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.  

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. While it’s great there’s a month dedicated to this, it should be 365-day year awareness.

I understand suicide can be a touchy subject especially for those who have struggled with it themselves or have lost a loved one to it.

I wanted to share my personal story with suicide because that was something I struggled with for a long time.

I was 14 years old when I started getting suicidal thoughts. I was in high school and was completely miserable. I was living in an abusive household suffering abuse from my mom on a daily basis. It was physical, verbal, & psychological abuse. Living in such a toxic environment and experiencing that abuse on a regular basis caused me to go into a severe depression.

I would spend hours locked in my room crying myself to sleep. I would always question God asking him “why me?”

“Why was this happening to me?”

“Why did I have to get a mom who treated me so terribly?”

It wasn’t much longer when I started to get suicidal thoughts on a regular basis.

My mom told me so many lies on a regular basis that it was hard for me to not believe them. She convinced me I was a burden to others & that I shouldn’t be on this earth. She told me things that no child or person should ever here. She told me she wished I were never born and that she wished she had me aborted when she had the chance. These are things I wish I could say never happened, but those were all lies she told me.

My thoughts started to become more negative and darker as the days went on. I started to lose feelings of happiness and forgot what happiness felt like. I started to feel numb & empty on the inside not feeling any emotions but sadness. I started to cope with self-harm when I was 14 years old. I believed it was the only way for me to feel something besides emptiness & sadness so I turned to self-harm.

That’s when the suicidal thoughts started to creep in and became more frequent. I started to believe the lies my mom and my depression told me. I believed I was a burden to others and that the world would be a better place without me in it. I wanted out of the world so bad that I came up with a plan when I was 15 years old to end my life. I had been prescribed pain medication from a dentist visit when I had to get a root canal and researched that medication and found that if I took all of the pills in the bottle I could never wake up again. That was my plan.

It was like playing tug o war in my mind though, there was that part of me that believed I was a burden and that I should just leave the world now, but there was another part of me that wanted to keep fighting. It told me to keep pushing through that those negative thoughts were lies and I could beat them.

I confided in my high school’s guidance counselor and he helped me push through the suicidal thoughts. I didn’t seek out treatment for my depression at the time even though I should have. Throughout high school I still struggled with depression and being active in sports helped me manage it.

After high school and when I went away to University the suicidal thoughts started to creep in again. I thought it was just homesickness since I was going to school on the other side of the country, but it was much deeper than that for me.

It was the summer of 2014 when I was home from University that I sought out treatment for my depression. I struggled with an alcohol addiction and one day when I had way too much to drink I couldn’t control the suicidal thoughts. I knew that if I didn’t seek out help that night, I would have harmed myself and may not be alive today. I had my best friend’s boyfriend drive me to the mental hospital and drop me off. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this and I told him yes I knew if I didn’t get help I was only going to get worse.

I spent three days in the crisis unit of the mental hospital. I was put on Zoloft and anxiety medication that helped ease my anxiety while I was there. I wish I could say going on Zoloft helped with my depression, but it actually made things worse for me. At the time I was diagnosed with depression and didn’t know I had bipolar disorder. When I was on Zoloft I felt like a zombie I was so out of it and numb, I hated it. I didn’t realize that for those who have bipolar disorder, anti-depressants could cause you to go into mania, which it did for me.

When I was back at University that semester I was a wreck. I was in and out of depressive episodes along with being in manic episodes. My alcohol problem was out of control and my behavior was reckless. I was failing all of my classes and was drinking on a daily basis. I started to struggle with self-harm again and the suicidal thoughts again. I knew that if I didn’t leave University and get myself out of that environment things were only going to get worse for me. That’s when I withdrew from University and moved back home to Florida.

I wish I could say everything got better for me when I got back home to Florida, but my depression grew worse. The psychiatrist I was seeing was no help at all to me and didn’t listen to my problems. He didn’t care to give me a proper psych evaluation and just wrote me a script for the next anti-depressant out there. I continued to struggle with self-harm and battled the suicidal thoughts daily.

I was empty & numb living in an endless cycle of my depression.

