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‘People are tip-toeing around me’

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“Life hurts,” the emailed comment began.

What followed is the note that we’ve posted below. It’s a simple, clear description of what it can feel like after an attempt. It also points out so well the need for resources for family, friends and colleagues of attempt survivors that we immediately wanted to publish it.

“Of course you have my permission to post it on the site,” Toni replied. She was more than happy to share her story and even agreed to use her full name, though we decided on just her first name for now. (She can yell at us if she likes … or write another post later on.)

“I really just want to help, and I don’t even know what that means yet,” Toni added. We hope that her voice will help push for some badly needed guidance for the loved ones who are often our first and most constant layer of support. How should they react? What should they do or say? What about as time moves on from the crisis? As she explains here, the people around us can be as bewildered or angry as we are.

Obviously, if you know of good online resources to address this, let us know:

I am a 47-year-old woman, and I attempted to end my life on May 14 of this year. For as long as I can remember I have suffered from depression, which has become increasingly severe over the years. I feel I can no longer function in this life under the emotional pain and distress I feel. I have been in therapy and on various medications for at least 25 years. I have become increasingly isolated, and my world has narrowed dramatically as I try to hide my pain from people in my life. I used alcohol for many years to numb my emotional pain, but eventually it stopped working and ultimately led to chaotic and painful behavior that led to feelings of shame, guilt and remorse, which in turn have made this life a very painful experience. As a result of my addiction and my depression, I have destroyed many, and fractured all, of the relationships in my life. I have destroyed what was a very successful career. I have dropped out of a master’s program and have created a dire financial situation in my life.

My decision to leave this life of pain and misery was based on my belief that life will never be any different than it is right now. The longer I live, the more people I hurt and become a burden to. I do have some people in my life that love me, but despite their love they just don’t understand this black coffin of pain that I live in. Family and friends have offered well-meaning advice over the years, but unfortunately, even this compounds my emotional state. I am utterly unable to “pull myself up by my bootstraps,” “think only positive thoughts,” “exercise to raise your endorphin levels,” “live in the moment,” etc. The shame and self-loathing I feel for being unable to manage my emotional state is crippling.
In May, I decided that I could no longer tolerate the pain, and I took several bottles of pills that I had stockpiled for just this purpose. I washed them down with white wine. I live alone, and the last thing I remember was lying on my couch.  I hadn’t counted on a neighbor finding me on my stairs. I have no memory of leaving my living room.

My next memory is of coming to in the ICU. I was intubated. My hands were restrained with weighted mitts to prevent me pulling on my trach tube. I was heavily sedated and not really sure of what was going on. I could not stay awake, and my understanding is that for several days I was in and out of consciousness. My daughter was told that I may never wake up. When I did wake up enough to understand the situation, the only thing I felt was absolute rage. If I could have screamed, I would have. I did not want to be alive and felt only anger and despair that I had failed to die.

For the next several days, I remained in the ICU. My daughter was there regularly, as were people from my 12-step support group, and my mother traveled from Ireland to be with me and to support my daughter. The nurses in the ICU remarked several times that I was lucky to have so many people in my life to love and support me. Of course they were right, but as the enormity of the pain I had caused everyone registered with me, my guilt, shame and anger increased also. I had sent my family and friends into a tailspin, and it was obvious that I caused tremendous pain and chaos in their lives. I really thought that when I died people would probably be upset, but after a period of grieving they would move on with their life, which would be easier because I wouldn’t be there to cause any more pain or distress.

I spent several days on the psychiatric unit at the hospital when I was discharged from the ICU. During my stay on the locked ward, my mom and my daughter visited every day. My mom was absolutely distraught and told me that if I had died it would have destroyed her life. My daughter, although supportive, was angry also and told me that if I had died she would have to live with the belief that it was her fault. She thought that I didn’t love her.
My friends and group members expressed that they felt hurt, anger and sadness by my actions. So, despite my best efforts to die in order that I would not cause this kind of pain, I failed.

