Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – Me

I have been literally terrified to share my own post for the entire duration of this month.

I spent a long time trying to decide how to best express my relationship with suicide/suicidal thoughts. It’s an extremely complex dynamic to put words to. On the one hand, I have seen people take their own lives, and I have seen how such an action can be so final, leaving so many broken in its wake. But on the other hand, no amount of experience and understanding can stop me from feeling the ways I have felt.

Like I said, sharing these thoughts is beyond terrifying to me. Yes, I have gotten to a point where I am able to be open about a lot of myself via this blog. I share so many thoughts and intimate experiences in hopes that they will help at least one person out there to feel more understood.

Ontop of that, every time I do a month-long project like this, I ask others to help contribute. I ask them to share things about themselves that they may not have ever said to anyone else before. Time and time again, I am blown away by the amount of support and participation I receive. That is why, I knew for this month, I just wouldn’t feel right asking other people to share their relationships with suicide if I didn’t share my own too. It’s really fucking scary though.

I have spent countless hours thinking about what I hope those of you reading might get out of these words. I really still don’t have a clue. They’re not creative, or well-written in the least. In fact, they are just the blunt and candid thoughts that have come to mind over the years when I have found myself at my lowest.

These words are a part of me though. They have been a part of me for many years.

I think the point in me sharing this is two-fold. First, I want to really stress the fact that “normal” people can experience these thoughts and urges too. So many people struggle with these similar feelings in silence. Second, I want to prove to myself that I don’t have to be ashamed of thinking these thoughts. I want to remind myself that I have made it thus far, even though I struggle. These feelings can be a part of me, without overtaking me.

Also, I’d like to express that, at least from my own experiences, suicidal thoughts aren’t always present, but that doesn’t make them any less real. Just like depression, it can vary in intensity from day to day or week to week. I can have great days, and I can have days where I feel like I will never be happy again.

With that said, here are some extremely personal, private blog entries that I have written in the past:

 

Monday, June 8, 2009
I feel like I have no one

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I cant keep doing this anymore

I’m never ever happy

Sunday, February 7, 2010
I’ve never been more unhappy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I got so mad when you told me you think I’m depressed

because I love being happy and I love loving life
but I think you’re right and that scares me
I can’t think of the last time I was truly happy
I feel tired and run down all the time

Monday, June 13, 2011
I’ve felt so numb the last few days

like I’m upset or alone but I don’t have enough emotion to express or explain WHY I feel that way

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
No matter how many people I physically surround myself with, I still feel so fucking alone

Saturday, June 23, 2012
I mean I always used to get sad about things, even for long periods of time sometimes, but I would still feel something

Whether it be sadness, or anger, or the occasional bursts of happiness, or excitement or passion
Even in the most painful of times I still had feelings in one way or another
I still had dreams and aspirations that ultimately made me happier
now I’m just numb
I don’t feel anything, just emptiness
like I’m here but I’m not actually here
I have no motivation to do anything at all
and no matter where I am or who I’m with I can’t shake off the numbness
Sometimes I’m just better at hiding it in front of people
but sometimes I can’t even bring myself to speak or move
if I could sleep for weeks I would

Sunday, July 1, 2012
Atypical Depression Symptoms

-sadness or depressed mood most of the day or almost every day
-loss of enjoyment in things that were once pleasurable
-a major change in weight (gain or loss of more than 5% of weight within a month) or appetite 

-insomnia or excessive sleep almost every day
-physically restless or rundown that is noticeable by others
-fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
-feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness or excessive guilt almost every day
-problems with concentration or making decisions almost every day
-recurring thoughts of death or suicide, suicide plan, or suicide attempt
-For a diagnosis of atypical depression you must have this symptom:
-Being cheered up by positive events

Why am I too scared to talk to anyone about this if I know this is how I’ve felt for so fucking long
I just want someone to tell me how to get better

Monday, October 15, 2012
I know I haven’t written in a while but I think it’s because I was just waiting until I felt like there was really something to say

For a while, like I said, I didn’t have feelings at all it seemed like
I just was numb all the time and every day felt the same and I remember thinking to myself so many times I’d rather feel absolutely miserable than nothing at all
because at least miserable FEELS like something, numbness is horrible and empty and boring