It wasn’t until the end of 2016 when I finally found a psychiatrist who gave me a proper psych evaluation and diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Getting on the proper medication and changing my lifestyle to healthier habits, put an end to the suicidal thoughts. It was like the fog had finally been lifted and I could see clearly again. I started to see a therapist for a few months as well that helped me work through some of the issues from my past.

I’m happy to say that I am stable now and have not harmed myself in over three years now. I still find myself going into depressive episodes every now and then and will catch the suicidal thoughts creeping into my mind. I’ve become a lot stronger than I was three years ago and can fight off the thoughts much better than before.

I know living with a mental illness will be a life long battle for me. I’ve spent over ten years now fighting the demons and while it can be exhausting, I know I will survive the fight.

For those of you that have experienced something similar or going through a tough time please never hesitate to seek out help. There are so many resources available out there today and remember you are not a burden to others. Your life matters and you are never alone in this fight.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

A Suicide Prevention Month Guest Blog Post

I have one last guest post in honor of Suicide Prevention Month from writer and blogger Kira, you can find her blog at https://jackofwriting.wordpress.com/

My Brother Lost His Fight, But I Will Win the War

One day, I woke up, and my entire life changed.
My mom had tried to reach me while I was sleeping in, on a Wednesday. I had no class, no work, nowhere to be.

Ignorance is bliss.

I called back. The short version is: she was far away, had received an email at 3:00AM from my brother. He was saying sorry for committing suicide and explaining why. He was bored.

I only read the contents of the email later. So, I thought there was still a chance he hadn’t gone through.

It was 9:00AM. I lived 20 minutes away from him. I ran there, called his cell, it was off. I arrived in 10 minutes. The police were already there. I really wanted it to be for something else. I didn’t see the corpse, but I might as well have: I knew my dead brother was in this bag.

I’ve read that the worst for the police isn’t handling the corpse: it’s telling the family.
They had to tell me they had been called because a corpse had been found: a student had thrown himself off the window of his room.

Then, they proceeded to ask me tons of questions. They tried to be nice but prevented me from calling my mom, who was going crazy on the other side of the country, desperately trying to reach my dad – and me.

They were very insistent on the fact that I shouldn’t be the one telling her. I agreed. Yet, after a few hours of this, I had to step up and insist: it was either them or me, but my mom had to know.

That’s when they butchered it. They called my mom, with MY phone, barely started the job, and asked me to “be strong.”

I did. I ended up being the one telling my parents that their son had jumped from the 11th floor of a student accommodation building.

Everything felt rushed after that. We organized a funeral, and I was the only one who could handle any sort of public speaking, so I managed it.

They say pain runs in the family until someone is ready to feel it. My brother wasn’t ready, so his pain exploded in our faces.

We all went back to work, after a while. I struggled. Being a teacher requires a lot of mental resources, especially when you handle teenagers going through the mad ride puberty is. And mine was close to 0.

Still, I did my job. And I did it well. My lessons were great, students loved me, I became even more empathetic than I already was, and detected (and helped) my fair share of students going through trauma, self-harming, bullying, suicidal thoughts. They all came at me as if I was a magnet. Maybe they sensed my pain, but I’ll never know.

I was in my own cycle of pain, and even though I was able to help them, I sacrificed my own resources, was regularly drained, until I came to a breaking point.

One day came when I finally accepted that I was not able to manage everything going on, on top of, well, myself.

I was still able to engage and inspire students.
I was still able to be “a teacher out of this world” (their words), but it became much harder to manage violence, drug issues, disruptions, violent or alcoholic parents, bullying, suicidal kids.
I wasn’t able to be sent on 2 or 3 schools per week (thank the French system, you can have tenure but still be a sub they can send anywhere).

I wasn’t able to do all this because my body had screamed at me for a year and a half that I should take better care of myself. I constantly got ill.

My body was right: I didn’t eat well. I didn’t work out. Most hobbies were off the table, I didn’t have time, I had to prepare lessons and deal with school-related issues. I didn’t listen to music. I didn’t sing anymore. I didn’t write or create content other than lesson related stuff. I saw my friends, and my long-distance boyfriend though. It’s the only thing I didn’t let depression take away from me. Relationships. They’re what save me in the end.

