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Finding Routine After Suicidality

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It’s been a little over a year since I left the hospital. I know I have made progress, but every day is a struggle. It is a struggle to do what everyone else seems to do without thinking — wake up, get ready, go to work, be a dependable partner, take care of the kids, repeat. The daily routine is never routine because I am always looking for signs that things aren’t quite right today or that I’m facing impending failure.

I am surrounded by love and people who care about me and want me to be well. That love can be suffocating because I am terrified of disappointing them. The need to prevent that disappointment is the slippery slope when I become less than honest with myself and others about what I need.

I only know that I have made progress when I think about where I was, looking up suicide clauses in life insurance policies and researching the most effective ways to die. I convinced myself as I created spreadsheets of the household’s monthly expenses and account passwords that I was doing the best thing for my family and friends. They would be sad at first, maybe angry or confused, but time would heal their wounds, and life would ultimately be better for my absence. I know that isn’t true now.

I am not in that place now and it pains me to think how close I was. It terrifies me that I could be there again and the next time I may throw it all away. I have hope because it is amazing what I have been able to do in spite of my treatment-resistant mental illness. The people in my world continue to choose to be part of my life and they are beautiful, generous creatures for it. One day I hope I can say without hesitation that yes, I need to be in this world because I am supposed to be here, that I am a positive force in my loved ones’ lives. One day I hope this will be routine and I will know peace.

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

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Getty image via piyapong sayduang

Originally published: February 1, 2018
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