I’m tired of not being “man enough”
I’m tired of trying to “man up”
I’m tired of trying to live up to society's expectations of what a “man” or a “real man” is
I am tired of trying to mask my feelings, pretending to be ok, only being able to show aggression, not being able to express my feelings, always being on edge, frustrated, and just tired.
I’m tired of hiding in my apartment, bedroom, house, car, restroom stall, bathroom, etc. because I do not want to be exposed as being less of a “man”
The whole you’re not “man enough” and “man up” just makes me feel less than an unworthy
The social norms of what a “man is” makes me feel like giving up or ending it all because the competition on proving how “man” I’m is physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually debilitating.
I want to end it all because the pain is too great, it's hard. I do not want to fight and compete no more.
I don’t know
So, I’m done
I’m done being “man enough”
I’m done trying to “man up”
I’m done trying to live up to society's expectations of what a “man” or a “real man” is
I’m done hiding
I will freely express myself
Just because you express emotions or feelings does
not make you less of a man. It is ok to cry and there is no shame in it.
You do not need to prove how “man” you are to anyone, focus on being you and doing things that make you happy.
Best Friends Forever - a true story
Today, like many days, mental health is really on my mind. I’d like to tell you the story of a friend I had a few years ago. (It’s long, but it would mean the world to me if you read it.)
You can skip directly to the TL:DR (too long:didn’t read) at the very end if you want.
I met “Sarah” when we both joined an online mental health support group. From her profile picture, I could tell she’d been through a lot for a 36 year old. Sarah was bald, very overweight and she used oxygen. She also now had a bipolar disorder diagnosis and so did I (I was diagnosed in 1999).
I didn’t expect that Sarah would feel up to posting much, but she did, and she was wickedly funny. We hit it off right away. It wasn’t long before we exchanged phone numbers and soon we were chatting nearly every day. Often we’d FaceTime so we could see each other’s faces and share our lives.
We became so close so fast that I felt like I had known Sarah all my life. I learned that she had diabetes, an underactive thyroid, scarred lungs and she had beaten a battle with breast cancer. I was amazed by her and her strength. I began confiding in her and it wasn’t long before I was planning a trip to her city.
One day Sarah didn’t show up to post in our support group, like she had every day. I left her several messages there and later tried her phone but got no answer. I figured she’d contact me when she had a moment.
Two days went by with no word from her. I got worried, but since we’d met online and she lived about 1000 miles away from me, I hadn’t had a chance to visit. I had no one from her family to contact or any other friends who knew her.
I never heard from Sarah again. I missed her terribly and couldn’t quite believe she had ghosted me, but eventually of course I went on with my life.
Three months later, I got a call from a strange number. I don’t usually answer those, but this time something (God?) told me to answer. It was a woman who asked my name and then asked me if I knew her daughter Sarah.
I told her absolutely I did and that I was so glad she’d called because Sarah and I had lost touch. I asked her how she had gotten my number and she told me from Sarah. She then started crying and my heart fell to the floor.
“Sarah’s cancer has come back, hasn’t it.” I was so upset that I started shaking.
“No. Sarah died by suicide a month ago,” her mom finally choked out.
I was stunned. I couldn’t form words. Sure, Sarah and I were both bipolar, and had talked about her other illnesses too, but she was so strong and funny and friendly!
I said, “I thought you told me Sarah had given you my number.” She said, “she did, in a roundabout way. I found it in her phone when I got it back from Verizon and got access to it. I read through your messages and realized you were a close friend.” I confirmed I was and gave her a brief rundown of our friendship.
She then said, “Please tell me about my daughter.”
I spent the next hour and a half telling her everything her daughter and I had shared. We both cried. There were a lot of things she didn’t know about her life in recent years (after all, Sarah was 36 and living on her own).
As Sarah’s mental health apparently declined, she had withdrawn from her family. I was completely surprised because Sarah told me she was close to her family. Plus she was always smiling and funny and upbeat when we spoke or FaceTimed. Her mother explained to me that Sarah had always hidden the worst parts of her mental and physical illnesses and she had even died quietly by overdosing on her insulin.
Sarah’s mom told me, “we do have reason to believe she tried to change her mind at the last minute. She was found with an unlit cigarette in her mouth just steps from the outside door to her apartment building. We think she was going to ask someone for help by getting a light from them outside and asking for them to call 911. But her blood sugar bottomed out and she collapsed.”