And that’s why one day, my body shut down. I had the worst panic attack and couldn’t move. I was used to them, fainting had never scared me that much, but this one made me realize that I had to break the wheel because I started to think suicide was a viable option. I was destroying myself, out of loyalty and guilt.

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So, I finally asked for serious help.

Again, everything was quick after that. My friends and parents answered the call. I was put on sick leave, in order to give myself a chance to take care of myself. Do things that I love. Sleep. Eat. Write. See friends. Get married. Get my license.

Live for, and with, myself. I got worse, I felt the pain. I’m getting better, and I’ll carry it with me for a while.
I’ll win the war, but I don’t have to do it alone. To all the ones who have lost sight of the beauty this world can offer: keep fighting. We’ll

win the war.

Remi had lost sight of this.
Bye, little one.

Kira, Jack of Writing Trades

www.jackofwriting.wordpress.com

Share Your Story (A Safe Place) – Suicide Prevention Month

A Safe Place

If you read my last blog post, I am Inspired by You, Everyday, you know that I have been inspired by the stories I have read for Worldwide Suicide Prevention Month. I wanted to talk to those today who have not shared their own stories this month.

Over the course of the last year I have been lucky enough to share my experiences, not only here on The Bipolar Writer blog, but in writing my memoir. The last year this blog has grown, and it has become a place where people can share their stories– it is a safe place.

I want to spend the rest of September sharing the stories of others here on The Bipolar Writer blog as guest spots. You can write anonymously if you like, but I would love to share your stories about experiencing the darkness of suicide.

I truly believe that Suicide is 100% preventable if we share our experiences with others.

So, if you would like to share your story here anonymously or otherwise, please email me @ jamesedgarskye22@gmail.com. If you are interested, send me a word document with your story, the name you want to be linked to the article, a link to your blog, and a picture for the post. I look forward to working with you.

Suicide Prevention Month – J.E.’s Take

World Suicide Prevention Day – A Self-Harming Story

James

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

P.S. I wanted to share this. I officially celebrated my one year blogging anniversary.

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Photo Credit:

Thought Catalog

David Kennedy

A Guest Post – Michael LeFevre

Today I am sharing a guest post from Michael LeFevre from his blog Peaceful Rampage. In this blog post, the author talks about suicide, and while the title might be misleading it is a good read. It is part of Suicide Prevention Month. Enjoy–

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

A Cowards Way Out

Today’s title is what many people, sometimes myself included, call suicide. They claim if a person wants to kill themselves, they are taking the coward’s way out. However, I also believe that this is just a lazy label from persons who don’t want to deal with the subject. It is unfair to say that a person who wishes to end it all is simply taking the coward’s way out because no one, other than that person themselves, knows what’s going on in his or her head and that things have become so bad for them that they see there’s no other way out.

I’ve been here myself. The first time was when I was nine and one occasion, I actually did stab myself. Fortunately for me at the time, my sister had brought me a butter knife, which couldn’t do the job properly, actually, not at all. Looking back, my mother and then step father saw the whole thing as funny and told me not to be so stupid by wanting to stab myself. Back then, we’re going back nearly half a century, mental health was something to be embarrassed about, especially in the middle-class suburban neighborhood I was living in at the time. Therefore, I wasn’t given the help I most likely needed.

Over the years since, there have been other times when I thought of or threatened to commit suicide. Looking back at those situations, those were probably cries for help or attempts to elicit sympathy. I got to be careful here because I know that this isn’t the case for everybody. The irony here is that during the three years of bullying hell which inspired me to write “He Was Weird,” I never thought of committing suicide. It could have been that I thought someday, I would move out of that town, which I eventually did. Seeing another way out definitely removes any thoughts of ending it all.

In our millennial year, that all changed. My world came crumbling down all around me in several ways, and I believed it was all down to me. I thought that I simply screwed everything up and maybe the world was better off if I wasn’t around to wreck things. Besides, people around me seemed to be getting on fine without me, and that gave me even more incentive to end it all. Nobody wanted me around anyway so maybe I should make it that I wasn’t. I had even chosen the method, hooking up a hose to my car’s exhaust and killing myself with carbon monoxide poisoning.


