I couldn’t handle being a burden. A burden to my loved ones, and a burden to myself. Anxiety had such an intense grip on me I couldn’t see straight for trying to run away from the turmoil tornado inside my head. Every single day was a struggle and I couldn’t comprehend how so suddenly I had changed from a confident, carefree 10-year-old, to this needy, crying, scared-to-death mess. That’s when suicidal thoughts started encroaching.
September was Suicide Awareness Month, and I didn’t write anything because my family reads my blog, my friends read my blog, and frankly I didn’t want them knowing that for a very large portion of time in my preteens and teens I had suicidal thoughts. That’s not who I am now, I don’t think that way anymore, I have the coping mechanisms and mental stability now to know that this is not what I want and it is not something I will ever resort to, and I didn’t want the knowledge that it was a part of my past to colour the way that they see me now. This blog has become about more than just me – so I’ve decided to open up on this topic and share yet another part of my journey.
Suicide was something I often considered when I was first struggling with anxiety, even before I was properly diagnosed with a Generalized Anxiety disorder, Panic Disorder, and mild Agoraphobia. My thought process mainly consisted of wanting the pain to stop, wanting the struggling to end, and wanting to relieve my parents of the burden that I had clearly become. That being said – my thought process always concluded with the notion that I could never go through with it, no matter how much I wanted it, because it would crush my family. I had the wherewithal to understand that despite the fact that I was a burden currently, the pain they would feel with my loss would be tenfold to what I was putting them through right now. So, I never went through with it, but the thoughts were still very much there.
As I grew older, I learned how to cope with my anxiety, I surrounded myself with as many positive and supportive people as I could, and maybe even a little part of it was me growing up and out of the teenage hormones. Today I’m all good, and even when I struggle, I don’t have thoughts or notions of wanting to end my struggle by ending my life – I know, and more importantly I feel, that there is a better way to cope with my pain. This doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten, I still remember and I still understand where that pull towards suicide came from, so if that’s where you are now, know that I understand your struggle – but there is always a better way.
I never told my parents about my suicidal thoughts. The only time I ever mentioned it was when I was first being diagnosed by a child psychologist – and it wasn’t even a verbal acknowledgement… I had circled yes to the question about suicidal thoughts in a questionnaire she gave me during her attempts to diagnose my disorder. I don’t know if she ever disclosed the results of that questionnaire to my parents, but I certainly never mentioned it to them. I was wrong for staying silent.
My reasoning was that I was already putting my parents through so much trouble, through so much pain, that mentioning something like this could only further hurt them, but I should have said something. I should have said something because I was fortunate enough to have parents who were supportive, and who would have talked me through the negative thoughts, would have helped ease my troubles.
If you’re experiencing any thoughts about suicide, even if you never plan on acting on them, talk to someone. Whether it be a loved one, or a professional, speak out. Life is beautiful, it’s grand, and so incredibly full of potential – in your darkest moments you may not see this, but it is so true – give yourself the opportunity to see it.
Remember – you are never alone in your fight. I see you. I understand you. Fight for tomorrow, fight to see all that is amazing in this world.