At this time, I am in tremendous pain and shame. People are tip-toeing around me or avoiding me completely. My mom calls just about every day now. I know she is calling to check up on me. She tells me to let her know if I am having a rough day, to talk to her. Thanks to technology, I can see the pain in her face when she sees me upset and crying or with big dark circles under my eyes because I can’t sleep anymore. It breaks my heart to see the pain I have caused her. She has told me that the only thing she wants from me is for me to be happy. I want to be happy too, and I feel so much pain because I can’t give my mom what she wants. I want to avoid her so she can’t see the pain I’m in, but I know that if she doesn’t hear from me that she will be anxious and worry. She is coming to stay at the end of this month, and I am looking forward to seeing her, but at the same time I am panicked, too. I don’t think I have the strength to put a brave face on it, but I also need to not cause her further pain.

My daughter has said she has lost her trust in me and will need time to try to repair our relationship. I have a new granddaughter that unfortunately I only get to see infrequently because my daughter has distanced herself from me. Our interactions are tentative and superficial at this time. We have not really discussed what happened. We are going to start therapy together to see if we can somehow repair our relationship. My son-in-law, according to my daughter, is very angry with me also. He won’t even look me in the eye when we speak now.

My best friend was initially very supportive and spent a lot of time with my daughter and my mom. However, I have not heard from her now for a month. I fear that my actions have destroyed that relationship. She hasn’t even responded to messages I have sent her just to say hi and ask how she’s doing. While I understand that she may need this distance right now, I can’t help but feel a sense of betrayal. When I was in the hospital, she promised that she would be there for me always.

My group members have reached out to me and welcomed me back to meetings. I have a hard time attending, though, as I feel shame and guilt about my suicide attempt. Another group member attempted suicide a few weeks after I did, and several group members expressed how angry they are at him. Still others have engaged in spiteful gossip about him. I can’t help but think that some may have reacted the same way to me. I also wonder if my actions triggered the actions of the other group member, and there is guilt, shame and fear attached to that thought, too.

At this point in time, I do not consider myself a survivor. For me, a survivor is someone that has endured pain or suffering but has come out on the other side of it. I am not there yet. I cry daily. I feel so depressed and anxious all the time. Because of the financial mess I have created, I have had to return to work. Trying to work , trying to get up every day, trying to shower and get dressed, trying to hide my feelings and regulate my emotions, trying to repair relationships, trying to build back trust, trying to pay bills, do housework, go to meetings, go to therapy is so exhausting, and I am so overwhelmed. I am right where I was in May, but I have managed to accumulate even more layers of pain. I also have lost the option of suicide as a way to end my pain because I have seen what it would do to my family and friends, and I don’t want to cause them that anguish. I’m not living, and I can’t die.

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54 Comments Join the Conversation

    • Midnightdemons7, Thank you for understanding. I really thought I was alone with these feelings. It hurts to know that others also experience these feelings but thankfully we have this site to share with others and to get and give support.

      Reply

      • Toni, I couldn’t agree with you more about the idea of a facebook group where we can all talk with each other. It would be easier to see everybody’s comments and reply to individuals. I live in an apartment building and we have our own private facebook page and we tell each other things of interest without having to look each other up individually. I don’t even know which apartment most of the people live in, but we are still very close.
        I do not wish to detract from the people who run this site, I am very grateful to them. They have been a huge benefit to me.
        I have also been struggling with feeling relieved that I’m not the only person suffering as I do and feeling guilty for feeling relieved as that seems very selfish.
        As Debi says, we all truly need each other,
        all the best, Peter

      • Have things improved for you, at all, Toni? I’m a 43 year old mother of 6. I attempted to end my life 5 weeks ago. I am still struggling with the frustration that I did not succeed. I have several health issues that put a large finncial strain on my husband and I wanted to remove that burden and also the emotional burden that I bring to the table. Now, because I failed, I have only made things Worse! More gigantic Doctor bills, Therpy costs, and so on. I feel so much shame that I cannot function. I live in a very small town (where everyone knows everything) and I just want to disappear. I do not know how to survive this “so called” Survival.