When I hung up the phone, I was so heartbroken. I couldn’t believe that such a vibrant soul was gone from the world. I looked back at our messages, still in shock. I couldn’t believe that my life had been touched again by suicide when I myself was bipolar and also a crisis counselor. This was the third suicide among my friends, which is part of the reason I am a crisis counselor and certified in Psychological First Aid.
I decided I needed to do something, anything to remember her by. At that time I ran a Facebook page called the Empathetrix on which I posted my inspirational collage art for my 16,000 followers. I decided to do one for Sarah. It is attached.
The picture shows a little girl headed towards a white light. She’s carrying a backpack and on it is “I am in pain.” There is an angel crying, and she is carrying a teddy bear. Sarah slept with one every night. The quote by CS Lewis reads, “To love at all is to be vulnerable.”
I miss you, Sarah. I’m sorry that I didn’t know you were in such pain. I’m sorry you didn’t feel like you could tell anyone. I won’t forget you.
[TL:DR: I had a friend I met online in a mental health support group who ghosted me after several months and I didn’t know why until her mother called me and told me she died by suicide by overdosing on insulin. I made the attached collage for her.]
I don't post a lot here, more of a lurker. I find a lot of solace in just reading and knowing I am not alone in my struggles. I find peace and hope in the inspiring posts from those who are fighting alongside me. We all come from different places, different stories but we all continue to fight.
But for some reason I've found myself in a place of almost constant suicidal ideation. I think about it almost daily now. I'm currently in trauma therapy and I brought it up to my therapist 2 weeks ago. We spent the entire hour going over a detailed safety plan. I did have access to very lethal means; however I do not live alone. In fact, I'm rarely alone these days. That is probably one of the reasons I haven't been able to act on it. I don't want to leave my family. I once had a rewarding career that helped people. I was once a compassionate, loving woman who would give you her last dollar if it meant you got to eat today. Now I sit home terrified to move because my abuser still knows how to find me, how to contact me and how to hurt me all over again. I still hear his voice in my head every single day. I still see his face when I close my eyes at night. I wish everyday this nightmare would just end.
When I finally broke the silence in my therapist's office, I felt like a weight had been lifted. Like some had reached beneath the waves and grabbed my outstretched hand. I can't do this alone. I am safe. While my brain tells me not being here is the best solution, I don't have access to any means in which to do it. I know that is the best. I do have things to live for even if things feel hopeless. I have reached out for more help. It hurt like hell to do it. I had to relive my trauma all over again as I told my story to more people. But before the rainbow happens, there has to be a storm. As I cry and type this I know there will be brighter days ahead. I don't know when. I don't know what I will have to do to get there. But I deserve it. My family deserves it. My life can be beautiful in spite of all this ugliness. Tomorrow I may not believe that statement but for today I do. I share this so that maybe the next struggling person may see hope. We can do this together ❤️ #Depression #SuicidePrevention #SuicidalThoughts #PTSD #Anxiety #Trauma
I got triggered hard by my mom yesterday. I come from an Asian family and being in my 30s, me not being married is a point of concern and criticism. When speaking to my mom she told me that my extended family has been asking her if there was something mentally wrong with me. And her response to that was, “What am I supposed to say to that?” The criticism from my extended family, I can handle, but my mom not defending me, that hurts. It doesn’t surprise me because my parents have never defended me, but it still hurts.
I was able to calm down a bit after but couldn’t sleep well because I was ruminating a lot and I just feel sad and tired today.
How do you all handle something like this? Any suggestions?
Hi Everyone, I am new and looking for help for my husband, he is 45 and has had 6 back surgeries. He is in constant pain… and is struggling to stay with us. We have a young child also, he is normally very very active until the last surgery. I am desperately searching for ways to help relieve the pain he has and to keep our family. 😔 I myself am a cancer survivor at 30th old, I am now 44…I have arthritis and effects from my treatments yrs ago that also make it hard for myself, lymphedema, brain fog, fatigue, arthritis, fibro, and of course anxiety lol being a mom taking care of my little one and supportive of my husband who is declining has been a real struggle but trying to be thankful for every day we have been blessed with 💜 #chronicbackpain #cervicalcancersurvivor #SuicidePrevention #ChronicPain
I am a survivor of #Suicide . I live with the guilt every. damn. day. So why tell my story now? I want to feel liberated. I want to #EndTheStigma . And I want people to know why and how and when. So that maybe they can see the signs or the #triggers for someone they love who might be struggling.
