The “S” word. [ Trigger warning for talk of suicide ]

Taboo. It’s unheard of to talk about suicide when you’re mentally ill because it makes people nervous.

Shh! You have to whisper it.

Or better yet, don’t mention it. Act like it’s invisible and it doesn’t exist. If you’ve attempted to kill yourself in the past, it’s even more of a “no-no”. Talk about walking on eggshells and being made to feel invalidated!

I personally don’t treat it like that at all and wish the rest of society would begin to loosen the hell up and talk more freely about something that is most definitely a part of life; death, no matter how you arrive to it, it happens to us all.

Suicide. It’s just a word to me and the more I treat it like a word, the less power it has over my life. The more I push it away and act like it hasn’t been a major part of my life, the more it will push back and remind me that it’s still around the corner at any moment.

It’s funny how before I became severely depressed and before I first attempted to end my life, I never even thought of suicide. It wasn’t something I ever even contemplated or really turned over much in my mind. I never had friends who talked about it and it was one of those things you only heard of on TV or in the movies. Oh the joys of being improperly medicated!

I sometimes feel like these thoughts and feelings I have are so commonplace, that others must feel the same way. I do all the time.

Then I remember that they don’t. Most people don’t become suicidal after a small fight with their roommate over what to eat for dinner. Most people don’t think of swallowing all of their pills, plus their resevoir pills, just because of a silly spat over which TV show to watch. That’s when I came to realize that suicidal ideation is not normal reaction, it’s extreme and unhealthy. It can also be dangerous if not monitored.

After ten years of dealing with, surviving, and figuring out what makes me tick, I consider myself an expert. Does this knowledge make it easier? Sometimes. Does it make it hurt less or the thoughts not automatically pop into my head? No. They do all the damn time. I am, for the most part, stable. I also have a lot more work to do. Everyday is a struggle but I’m alive.

Suicide is taboo and talking about it openly should be encouraged, in the right settings. I’ve attempted twice, now, and been hospitalized four times to prevent myself from trying again. Do I think I’ll try again? Maybe. Hospital again? Maybe. No way to know for sure. Just have to survive each day, somehow.


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