Furthermore, I vetoed my idea of having music playing in the car at the time because I didn’t want anyone to say that music caused my suicide. What made me hesitate, however, was my belief that I would be taking the coward’s way out. That hesitation made it possible to get a last-minute phone call from the person who I thought had pushed me over the edge, and it was that call which brought me back. I don’t think that person ever realized it, but they might have actually saved my life.

Not everything was peaches and cream after though. It was a struggle, but fortunately, I had a network which provided short-term help and sound advice which benefited me greatly. That is why when similar feelings came around again a few years later, I recognized it, and at that time, I ignored certain stereotypes and put myself into counseling. Probably one of the best decisions I had ever made in my life!

My conclusion from all of this is that while the notion that suicide is taking the coward’s way out might have saved my life, it isn’t a true notion for everyone. Some might argue that a person who wants to take their own life is actually brave by carrying out. That’s not my point. We can’t see into another person’s mind nor truly feel the anguish they might be experiencing at the moment or what events from their past might have contributed to their decision. What everyone needs to be is more supportive and understanding and take mental health much more seriously.

To buy He Was Weird, go: here

 

 

Photo Credit: George Kourounis

The Things I would Have Missed

I am a suicide attempt survivor and because of that I will never be the same again. On February 17, 2018 I should have died. On that day I should have closed my eyes for the last time. On that day I should have taken my last breath.

February 17, 2018 should have been my last day on earth

but

it

was

NOT.

I am alive

and

I appreciate and celebrate

each day of my life

more than I can comprehend.

I am beyond blessed to be alive. I am thankful every morning. I am thankful every second of every day. I can now experience the beauty of living more deeply and beautifully than I ever have before.

To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live.

~ Garth Stein

Right now a beautiful acoustic song plays in the background as I type on my computer and sit on a soft black leather couch in a coffee shop with my oldest daughter. I am beyond full of a peaceful contentment, joy and thankfulness for this day understanding how close I was to never experiencing ANYTHING on earth again.

I was too close to becoming NOTHING on earth. I was so close that my children almost did not have their mother on earth ever again. I’m assuming my oldest daughter is enjoying this moment with me at the coffee shop, as well. She most likely is not enjoying it as much as I am, but she was the one that invited me. She almost did not have a mother to invite. How awful that would have been. That is a lot to take in. It is an indescribable feeling that there are no words to convey the true meaning to the fullest extent of my emotions.

It is bittersweet in the fact that I know I am so blessed to be alive and I appreciate that and then the thoughts of suicide flood my mind with an overwhelming heartbreak of what suicide really is and is capable of. Suicide and suicidal thoughts are like a disease in and of itself. It could and should almost become its own illness separate of anything else. It is more than a symptom. Suicide and the thoughts that endure and destroy behind the monster it is take on a life of their own. Suicidal thoughts that lead up to suicide and/or suicide attempts are an apocalypse within a mental illness life and world of its own.

Suicide is the end.

Suicide is the result of making the biggest decision of your life at your weakest, darkest and worst moment of your life. ~Susan Walz

I often think of what I would have missed. This is a timeline of sorts. If February 17 , 2018 was my last day of my life, this is what I would have missed and my children would have missed having a mother for:

