Our Side of Suicide

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    Lost brother

    Last week I lost my brother to suicide. He made his first attempt a little over 3 weeks ago. In the 3 weeks following he attempted 2 more times before his final attempt, which took his life. Me and my family did what we thought we could do. We supported him emotionally, financially, and offered resources. He was heartbroken and lost. He lacked any sort of self love. As his sister he confided in me during those 3 weeks. He told me his deepest darkest secrets and told me how he thought he was a terrible person. It was so hard on me at the time. I tried my hardest to reinforce positive thoughts and told him how much I loved him along with others. It was not enough. Last week he took his own life. This is the hardest thing myself and my family has to endure. I know that he was hurting beyond my own comprehension but it doesn’t take my own hurt away. If anyone has gone through a loss like this I would greatly appreciate a kind word or advice during this time. Thank you. #NationalSuicidePreventionWeek #OurSideOfSuicide #SuicideLossSurvivor

    Community Voices

    When you stare into the abyss for a long time. The abyss will also be able to look into you. #OurSideOfSuicide

    <p>When you stare into the abyss for a long time. The abyss will also be able to look into you. <a class="tm-topic-link ugc-topic" title="Our Side of Suicide" href="/topic/our-side-of-suicide/" data-id="5b23cea600553f33fe999755" data-name="Our Side of Suicide" aria-label="hashtag Our Side of Suicide">#OurSideOfSuicide</a> </p>
    Community Voices
    DANA

    Suicidal, is it a diagnosed thing?

    So I've been fairly suicidal ever since I could remember. But does anyone else feel like it's an actual diagnosis? #OurSideOfSuicide

    1 person is talking about this
    Community Voices
    DANA

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    Community Voices

    I Don't Tell You Because

    I posted on Facebook last week that I was suicidal, and considering a divorce. I did not know I was experiencing the worst days of my PMS, because my monthly changed its schedule.
    In response I was given a phone number to a hotline, many thoughts and prayers and my wonderful aunt, freaked out.
    When my daughter was born I promised her that I would never take my own life and I would always get help. I promised the same to my son when he was born. I do not break my promises.
    My course for when I feel this way, I go to bed. I take my anxiety meds, leave my medications with a and go to bed.
    My aunt was having none of it. She was texting me nonstop for over an hour. While I appreciate her well meaning, my gods take my answers at their word!!!
    I don't talk about how I feel on Facebook because the people there instantly freak out, think the worst, make snap judgements about what I need, and hound me about my wishes.
    I ton't talk to anyone about this stuff because it is a symptom of my PMS that I become irrationally angry, overly emotional, have suicidal thoughts, and have attempted suicide in the past, and no one understands.
    I don't talk about it because I have seizures that accompany my PMS and the first day of my cycle that make me feel awful and make life a thousand times more difficult.
    I am tired of explaining myself all the time. I don't owe anyone explanations, I don't owe anyone anything. So when I finally discover my diagnosis and share it there with everyone "concerned" when I was suicidal and having awful seizures, and no one responds like I never said anything. That is when I know they didn't care.
    #Depression #OurSideOfSuicide #PMS #Epilepsy #CatamenialEpilepsy #PMDD #PremenstrualDysphoricDisorder

    7 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Recent shocking loss #OurSideOfSuicide

    My cousin (more like a brother) sadly took his own life on Monday. I don’t know how to feel. What to do, how to respond. I feel completely devastated and totally numb all at the same time.
    If there are any support groups or counselling services you can recommend please do. I know I need help
    To get through this and can’t seek that from my family x

    3 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Regretting Surviving a Suicide Attempt?

    So I lost two friends to suicide in the same week in September 2018 , when I was 17. I've had suicidal thoughts of some sort since I was 13, mainly just wondering how people would react and if they'd miss me. On September 24, 2019, I actually made a suicide attempt. I'm doing better now, but I still struggle to a pretty severe extent. One of my biggest regrets is not doing more to ensure my death. The EMT's told me that if I had done one additional thing, I wouldn't have made it. While I'm somewhat happy, adore my amazing hubby, and we are excitedly trying for a baby, I still can't get it out of my head that it would have all been better if I had done more and succeeded. Can anyone relate? How do you get out of this mindset? #OurSideOfSuicide #SuicideSurvivor #regret #idontwanttofeellikethisanymore

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Finding my way through this

    My brother took his own life October 1st of this year. He was 28. None of us knew and now we all want to know why. There are days I will go through all the stages of grieving in a single day. I’ve started journaling to help get my words out. Is it normal to be annoyed when people tell you if you need to talk they are there, when you can’t verbalize what you want to say? #OurSideOfSuicide

    4 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    One year ago today, I was in ICU after an attempt. I don’t remember that day at all, just bits and pieces. I remember waking up and driving to my therapist upset because I was late, not thinking of the danger of all the pills I had taken the night before. I went down the rabbit hole and into the trance.

    Time moves on. So many things have happened since and I have lost so many people after and because of my actions. I am alive, and trying to keep my eyes on what is directly in front of me and not worrying about the future. I can only do me, slowly and one pebble at a time.

    Much love to all and hang in there. It hasn’t gotten better…yet.

