When suicide takes one of my brothers or sisters, I hear the world scream why. Why did they not see how precious life is? Why did they not see how to get through? Why did they not ask for help? Why did the people around them not see that they needed help? I hear their screams, yet I do not ask why. I know why. I have attempted no less than four times in my life, although I am not sure how many more. It is not really something that I have ever spoken about. The shame is overwhelming. Why don’t you just get over it? It is all in your head. Others have had it much worse. These are the voices of the world. These are also the voices in my head screaming at me for being so weak, so stupid, so worthless. Not wanting my friends and family to have to deal with the pain of my life saved me.
It has been a very long time since I lived in that dark place. I now have more support than I have ever had before. I have a partner who I love tremendously, we work at our relationship, and neither of us take for granted how precious it is to be loved and accepted for our true selves. My tribe is made up of diverse women and men who believe that we are accountable for who we are in, and how we treat the world. I spend quite a bit of time walking around grinning, appreciating the beautiful life I have. I still struggle, it is still easy to slip into darkness. Buddha is right, life is suffering, and my brain will probably turn on me again. It is the nature of the illness we do not recover, we adapt. It gets easier until it doesn’t. It doesn’t make sense hopefully someday we will figure it out, this is not that day.
I know that I am not alone. There are others who felt my pain, and it killed them. They were not selfish. They were not weak. I understand and forgive my sisters and brothers who could not find another way to stop the pain. I hope that you found the peace that you were looking for. For anyone who is struggling, you are not alone. Try to find someone who knows about trauma, they will be more equipped to help you. Some therapists inadvertently do damage to people who are already struggling. Trauma aware care givers will use phrases like C-PTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder,) EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.) A good trauma based approach will include high respect for clients and their experiences, will have clearly stated boundaries, and will empower the client to guide the process.
We are not weak. We do need support. Let us start by supporting each other. May we find something to hold on to until we break through.