Today’s post is going to be a bit different. Every now and then, I will have a moment that I experience in real life that pulls me away from my usual topics of Cg/l and B.D.S.M. But my fingertips guide me across the keyboard, yearning to speak my personal truth. Today is one of those moments. Today I want to talk about suicide. I want to lift the stigma and veil that surrounds this very subject. I want to stare with a fierce glare into a subject that makes people wince. I want to tear away at the thick walls that make the depressed mind feel so isolated and alone. The truth is, you’re not alone. You’re FAR from alone. Now, let’s dive in.
I was sitting out on a lanai in Maui not long ago watching the sky light up in a multitude of colors. The air was muggy with humidity, but in the quiet space in which I sat, everything felt still and deadly calm. “I don’t understand” the woman said to me, “why would she take her life? She had a career… a family… a loving marriage”. Her voice was filled with disdain and judgment. Such is the case with suicide. It hurts those that are left behind deeply. Even the person who wants to take their life knows this. I looked at her deep in her eyes and began to speak gently. I had to explain that when a person actually takes their life, they are at peace. They have long rationalized the guilt, fear, shame, sorrow, and anguish. They have thought long and hard about their loved ones. But the grip of depression can be hard and weigh heavily like an anchor. The woman’s eyes began to widen as she listened to me. “There is a sense of peace” I said softly, “a peace that comes from knowing that the pain will finally end. That the feeling of isolation and sorrow will come to a close. Death becomes like a welcome hug. Those that cry out about suicide usually don’t actually want to do it. It’s those that are quiet, sure, and look “fine” that are the ones to watch out for”.
The woman’s face went pale. “How… do you know this?” she asked me, “what you said… was so much like what she wrote in her final letter”. I nodded to her sadly. “Because I have had suicidal thoughts” I explained, “I have rationalized it. Made peace with death. I knew how, when, and why I wanted to leave this life. The only difference is, I chose to fight my way back from that pit”. I then handed her a poem that I wrote when I was in that dark spot.
I feel it.
Like an invisible hand gripping onto my ankle it pulls me under.
Sinking ever deeper into the darkness.
A place familiar and yet scary.
Whispers. Soft, lingering whispers that only happen in this state of mind.
This vast chasm that I usually traverse.
Now I gaze up at the distant sun, it’s warmth so far away.
It echos here seeping into every pore. Cold. Like the dead of night, it becomes a place for the lost.
I clench my fists against the howling thoughts, so pervasive and unrelenting.
I’m stronger then them. Stronger then this moment.
Then slowly, I open my eyes and feel the tether of life lifting me back upwards to the surface once again.
I. Understanding Suicide for What It Is:
If you’re out there having these intrusive thoughts, or you know someone who is, the very first thing I want you to do is to know that you’re not alone. Depression makes you think that you’re alone. You FEEL like you’re completely, and utterly alone. You feel as though no one will understand you, even if you were to open your mouth. You might fear telling someone because they will deem you “crazy” or lock you up in a mental institution. You might worry about burdening your loved ones if they knew just how deep your well of grief is. I get it. I’ve been there. But, I need you to know something. Telling someone is the best thing you can possibly do. Why? Because it is the first step towards recovery. I was terrified at calling those suicide hotlines, and I had no idea how to tell my family. So for me, one day, I told my doctor. They referred me to a counselor who began helping me back on the path to healing.
Suicidal thoughts or intrusive thoughts of self-harm are your minds way of crying out. Your body wants to heal you, not harm you, my friend. You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to wake up knowing that you have a place in this world. You deserve to feel every emotion that flows through you. What you’re feeling right now is a chemical imbalance in the brain that is no fault of your own. Just as the song says, “we all need somebody to lean on” so, too, do you need someone to talk to. So, choose a person to confide in, and open up. Tell them that you feel depressed and need help getting professional help. You can do this! I believe in you!
II. The Pleasure Isn’t Real:
I always tell people that the ones who are actually depressed, are the nicest people you’ll ever meet. They go out of their way to help others, because already in their mind they know they are on limited time. They have long rationalized that they don’t want to have a long life. So instead, they choose to do good with the short time that they have left. They’re kind, good souls with a pure heart. It’s just that their brain is ill. Much like having a bad cold, they need tender, loving care and lots of support and supervision to begin to heal. Real darkness and depression isn’t empty. There is certainly a stage where it feels empty and cold. But the very pit of depression can best be described as…. peaceful. Warm. Comforting.