    • I really do have a very good idea of what this feels like as I am also in a great deal of emotional pain.

      Reply

  1. I can relate to so much of what you wrote, Toni, and I am sending love and encouragement your way. Thank you for sharing these powerful words.

    Reply

    • Emily, Thank you for your love and encouragement. I know I need a lot of both right now. It is comforting to know that others can relate to these feelings.

      Reply

  2. I completely understand what you said at the end. I feel like I’m not living, and can’t die. Thank you so much for sharing it reinforces that I’m not alone in the way I feel and thoughts I think.

    Reply

    • Mona, Thank you for your comments. I hope that I can get past the point that I feel I’m not living and can’t die. If I get to a point that I want to be alive more than I want to die I will consider myself a survivor. It is comforting to know that these feelings are “normal” at this point in time. Hang in there, we need to support each other and let others know of the things that worked.

      Reply

  3. I understand so clearly what Toni is experiencing, and am intimately familiar with this brand of intense pain, anger and shame. It has been the cause of my recent path seeking recovery from chronic suicidal ideation. I have never heard another understand my experience so clearly, in her words, “I’m not living, and I can’t die.” Toni, we must be supports to each other. There are so few resources available.

    Reply

      • Hi whaticannotdo. The forum can be a bit overwhelming at first. If you haven’t done so already, take a look at the rules, which are the topics at the top. You can pretty much start at the top and work your way down, or jump to a particular area if it catches your eye. You certainly don’t have to read it all at once!

        There are many members that just lurk and read what others post. If/when you’re comfortable posting, a good place to start is the introduction area, where you can get to know some of us and let us know a bit about you as well- as much or as little as you’re willing to share. We do ask that you make at least one post on the forum proper before coming into the chat area.

        We have a great community there, and we all understand what it’s like to not just be acutely suicidal once or twice, but to battle thoughts of it for years or even decades. I’m glad you’ve joined us and hope we can offer you some comfort- you’re not alone!

    • whaticannotdo, Thank you so much for reading my post. While it is sad to know that others know this kind of pain, it is also comforting to know that others can understand and relate to these thoughts and feelings. You are right when you say that we need to support each other. I am very interested to hear of resources that are available and also what others have found helpful on this journey.

      Reply

  4. Thank you for being so honest as I know for me, in the beginning, it feels even worse to be honest than it does to hold it in. It’s those willing to put themselves out to the world as you have… so open, honest and raw… that has given me the courage to do so as well. I, too, can relate to how you feel in the end and as much as it hurts to know that others feel this way… I wish none of us did.. it really does help to know I am not the only one. love n hugs to all of us going through this.

    Reply

    • Real Person, Thank you for reading my story. You are right when you say it is hard to be honest. I spent so much time hiding the depths of my despair from others and telling everyone I am fine when in reality I was in a downward spiral. At this point the only thing left for me if I want to get well is to be honest. Maybe if I am honest about these feelings I can get the necessary professional support. I am interested to hear how others are doing on this journey and would love to know if others have found resources that were helpful. We really do need to reach out and support each other.

      Reply

  5. Toni, your post sounds exactly like how I felt before I made my attempt and how I felt for a long time afterwards. Without intensive psychiatric care, I would not have changed and I doubt that I would be around today (and today was a really nice day to be around). If you can find the strength, ask your family to find help for you…right now you are doing all you can to simply make it from day to day–that’s really clear. Get them to read this site, ask them to look at psychiatric hospitals (many of which offer scholarships), let them know that without their help you are not going to make it. Do your best to try to let go of the shame and guilt, and try to give yourself the same kind of compassion that you would offer someone else. You are hurting, yet you are reaching out to others here and sharing your pain, which means you still have an amazing amount of strength. At the very least, keep talking here until you can find more help that’s works for you.

