Article written, edited, and designed by Christy Zigweid
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Photo by ElasticComputeFarm via Pixabay CC
It’s a nasty word we like to push under the rug and ignore. It’s an ugly stepsister and a relative we’d like to forget. But I assure you it is very real. And it’s time to start talking about it.
I’d like to share with you some statistics about suicide (http://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/):
Those are some staggering statistics, don’t you think?
I’ve never been personally affected by someone’s suicide before, but I have lived on the other side of suicide. It’s a horrible place to be. It tears at your soul and convinces you there is no other way and your loved ones are better off without you. You swear you are a burden to them.
I’m here to tell you…nothing could be further from the truth. Our minds, when living with mental illness, are different. We aren’t martyrs or looking for attention. We are looking for a way out of the constant struggle and pain of living with mental illness. And in our minds, suicide is usually the only way out. When we get to this point, we can no longer make logical choices, especially when faced with strong emotions and thinking. When we get to this point, we are no longer in charge of ourselves.
What to Do When the Emotions are Too Strong and You Want to Give Up
Take yourself in a quiet room and allow yourself to feel the awful emotions. Too often we medicate them or ignore them until they get so big we can’t ignore them. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to FEEL those emotions. Release them in whatever way necessary, but do not punish yourself, harm yourself, or harm others. Do not let suicide win. Stay strong and know there is help.
Here are a Few Things you Need to Have
The first, and BEST thing you can do is have a supportive network. Sometimes this doesn’t come in the form of family, but in friends and those who have shared the journey.
Getting medical care is also a top priority. While medication and therapy may not be for everyone, the option is there.
Taking care of yourself should be a priority as well. Eating right, exercising, and being kind to yourself should be part of your daily life.
If you fear for your safety, have someone lock up things which may be harmful to you; pills, guns, anything you can get away from your reach which you would use to harm yourself. This is not a sign of weakness or that you are a horrible person. It’s just that right now, you can’t be trusted with those things. And you have to allow yourself to let others protect you when you cannot protect yourself.
Lastly, it’s important to have a safety plan (you can find a copy of one HERE), because the truth is, suicide may likely come up, and you need to have a plan for combating it, especially when you can’t think clearly for your self. Take some time, when you are feeling well to sit down with your support system and get your plan ready. Post it where you can see it and when you feel yourself falling into that hole, pull it out and use it as a resource. Let it do the thinking for you when you cannot do it for yourself.
Living with mental illness is a struggle. But it CAN be managed. Thank you for staying here, even when it is hard to do so.
If you have thought about or attempted suicide in the past year, the past month, the past day, or the past hour, HOLD ON. Tell someone. Call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 911 immediately if you are in danger.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christy Zigweid is a writer, household CEO, wife of a musician, and mother to two great kids. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education and has been a stay-at-home mom since 2007. A fighter of depression and anxiety, she uses her words to inspire and offer hope. She is an advocate for mental health and suicide awareness. "A New Beginning," her first published short story is featured in Mosaic: a Compilation of Creative Writing, which was published March 2015. She also has a short story featured on Short Fiction Break titled "1,862 Days." If you don’t see her nose stuck in a book, you will likely find her behind a computer screen or spending time with her family.
Visit her website: www.christyzigweid.com
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This article originally appeared on www.christyzigweid.com
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