This is me. This is my story. And this is me at my most vulnerable.
First, an introduction. I’m a 36-year-old, former PR pro turned #sahm and housewife. I struggle with #Depression and extreme #Anxiety . I’m #neurodivergent , you’ll quickly come to realize just how #ADHD I really am, and I’ve recently been diagnosed with #borderlinepersonality disorder.
So that's me. Definitely not a princess and I don't wear a cape. I'm still hopeful for a happily ever after, though.
And now, some context.
It's important to understand that I've felt unlovable all of my life. Growing up in a traumatic home and seeing more hate than love had its toll on me. And being emotionally abused and neglected as a child and having it continued through my adulthood continually makes me feel unworthy of love. Despite my efforts to be the best daughter I can possibly be, I get constant reminders of my selfishness. My unhelpfulness. My failures. It's just facts. I'm in therapy, don't worry.
It wasn't until I met my husband at 19 years old that I experienced unconditional love from someone other than my brother, my grandparents (RIP), and my pets. To this day, I still don't believe it or understand it. I'm hard to love and I don't grasp how someone can love all of me - with everything that comes with me. Skeletons and all. I still don't love myself. I'm in therapy, don't worry ;-)
Ok, now for the story.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: depression, suicide, self-harm, self-hate.
It was the morning of Monday, November 18, 2019. I had suffered a weeklong streak of migraines and hadn't left our bed in almost as long. I was depressed, and I was well off meds because I couldn't keep food or water down. I was exhausted and hopeless. At the time, I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, #Insomnia , and ADHD. I was in a complete state of psychosis. I had no idea and neither did my husband.
In the most loving way possible, my husband was over my sickness and depression. He'd been single parenting our 4-year-old for over a week, and he needed his wife back. We fought. About what, I can't remember. It doesn't matter but whatever it was sent me into a downward spiral I couldn't climb out of.
This is where everything gets foggy, or completely dark. My mind has blocked most if not all of the rest.
Like a zombie (or so I'm told), I got out of bed, threw on some scrubby clothes, got my son dressed and fed, and walked him over to the neighbor's house for childcare that day. I don't remember any of that part, at all. My hubby said my face was blank and my eyes were vacant.
In my brain, the wheels were already turning. This was a feeling I was intimately familiar with. My comfort blanket. How many different ways could I imagine dying this time? If only I could just disappear and not come back. It would be so easy. So simple. No one would miss me. I'm a burden to so many. They're basically living without me already.
After dropping my son off at daycare, I returned to bed. Hubby had more words with me before leaving for work. After he was gone, I googled, "How much Xanax does it take to kill yourself?" and "Can you die from too many muscle relaxers?"
Five minutes later, I swallowed my entire prescription: 30 tablets of 2mg #Xanax .
As a topper, I also poured 15 muscle relaxers down my throat, left over from my car accident in early April. Or was it from my wisdom tooth removal? So many procedures and pain meds and illicit prescriptions to choose from. I then ditched the bottles to make it harder for the EMTs to identify what I'd taken. I'd planned this meticulously in my mind for years.
I sat forward and said my goodbyes to the dogs. The longest goodbye and cries for Duke, of course. Kisses for Cooper; he couldn't understand what was happening, but Duke was completely aware. Duke jumped on the bed and put his head in my lap. I cried as I said my goodbyes out loud to my son (as if he could hear me from afar), reassuring him that his life would be full of joy and accomplishments without the burden of his overweight, depressed, mess of a mom. I'd be there in spirit, I said. Watching him succeed and rooting him on, always. I cried and wished that my husband would find new love and hope. That all his dreams and wishes would come true. That life would be good for him because he is an amazing man that deserves the world.
I drifted off.
When I awoke two days later I was hooked up to machines from my neck and both wrists. My husband was right by my side and my brother came into view.
I remember thinking, "Fuck, how the FUCK am I still here?!"
So here's what I'm told.
After hubby left for work, he ran a few errands close to home. Before getting on the freeway, however, he got a *weird feeling* in his gut and decided to backtrack home to check on me before heading into Seattle for work. Thank god he did. He saved my life and he will forever be my hero.
