Of the lies we tell ourselves and not losing your way

Firstly, I know everyone realized Twilight Thursday didn’t appear this week. Life happens. It will resume next week. As I said, they can be very time consuming to write. It can take me up to a week to get the notes and quotes I want to include. I promise I haven’t abandoned it, but patience is a virtue. 😉

It would be disingenuous for me to avoid the topic of Robin Williams’ suicide. I’ve been there. I’ve been standing with a knife in my hand thinking how quickly it would all be over. There wouldn’t be a big show. I could die quietly in my apartment with no one the wiser. People I love very much have been there. I have lost one friend to suicide. While I could never prove it, I know that’s what happened. One of the last things she said to me was “the next time I use, I’ll die”. About a week later, I got the call. She was a heroin addict who had been self medicating her depression and bipolar disorder for a decade. While she was in jail, a friend of hers died from an overdose. When she found out, it wasn’t long after that she was gone. With him gone, in her mind, she had nothing else to live for. Robin Williams admittedly suffered in the same way, self medicating with cocaine. He got the hang of not using, but that clearly didn’t stop the depression.

The irony is once a person is on medication and starts to feel better, the more likely they are to kill themselves. They’ve actually worked up enough energy to follow through, but their brain hasn’t balanced out enough to know it’s still a very bad idea. Unlike most warning labels which go through a litany of petty side effects like dry mouth, it *is* important to watch someone more closely who has just started anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds. This is doubly so in teenagers because their brains haven’t finished developing (does anyone’s?). When I was at my lowest, I didn’t have the energy to cry. I wanted to cry. I wanted to release everything stewing in my head. I couldn’t. Instead I would lie there accepting the numbness. There was a time I scoffed at the idea that feeling pain is better than feeling numb. Having been there, I now know better. Pain is a reminder that you’re still alive. I had someone watching me who was willing to help at a moment’s notice.

I am not a medical professional. I’m simply offering my thoughts and experiences. If you are suicidal, contact someone trained to help. The National Suicide Prevention hotline is the quickest and easiest way to get help. Most major areas will have a free or low cost clinic with medical services aimed at people with depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. Call a friend or a family member to sit with you, come get you, and / or drive you to a hospital or clinic. There ARE people who care. There ARE people who love you. Don’t listen to the lies your brain is telling you. I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s worth it. Even if your accomplishment for the day is getting up, going to the bathroom, and getting back in bed, that’s something. You’re still here.

My thoughts and condolences are with the Willams family. There aren’t words to make it better. No amount of cards or flowers will ease the pain. Time will take the edge off, but it will be something they’ll carry with them forever.