Way out…

WARNING  – Possible trigger subject. 

Delicate subject but as we are just out of Mental Health Awareness Week and I have first hand experience I thought we might chat about suicide. Why? Well, many of you will never have had a chance to speak to someone who has tried it out. I do hope so. Perhaps you have views or wanted to ask questions.  Let’s sort some of the “accepted wisdom” out.

The most selfish thing you can do. Maybe. Given that anyone who wants to kill themself is not in a good mental state, it is unfair to judge them by “normal” standards. Running away and abandoning one’s family in times of trouble most certainly IS.

Depending on the circumstances, most suicides are not trying to get away from their family and friends – they are desperately trying to get away from their major problem, themselves. Given their state of mind, it is hardly surprising that the person has become totally self-absorbed. Consideration for others, even the person finding their body, doesn’t cross their mind. If the person is suffering from a mental health condition like severe clinical depression, bipolar etc, it is like harbouring a possessive demon. It really does take over one’s life.

It’s a cry for help.  Yes, very often. It’s the most efficient way of saying “I’ve had enough and I can’ take any more”. It depends though whether it was a “real” attempt or a “safe option” where they know someone will find them before death.

They must be mad. That’s not a word that psychiatrists approve of but, in the general run of thing, yes. What we, on the outside, can’t judge is what has put them in that state. Is it an illness? Is their home life so vile that really they would be “better off dead”. Are they hooked on something that is destroying them anyway?

Do you regret it? Yes, of course I do. I put my family and friends through some awful times and now I’m better I can look back and regret. That, however, is a very negative reaction. Better to look back and learn. Value my life as it is and thank every deity and star in the sky that I didn’t succeed. I got turned back at the gate.

So – if anyone reading this ever wanted to ask questions on the subject – go ahead, I’m happy to answer.

Don't shoot me, I'm fine now!
Don’t shoot me, I’m fine now!

 

 


6 thoughts on “Way out…

  1. I don’t think I have a question but I wanted to say how very important are the points you make. My mother, who was bi-polar, tried to commit suicide when I was 16. She never had the insight that you have or, at least, she never acknowledged that she realised how it had affected her family but then she never even acknowledged that she was a manic depressive. Although she lived until she was 78 without trying again, she remained completely self-obsessed. Even those who read her book, which was published by Virago, were stunned that she made scant reference to her children or wider family, except to do them down. Having said all that, I get as worked up by the myths that abound and was spitting with fury when the media (and certain people I know) were calling Robin Williams a coward. Always has me singing Lily Allen’s ‘What the f**k do you know’! While strides have been made since she died in 2000, it’s clear that these myths still hold far too much sway. Thank you so much, Ailsa. Every time you talk about mental health, it’s comforting for me, if that makes sense.

    1. I’m really delighted to help. I’m sorry your mother had my condition- it really is a hell on earth for the family unless the patient gets medicated and sorted out. One third of Bipolars will die of suicide and that is not counting the ones that survive their attempts. If it helps – take it from me, it was nothing personal, she was only trying to escape he personal demons. Hindsight only comes with getting better and I’m one of the lucky ones. I am around if you ever want to message me on FB and chat.

      1. Thank you, Ailsa – I really appreciate that. She did get medicated but it was often a case of ‘I’m fine, I don’t need the pills’ and out would go the Lithium! I’m fine now but it’s taken a lot of therapy and it blighted the first 20 years of my adulthood. I was so thankful that before she died I was able to forgive her, knowing she could only do the best she could do. But my, oh my, it was a relief when she died. My feelings are being stirred up a little at the moment as the brother she adored until she didn’t (!) died yesterday morning. My cousin and I keep messaging each other about the delight of imagining the siblings greeting each other with open arms, not that either of us believe. It’s a rum old life and no mistake, ‘Pip, ol’ chap’. I could have done with knowing you years ago! See you on FB.

  2. Love you bringing this up, and life is all about the lessons I feel. But I do hate the term self-obsessed, it’s more like victim mode or mindset, where they are unable to see the wood for the trees. It is pain, and hurt at the world, it’s like remaining in a child-like state. Although I understand why others see it as selfish.

    My mother is similar to First Night Design’s mum – although she doesn’t have a mental illness, just a nightmare childhood, which she kindly handed on! My mother is incapable of seeing further than herself, or imaging that others have feelings – well her children at least, we are meant to be here to serve only her. I know I will feel a sense of relief when she passes – she is 73, she has COPD, so not sure how much longer it will be. I did have the opportunity for forgiveness last year though, when I visited her, and for the first time she saw and acknowledged what pain she had put me through. It was odd to finally see that – and totally unexpected at the time. Unfortunately for her it doesn’t change anything though. I will always keep at a safe distance.

    I too have struggled with suicidal thoughts at different times in my life, but I haven’t followed through. Guilt is probably the biggest reason why. So in that sense you could say I have been able to keep my rational in there somewhere. But mine is ‘situational depression’, rather than anything clinical.

    1. Thanks for that, Miranda. Appreciate the distinction on language. It really is NOT something people can help so labelling is unhelpful. So sorry you have had to go through this too. Being the offspring is hard – whether it’s mental health problems or any form of addiction. You know where I am if you ever need to chat.

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