    I can feel your pain…
    Debi

    Reply

    • Debi, thank you for reading and responding to my story. I so want to get to a point where I can say “today was a really nice day to be around” Knowing that someone that has been through this and understands the pain is comforting. I am seeing an individual therapist weekly, I have just started group therapy and my daughter and I are going to family therapy to try to work through this. My family have been very supportive but I really believe that if someone hasn’t felt this way they cannot understand the pain, I know it hurts them that they just can’t “fix” this.
      I know now that this is going to be a lifelong process but the only way I can face that is one day at a time. Unfortunately it took this event for me to realize that I do have people in my life that do want me to be around. For so long I couldn’t see that and that was a dark dark place. I now have to be willing to rely on the support that they offer and that is going to be hard for me. I know it must be hard for them and I am afraid of burning them out.
      I am very interested to hear of resources that have helped others to get through the pain. I am grateful that we have a site where we can support each other through the process.

      Reply

  6. Toni, thank you so much for charing this. You are definetly not alone. I feel much of what you have expressed and experienced much of it too after my attempt in March. My very best friend cut off all contact for three whole months after my attempt, though she was grieving her mothers suicide just months before as well. So I understand your feelings about not wanting to be here but at the same time, not wanting to put anyone through the pain. It’s so difficult You are couragous to share your story and I thank you for that.
    Jessica

    Reply

    • Jessica, Thank you for responding to my story. I am so sorry to hear about your best friends loss and how it impacted your relationship. My friend and I have made contact in the last few days which is good, but my gut tells me she is not relating to me on the same level as she did before. Suicide definitely challenges relationships. I can’t help but be grateful that we have this site to support each other but there is a total lack of resources for the people that love and care for us and are also trying to deal with the aftermath of a suicide attempt.

      Reply

  7. Hello Toni, you wear your pain on your sleeve and I hope you know or realise how many of us are wishing we could ease that pain. I have been hovering back and forth around where you are and I am very familiar with the struggles. The fact that you have written this amazingly honest story is a good sign. You are prepared to talk about your issues and that is always something to be proud of. I sincerely hope you see through the many platitudes and find the support that they are trying to provide for you.
    All the best, peter

    Reply

    • Peter, Thank you for reading and responding to my story. I know my family and friends all mean well but most of them really don’t understand the severity of the pain. I know they wish they could just “fix” me. I wish they could too. However it is because of the love and compassion they have for me that I have committed to getting well. I don’t know what being well really means for me yet, but when I get to a point where I consider a day alive better than a day dead I will consider it a success. I am sorry you are still struggling and I will keep you in my thoughts. I really think we can help each other and am so grateful to have found this site.

      Reply

  8. Thank you so much for sharing. This especially rang true for me. I feel like I’m going to cry. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Laura, Thank you for responding to my story. I cried when I found this site, huge tears of relief. I am so relieved that there are people out there that understand these horrible struggles. For now I plan to keep talking and being honest about what is going on with me. I hope your pain and your tears ease with time.

      Reply

  9. Ouch, ouch, ouch. Oh Toni…I feel your pain so acutely. I too am a middle-aged mother and know first hand my own child’s anger in relation to my struggles with life and death. I am extending a warm and compassionate embrace across the world-wide-webosphere. Hugs to you.

    Reply

    • Sarah, Thank you for those much needed hugs. Thank you also for reading and responding to my story. My daughter loves me I have no doubt, but she is also angry with me and doesn’t trust me anymore. I know she is conflicted and hurting. We have started family therapy to see if we can work through some of these issues together. How does your son or daughter process their anger and is there any advice you can offer that might help my daughter. She is an amazing young woman and the fact that she is even willing to work through this with me is testament to her strength and loving soul. I caused her so much pain and yet she still loves me. I count this blessing every day now.

