I’ve been there; that dark, hopeless place where there is no light, no future, nothing but pain. I’ve been there several times, and I’ve tried to end my life. The only reason I am still here today is because I was caught, and it took me a long time to be thankful that I had been saved, because at the time, and in the early stages of my recovery, I hated the people who saved my life. I still saw no possibility of a better life, a life worth living, I still had the bleakest view of the world and could find no reason to continue living.
There is no way to explain how it feels to want to end your life, not to someone who has never experienced the feelings that go with it. In my case it was a desperate need for the emotional pain I was in to stop. I had no other way out, no way to deal with the constant pain, no break from the emotional drowning. There was only pain in my life, only hopelessness and fear and depression. To me, it was a logical thought process.
I’ve talked about suicide before, but as the world mourns Robin Williams’ passing I wanted to talk about it again, because at this moment the world cares, mental illness is suddenly something to be addressed, and this needs to be the case all the time, not just when someone, notable someone famous, dies.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about suicide, because I have been there I completely understand the need to end things, to finally have peace, part of me wants to say to people “It’s ok, you’ve fought long enough, rest now,’ but at the same time I don’t want these evil illnesses to win. I know, from my own experience, that life can get better. That with the right medication and/or support, you can have a life that is worth sticking around for. Sure, it’s no walk in the park, but it’s worth the bad times, it’s worth fighting for.
So to Robin Williams, and anyone else lost to mental illness, I say, I understand, and I hope that you have found peace now. And to those who have lost someone to suicide I say that you were not unimportant, you were not not worthwhile holding on for, in your pain and anger please try to understand the pain of your lost loved one. Please try to imagine what they were living with, the cross they bore, that drove them to give up their fight. When I was suicidal I felt I was a burden and that those I loved would be better off without me, it was not that I did not love them enough to stay for them, or that they were not important to me, I just didn’t want to put them through more suffering too.
I don’t want to be that annoying person who says “it gets better,” because I know that for some the fight is too hard, there isn’t enough support or help, etc, but I’ve also seen people who were lost in their illness recover. I’ve seen people who thought suicide was their only option get better. I know that, with the right support, it can happen.
Please, if you are struggling, call someone. A friend, a professional, see a GP or a psychiatrist, speak to someone. Many people still don’t understand the bleakness of depression, and even less so the struggles of others with lesser known mental illnesses, but there are people who do. I find Twitter an invaluable resource when I am fighting hard against my demons, there are many people I follow who understand and who support me, who can offer advice or a listening ear. Find something that works for you.
I have no idea how to end this post, I feel I have rambled a lot, said a lot of nothing, but please know that other’s have been there, you are not alone.