  1. My daughter Alexia winning grand champions at a Show Choir competition. I missed it as I was still in the hospital at the time, but at least I was alive to share her joy with her and tell her congratulations.
  2. Seeing my daughter perform at two more Show Choir competitions.
  3. Being there to see my daughter Kylie and son in-love Dennis move into their new house on April 12, 2018.
  4. Going to my children’s dance recitals. My oldest daughter Kylie, son Keagan and son in-love Dennis are dance teachers and choreographers. I love to watch dance and especially dances they are in and/or choreograph.
  5. Going to church with my children.
  6. Going to my daughter Alexia’s last show choir performance, and choir and band concerts as a senior in High Schoool.
  7. Going to Alexia’s convocation ceremony to see her receive three scholarship awards.
  8. Attending my daughter Alexia’s High School graduation.
  9. Bringing Alexia to the University of Minnesota to attend her college orientation and participating in the parent orientation. If God didn’t save my life, my Alexia would not have had a parent to attend her orientation with her.
  10. Going to my nephew’s wedding with my five children.
  11. Moving into my oldest daughter Kylie and son-love Dennis’ house. I needed to move because I couldn’t afford the house I was living in anymore and I am now on a waiting list for a townhouse to open up.
  12. Having wonderful heart to heart talks with Alexia. We had some of our best talks.
  13. Taking my daughter Alexia to the University of Minnesota to move into the dorms as a college freshman.
  14. Being there for my daughter Alexia when she called from college. She needed me, her mom. I love that.
  15. Starting my new job at an alternative school for special needs students. I get to teach and work with special needs children and young adults again. I get paid to give love. God is soooo… goooood.
  16. Having a wonderful time living with Kylie and Dennis.
  17. Going to the coffee house with my daughter Kylie, today.

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I continue to feel better every day and I continue to appreciate the beauty of living and just being ALIVE. When life gets tough, I try to remember how I was almost not here. Nothing can be worse than that and nothing feels worse than I felt at that moment in my life. I thank God for saving my life, every day.

I am not saying I am completely symptom free and that my life is super easy because it isn’t. I still have to cope with occasional anxiety, but nothing like it was when I was still on Klonopin. I have PTSD and have been triggered by PTSD symptoms lately. I am dealing with that and will be starting therapy shortly to help tackle it. I occasionally still have some minor rapid cycling and mixed bipolar episodes. However, my symptoms are nothing compared to how severe and debilitating they were before and at the time of my suicide attempt.

I have finally learned how to cope with my symptoms better and I look for the beauty in life and find it easier to find now. I do this and can do this now because I was so close to not having a life to live due to my suicide attempt. I am beyond blessed to be alive.

Today. Right now. This is a good day and moment. I try to appreciate them and hold on to them when they happen. I live one moment at a time and enjoy it because I never know what tomorrow will bring. None of us do.

Life is a blessing and a gift. Handle it with care. Life is fragile, but don’t be afraid to live your life. Take some chances. Don’t be afraid to fall because sometimes you have to fall first before you can F.L.Y. (first love yourself), thrive and soar.

Do you know Jesus? He saved my life.

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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

So, I will write and share a post every day during the month of September containing important facts, statistics and educational information about suicide and suicide prevention. The name of my campaign is called…

Remember in September.

Prevent suicide yesterday.

Today, may be too late.

Don’t let there be anymore “what if” or “if I only” yesterday statements.

Make your today never become a yesterday you will regret. 

Save lives. Talk about it. Don’t wait. Get help. Don’t let yesterday become too late.

If you have any stories or information about suicide prevention you would like me to share on my blog, please let me know. I would love to share any information you have. Thank you in advance for your contributions.

Together we can do this. It takes a village…

and this wonderfully beautiful blogging community…

24/7 CRISIS SUPPORT

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Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

Suicide Prevention Month – J.E.’s Take

“When you feel like giving up, just remember the reason why you held on for so long.” – Unknown

Why We Must Teach That Suicide is not the Answer

September is here, and with it comes Suicide Prevention Month. I am one of many mental health bloggers and advocates who is writing about this important subject over the course of September. Today is also an important date as it is Suicide Prevention Day. Every blogger is working on talking about the importance of prevention. What that brings to the table is information that needs to be told about during this critical month– preventing suicide for those at that point at this moment.roberto-nickson-g-495794-unsplash

In my own writings here on The Bipolar Writer blog, I have explored the topic of suicide from different angles. Today I want to talk about why those of us who have survived suicide attempts, suicidal ideations, and suicidal thoughts, must teach those that are suffering that suicide is not the answer.

I truly believe that suicide is 100% preventable. I know it can seem as if the darkness is an impossible odd to overcome, as I have been there so many times. In my life, I have had suicidal thoughts so much as a teenager and young adult that it is impossible to put a real number on how many times. What I see in today’s world is that kids committing suicide are getting younger. It can’t be this way. We all have a responsibility to teach those young people that suicide is preventable.

