TW/CW for s*icide
“Do you already know that your existence - who and how you are - is in and of itself a contribution to the people and place around you? Not after or because you do some particular thing, but simply the miracle of your life.” - Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown
I was 26 years old when I realized that I value my own life, consciously. Up until then, I had intentionally prioritized and valued all other life. Plants. Bugs. Animals large and small. People. Children. Adults. How can we contribute to a safer and healthier world? Whose lives are we valuing? Do we value some lives more than others? Is our valuing of lives conditional? Do we value our own lives and existence?
I was 15 when I learned that not everyone felt sick to their stomachs anytime they left home for any reason.
I was 18 when my mom called to tell me that my uncle had completed suicide. There's not a day that has gone by since where I haven't wondered if that was my destiny.
I was 23 when I learned that not everyone has suicidal ideation on an at least semi-regular basis.
I was 25 when I learned that not everyone spends several days a month in a deep depression and hardcore suicidal ideation (and that PMS is a legitimate medical condition and not just being moody. Thankfully a doctor caught my PMDD last year and prescribed a dosage of Lexapro that has been life changing).
I was 25 and taking Lexapro for several weeks when I realized that I had lived longer than I ever expected.
I was 26 when I decided that it was safe to have fun making a 5 year plan for myself.
I've spent an immeasurable amount of time contemplating suicide. How I could do it with the least inconveniencing of others, both those in my life and those who would have to clean up. How I could do it in a way that would minimize the hurt of everyone I knew cared about me so I could have relief from the constant weight created by anxiety, depression, OCD, perfectionism, fear, and hopelessness that plagued me.
I now know how my brain has been ingrained to have all these feelings and sensations reinforced for years. Which means it's going to take years to undo and create healthier beliefs for myself.
Therapy has helped a great deal. A friend had recommended that I find an EMDR therapist which has made a world of difference.
Medication has helped. I still have a constant hum in the back of my mind of ideation but it rarely becomes amplified to an overwhelming degree.
Normalize not only talking about mental health and change our narratives around people's experiences.
Refrain from minimizing others' experiences and create places for collective healing.
Shift from shame and blame to love and kindness. For ourselves and one another.