      Reply

      • The fact that your daughter is willing to participate in family therapy is very encouraging…for both of you! I am afraid that my son lives far away and even if we were in close proximity, I’m not sure he would be so open to joint therapy. Basically, he made it clear that he is tired of worrying about me (a completely valid point, I think) so I try to “man up” and put on a good front. I am, after all, the adult. I am desperately trying to keep it together for his benefit, but I am all alone and haven’t the financial resources to garner adequate support…so, I suck it up…and hope I can do so long enough that he’ll have his life together enough before I can’t take it anymore. Ugh…sorry, I digress…hang in there…it is VERY hopeful that your daughter is going to therapy with you!

  10. Perhaps the greatest two things I’ve learned in recovery are that I absolutely have to ask for help / I cannot do this alone; and that telling on myself / telling another recovering person what’s going on in my head and that hurts so much in my heart – will take enough of the power out of my thoughts and pain that I can get through another 10 minutes, another hour, another day without causing myself harm.

    So many people responding to Toni have expressed the need for resources and giving one another support. There are no suicide attempt survivor groups in my area. I truly wish there can be a way for some of us to ask each other for help and telling on ourselves – through a blog, email, text, instant messaging, Skype, other form of social media, or the telephone.

    Reply

    • William, you are so right! There is a huge need for us to have a place to talk about recovery issues. I specify “recovery issues” because there are places online to discuss depression but I have found that they are mostly participated in by people who are obsessed with wallowing in their holes of misery. They are not looking for a way out as much as they are just complaining.
      I don’t mean to be harsh and judgmental, and I hope it’s not coming across that way. It’s just that there seems to me to be a big difference between having hit bottom and truly being willing, even desperate, to accept help versus just wanting someone to,listen to you complain.
      The sheer number of responses to Toni’s post shows how many of us are suffering and in need of support that seems to be virtually impossible to find. I was very lucky to have had a desperate husband who called my sister for help after the acute care facility I was in refused to release me after my attempt unless it was to the state psych hospital or a similar facility. She found what turned out to be the perfect place for me (see my post from a few eels ago, “a lot of hard work…” But I know how lucky I was….I also know how difficult it remains to find support for attempt survivors like myself, because no matter how well I may. Be doing right this moment, it IS a matter, as you said, William, of taking it one day, one hour, one minute–whatever the issue happens to be– at a time.
      My suggestion is that we keep on writing, right here. Because this is probably the best place I have found when it comes to finding people who truly understand suicide. And perhaps we will find more support as we connect with more people.

      Thank you, Toni, for being able to write so eloquently at such a difficult time, and for continuing to stay connected. We all truly need each other.

      Hugs, Debi

      Reply

      • Sorry, but Debi…that doesn’t sound very empathetic at all. You describe some people as wanting to “wallow in their holes of misery.” As I recall, you have been privileged enough to participate in the Menninger’s inpatient program and have family support. I posit that you are in the minority and the vast majority of people struggling with suicidal thoughts / attempts don’t have access to such superior inpatient programs.

        Sorry, but you do sound judgmental. Walk a mile in my shoes and then tell me that I “want to wallow in my own hole of misery.”

      • Sarah…I do know that I am in the minority, and that is actually where much of my angst comes from these days, i.e. why is it so damned difficult and expensive to get the kind of help that actually works ? (FYI: After a long battle with my insurance company, I won and they paid…a whole other story.)

        I believe that the issue at hand is less about my bad “wallowing” analogy than it is about the insanity of societies that won’t create affordable and/or state-run facilities that provide the kind of help I got at Menninger. Everyone who suffers with depression, suicidal ideology, and other serious mental health challenges should be entitled to the kind of treatment that gets them to a better quality of life. How much better would our world be if that were the case? There are people all over the world struggling with these exact same issues — I think the World Health Organization lists depression as the #1 disabling disease right now. But everything goes back to, “one step at a time.” So our little burgeoning community right here, right now, could be he beginning of something bigger and better.

        (I also maintain that a discussion board that just has people complaining to one another– as opposed to one where people are trying to give each other useful information to help each other get to a better place — is not a good working model. We can do better.)

