I hate this question honestly because it’s more than just a plain black and white topic; it is colorful and multifaceted.
I was at dinner with my parents at home and my finances were somehow up for discussion and my parents are worried I am so far in the hole that I am going to “plunk myself” as my dad phrases it. First of all, I am not even worried about my finances I don’t know why they were concerned about it and my suicidal ideation wasn’t even a thought in my head until they brought it up.
They were saying that whoever finds me dead is going to be depressed and suicidal themselves forever traumatized by the act of me killing myself. They think my bipolar is so unstable that I could commit something as selfish as suicide and devastate my family.
Another thing is, I never mentioned to anyone that I was either actively or even pondering suicide or having any suicidal tendencies. So why anyone would assume I would up and plunk myself is beyond me especially because the signs of me being off the rails isn’t there; I have been taking my meds every day without fail, I have been budgeting, I Have been doing school and going to work and pulling hella overtime at work. Nothing is wrong really except for them assuming I am suicidal because I am in so much debt.
I have a plan to get out of debt and no it will be hard, but not impossible. I don’t need to file bankruptcy like they suggest. I don’t gamble anymore even though they suggest otherwise. Honestly it just put me in a bad mood and rubbed me the wrong way.
Since this conversation, my suicidal ideation has been knocking at the door. Just generally feeling apathetic and small and sad for the most part. The “I don’t want to exist” feeling is there, but not the urge to act on such things. Today I stayed home sick from work as I have a fever and feel like I got run over by a bus. I am sweating and freezing and vomiting up nothing after not eating all day. It is nearly 2:30am and I can’t sleep because my body knows I should be awake and at work. Plus I slept all day and night prior to this evening so I really am not tired. But I have been productive. I finished a math module. I got a test in that class coming up in a few days but I am not too worried about it considering I have a 91% in the class. I have 100% in my easy class and a 74% in my psych class. I am only doing poorly in that class because I didn’t turn in a few assignments and she doesn’t accept late work and I didn’t have a good enough excuse for not doing the work.
I think 73% is a 2.0 GPA in the class, so I am passing all my classes but I gotta make sure to do the work in psychology so my GPA will increase. It scares me because I could forever lose my grant funding if I don’t pass any of my classes and I am walking a very thin line in psychology.
Last night I was so upset and agitated that I took a Xanax and it helped a little bit. Usually it knocks me out but it didn’t last night because my anxiety was so high so it only helped me feel semi normal rather than go to sleep and not be coherent of my feelings at all.
To address the topic at hand, I don’t think suicide is selfish. I think those who have committed or attempted suicide are in a place that no one can truly fathom; even those who have been suicidal. The pain and agony and guilt one must feel when attempting or considering suicide is greater than any comment that someone will be there for them if they need it. Often times I’ve been deep in my rut and because it’s 3am I feel as though I can’t call anyone because everyone is sleeping and I am the burden at that point for freaking out over many would consider “freaking out over nothing.”
But that’s not the point. If you feel suicidal, that’s HUGE. And you should always share that with anyone you can and all you have to say is “I. NEED. HELP. NOW.” All you gotta do. Unfortunately most who are in the warped tunnel of suicidal ideation cannot express the simple statement because it is beyond them. They are past the point of no return. And most people who know mentally ill folks or suicidal folks don’t know what to ask.
For example most people may ask if you are okay or if you need something. But if someone is actively suicidal or in a very dark place, you need to ask very specific questions like “Are you taking your medication?” “Are you suicidal?” “Do you have a plan to commit suicide?” “Do you have the means (i.e. gun, noose, walk to bridge, car in an enclosed space, etc.) to do so?”
It may seem invasive or harsh to ask these questions, but if you ask if someone is okay, they 9.9 times out of 10 will say they are fine when they obviously aren’t. By asking “invasive” questions, it opens the doors to honesty and even if the person isn’t actively suicidal, they may have been recently and might share their experiences.
If you can’t handle the answers, don’t ask those questions. However if you are worried someone you know is suicidal, has ideation, or has a plan, get help immediately. Whether that be taking someone to the ER, to a counselor, talking to a designated crisis responder, talking to a friend, family member, to their dog. Anybody is better than nothing or no one.
Suicide is an act of utter despair and hopelessness. No one should feel this way but many of us do at one point or another. You can only hurt so bad for so long and not many of us know how to navigate ourselves out of a hole or out of a rut. I am not endorsing suicide attempts or ideation by any means but I do realize that I feel this way semi often and there are people to talk to and people who do care. Most people would rather you call them at 3am saying your suicidal than to wake up and have you be dead.
You matter. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are cherished. You are beautifully and wonderfully made and deserve to be happy.
If you need help, ask someone. Anyone. Even me. I answer every email I get and want you to feel important and loved because you are.