It took me three suicide attempts and countless hours of thinking about suicide that it kept me from genuinely starting my journey to recovery. I wish I had someone to tell me that suicide is not the answer because I truly believe it would have helped me. I eventually got there, but it took almost losing my life to make a real change.

The best way to prevent suicide it too tells people who are suicidal that you need to seek real help, and believe that the support will eventually help you on the road to recovery. It is never easy. It can feel impossible, but the truth is seeking help from professionals is the best thing you can do to fight the darkness.

Suicide is the lowest and darkest depths that your mind can take you. It is your mind telling you that you have been strong for far too long. It is time to let go of those burdens.

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If getting help is not the right thing at this moment talking to someone is the next best thing. You can call the national suicide hotline @ 1-800-273-8255. If you ever need help in your darkest moment, you can always talk to me. One of the main goals in creating this blog is to help those who are suffering from suicidal thoughts and keep them from going to that next horrible level.

One last thing that I feel is important to say it, Always Love Yourself First. The biggest thing in my own suicide attempts is that I failed to love who I am as a person within this mental illness life. I was ashamed that so much darkness engulfed my life. When I started to love my self first, it keeps suicide at bay.

I think together we can end suicides altogether. When we put the right information out there into the world, it means that someone who needs help might read this and do the right thing– seek help.

Let us fight suicide and stigma surrounding mental illness so that those who come after us will have a fighting chance.

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

Suicide Hotline

James

Photo Credit:

Matt Collamer

Roberto Nickson (@g)

W A T A R I

World Suicide Prevention Day – A Self-Harming Story

Today is an important day as it marks the World Suicide Prevention Day. I have already talked about suicide today, you can find the blog post here. There is more than one aspect to this day, and self-harm is a part of this subject. I have written about this subject in the past, and the following is a chapter in my memoir entitled Cutting and Self Harm, My Story. The blog post is long so fair warning.

Cutting and Self-Harm, My Story

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I am not advocating that cutting and self-harm is right or wrong. For some, it is just a way of life for a time in our lives before we get help. Sometimes you get to a point where the emotional pain gets to be too much.

This subject means the world to me. The scars on my arms and legs are a constant reminder of who I was, and how far in the last ten years I have come. It’s a sensitive subject, but I would rather talk about it then push it to the side.

Today I decided to touch a subject that most people hate talking about (or hearing about), and that subject is cutting and self-harm (I will, for the most part, call it self-harm from here on out.) I saw some interesting posts today on social media that prompted me writing this chapter in my blog.

I always believe that if people knew more about this subject, people would be less likely to ridicule someone who has lived through something so traumatic that they chose to cut on their skin.

Humans are more connected than ever before thanks to social media. With so many people connected, it opens a floodgate for people to be more open about their lives. Our little lives are just out there on display for all to see. And yes, I realize people don’t have to put their lives out there, but I digress.

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Some people want to post their every thought and emotion on social media merely to make a connection. At times the result of people posting these types of stuff on social media is that people can be harsh. I have seen people bullied because they need to talk about “self-harm.” The comments that people leave are part of the problem, but the issue is more profound and darker. It saddens me because I understand, I have lived it, and people making horrible comments only makes it harder for people to eventually get help.

People at times hate what they don’t understand. When the subject if self-harm comes up on social media, people tend to attack it in vicious ways. Most are on one of two sides: the people that cut (I will call them us) and the people that criticize. In this world, there is not much grey area, and people see us as attention seekers. This is an untrue judgment, the posts we make might just be what gets us through a day. There is always a history for someone who cuts, and most people don’t know that person’s past. If you knew this history would you still judge us?

So that’s where this chapter is headed. I want people to know some of my own experiences with self-harm. If you see the history of one us, you might understand what leads us down this path. It is not pretty, and it’s a subject that is in the past I would rather not talk about here, but at the same time, it has to be discussed.