    1 person is talking about this
    Brandy Lidbeck

    More Than 6 People Are Affected By a Suicide

    My mom’s funeral had over 500 people in attendance. She was a high school English teacher and well-loved by her 200 students. She was the leader of my Girl Scouts Troop, and the snack mom of my soccer team. She had countless friends and colleagues that enjoyed her humor and her ability to bring a room together. She was the glue in our family, organizing events and maintaining traditions. Her influence was significant in the lives of others. When she died by suicide our community was rocked. Her suicide impacted more than six. My cousin made every holiday gathering such a delight. He was hilarious and we played pranks on each other like we were children. I would often find baby carrots at the bottom of my soda and upon discovering them glance over at my cousin to see him uncontrollably laughing. He was a joy to be with and loved by all. He served in the military and was deployed to Iraq. Shortly after his return, at the age of 30, my cousin took his own life. Our family was devastated again, his friends were in shock, and his Army buddies grieved their brother. His suicide impacted more than six. Statistics typically estimate each suicide “intimately” or “directly” impacts at least six people. Six people? When we account for family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors, church congregations, participation in community organizations and military involvement, the impact of a single suicide can be catastrophic. I would argue suicide always directly impacts more than six. There are organizations in place to help reduce suicide. Prevention phone lines and text lines are available 24/7 to assist people thinking about taking their own life. There are hospitals that exist to keep individuals struggling with mental illness alive when their depression tells them death would be best. We designate our money, time and efforts into keeping people alive. And we should! Once a suicide takes place, however, the resources are minimal at best. There are, on average, 117 suicides in the U.S. every single day. Only in the past five years have more realistic numbers become available to account for survivors. In his article Estimating the Population of Survivors of Suicide: Seeking an Evidence Base, Alan Berman estimates that although it is difficult to determine the exact number of survivors directly impacted by each suicide, the average could be as high as 32, not six. If we use this more realistic number, then we have approximately 3,744 people becoming survivors of suicide loss every single day in the United States. At the end of one year, in the U.S alone, the number of survivors would exceed one million people. And for some reason, those one million people feel completely alone, isolated and believe they have no one that understands them. How is that possible? I want to change this for survivors. Today, when those 3,744 unsuspecting individuals become survivors, I want them to know what is in place, where they can turn and who they can talk with. I want them to know they are not alone because millions of people worldwide know this same loss. To say that only six people are directly affected by a suicide is to minimize the impact on a survivor and glance over the devastation it causes. In his book “Deaths of Man,” E. Schneidman wrote, “The largest public health problem is neither the prevention of suicide nor the management of suicide attempts but the alleviation of the effects of stress in the survivors whose lives are forever altered.” Suicide postvention is the best prevention and because of that, we must reach out and do all we can to connect survivors to resources, reduce the stigma and talk about suicide openly. We must take care of those impacted by the suicide of a loved one. After my mom’s death, it took me 13 years before meeting another person affected by suicide. But statistically, that cannot be accurate. I believe it took me 13 years because A) nobody wants to talk about suicide, B) nobody knows how to respond to survivors within society, and C) the stigma around suicide is far too great and creates such an uncomfortable setting that we would all just rather ignore suicide completely. If we refuse to openly discuss suicide though, we only reinforce the stigma! After a suicide, our feelings are ever-changing. Some days we are filled with grief, shock, trauma, pain and millions of unanswered questions, while other days the loneliness, betrayal, isolation, anger and despair are too much for a survivor to process. And, in the midst of all this pain, to feel alone and believe that nobody understands us is sometimes just too much as we contemplate our own suicide. When we pretend something only impacts six people directly, it is easy to overlook the need for resources to be made available. When we look at numbers honestly though, we see a sincere shortage of assistance and available programs. We cannot magically make new resources become available overnight, but we can point folks in the direction of existing resources. Sometimes, programs exist in our own backyard and we are unaware of them because such little dialogue is taking place. There are some fantastic resources currently in place: The Gift of Second – Offering hope, encouragement, and connection through blogs and videos for anyone impacted by a loved one’s suicide. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention– contains resources for survivors as well as a search option for in-person groups in your area. Our Side of Suicide – offers blogs written by survivors for survivors. Friends for Survival – offers in-person support groups in California and a national newsletter sent out monthly. Heartbeat Grief Support– One of the national pioneers of in-person support groups. American Association of Suicidology – offers online support as well as an annual national conference for survivors. In honor of the 112,320 people that will become a survivor in the month of April alone, I want to challenge you to share this piece 112,320 times. Share it with someone you know that has been impacted by suicide so survivors are made aware of resources. Then, if you know of other resources that are currently available for survivors, comment below or head over to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and use #morethansix to share those resources with other survivors and to start the discussion for postvention care being just as important as prevention. It’s a long time overdue and yet invaluable to this demographic. Regardless if the suicide took place 40 years ago or just last night, the grief lasts a lifetime. Most people not impacted by a suicide will never fully understand this. Let’s make sure anyone affected by a suicide knows there are people who understand. Let’s let survivors of suicide loss know we see them, we haven’t forgotten them, we know their pain and we are here for them. Let’s start talking. Mostly, I just want other survivors to know they are not alone. I don’t want anyone else to go 13 years without finding someone who understands. If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources. If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. This post originally appeared on The Gift of Second. The Mighty is asking the following: Tell us a story about a time you encountered a commonly held misconception about your mental illness. How did you react, and what do you want to tell people who hold his misconception? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.