Monday, December 3, 2012
I live inside my own mind so fucking much sometimes and it’s such a self-destructive concept that I need to learn how to stop

There’s just this literally insane train of thought that I have every single day
I think about how alone I feel or how stressed I am and then the rest of the thoughts just pile on top

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Adderall really does make me 10x more depressed

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
I’ve felt really sad lately

not the kind of sad where I crave attention
not the kind of sad where I’m lonely
and not the kind of sad where I feel empty either
just sad
like uncontrollably so
I keep crying for no reason
and I feel no need to have real connections with anyone
I only feel comfortable alone

Monday, November 4, 2013
The biggest reason I hate
Adderall is because it makes me think really horrible thoughts
like often times I genuinely feel that my Adderall makes me bipolar
like actually bipolar, I’m not just exaggerating when I say that
because when I take it there is a period of time where I get really happy and excited to be productive and my brain feels like its flooding with happy thoughts
and then there’s a large period of time where I just think about all the reasons why I’m unhappy
When I don’t take my Adderall I’m really unfocused and people say I can be really annoying
but my brain feels calmer
I don’t have 9million thoughts bouncing around all the time
and I feel genuinely happy and confident in myself as a person for the most part
I never feel that way when I’m on Adderall
I’m always second-guessing myself and over thinking things and worrying
and feeling anxious and awkward and unconfident

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Sometimes I work myself up so much that I want to just scream really loud

or drive down the highway for a really really long time until I end up somewhere different
or write something passionate that depicts my thoughts
or run for miles until I get so tired that I fall over
or SOMETHING to release all the thoughts in my head

but then I get too lazy
every time
and just do nothing at all
but sit and feel overwhelmed about everything in my brain
and feel tired and useless

I feel literally dumb and lazy and useless all the time
I have no passion or drive or strong opinions/thoughts/feelings
I just feel indifferent all the time

I wish I had a purpose in life
I wish I didn’t give up before I started EVERYTHING

like even writing this I just want to give up and delete it and stop
whats wrong with me

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
I think about killing myself almost every night while I’m laying in bed

When I was at school I had people around all the time so I had a lot of distractions and I thought about it less
now I spend way too much time alone

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I’ve already cried 3 times today

I feel like I’m losing my mind 

Saturday, January 24, 2015
I wonder if anyone will truly love me and by
that, I mean all of me
I wonder how much longer I  will have to wait to meet someone who makes me happy to be myself

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
having a lot of anxiety

feeling depressed a lot of the time

Thursday, March 17, 2016
I think about killing myself probably on average once a week and definitely at least every other time I’m drunk. 

I don’t think about how and I don’t plan it out so I guess I know I won’t actually do it.

But I guess it’s more that I feel lethargic 100% of the time and I’ve run out of hope that that feeling will ever go away. 

I’ve had these thoughts for years now but they’ve just become more consistent I guess and now I have them in the middle of the day in public whereas a couple years ago I would only think this way alone in my room in the middle of the night.

I also sound like an idiot trying to honestly express those feelings bc it sounds like such a cry for help or something. I just have never said those words out loud and I’ve definitely never expressed them to anyone I know so it feels good to write it somewhere I guess idk.

Monday, June 20, 2016
idk what is wrong with me
I genuinely don’t think I will ever change my ways or ever feel less alone

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
my mom is the only reason I would never be able to kill myself

she’s been through too much already to lose a kid
but Jesus do I feel like I have no reason to be alive

Friday, May 19, 2017
oh, also I keep feeling like really painfully sad after drinking again.
cute cute!!

Friday, July 21, 2017
I really think I am incapable of love
I fucking hate myself

Sunday, September 10, 2017
This is one of the numbest moments I’ve had in a while.
I feel so empty and alone
And I keep laying here thinking about how I felt this exact same way 2,5,7 years ago
The difference is now I don’t even cry
I’ve done everything I can to stop these thoughts
Counseling and medication and time and work are supposed to bring about positive change right? What happens if I’m trying and I still feel the same emptiness though
Is everyone in the world meant to feel full and whole and completed?
I don’t think so
I think some of us are meant to only make it part of the wayI’m so empty
I want to die I really mean it

After re-reading these posts, I noticed so much shame and embarrassment in my words. Like I said, I was so hesitant to share any of this. The plethora of ways people can interpret these feelings is so terrifying to me. But I think it’s important to overcome that fear and speak up this month.

