My life

Lurching from one disaster to another...just a suburban princess trying to get by!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

A myth...suicide is painless

Warning: This post contains details regarding mental health and suicide. 
If you are unable to cope with these concepts or would rather not proceed then please don't read on.

The information supplied is from my personal experience and should not replace professional medical advice.

Part 3 of my series on depression & suicide.  Please find Part 1 & Part 2 via these links.

Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realise and I can see...
that suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please...

Now let me start with a couple of exceptions.  I am not talking about people who make the decision to die rather that face a more horrifying death, such as those who jump from burning buildings.  I am also not talking about those who make the snap decision (if it could be called that) to die rather than return to prison, or stockbrokers who off themselves after a market crash (though, arguably mental illness could still be involved).  Again, I am not an expert or an authority, just someone struggling with severe depression and, yes, suicidal ideations.

What I am talking about is the process that it takes for someone who is mentally ill to decide that the only way to deal with the pain is suicide.  

Because depression HURTS, it is a pain in your very soul, sometimes quiet and sneaky and at other times tearing into you furiously.  Logic has no place in suicidal thoughts, even though this horrible disease will trick us into believing that it is the only logical course. Whether it is to stop the pain, the burden on others, that we don't matter, that the world is better off without us, that we won't make a mark on the world anyway so don't need to exist.

Whilst your final act may not physically hurt, trust me when I say there is a lot of pain involved in the decision and the planning.  It may take months, days, or even hours, that is irrelevant.

There is regret, despair, pain at the thought of losing loved ones, never again seeing the beauty of a sunrise or a newborn baby, to be transported by a piece of music, whatever is important to you.

But depression is an evil bitch, she can take away all perspective, logic, even the ability to care.  For me, I find a quiet, a certain numbness, what I call "The Calm", which arrives before the plan, way before the act.  It can take may days or hours to make the leap to a plan, and that's what scares me.

I can find myself faking happiness, allowing things that piss me off (and regular readers would know they are many and varied) to slide by me, to stop doing the things I enjoy, withdrawing from people...

...I am learning to recognise my signs, the calm, the loss of any emotion (even though I can fake emotion as well as any Hollywood star) and to ask for help before it goes too far.  That said, even with a plan it is not too late to ask for help, there are many organisations ready, willing and able to reach out and hold you up in your time of need.  You can even change your mind after you have started your attempt if you get that far...

You MUST also think of the people who love you, care about you, who would be devastated, damaged forever by your loss. It could be your partner, your kids,parents, friends, the dog, it doesn't matter.  You must also consider those who must deal with the aftermath of your decision, emergency service workers, medical staff, the poor soul unlucky enough to find you or get in your way...

Suicide is not inevitable, it is a choice, but we must recognise that our mental illness is taking away our most precious possession, our life!  And I for one am not prepared to sit there and let that happen to me without a fight... previously stated, whilst I am not in a good place within myself I am safe and have support, am learning the skills i need to deal with depression when she takes hold and won't let go.

NB: I am referring to the disease of "depression" as female as in my humble opinion, the fairer sex can be far more evil, hurtful and vicious than any man.

If you are suffering a mental illness or considering suicide, please talk to someone, your GP,
 call Lifeline on 13 11 44 or go to your local hospital emergency department.

If you are in physical danger please call 000 (Australia only).

Jo xxx

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