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Emotions have always gotten the better of me. Being bipolar, my feelings are heightened to the extremes. It is a cruel world, and most people prefer not to hear about your problems. They have issues of their own, and that’s understandable. That is how it was for me since I was a teenager and into my twenties. People saw the side I let them see, on the outside, I was an okay kid. I got decent grades and interacted with people the best I could. On the inside, I was much different.

Dealing with my problems was never my strong suit (it still isn’t.) I prefer to shut my issues inside, and never deal with them head-on. I have never been a people person, and I prefer to be locked inside writing than out socializing with the world. In school, I had people I knew, and I guess you can call them friends. I could never talk about how I felt about self-harming in high school. Most days life just passed me by. This made me different, an outsider. My problems compiled in my head. I never talked about how I felt. I allowed my pain to keep building until it left emotional scars, and those are the worst kind of injuries.

Emotional pain can be an unbearable experience. The world disappears. You get lost in your mind, and escape seems impossible. You feel tired. Alone. It is a dark place. You feel like you are holding the weight of the world. I would lay there for hours doing nothing but staring into space lost in my mind. Social media was my way of escaping. People experience emotional pain in their lives, but for me, my emotions were magnified by a thousand some nights. The emotional distress would go on for days, weeks, months, and yes, sometimes years. The toll it took on me, it always led me to the wrong solutions— self-harm.

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It was emotional pain led me to do things like cutting for some of my teenage years and my early twenties. Physical pain, compared to the emotional pain, is easier to deal with because at least physical pain can be healed. That is why my solutions led me to self-harm. My arms and a razor became my sanctuary. When I cut, the emotional pain was pushed out of mind for a short time. Physical scars heal over time, but emotional scars may never recover. I would hide my scars with hoodies that I never took off so that people couldn’t see what I was doing to myself.

The point I am trying to make is that life for some people like me, life can be very harsh. We are human just like everyone else. It has been many years since the last time that I cut. I got to a point where I could manage my emotional pain at a level where I didn’t have the need to self-harm.

I have come a long way, but the scars on my arms are still the reminders of a time where I couldn’t deal with life. It hurt. It cut deep. But ridiculing someone because they would rather have physical pain instead of emotional pain it can destroy that person even more.

There are so many people out there, especially at the teenage level (when I started cutting) and I speak to them now. It will be okay. If you haven’t already get help. It would mean the world to me if you got help. If you would like to share your story with me, please do. I will not share it with the world. If you need someone to talk to, I am always there for you. Cutting is not the end of the world.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

rawpixel

Akshay Paatil

Craig Ren

Alfonso Scarpa

Tim Foster

Darkness Swallowed Me Whole and Spit Me Back Out Again

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

I will be writing a post a day about suicide prevention and awareness on my blog

My Loud Bipolar Whispers

for my campaign

Remember in September.

Prevent Suicide Yesterday.

Today May Be Too Late.

This is a post on my blog describing the meaning behind the title of my campaign.

 Back to my current post…

Darkness Swallowed Me Whole and Spit Me Back Out Again 

Because I started researching information about suicide prevention awareness and looking at old posts I wrote, it awakened thoughts and feelings of the past causing me to become more in touch with my past emotions and feelings of depression and severe mental illness pain.

Those feelings will always be a part of me. I will never forget what I have survived over many years of my life. This is not a bad thing, but is a blessing instead. It is always a great reminder of how resilient and strong I am and how far I have come. I am a survivor.

I am not depressed at all right now and have not been for over four months, since I overcame my Klonopin withdrawals. Knowing how depression feels will never leave me. It will always be a part of who I am. I can use this knowledge to help others and that is a wonderful blessing.

I believe a gift of living with mental illness is being able to understand and feel more.  We learn how to become more aware and in touch with deep inner feelings and emotions. Surviving mental illness causes one to feel and experience more and have a better understanding of your inner self, other people and life and death, as well.

You do not learn how to truly live until you experience a severe illness and come close to death. After you survive, you learn how to live for the moment and appreciate the purest beauty of living. ~Susan Walz

The gift and blessing of living with mental illness is it gives people the ability to feel and know more from experiences gained from learning how to survive great pain and obstacles. It helps you to become more aware of yourself and others. You must become much more in touch with the human spirit. It becomes a necessity imperative for survival.