I hope, if you are reading this and have ever felt similarly, you know that you are so understood and so far from alone. I hope you know that, although it is so much easier said than done, sharing how you feel is cathartic in so many ways.

There is a good chance I will continue to struggle with these feelings for a long time to come – I really have no idea. But I am so happy that I was able to put them out into the world for the sake of this month.

Like I have said many times already, your feelings are so valid, whatever those feelings may be. Today I learned to take my own advice a little bit too.

Every 12 minutes, someone takes their own life…. that equates to over 38,000 Americans a year losing their lives to suicide. On top of that, 20-25% of Americans over the age of 18 struggle with depression, yet only half of these people seek help.

Whether or not you have any personal experiences with suicide/suicidal thoughts, I hope the words and videos that I have shared this month have resonated with you, and have helped, in some small way, to break the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide.

It is estimated the 80-90% of those who seek treatment for their mental health issues are treated successfully. Although, when it comes to mental illnesses, there is no “cure”, by breaking the stigma, we can persuade more people to feel comfortable enough to seek help and find progress and success. 

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with any type of emotional issue, I highly suggest looking into some of the amazing resources below. They are confidential (almost all are also anonymous) and extremely helpful:

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: https://www.crisistextline.org/how-it-works/
The Trevor Project (LGBT-related crisis help): 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)
SoulMedic (Anonymous Online Chat help): http://remedylive.com/soulmedics
I Am Alive (Crisis Network): https://www.imalive.org/index.php

MHAM Post #7: Caroline

Today’s post is a piece written by, not only one of my closest friends, but also my roommate, Caroline.

Living with someone can be complicated. Their highs and their lows become, in a way, your highs and lows too. I’ve known Caroline for years now, but I’ve learned a lot more about her over this past year. I can genuinely say I’ve grown so much as a result of our friendship.

She writes about how she motivates herself when she’s feeling low, touches on some of her harder realizations, and expresses some of her most prized memories. 

I especially enjoyed her writing because, although we may share similar diagnoses, we cope very differently. It’s nice to remember that there is a multitude of solutions to the same feelings, you just have to find the one that suits you best.

ENJOOOOOY:

I once asked my psychiatrist if I was born this way, or if the events that happened in my life caused this. She told me, “well, I think you were born this way, but I don’t think those events helped”. That’s something I have had to come to terms with this past year. Although something tragic happened to me, I was born with anxiety and depression. Its like having an arthritic knee and running a half marathon on it. Insult adds to injury. Death of a sibling adds to depression. A break up adds to anxiety. And vise versa.

This year, everyone around me felt helpless. Not only did I push away certain people who were nothing but supportive, but I leaned too hard on those who were left around me. That’s probably the worst part of this “condition”. You act out, say and do hurtful things, and then when you’re falling apart, there’s no one left to help you put the pieces back together. That’s another lesson I learned. Only yourself and a trained professional can truly get you out of this rut. And although it feels so unfair, you are responsible for the things you’ve done while you were unhealthy. There are going to be people out there who can empathize and understand that anxiety and depression can cause this erratic behavior, but there’s only so much people can take. Why should they be expected to show love and support when they only receive hate and hostility in return?  I personally learned this lesson the hard way, but if I didn’t, I don’t think I would have ever changed.

Now, I am still a work in progress. But I’m much better then I was. I feel like my confidence is up, I don’t cry over everything, and I see everyday as a gift and an opportunity to have fun. That last one is probably something I am most proud of myself for. Before, I didn’t see the point. And now, I constantly feel alive and want to experience everything. I think a lot of that I owe to my brother.  After losing my him the way I did, I almost feel like I have a leg up in this world. That sounds weird, right? But I’ve felt that since the day he passed. I look at a day spent in bed as a waste. I have this constant nagging voice in my head of my brother saying, “Come on, get up. You’re not even trying”. And I get up. I shower. I go outside. I surround myself with fun people. If I feel anxious about something, I hear him say, “Just let it go, who cares?” And it genuinely brings me back down to earth and I don’t care. It’s the most freeing feeling, and that’s why I say I’m lucky to have endured what I did. He taught me that life shouldn’t be so complicated, it should be enjoyable. Your day shouldn’t be spent in bed, crying, trying to change something you can not change.

