucky. When I told my mom recently that I used to look at those kinds of posts she looked at me like I was still in that place. She still worries. My interest in mental health and discussing it all worries her more.
Right now, I’m in the best place mentally that I’ve ever been in. It shocks me. I think of all the things that have happened recently that should weigh on me and I find that they don’t. I can’t believe that. I’m happy. I’m happy with my family. I’m happy with my future. I’m happy with the incredible guy that makes me feel like I could fly into the clouds. Instead of shutting down like I normally would in times where I feel like my problems are piled against me, I’m moving forward and I feel really good for the first time in forever.
Yet still, my mom tells me not to read some of the stuff that I read. Not to involve myself with labels and discuss what I have and how I had felt for the majority of my life. She doesn’t realize what it means to me. That the word depression gave me the answer I needed to know that I’m normal that the thoughts aren’t really me. To come to the realization that thoughts can lie to you. She doesn’t realize that since I’ve discussed my truth on this blog it’s been easier to deal with. Many of you out there know how I feel. Struggling together makes the weight of it so much less.
I dream of a world where Suicide isn’t something that touches people’s lives, sadly I know that that won’t happen any time soon, but discussing it. Discussing ways to heal. Getting help. Maybe we could make the Suicide rate smaller.
If you or anyone you know are thinking of Suicide. Please call the Suicide Prevention hotline for your country. Check out this international list for the number for your country.
If you can look up and donate to your local Suicide Prevention center. But, more importantly if you know of someone who is struggling, be there for them. Show the people you love you care. Even if someone doesn’t look like their struggling, give them love. Depression is invisible. Unless I talked about it no one could tell I was depressed. More then once I’ve been told by people around me that they think of me as a girl who is always smiling. I’m not.
Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.
I hope we all take this time to be a little kinder to one another. I hope this post has helped you in some way.
-Till next time!