One of the greatest gifts that people have is the ability to empathize with others. Empathy is a trait that not everyone is blessed with. Empathy is something that cannot be taught. If you are not born with a natural empathy, experiences must form it within yourself, heart and spirit to truly understand the emotions of others.

When my postpartum depression overcame me instantly after my daughter was born the most alarming and worst symptoms to cope with were feeling nothing and feeling a huge overwhelming emptiness inside me. I felt removed and detached from myself and others.  I didn’t have any emotions. Things that used to make me happy, smile or laugh did not. I didn’t even have anger. I felt nothing. I was empty and void of all emotions.

Soon my diagnosis changed to bipolar disorder. Living with bipolar disorder makes you feel more and at much deeper levels and extremes. Sometimes I thought feeling something was better than feeling nothing. Bipolar causes you to feel more than you want to most of the time, bouncing back and forth and around from extreme and varying mood poles of mania or euphoria, and varying degrees of depression, but at least I felt something.

Feeling depressed soon became a welcome feeling. Whenever depression visited, at first I sensed a familiar feeling, like an old friend of sorts had come back to visit. Of course, when my depression increased to a severe depression or suicidal depression, it was not a welcome feeling at all and was quite the opposite.

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This is a recent poem I wrote about depression. Even though I am not depressed right now, I will NEVER forget depression, what it is, what it does and how it feels. This is how I remember my depression…

Depression

Darkness swallowed me whole.

Invisible to the world.

I do not exist.

∞∞∞

There is no light in my darkness.

Not even one star,

nor a glimmer of hope.

∞∞∞

I cannot move

or barely breathe.

I have come undone.

∞∞∞

Detached.

Depression deflated

my air and life from within me.

∞∞∞

I do not exist.

Invisible to the world.

Darkness swallowed me whole.

~written by Susan Walz


Darkness swallowed me whole and eventually spit me back out again. Praise God.

The beauty of this poem is that even though we as humans can experience and endure this amount of despair, we can also survive it. We can make it through. We can conquer and overcome many obstacles, struggles and illness. We are resilient. We are survivors.

The greatest beauty is that there is hope. I am living proof of that. If you are experiencing depression, please know that you can make it through even stronger than you were before. Depression and other mental illness pain will not last forever. Keep holding on. Keep fighting. Keep keeping on. You can make it to the other side and experience joy, love and peace again. You will see the brilliance of the sun shining again.

∞∞∞

If darkness swallows you whole and you cannot see any light within your darkness, always remember this.

You are a shining star, but you just can’t see or feel your own light yet.

You cannot see or feel the brightness of your beauty.

But, soon stars will be shining all around you

and you will be the brightest and most beautiful one.

∞∞∞

Let God’s love will shine though you so brightly

that everyone around you will need to wear shades.

Image result for praise god. I can see the light again.

Please don’t forget that…

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month


Did you know?

  • 800,000 people die by suicide globally each year. That’s one person every 40 seconds.
  • We recently learned that suicide rates in the United States have risen 25% in the last 20 years.
  • In the past decade, the suicide rate among young people ages 10-17 has increased by more than 70%.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally.
  • The suicide rate in the United States has risen 25% in the last 20 years.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

World Suicide Prevention Day  is September 10, 2018

National Suicide Prevention Week is September 9-15th 2018

Tomorrow needs you to be a good friend. Tomorrow needs you to hold your little sister’s hand. Tomorrow needs you to be an uncle, a classmate, a roommate, a cousin. Tomorrow needs you to laugh. To dance. To build. To dream. Tomorrow needs you to stay for all the things you love.

Today needs you to know that it’s okay to ask for help. Today needs you to know that you will get the help you need.

Because tomorrow needs you.

Copyright © 2108 To Write Love on Her Arms – TWLOHA

Please remember to visit my blog My Loud Bipolar Whispers every day during the month of September to see my daily posts about suicide prevention and awareness. Thank you in advance for stopping by.  Much love, peace and hugs, Sue
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