        Let’s take care of each other,
        Debi

    • William, Thank you for reading and responding to my story. You are absolutely right about the asking for help part and telling other people about the things that are going on in my head. I am opening up more in my twelve step group. This has always been hard for me but I realize now that this essential for me to become well. It is harder for me to talk to my family but I am trying. I hate to see the hurt they feel because they can’t fix me and I feel further pain watching them struggle with my actions.
      I think your ideas for supporting each other are fantastic and I would love to participate. I am technologically challenged to say the least but if such a group is formed you can count me in. Maybe we could set up a private Facebook group.In the meantime I feel very fortunate to have this site to connect with others. It was a relief to realize that there are others that have been through this and that my thoughts and feelings are “normal” right now and under these circumstances.

      Reply

  11. William, you are so right! There is a huge need for us to have a place to talk about recovery issues. I specify “recovery issues” because there are places online to discuss depression but I have found that they are mostly participated in by people who are obsessed with wallowing in their holes of misery. They are not looking for a way out as much as they are just complaining.
    I don’t mean to be harsh and judgmental, and I hope it’s not coming across that way. It’s just that there seems to me to be a big difference between having hit bottom and truly being willing, even desperate, to accept help versus just wanting someone to,listen to you complain.
    The sheer number of responses to Toni’s post shows how many of us are suffering and in need of support that seems to be virtually impossible to find. I was very lucky to have had a desperate husband who called my sister for help after the acute care facility I was in refused to release me after my attempt unless it was to the state psych hospital or a similar facility. She found what turned out to be the perfect place for me (see my post from a few eels ago, “a lot of hard work…” But I know how lucky I was….I also know how difficult it remains to find support for attempt survivors like myself, because no matter how well I may. Be doing right this moment, it IS a matter, as you said, William, of taking it one day, one hour, one minute–whatever the issue happens to be– at a time.
    My suggestion is that we keep on writing, right here. Because this is probably the best place I have found when it comes to finding people who truly understand suicide. And perhaps we will find more support as we connect with more people.

    Thank you, Toni, for being able to write so eloquently at such a difficult time, and for continuing to stay connected. We all truly need each other.

    Hugs, Debi

    Reply

  12. Peter and friends…A private FB page sounds great ( I didn’t know there was such a thing!). My only concern is how would others who need to participate find it? Could the AAS moderator “refer” people there?
    We definitely could use a support area, a place to share and encourage each other.
    More hugs,
    Debi

    Reply

    • I don’t know much about private groups, my property one was set up by somebody else but it is a great idea. I will look into how to set it up.
      peter

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    • William, Debbi and everyone. I am looking into setting up private FB group. As soon as I get it up I will ask the moderator to let everyone know how to access it.
      Toni

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      • Thank you. I have a privacy concern to share. If I post something in the group, is it correct that no one outside the group that I’m friends with will receive the post? Are there specific settings I will need to make? Also, can the group be restricted by not being permitted to share a post from within the group to outside folk?

      • That is awesome. Let’s get it going. If you belong to a private group such as we are anticipating, nobody outside of that group can view anything that you’ve posted. A private page is very private. My building’s private FB page is for owners of apartments and not tenants or anybody else, and the only people who can access the page are formally subscribed to it.

    • Hi Debi and everyone, As far as I can figure out I can start a secret group by inviting Facebook friends to join. So if anyone wants to “friend” me I’m Toni Almeida. My profile pic is me holding my granddaughter and I’m in New Bedford, Ma. Hopefully that will help distinguish me from all the Toni Almeida’s on FB. I’m sure there must be another way of doing this but I’m not tech savvy enough to figure it out yet. Hope to hear from new friends soon.
      Toni

      Reply

      • Toni, would love to join the group but can’t find you. Maybe you can find me and add me gc collerone

      • Toni and friends,
        I just discovered that in order robe available to anyone for “friend requests” you need to make sure your privacy settings allow this. I had to go to mine and change the setting from “friends of friends” to “everyone.” This might help us find each other….
        Debi Strong

      • Hi Toni, I appreciate your efforts and would very much like to participate in such a group where we all get to know each other little by little and provide experience strength and hope.

