What a Suicide Attempt Is Not

What a Suicide Attempt Is Not

A lot of people may not be able to understand why someone would attempt suicide. It just may be something that never crosses their minds, so to understand how someone can become so desperate and hopeless that taking their own life seems like the only way, is bizarre.

Some people may have an idea of what suicide is about. It is often a desperate decision coming from a dark disease.

After my several suicide attempts, I want to tell you WHAT IT IS NOT!

It is not about you.

As much as you may blame yourself or more likely resent someone for causing you pain, attempting suicide often has nothing to do with you. It is about someone who has become so consumed with feelings of pain, emptiness, despair, loneliness and helplessness that they defeatedly looked for a way to escape the darkness. When one is consumed with these intense feelings, it’s often impossible to think about anything other than the excruciating pain. I couldn’t see anything beyond this turmoil, just a void that could not be filled. Don’t make it about you. Of course, you will have your own feelings and hurt, but instead use the energy you’d invest in being angry in order to understand and help us all move forward.

It is not the “easy way out.”

Imagine living a life that no longer feels like your own. You coexist with a society you feel completely isolated from and even rejected by. Living with a mental illness is still largely misunderstood, and many people do not seem to see it as a disease, but like a decision. This is one of the things that hurts me so much. It hurts that people think I would choose to live a life of emptiness and despair. That I choose not to live a full life. Things happened to me in my life, very painful things, and I’ve since been diagnosed with several mental illnesses. I live with it every. single. day. Then at some point, these feelings of shame, regret, pain and desperation for an escape from this hell I am living become too powerful. My thoughts are not my own anymore, and I look for a way to elude them — not an “easy” way out. For if this was the easy way, I don’t believe it would affect so many lives afterwards. If anything about this was easy, the aftermath would not be so devastating.

It is not constructive to abandon or ignore me.

I am sure you have so many questions and you may hold me responsible for the source of your pain, but to abandon or ignore me breaks my heart. Isolating yourself makes me feel like a failure, a disappointment and a burden, and these are the feelings that made me so desperate in the first place. I understand you will be affected by my actions, but what I don’t understand is how isolating yourself from me will be helping either one of us. If you don’t understand why I would do this, ignoring me won’t give you any answers. I feel so alone and lost, and to be blamed and shunned for having a moment of utter desperation hurts so much.

It is not a cry for attention.

It may be a cry for help, but never attention. For me, it was a desperate and lonely action; nothing about it was public or attention-seeking. Maybe if suicide was talked about more and everyone was more informed about what both sides experience, I believe a lot more tolerance and love would be present. When you believe suicide is about seeking attention, I believe it is a reflection of how little is understood about the torment. The torment of trying to live a full life with a job and friends, but most of the time I cannot even get myself out of bed. I constantly fight the demons inside me, battling a war between logic and nightmares. I am exhausted from putting on a brave face, and I let it seem like I have everything under control, because people can get tired of me being tired all the time. In that moment I can’t see another way, because I have already tried the other way — living with a mental illness in a world that rarely understands or support it.

‪The first thing I listen to when I wake up is a sign of anxiety. I am anxious all of the time & when I’m not anxious I get anxious for not being anxious. I have adopted pain to be a part of me. Anxiety is painful and somehow we coexist. I don’t understand it either.  ‪Luckily I am not depressed 100 of the time. Sinking into that hole cuts all human powers and I become a cold vegetable. Everything about me changes. My skin tone, my voice, color of my eyes, I smile differently & even look like a completely different person.  Medication helps.

Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za