Here’s the thing about suicide… it could happen to anyone. In the society we live in people seem to have a certain perspective on suicide that can be incorrect. Suicide affects all types of people not just the “invisible people.” I’ve seen people make comments such as, “Oh society doesn’t care about suicide unless it involves the important or attractive people.” This isn’t true. Hasn’t anyone been paying attention? This year alone we lost celebrities like Robin Williams, someone who was amazingly funny and always seemed happy yet ended up taking his life without warning.
One problem with suicide in society is people don’t understand it. I am someone who suffered from depression for the past 18 years. I’ve been told multiple times by strangers and by close friends/ family that, “I could get over it” or “it’s just a phase.” There were days when I would sleep for hours, wake up for a few minutes and go back to sleep for three months. I didn’t want to leave my bed, didn’t want to talk to anyone, didn’t want to eat and simply didn’t want to be alive.
I’ve been asked,”What made you get to this place? What was so bad that you felt the need to want to die?” I honestly don’t know if I could give you an answer. I think for everyone it’s different but for me it was multiple things building up over the years. I struggled with family issues, self issues, never feeling good enough, never feeling like I belonged anywhere. Year after year things seemed to just get worse no matter how hard I tried to “fit in” or “be perfect.” Nothing seemed to quiet that voice in my head that told me leaving this world would be better then being alive.
Since I was little, I was always a tomboy. I also have a twin sister and at the time, she was considered the girly girl. Growing up, everyone wanted to be her friend when I would rather hangout with my guys friends and play sports. When I got invited to sleepovers, I never felt like I fit in. Painting nails and having spa days were not something I cared for. So, I forced myself to participate in these activities and I still seemed to fall behind on the social ladder. The more I tried to change to fit what society believed I should be, the more I seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.
My depression became worse when I started high school. I was struggling with many different disorders but my depression was at a all time high. Do you know what it feels like to lose all control of your actions? Thoughts? Feelings? Do you know how it feels to sink lower into a pit of emotions pulling you below the surface? Do you know how it feels to feel like your the only person in this world in a room full of people? Depression feels like you are completely alone in a world of people who don’t understand you, judge you and could careless what happens to you. It feels like no matter what you do, being stuck in this dark hole will never find the light to lead you out. To be loved by friends and family but you can’t quite trust it. You can’t believe that you are loved when you don’t love yourself. You become numb to feelings and hugs feel like your being chained up. Being suffocated by your fears and the thoughts of the voices inside your head telling you your not good enough. You feel like your constantly gasping for air so you could breathe if only for a second. The world is light but everything appears darker. Your bedroom walls become your best friend. They contain the secrets and fears you hide inside your head. They witness the pain in your eyes and fail to share in their judgement.
Isolation starts to happen with your friends, family and then yourself. You spend most of your day deciding whether you should stay alive or not. You detach from the things that make you whole. Activities you loved become distractions from staying on track with the darkness. Being alone is better then being surrounded by laughter and happiness knowing you will have to fake a put together appearance once again. Your days become long and your nights even longer. Dreading family gatherings or events that require you to wear something other then your pjs and staying in bed. Constantly faking smiles, acting happy and trying to be normal for even just an hour make you physically exhausted.
These are some of the examples I dealt with when I was depressed and suicidal. I felt like the world and the people closest to me, would be better off if I simply left. I used to sit on this mountain top that overlooked my town. Looking down at all the little houses and wondering how many families were happy. How lucky they all were to be safe in their little houses with one another not having to worry about a thing. The night would appear and silence would fill the mountain top. Families having dinner and playing games. Laughter filled the air and happiness spread from house to house. What I didn’t realize was, I was only seeing from an outside view. I never got close enough to unravel the secrets inside those happy houses.
Everyone struggles whether it be with suicidal thoughts, depression, financial situations, etc… Regardless, everyone matters. Suicide is a permanent reminder that life could end in the blink of an eye. A problem may seem small to you but may be the end of the line for someone else. You never know what people are going through. You could be the difference between turning someone’s day around or even stopping someone from wanting to kill themselves.
Our society needs to be better educated on suicide and all forms of mental health issues. We need to learn to love and respect each other and stop spreading hate simply because we can. Your words can affect someone no matter what form you are saying them in. Suicide isn’t a joke. You can’t go back and change your answer once it’s done. You don’t get a second chance to do it over. Start taking suicide seriously and be aware of the signs. Always speak up when you see someone struggling; you may be their only lifeline.
I am part of a nonprofit organization called The Lou Ruspi Organization. They are dedicated to helping save lives after losing one of their own. They are helping hundreds of people break the walls of stigma that surround mental health and suicide. For more information feel free to check out their Facebook page (Lou Ruspi Jr Foundation End The Silence) or their website (LRJFoundation.com).
Get informed and maybe even save a life.
-National suicide prevention hotline (1-800-273-8255)
-NAMI: National Alliance of Mental Health (1-800-950-6264)
-LRJ Foundation (570-840-2680) or (570-687-3500)