And here’s a little anecdote ~ I remember one day he got some bad news after a routine doctors visit. He came home, cried to me, and said, “it’s really bad this time, Caroline”. He sulked, laid in bed, and I held him through it. The next day he was up, and asking me if he could give my flash pass to his friend (uh sure, why not) so he could go to Six Flags for the day. Wait, WHAT?? Here I am, still recovering from the awfulness of yesterday and this kid wakes up with a smile on his face telling me hes gonna ride roller coasters all day? That’s when I really knew how amazing he was. And when he left this earth, I promised myself I would emulate all that zest for life, for the rest of my life. End anecdote ~

Although I would give anything to have him here with me, I am so lucky to carry him with me always. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if I could make as much progress as I have. And if he was here he would yell at me for not giving myself more credit. So yes, here I am giving myself some credit. I’m killing it. 

Ok, thanks for listening. Hope you enjoy this beautiful day and go to happy hour and laugh with friends and smile at the sunshine!!

A Quick Thank You

When I started writing this blog a few months ago I wasn’t really sure of what my intentions were. I didn’t really have a plan or an end goal, I just had thoughts in my mind and feelings I wanted to put into words. 

Three months later and I still feel the exact same way, but I am so glad I started it. I am so so thankful to have people in my life that have taken the time to read these confused, emotional, often poorly-written words. I would have never ever guessed ANYONE would look at this blog. And never in my wildest dreams would I have thought anyone would reach out to me to say such thoughtful things after reading it. 

Sharing such vulnerable parts of myself has been terrifying, but it has been shockingly therapeutic so far. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg for me, but if you are considering doing something similar, I highly highly suggest it. You’ll be surprised how many people genuinely care, and you’ll be even more surprised how many people can relate.

So it turns out sharing a little bit of my personal life on here has already had some pretty cool outcomes

alexkrump:

Although these may be little accomplishments, bear with me, because its progress nonetheless. The morning after I wrote that long post about my inability to express my feelings, one of my best friends reached out to me about how she felt like it took a lot of courage for me to share those thoughts publicly. I know its silly, but things like that, even from someone I talk to everyday, feel really great sometimes. 

Sometimes all you need is a reminder that what you’re doing takes guts. It is so easy to beat yourself up and feel like you’re weak and cowardly and incompetent because you don’t have everything (or anything at all) figured out. As cliche as it is, we really are our own worst critics. I am so guilty of that every single day. But positive affirmation from someone can really go a long way. I need to remember to try to share that positivity with other people more often also. 

Today another friend of mine happen to stumble upon my tumblr and that post too. It felt good to know that I have people that genuinely do care, and genuinely do want to listen and want to let me be open and vulnerable with them. It is so easy to automatically assume no one wants to hear what you’re struggling with. At my anxious moments, I work myself up and assume that because no one is asking if I’m okay, they don’t care about my wellbeing. But in reality, how does anyone know to ask how you’re doing if you don’t give them a reason to? 

It takes a lot of courage to admit to someone that you’re not okay. But I try to remind myself that that courage almost always brings a massive reward. It is terrifying to feel like you’ve given this big part of yourself to someone else. Especially because they can literally do anything they want to you in return. No one has to accept and support you, and honestly not everyone will. But I can pretty confidently say that most people will, and with that support you will grow. Those people who do end up judging you will help you grow too. 

Not every day is a good day for me. I actually had a few pretty bad days before this, but I’m thankful for today. I am thankful for the reminder that I have people to rely on, even when my anxiety is trying to convince me I’m so completely alone. With this support I will hopefully start to take more and more baby steps towards allowing myself to be a more honest and vulnerable person. Maybe one day I’ll be able to share these feelings in person with someone! 

It’s also pretty cool that my post last week got 3 likes. I know that is such a minuscule number, but to me it means a lot. It means there are 3 people out there that read that post and could relate to it enough to like it. There are 3 people out there that understand how I feel. 

Maybe one day soon I’ll have the guts to share something more detailed about my dad.