        I’m reluctant, however, to do this on Facebook because of my need to remain more anonymous, and by joining such a Facebook group I believe my entire profile and other associated profiles become wide open. In time, like in AA, I share my full name and relevant biographical information with others in the program, but don’t go to the extent of sharing my full online identity.

        Perhaps it would be helpful to look at my Anonymity Statement: http://whaticannotdo.tumblr.com/anonymity%20statement

        I believe there has been more than one person suggesting they could setup a secure online group for us. I wonder if we might look into various options.

        William

  13. Thank you Toni for such an amazing insight as to your very personal attempt. I am very glad you survived, and what you share here is so important to help everyone, attempt survivors, those who are suicidal and also loss survivors learn the very painful and highly emotional aftermath that suicide leaves.

    I know you don’t view yourself as a “survivor” but you have in fact very much survived something 1 million a year worldwide do not survive and that is something I’m very grateful for and know how hard it can be to open up and share such a devastating life changing experience. I’m thrilled AAS created this blog to help not only give attempt survivors and those with suicidal thinking a voice and place to share their thoughts/feelings/experiences, but for the possibility of truly getting perspective from those who have struggled and survived to know there is hope.

    Reading the many comments here along with your heartfelt post was very moving for me. I thank you for sharing and have shared this outstanding post on my page with my members as well. Getting this type of information out there is crucial to helping dispel the stigma and getting people informed on what is happening when suicide comes into their lives. It saves lives!

    Hoping you get help with your depression and that your financial and career situation improves. I also hope you can get to a place where you are living well and no longer wishing to die at all. Sending you much good energy and my deepest heartfelt wishes for a healthier, happier life without the pain of depression.

    Reply

    • Barb, Thank you so much for your kind words. I too am very grateful for this site. It is so helpful to connect with people who truly understand. I have committed to getting well and I am trying to address the problems in my life that lead to that awful dark place. I know it’s going to take time and patience but I’ve already made a start in some areas. Facing the demons isn’t easy but hiding from them is no longer an option. I am very fortunate that I have a strong support network that includes this site. It is so encouraging to see on this site that recovery is possible and that people do in fact live healthy lives after a suicide attempt. For the first time in a long time I have that kernel of hope and that is something I intend to hang on to. Again, Thank you and I do intend to check out your site.

      Reply

  14. Gosh, what a powerfully emotional letter! Although I have not attempted suicide (yet) suicidal ideation as been a daily activity for the last 15 years (and on and off for the last 37 years). Isolation has been my only way to keep from exposing myself to people that don’t understand. I think it is just crummy when people like to say things like “I love you,” but make it conditional so that you don’t do something that might hurt THEIR feelings. Do they not understand the betrayal of their own words?? Do they not understand how difficult it is to struggle to just exist?? I was asked that once (about how people would miss me and hurt if I did myself in) and I focused on how that was just too bad…..that’s the price they would have to pay for not trying to help or be understanding or wanting someone else to take care of the problem. They also have to understand that perhaps it is just not their problem and they can’t fix it. Making judgemental remarks about how it’s not your choice to decide when you die and everything else that’s been said is low. I am glad that more and more people are becoming aware of just what goes thru a suicidal person’s mind so the person who is ill won’t be so quickly shunned. If only they could actually FEEL what it feels like for a day. Perhaps they would be able to come up with some better strategies other than guilt. I hope that you are able to someday feel some relief from the shame of ‘failing’. I’m sure I would feel the same way. The main reason I don’t follow through is because I do not want to fail and so far, I tell myself that with my faulty thinking, I’ll screw that up, too. So I wait and wait and tolerate the pain. If I was nearby, I’d give you a hug.

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  15. The true aspect of mental illness is so isolating. So many people so close to you (me) run away. It is a very hard situation. From one struggling to you, I send you a deep strong hug. I hope that will give you a moment of warmth. You deserve it!

    Reply

  16. I’m not sure if this support group happened or not, but I am very interested.

    Reply

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