The Mighty – Why We Must Discuss Suicide Openly

This article from The Mighty, along with a bit of my own insight below, is your 8th of the month post.

Why We Must Discuss Suicide Openly

“It’s unfortunate that when an individual tries to express their suicidal thoughts, they are quickly labeled as crazy, psychotic or attention-seeking. Yet once the individual actually takes their own life, they are labeled again as selfish. “They could have sought help” is often heard. What could be worse than saying someone is selfish because they died by suicide, having never known what they were feeling?”

 I have this bridge as both a suicide survivor and someone who has survived my own attempts and fights my own thoughts.

So many of the things talked about in this article are true. The way we talk about those who died vs the way we talk about and to those who are struggling . . .

And I hear and heard both because of who I am. And often the things that were said that are supposed to make me feel better about her losing her battle, make it harder to fight my own. And the things that are said to guilt me into fighting harder make her look like a horrible person because she couldn’t fight hard enough.

And the fact is, we just need to be allowed and encouraged to talk openly. I was able to go to derby this weekend because I knew I had a supportive group around me and if it got bad I could say I needed a break. I even had people asking if I was okay without trying to push me out of what I was doing.

I was able to email my boss and say I’m stepping down hours cause my mental health is slipping and she thanked me for my openness and asked how she could best support me.

This isn’t any different than diabetes or heart disease or cancer. It requires treatment and management and follow ups. And we need to be able to talk about it.

If someone dies from suicide, those left behind need meal trains, and support and comfort, not hushed whispers and “she shouldn’t be saying her wife died like that” ( true story).

I don’t post my struggles for pity. I post it each time it gets bad for 2 reasons. Because for one, it helps me to type it out and be heard.

And for two, I keep hearing how it helps others to see me be vocal. People who didn’t know it could look like this, people who are afraid to speak up. People who are afraid to ask for help.

Parker was the quiet one.

Parker is why we must discuss suicide openly.

Board of Education

Almost two years later and the board of ed sends Parker another debt notice.

Yep… she’s still not coming back to pay her student loans, I promise you. Hell, we probably couldn’t pay them if she was alive.

Yep. I’ll send yet another copy of the death certificate.

People wonder why we don’t get over our ghost spouse?

Why we move forward but we never get over being a widow?

Cause we have to remember their SSN and find the death certificate to call and punch in those numbers and read out thier names and then make jokes to try and feel better about the whole fucking situation while remembering that those last two loans were for the classes she was barely in for a week before she died.

I’m so happy with my life now but grief is a damn bitch and she’s still not coming back to pay those fucking loans.

At least I didn’t cuss out this poor employee over it. I guess I’ve healed quite a bit since the last time.

Power

After an amazing weekend away, I’ve realized that my anxiety in public has virtually vanished. There were multiple times that I went off completely alone in NYC in crowds, without a thought.

I went and retrieved a pizza when they suddenly couldn’t deliver it and throughout the weekend I had no issue figuring out the subway and actually enjoyed getting lost and missing stops and backtracking. It was a puzzle, a game.

I survived one of my worst fears a year ago, and so those people in that giant city have no power over me anymore.

But now those close to me have 100 times more power than they can ever imagine. And it’s power they don’t want, and power I don’t want to give them and it’s become a whole different kind of anxiety that I’m now battling. These trains are just as loud as the trains that used to tell me I couldn’t leave the house.

I know loss, and not in the “we can’t be friends anymore” kind of way, and not even in the “this isn’t working out” kind of way. We had a fight, a stupid fight over stupid shit and she went to bed and did not wake up. And while I know I had nothing to do with Parker’s death, I cannot quiet that voice that tells me I did . . . . it’s part of the process . . .

Because of that, the social anxiety that was always there is now 100 times louder. The fear that everyone else is going to leave gets louder and louder.

Every time someone is angry with me not only do I feel that tension and need to run from it, but I’m internally petrified . . what if I don’t have a chance to make amends. What if there is no tomorrow to say “I’m sorry, this was stupid” after they calm down.

Because of it I end up sometimes becoming incredibly irratic and overbearing and talking over them and even over myself to try and fix problems that aren’t even there because in my mind . .

If I don’t put out those fires I’m going to lose more people.

And i LOVE my people. I love my tribe. With every bit of my being.

I am both thankful for, and sorry to those who have been so close to me this past year. I know I am a lot. And I know that by now, you thought it would not be so much to be so close to someone who you have given so much to. And I do appreciate you, more than you could ever know. I wasn’t on even ground to begin with, and a year ago that ground disappeared. I’m quite thankful that I realized I could fly, but you guys have done more than your fair share of carrying.

I am intense . . and I am trying to get better. All month I have been trying to figure out how things feel so right in some ways, and so wrong in other ways.

What Doesn’t Kill

So, here’s the deal. I’m not going to be one of those people that say God doesn’t give you what you can’t handle. Because, seriously . . look at my life.

However, I was one that said this phrase, a lot. But, each one of these things that kept hitting me, kept making me more of the me I was meant to be. And then, after I recovered from each major thing I would look back and say I wouldn’t change a thing because it put me where I am today, and I’m right where I am meant to be.

Now, before I say this next phrase, please realize.

I Want Parker Back. I want my wife back. There is NO denying that.

However. That situation made me who I am and put me where I am right this second. So no, a year ago, I wasn’t already strong enough, because I wasn’t who I was meant to be yet. If everything would not have happened I would not be where I am this second.

And I’m right where I am meant to be.

And I love me. And that, is an amazing feeling.