National Suicide Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Awareness Month and September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. You never know what other people are going through. Be kind whenever possible; it’s always possible. Maybe this is something you don’t show much concern with because it had never affected you directly. You never know who in your life may decide to take their life. Even if you think someone is self-harming because they want attention, that doesn’t make their pain less valid. Existence is pain. Sometimes that pain is overwhelming. We can overcome that pain if we seek help from both professionals and from people in our lives.

If you’re hurting, or think your life is meaningless, there are plenty of places to seek help. If this post speaks to you, I want you to leave a comment. I may not respond, but if you feel alone, look at some of the other comments. Many people, hundreds of thousands, feel the same about their lives. You’re not alone because so many people have the same feelings. Reading articles from TheMighty.com helped me when I was looking for some comfort. I felt people there were in the same boat and I felt less alone. I’m sharing the resources listed on The Mighty website below.

Suicide Prevention Resources

If you are feeling suicidal, there is hope. 

You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255

You can reach the Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting “START” to 741-741

You can call The Trevor Project, an LGBT crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline, 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.

You can call Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 if you live in the U.S. Call 877-330-6366 if you live in Canada.

To find local resources in your area, visit To Write Love On Her Arms.

If you are hard of hearing, you can chat with a Lifeline counselor 24/7 by clicking the Chat button on this page, or you can contact the Lifeline via TTY by dialing 800-799-4889.

To speak to a crisis counselor in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.

If you are a veteran (or your loved one is a veteran), you can reach the Veterans Crisis Line by calling  1-800-273-8255 and Pressing 1. You can also send a text to 838255.

Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

For additional resources, see the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education).

You can read the following stories from people who’ve been there (from The Mighty):

And for additional messages of hope, click here

You are not alone.  

My Dark Thoughts Weekend

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

If I am honest. It’s been weeks of these thoughts, but they came at me hard today. I have tried to hide them, but I can feel the familiar feeling that accompanies these thoughts. It’s the dark place that I am always afraid of never leaves someone like me. The thoughts that I wish were in the past, but I am unsure of myself when things are this bad. This weekend was scary. I was not myself. I was going through the motions knowing where my mind was, and today it took me over. Those thoughts that I cannot even speak because then it becomes real.

My mental health has always been ironic. I celebrated ten years of suicidal thoughts and my last suicide. I can say that before today I would never go down that road again, and yet I did. I imagined the world without me. I got lost in all that is wrong with me right now. The feelings I am not dealing with on all levels. These thoughts are gone or perhaps that is what I tell myself so that I can wake up tomorrow and try to find the normal.

I have my doctor’s appointment with my psychiatrist tomorrow (Monday), and it is a good thing. I have to let her know that these thoughts have become a part of me again. I needed time off this weekend, and I didn’t seize the opportunity. I looked at everything and fell apart. I want to drink my troubles away like the old days. I want to just feel that beyond this blog, I can talk about these things. Tonight I go to sleep genuinely trying to find out where I am in this life. There is always tomorrow and the hope that I can have a conversation with my doctor. The Bipolar Writer is not in the right place, but I am safe. I will not allow these thoughts to consume. It might be a temporary weakness or a bigger problem, but I will continue to fight.

I can fight this demon. MY dark passenger. MY friend.

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

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Photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

A Little Reminder to Myself.

 

Depression has consumed my life. I take my medicine, I go to the doctor, and I push myself to list the positives when I want to dwell on the negative. I just stopped living. I have had more suicidal thoughts than I can count in the past three months and my life is in shambles.

Today, I feel good. I woke up well rested….and I actually slept a healthy 8 hours uninterrupted. I have plenty to be happy about. I just came off a week vacation from visiting my family in Arizona. (I moved out of state in July 2018). I started a new job and even pulled myself off of academic probation in school. So why have I felt like this? I feel that I need a reminder sometimes that my mental health is an ongoing issue. It creeps up and kicks me in the ass as if to remind me that I am not as okay as I think I am.

I am okay. I just have bad days. I have good days too. Days that are so great that I almost feel like the bad ones were all in my head, that I was focusing on the negative and just got lost in it. Depression is not just bad days. It is an all-consuming monster that eats at you until you have nothing left to give and nothing left for yourself most importantly.

Ironically, I woke up to a very foggy day in Houston….shocker I know. I felt refreshed and it was as if I could think clearly for the first time in a long time. I made myself an impromptu appointment with my doctor because thoughts of self-harm are no joke and I have never experienced it like that before. I hope that I have the courage to tell her what has been happening.

I am sure someone can relate. I write this because I need to remember. I need to remember the good day that follows all the bad ones. I need to remember reflecting on the never-ending thoughts of wanting to just be done and know that it happened. Unfortunately, I need to remind myself that I have an illness and I cannot let my guard down. Even on my best days it is still there waiting for the opportunity to take over.

I write this because I had a lot of shame in reaching out to my family in Arizona. Having to tell someone 1000 miles away that you feel worse than ever just felt like a dick move. I needed to for accountability. I needed someone to check in on me and remind me that my actions affect others. I needed to be reminded that I am important to others.

I write this because it is the truth. I am ashamed and quite frankly in denial that these thoughts even cross my mind in my depressive cycles. I have a print out of one of those sappy posts that people put on social media whenever a suicide occurs (blunt but true). The ones that say, “please reach out to me if you feel this way, you are loved!”. I have it on my bulletin board above my desk to remind myself that thoughts turn into actions and people are aware of that. It reminds me that this thing I think is so taboo is in fact not.

I write this because I think someone else might need to read it. You aren’t insane. You shouldn’t hide it. You should tell anyone that will listen if you feel this way. You should tell them until you don’t feel that way anymore. My text conversations with my family have consisted of this:

 

Famiy member: Hey babe. Just went to the store and we are planning on seeing a movie tonight. Just wanted to check in and see how you are today. Let me know if you need anything. Love you.

 

Me: Still not having a great day. I am going to work and have homework tonight. Call me around 8 PM my time? Love you.

 

My phone conversations are just them telling me about their day and asking how work was. It lasts about ten minutes. 9 of the minutes are them and one is me.

I don’t want to talk. I don’t have anything to say. I feel like shit. That call makes me accountable. I have a goal, get through the day and answer the phone. It is stupid and insignifigant but it is something to strive for.

 

Find something to strive for on your bad days.

 

*also, Texas has had approximately five sunny days in 2019 (no exaggeration). I would love to hear any experience or thoughts on seasonal depression.