Think of it this way. If everyday you woke up and you felt sluggish, apathetic, numb, and grief-stricken, your brain would naturally go into a mode of self-preservation. You begin to turn inwards to try and cope, heal, and process. Instead of leaning on others, you begin a cycle where you wonder “why did this happen to me?” and “will it ever get better?”. Time marches on whether you get out of bed and shower or not. Sometimes you make it, and sometimes you don’t. People begin to notice that you haven’t showered. They question if you’re alright. You turn inwards ever deeper, trying to hide your shame and embarrassment for not being “normal” like the rest of your polished friends and family. The pit becomes deeper. You begin to think that it will never end. It will never heal. The pain will never stop. You wonder how the hell you can live for 50 or 60 more years that way. And then suddenly you think, “Hmm… maybe I don’t have to live 50 or 60 more years this way. Maybe I can choose when I can die?”. And thus, the seed is planted. You ponder various methods of how to die. Some you rule out immediately, while others hang around like unwanted guests. After ages of pondering over methods you choose one to be your dance partner. You’ve chosen your method. You’ve likely chosen when you’ll do it. And suddenly you feel a sense of euphoria.
You are the master of your own destiny now. So, now that you know exactly when you will die, suddenly the world becomes your oyster. You no longer need to worry about waking up day after day, because the countdown is on! For once in a very long time, you can take a deep breath and feel like you have a sense of “control”. You feel in control of your life, simply because you have chosen to take control of your time of death.
But here’s the real secret, my dear friend: It isn’t real. None of the euphoria is real.
III. How to Fight Back:
The hardest part about fighting back against depression is surrendering control over your emotions. You want to be in control. You NEED it! And I understand. Believe me when I say, I completely understand. We all want to be perfectly in control, and to not have to feel worry, anxiousness, fear, anger, sorrow, embarrassment, apathy, and a whole spectrum of negative emotions. But, part of living is walking through those emotions and learning to cope with them. Whatever brought you to this spot where you feel in that pit of peace and darkness: from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry. I wish I could reach through this laptop screen and take your hand, because I would. You’re not alone. I promise you, you’re not alone.
Death is so easy, right? It’s right there. Whispering with its seductive voice, egging you on to just let go and finally let your soul be at peace. But once you let go, my friend, there is no coming back. Don’t let go. Please…. don’t let go. I know life is painful, but the feeling of knowing that you walked through fire and hell, and lived to tell the tale will make you feel empowered. You can then call yourself a “warrior”. You CAN fight back from this. Nothing is too hard for you to fight back against the depression.
Call it out! Whenever I have days where I feel depressed I shout it to the world now. I say, “I’m feeling depressed” to my friends and family, because I’ll be damned if I ever let myself slip into a hole where I feel alone again. No. I want people to grab my arm, yank me up, and say, “kitten, I’ve got you… let’s go”. Now I’m telling you: call out your depression. Tell it to fuck off! Stand up and CHOOSE to live. Choose to tell the people that you trust most that you want their help. Choose to reach out for professional help. Who gives a shit if you need medication?! Take it because you choose to live. Go to therapy sessions because you deserve to feel good again. Though the battle may seem hard, you have everything you need to fight back every step of the way. You’ve got this. I believe in you.
I like to sign off on my posts by telling you to “keep on smiling”. I sign my name with “much love” because I want you to know that out there in the universe there is one soul, me, who really does care about you. We may not have ever met, but I’m always here for you to talk to. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Twitter or my Instagram, and I will talk to you day or night. You are never alone! I’ve got you, my friend.
So, today I’m going to sign off differently. Be strong. Know that you are loved, and know that you are worth it. I’m here for all of you, and I will see you back here on the next post.
** There are always people available 24/7 for you to talk to on the phone. Please don’t hesitate to call the National Suicide Hotline if you’re feeling alone and contemplating suicide:
1-800-273-8255 (available 24/7, 365 days a year)
They also have an online chat available as well.