I suffer from mental illness.
What do you think when you see/hear those words?
When I say them, I instantly feel ashamed. I feel judged and criticized even when nothing of the sort if coming my way. Why is that?
Because of the stigma surrounding the term. Mental illness stirs up feeling and thoughts of patients locked away in a psych ward, or bad guys shooting up schools. I am not those people. I am a good person. I am a mother, wife and empathetic/compassionate human being.
AND I suffer from depression and anxiety. I have written about my experiences with postpartum depression in the past (You can find the link on my About page). It’s incredibly hard to deal with on the days where it shows itself. I have good days and bad, and I long for the good days to last. I cry. I rage. I cry some more. Then I smile. It’s a never-ending cycle.
I also think about suicide. It’s just a thought, though, I know this for a fact. I think about the different ways I could kill myself, and just end the madness. I think about where and when the best opportunity would be. I think about how I would do it, whether to slit my wrists or take a bunch of pills (just some of the ideas).
Then I think about my girls and my husband, and then I cry. Not hard tears, or a break down of sorts, but a cry to release the pain. Then I smile, and instantly feel better.
I wonder what it would be like to run away, disappear off the face of the world, never to be heard from again. I could escape in the middle of the night, and not deal with this pain I cause others with my problems. My girls wouldn’t have to suffer anymore, and wonder why mommy is happy and then so angry. Mommy wonders too.
I’m still on Prozac, 30mg. I am talking to my doctor about a referral next week to a therapist of some kind. I need help. Not from myself. I would never harm myself, or leave my family. They are just thoughts. I need help from my mind. My mind is the screwed up one. Not me.
Dealing with this nightmare for the last 6 years has made me incredibly aware. Aware of my thoughts and emotions, way more than I was after Samantha was born. I’m not sure which is scarier, not knowing why I am crying, or knowing it’s because my brain is broken.
Why am I writing about this again? I need to share my story again. I have been trying to hide it, and wish it away, but it’s real. It’s part of me.
I read this morning that it is Suicide Prevention Week. I was very close to killing myself once a few years ago. I know what that feeling is like. I know what it feels like to feel alone, and in pain. I know those thoughts, and how them seem so real.
THEY ARE NOT REAL.
They are not you. Those thoughts are from a broken mind, and it’s not your fault. Don’t ignore them, but don’t act on them either. Seek help.
Suicide is not the answer, though so many have thought it was. Too many people die from suicide, which is completely preventable. You just have to reach out. There will always be someone there, even if it’s through the phone or social media.
You are loved, and you are more than your mind let’s you believe. Stay with us, please.
Below is a list of warning signs from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, seek help as soon as possible by calling the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.