When my husband arrived home, he called out for me. Nothing.
He found me upstairs, unconscious and blue in the face. I was halfway fallen off the bed.
He called 911 and immediately started CPR at the operator's direction.
It was six long minutes before paramedics arrived.
They couldn't identify what I'd taken and were unsure if Narcan should be used for overdose.
My heart had stopped. I wasn't breathing.
It took nearly 8 minutes for them to get a heartbeat.
With a faint heartbeat, I was quickly transferred to the ambulance and rushed to NW Hospital in North Seattle. After life-saving measures were taken, I'm told that doctors placed me in an induced coma to allow my organs to heal and regain strength after shutting down. I was on a ventilator to support my lungs, and another machine to pump my heart. Once the doctors took me out of the coma, they slowly removed me from the heart machine as I grew stronger. The ventilator came next. I finally awoke.
What's happened next? You'll have to follow my next posts to read more.
2019 was a rough year for me. The abuse I was experiencing came to light, my family turned against me, I was abandoned by a family member. I was harming myself and attempted suicide. I was hospitalized for a week. I was diagnosed with PTSD. I nearly lost my apartment and was homeless. I had no family and hardly any friends. I struggled to survive on a daily basis, not just financially but mentally too. I felt totally helpless, lost, defeated and unloved. I started to think that it was all my fault, the abuse, abandonment, the struggles afterwards. It amazes me sometimes that I’m still here. Working, living, thriving despite it all.
But as the picture says, suicide prevention starts with all of us. Perhaps if I had never been abused and abandoned then maybe I wouldn’t have harmed myself and tried ending my life. It still scares me that I could’ve died. It scares me more to think that no one in my family would’ve cared. Yet I try not to dwell on the past. What I am getting at is that suicide and suicide attempts can be prevented. I now realize how blessed I am to be here. To be loved and to be alive.
I have a new family now that loves me despite my past and that means so much to me. It has helped me heal tremendously. Though on my dark days I still struggle with dark thoughts I know that I am no longer alone. Sure I struggle with abandonment trauma and that is totally founded given that I was physically abandoned. Yet, I am still here. So if you think that ending your life is the only option like I did at one point, just remember that help is available. Your life is precious. I won’t tell you to think positive because I know in that mindset that is near impossible. However I will say that my suicide attempt taught me to appreciate life.
I hope that if you are struggling with those thoughts that you have the strength to reach out. To a professional or even a friend. Sometimes those late night conversations are all you need. I still wish someone had been there to hug me and tell me everything was going to be okay and that it wasn’t my fault. So if you are struggling, know that we are here for each other. If you need immediate assistance please call an emergency number or suicide hotline. You have so much to live for and are loved beyond measure even if you don’t see it. So don’t focus on the ones that hurt you, there is someone out there that is glad you’re alive today. I know I am.
Stay strong warriors! We got this!
#PTSD #SuicidePrevention #SexualAbuse #EmotionalAbuse #Hope #healingispossible
About two weeks ago now, I made the brave decision to call the Crisis Hotline. And through therapy dealing with those issues that caused me to be have two plans in place. My husband is the first and last line of defense, my superhero and the reason I called the hotline. He's my reason to keep living. Been dealing with issues resurfacing dealing with my ex-husband, who was an abusive and manipulative, narcissistic sociopath. It is because of him I am afraid of fire generally, afraid of sharp implements, and can't be touched in certain ways. But we, my husband and I stepped away from a weekly dungeons and dragons campaign that is literally within walking distance, because between my resurfaced issues, there is a lot of stress from both our crap jobs, helping my mom who we are finally on a straight forward healing path that includes helping her move back to an area she liked more than the one she is in now. I can't thank enough to the person on the other end of the line, and two close friends that day for helping both myself and my husband mentally and emotionally. I'm doing better and oddly talking about it and the strengthening of not only my relationship with my husband but also my faith has helped. Taking one day at a time and even getting a vacation for the first time in 7 years here in the next week. That will certainly help not only get my mom moved but also help me breathe. Also job opportunity has presented itself to me, awaiting time to do initial zoom interview. The position starts in March but I went ahead and sent my resume in way ahead of time. I'm letting the Goddess and the universe do its thing at this point, and sending all the good vibes out to it that I can spare.