health and wellbeing, mental health

End The Stigma Surrounding Suicide: Mental Health Matters

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“Suicide does not end the chances of life getting worse; suicide eliminates the possibility of it getting better” ~ Unknown

This was written some time ago as I reflected upon this socially taboo subject. Deeming it a stigma does not encourage people to ask for help or know who to turn to in a crisis.

This account of my journey is of a sensitive nature and may distress so please be aware before continuing, thank you.

Oh life, I’m fed up with you. Fed up with me. Sick and tired of them. Why, I can’t quite put my probing finger on it. I mean, the birds sing, it’s the start of another year and spring is fast approaching. All speak of new beginnings, resolutions, must-sees, must-dos. But is all that really significant? These feelings well up in our hearts all year round.  Bursting all four ventricles open like a motherfucker of an aneurysm. Stress putting tight metal skull crushing bands around our heads as we write lists, listen to songs, talk the talk and try and work out mind chemistry equations. I am supposed to be robust as fuck and meant to be. Or so cliched colour-coded Mindfulness quotes try to remind me.

Memories, events, thoughts, feelings and a never-ending screed of et cetera are literally burned into our brain tissue like curious bovine pyroglyphics. Yeah, yeah we recover, heal, seek and fail therapy and play hide and seek with ourselves. Sometimes. Just sometimes you have those dark thoughts that no-one talks freely about: passive suicidal ideations that pass through our minds like a gliding blackbird. Whether this feathered symbol of death, change, magic, and mystery is referring to personal illness or other people causing problems is something to harass Google Search with.

I’ve tried and tried and not once have I died. Actually, between you, dear reader and me, necking a bottle of a particular anti-depressant caused some pounding and a few compressions to my chest. Death by anti-depressant.  Oh sweet irony how you make me laugh. I awoke furious that the white light I was gazing upon was a ‘socially responsible’ LED hospital lighting fixture. And my Hello Kitty sleep set was ruined by scissors and piss.

Carrier bags on my head made me lie there singing Polythene Pam by The Beatles as I kept pulling it aside to gulp in breaths. Pillow suffocation… That scene in One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest… Chief did the right thing, I thought, as the situation became hot and stuffy from carbon dioxide exhalations.  I pondered how I needed to re-watch that film, one of my favourites, where’s the video? Oh damn I’ve inhaled. Cerebral hypoxia plan ruined.

Many years passed and many thoughts hammered through my mind like machine gun fire. Plans, schemes, what could go wrong? What if I screw it up and end up in a vegetative state? Would I be better off worse off or worse off better off? Fantasies about skull pop beneath the wheels of the local bus service, bisection by train, kerrr-splat from six floors minimum and the classic broken neck by correctly planned hanging. How does one trigger the vagal reflex, I pondered as I played Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Each of these methods have to be carried out with precision otherwise I’d end up in a wheelchair with all limbs splinted, a catheter and feeding tube. Trapped within my cranium until the curse of old age grinds me to a halt. Knowing me, I’d de-rail a train, decapitate myself due to rope miscalculation (actually, that’s a good thing), smash all limbs on the ground after colliding with another jumper and a bus would have plenty of time to do a well-practiced emergency stop because I’d have undoubtedly tripped up over my own walking stick in an awkward attempt at a swan dive under the number twelve to Oxford Circus.

Washing down tablets with copious amounts of orange squash does nothing except firstly reminding you of the film “Tony” (2009), then delirium, the sweats and constant visits to the toilet because of that watery citrus crud. Trust me dear reader, its very difficult to get it “right” especially now with restricted access to controlled drugs, deadly toxins and poisons. You can try what you may but you’ll end up vomiting or sat there cannulated wondering WTF did I do? Well, You knew but you’ll feel a monumental prick for getting it, shall we say, “wrong”.  You could end up with multiple organ damage then subsequent failure and lie in ICU waiting for someone else to die so you can have their liver.

The overall consensus is you’re making a suicidal gesture aka cry for help aka self-harm or the extremely offensive “attention seeking”. “Hey doc, I’ve knocked back some cyanide with a plastic bag over my head. I’m just attention seeking though, no worries! I apologise for my bad behaviour. Ignore me and I’ll cease my troublemaking.” Unless you can get hold of a gun and fire with a knowledgeable trajectory, the vast majority of fanciable ways to snuff it are very difficult and will land you physically in more trouble than before.

Suicidal ideations written out of your thoughts on a notepad as you listen to your chosen mood music is way more beneficial to your road to stability. I don’t use the word ‘recovery’ because you more often than not don’t recover from this unwell state of mind. You purge the horrors that form within then relax, unwind, and days later repeat the process again. Seek professional help and/or use what coping skills you’ve learned. Seeing, hearing and reading will ALWAYS trigger you either blatantly or subconsciously. It’s gaining the strength to deal with it in a less damaging way that’s important.

NHS UK Help For Suicidal Thoughts

Don’t let yourself go

© Copyright: Sharon Lawson™

6 thoughts on “End The Stigma Surrounding Suicide: Mental Health Matters”

  1. I like how you’ve conceded that recovery is more than likely not viable for those of us flush with a lifetime of this ideation. It rings true, I fully empathize. The pain is all too real. There are few people I’d wish this style of ideation upon. Not as punishment, yet that has its own appeal, but to fully immerse themselves in the hell that most of us endure, that they may not have the courage to admit they are already in…. Thanks for sharing your battles. I appreciate the spotlight being shone down on this. The ‘church’ has so much to do with turning this into the taboo we currently live with. Keep fighting through another day, as difficult as it truly is, I, a brethren of the ideology, implore you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have communicated your dilemma succinctly my dear friend. The last time I harboured the intent of suicide was in Gravesend. I had planned to throw myself into the Thames knowing that the currents would drown me due to my feeble swimming skills. However I was dismayed to find that the tide was out and that instead of plunging into the waters I would have only ended up plunging into mud. The thought of sinking up to my knees or waist in mud deterred me from making the attempt and suffering the consequential ignominy of being rescued against my will by the local coastguard. I try very hard not to be patronising (but apparently I fail miserably in that) but my heart goes out to you Sharon. I love you deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much and bless you for sharing your personal story. It’s moving how we’ve both resisted attempt on the basis of messing it up and ending up cringing with humiliation. I understand the feeling of dismay too. We’re still here for a reason and to be able to share your journey helps others to open up without feeling of judgement by tactless people. Take care of yourself 💚

      Like

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