Please Stop Mentioning My Suicide Attempt
Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
A little over five months ago, I attempted to take my own life. I bear the scars of that time of my life both physically and emotionally.
While such drastic actions are not necessarily deemed “right” — and I urge anyone feeling that way to seek help — it was an essential turning point for me in my state of mind.
My partner, an IT-Computer-Techy man, made a comment about me trying to “switch it off and on again” or force a “factory reset.” In a way, he was right. It was by no means a magical “cure all.” There was no eureka moment of “I don’t want to die! Oh, I’m magically cured!” Not at all. It has been a struggle and emotionally the toughest thing I have been through. However, it was a necessary event for me personally.
It’s true what they say: when you hit the bottom, the only way to go is up. It was a slog. There were many times where I wanted to do it all over again with a permanent ending this time, but I kept swimming. My friends, family and partner helped to keep my head above water. Just.
Five months doesn’t seem like a long period of time. To others, it may take more to recover from an attempt — we are all different. So much has changed for me in five months that it makes it rather hard to keep track. I still have my anxiety. I still have the horrible, dark voice in my mind telling me to do devilish things, particularly at night time. However, I feel better equipped to ignore that voice now. I will never be “normal,” but I can cope better.
There is one issue that is really starting to bug me now, though. What really annoys me is when people bring it up. And it really is an annoyance — it’s frustration and anger but also sadness. Others talking about my attempt. My partner talks about when I “broke up with the world, including me.” Christ, it was my birthday on Wednesday and my brother wrote in my card, “I’m glad you’re still with us.” Happy freaking birthday indeed.
I understand they mean no harm. There is no malice in their words — my brother wants to make sure I know I’m wanted. It comes from love and fear. I know that. But I hate it.
I’m at this horribly awkward place right now where so much has changed from that time. I feel as though I cannot connect or understand with the person who ended up in the hospital. I have such a detatchment from it that I simply don’t want to be reminded of it, and don’t want to remember it because I am not that person anymore. It’s like talking about someone else’s life. On the flip side, it has only been five months since I was in that mental state; it’s still a very raw topic for me. My position is juxtaposed: I forget it happened, feeling as though another girl did it, but I am also not over the pain of the act.
When it’s mentioned I shut down and my stomach goes tight. I am rigid. I swallow hard and feel memories wanting to resurface. I force them back. I go hot, or maybe cold. My eyes are glazed over.
I love that you love me. I love that you accept it has happened and haven’t buried it under the carpet. But please, don’t mention it. My suicide attempt is mine. There are so many emotions with it that you can’t begin to comprehend because neither can I! Tell me you love me, yes. But please, don’t remind me that I was almost gone. It’s not something I will ever truly forget. And neither will you. It’s not something I need to be reminded of. Every time you do, it’s is a stab in my heart. It’s guilt and loss and grief. When I’m ready, and if it’s needed, I’ll come to you. Until then, let me focus on the future without the darkness of the past encroaching.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Thinkstock photo via Transfuchsian