Suicide is a complicated subject, and one I think best explored by listening to those who have been there. This Suicide Awareness and Prevention month, I hope you will take the time to read, listen, and absorb.
suicidal thoughts or ideations
When my son died, I thought about suicide. It’s not that I wanted to die, per se; more that I didn’t know how to go on living. How did I make sense of life again? How did I function in a world in which I barely knew my name?
Sometimes the most empathetic-sounding statements can be the most unintentionally hurtful. “I would never survive it” implies you would choose death or suicide over living after the death of your child. This is a flippant thing to say. Please don’t.
Three years ago, I would have said suicide was cowardly. I didn’t understand, then, how quickly life can change. Suicide may not be an ideal answer, but I better understand the complexities behind the issue now. Awareness isn’t enough—suicide prevention starts with understanding.
There’s something that bothers me about this common sentiment of “keep going” or “don’t give up”. It’s sometimes used as a means of silencing those with genuinely dark feelings, instead of listening and being a true help. When someone is feeling suicidal, they need more than simple positivity.
This is quite possibly the darkest thing I’ve ever written. Please note that the following screenshots are simulated tweets. This is the timeline of an event that never happened.
I am pregnant now, 24 weeks. She is healthy and active, and she brings me joy. And I find that I want to be here, and I want to be her mother. But if something were to happen, and that darkness were to fall again—if TWO of my children were to live beyond my world, I don’t know that I’d survive.
There’s a place apart from suicide. A place where you don’t think to cause yourself harm, but neither do you have reason to live.
People ask if I’m suicidal, but I don’t think anyone really wants to know the truth. I think about it every day. I look out the door of our cabin and think how easy it would be. I could just jump. It scares me. I don’t think I want to die, but neither do I want to live.
I’m not actively suicidal, but this is the beginning. This is the in-between stage; this is where it starts. This is what it looks like when someone is crying out in pain and the entire world tells her, “You’re strong; you’re fine…Simply because I’ve decided you’re not allowed to be anything else.”
For more than a year after my son’s death by stillbirth, I experienced suicidal feelings and thoughts. This is my story of how I coped and finally chose to live.
I wrote a letter to Target a while back. I still find myself walking through the baby aisles, thinking about things I would be buying. Should be buying. I should have a living son.
The choice inside suicide—Before my son died I thought suicide was cowardly, escapist. I now realize there is so much more inside this conversation. Choosing to live after my son’s death is one of the hardest choices I’ve ever had to make.