Why Suicide is not selfish
Suicide has struck close to me. A family friend is gone. I knew her my entire life and I have many fond memories of her. She left behind a new husband, a son, sister, brother, mom and twin daughters. As well as 4 granddaughters. I don’t think she know the pain that is left in her wake. But I do not think anybody knows the pain she was in.
This is not the first time my family has seen this kind of tragedy. My Aunt took her life several years ago. She too struggled with depression her entire life. It breaks my heart to see such pain that they literally give up. Suicide is nothing to laugh at. It is not something to mock for ratings and mental health is not something to ignore. I’m sure everybody remembers the youtuber who mocked the man hanging in suicide forest. This act sickened me.
Ever since then I have felt compelled to tell my story. 11 years ago before I knew what depression was, I attempted suicide. I was 16 years old and my life was crumbling around me. My two best friends and I had fallen apart due to jealously and betrayal. My home of 14 years was being sold and we were to move across the country the summer before my senior year. Everything I knew was gone. I am only alive today because of two miracles that I do not accredit to luck but divine intervention. I came home from school crying which was nothing new. Depression had been my companion for a couple years, but I had no idea what depression was. This was not something people discussed. I literally thought that was just how life was.
When I came home I wanted to pain to stop I wanted it to end. I went for the medicine I reached for the Tylenol but got a sick feeling deep in my gut that made me hesitate. So, I went for the Advil the feeling was gone. I took the large bottle to my room. My younger brothers were home from school, so I said goodbye to them. They thought I was being weird. My dad was home fixing up the house to get it sold (which is rare! My dad can be a workaholic and never took days off. This happened to be one of the days he took off in years.) When I get to my room I remember thinking how everyone is better off without me.
I managed to convince myself that no one cared, and this is how my life will always be like, I just wanted the pain to end. So, swallowed the entire bottle, well over 20 pills. After laying down for awhile I got scared. I told my dad what I did. He immediately grabbed the bottle and took me to the hospital. The rest was kind of a blur. But the one image that has kept me from ever attempting suicide again is the image of my father faithfully by my bedside in the hospital crying. It broke my heart.
Suicide is the escape many people take. But they don’t see the aftermath of their decision. They don’t see their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters,
children, spouses, and everyone else who cares. No one sees the pain they cause and they don’t see their fathers guarding their daughters bed wondering what he did wrong. I can tell you now that suicide is now selfish. It may look that way to everyone else on the outside, but those people did not feel the pain that swelled inside for weeks, months, or years until they thought the only relief they could find was death.
Depression blinds us from the truth. All we see is pain. All we see is a bleak future filled with darkness, an inescapable darkness and literally chokes us in every aspect of our life. We are drained physically and emotionally. However, suicide only bring more pain to our lives and the memory of it. Now we leave behind families broken with grief. They all blame themselves for not doing something to help the ones they lost.
Why I am alive
Now let me explain my miracles. First, like I said that feeling that may seem insignificant was actually what saved my life. If I did not have that feeling I would have overdosed on Tylenol. The nurse in the hospital explained what would’ve happened if I would have taken the Tylenol. With the severe amount of Advil that I took, if it was replaced with Tylenol, I would have destroyed my liver. Which means I would’ve needed a liver transplant. Maybe the nurse was trying to scare me, but she also said that because it was self-inflicted I would not have been able to get that liver transplant. This would have left me to a slow and painful death.
My second miracle was the seemingly coincidence of my father being home. If he had not been home. No one would’ve been there to get me to the hospital in time before the Advil did major damage. I would not have called 9-1-1. I would’ve let myself die. It was because my father was home that I caved. I imagined him finding me and It broke me. I couldn’t do that to him. There will be some that will say these miracles were nothing but coincidence and luck. However, I know better. Someone was looking out for me that day even though I was not looking out for myself.
Suicide is Not Selfish
Suicide is selfish from the outside. They think well they aren’t thinking about how it will affect their family. They aren’t thinking about anyone else but themselves. Speaking from experience I can honestly say they are right and wrong. I was thinking about others and I knew that they were better off without me. I knew that I was a hindrance and a burden. But I was also thinking about myself and finally being free from the pain that had caused me to cry every night.
The pain that made me hide knives in my bedroom and cut myself because I wanted to feel anything else but the darkness that was devouring me. It was the same pain that made me hide my arms from others but secretly wish that someone would see and save me from myself. It was an all-encompassing pain that no one saw because I did not want them to see. I was blind from the reality of life. I was so blind that I did not believe that anyone would mourn my death in fact I believed they would be relieved. This is what drives people to suicide. An end of a life that was deprived of hope.
The day I saw the video of the man mocking the hopeless soul swinging in the tree, broke me down into tears. How little people understand what drives a human being to end it. I felt the pain of that man who was now gone, I have been there, I live it every day as I live with depression. Whenever I contemplate suicide again I think of my father and the pain that caused him to weep. I will not be the cause of anyone’s pain.
However, mental health is ignored! I did not know what I was struggling with, I had never heard of depression until after I attempted suicide, I could not bear to believe that this was what my life would be like and I had no hope of a brighter future. No one talks about depression let alone the different treatments that are available. I felt alone. But no one is alone. This disease is raging across our country. More people are suffering from mental illnesses. We need to talk about it, to be aware, and we need to come together to fight against it. One string can be easily broken. If you weave that string together into a rope it cannot be broke by hands. Alone, we are merely strings. Together we form a stronger rope that can save us.
Why I Fight
Now I fight on not only for my father and mother but for my husband and my two sons. I do not let the darkness blind me from seeing that I matter. I matter to someone, I matter enough for someone’s divine intervention that saved my life that day. No one is without hope. Let’s not allow ignorance mock what we feel. Depression is real, suicide is not the answer and so we fight on.