*TRIGGER WARNING – SUICIDAL IDEATION*
I have spent a couple of weeks thinking about what I wanted to write about in my ‘Blog for Mental Health 2014’ post. Being in pain has crystallised that for me, and what I’m writing about is not quite what I expected. I thought I would expand upon the summary in my ‘About’ page, of who I am, and my diagnosis. But I knew this morning that I had to write about something else.
I spent yesterday evening reading through the Lost All Hope website. The first time I came across the site, many months ago, I was looking for a quick and painless way to die. Yesterday, although I felt unsafe, desperate for connection to someone or something to keep me anchored and feeling as though I was still a part of humanity, I knew deep down that I was extremely unlikely to ever cut the ropes of this life in a bind. But I did know that I needed help. Suicidal ideation – ‘Help me’.
I wanted to write, but I didn’t feel that I could. I didn’t feel it would be fair – on you. I have always handled my emotional and mental health difficulties alone, and the damaged part of me very strongly believes that I should continue to do so, that grown-ups shouldn’t need support. The scared part of the damaged part is also afraid of being overwhelmed by emotion, either her own, or others’. She is therefore terrified of overwhelming you and driving you away with hers. The scared part is hard to own, hard to integrate, and she feels so very very young.
I couldn’t write, so instead I read. Maybe it’s the style in which the pages are written –very personal, very conversational. I felt as though there was someone there with me, talking me through what I was feeling. Trying to convince me that hope was not all lost. I was struck by this particular paragraph on the page describing the author’s own story:
“ ..if there is anything missing from the lives of the suicidal, it is connection with others. Being seen and loved as we are. To think, there are millions of people crying out for the same thing…..and it isn’t even something that requires great skill or money to attain.”
And that is why I’m writing about suicide in my ‘Blog for Mental Health 2014’ post. Because a large part of blogging for mental health, at least for me, is connection with others. Despite (for those of us who find it necessary) the anonymity or pseudonyms, we write to be ‘seen and loved as we are’. To find those tens, hundreds, even thousands of others who are crying out for the same thing.
Connection, understanding, compassion, support – the desire to give and to receive them, without judgment, but just with love. The Lost All Hope website talks about the fact that ‘helping people’ can provide a possible reason for living. The author says that it can be as easy as speaking to someone.
I hope that my blog can speak to someone. I would like to help. To show support, to provide understanding, to educate, to make the smallest contribution towards erasing stigma so that maybe one day, more of us can use our real names when talking about our real stories.
Through writing, I want to try and re-educate the part of me that feels I have no right to speak out, or to lean on others. I want to give myself permission to feel angry, hurt, scared, and yes, angry, and to be able to express those feelings in words. I have talked about therapy being some of the best care that we can seek for ourselves, but so is this.
Finally, I would like to take part in the ‘Blog for Mental Health 2014’ project because I have been inspired by so many wonderful bloggers who have been open and raw and honest about their mental health difficulties. But it goes beyond inspiration – I am immensely privileged and hugely grateful to be able to call a couple of them my friends. And I am touched beyond measure that one of them was just a text away yesterday and today.
So here is my ‘Blog for Mental Health 2014’ pledge:
“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
If you would like to learn more about the project, or take part yourself, do visit this page.
Suicide is a dark topic to write about, but I hope that the message of this post is hopeful. I didn’t want these words to be about what led me to the place I was in last night. I wanted it to be about the lights that can illuminate small corners in those dark places that we sometimes find ourselves in, and guide us to safer waters, when we need it most.