Our Stories

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KOLE

 

There are many different forms of being suicidal. Sometimes it’s like a wave of overwhelming thoughts take over your mind, pushing and pushing until they push you over the edge.  In my own experience though, it’s not always something that just hits you out of nowhere. Its more subtle than that. Its waking up in the morning and just staring at the wall dreading the fact you have to do the same thing again today that you did yesterday, the day before that and so on. It's smoking more and more even if it’s not enjoyable anymore, knowing (or even hoping) you’ll eventually develop a disease that will inevitably kill you. It's drinking more than normal to numb the pain of just being.  It’s crossing the street without looking both ways knowing you might get hit and die, but not caring. It's driving on the highway and taking your hands off the steering wheel and closing your eyes for a few seconds and letting fate decide if you keep rolling, or crash and burn. I have had many opportunities to commit suicide, and I have thought about it more times than I’m willing to list. But I have not really reached out for help or addressed it at all. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you have probably felt the same way, and maybe you have even experienced one of the situations I listed above. I’ve spent countless nights sitting alone in my room, staring at the ceiling thinking about ways I could end it. then I think about my family, friends, coworkers and everyone I would hurt if I went through with it. Somehow the thought of the people close to me not only convinces me not to kill myself, but it also makes me feel guilty and sends me deeper into depression than I was already. I’ve had days where I just feel numb and don’t care about anyone or anything. I just tune out from the rest of the world and trap myself in the basement without looking at my phone or speaking to anyone. Then the next day it's like it didn’t even happen. Depression hits unexpectedly sometimes and often disappears just as fast. I think that is the most dangerous and unfair part of depression, at least in my personal experience. It makes it hard to find hope and you can never really be ready for it. One of the worst feelings in the world is being depressed and thinking that your reason for being depressed isn’t valid, or that other people are going through worse and you don’t deserve to be upset. How crazy is that? That someone can feel like they don’t deserve to be depressed. It seems absurd, but I go through it almost every day. it;s pure agony. Sometimes I get the motivation to seek help for how I’m feeling, but then I change my mind last minute because of some irrational fear that they’ll just tell me “it's just part of being human” or that “there are more important issues going on”. I know it seems silly, I think it does too and that’s one of the hardest parts about feeling this way. One day I will have the courage to get help. And one day I will be better. I just hope that me sharing my experience will inspire the person reading this to do the same. I’m not going to lie. It won’t be easy to lay it all out on the table. Before I wrote this, I have never really spoken to ANYONE about my depression. Not even my parents. Its not an easy subject to talk about and I’ve barely scratched the surface. But hopefully reading someone else’s story will give you the courage to share yours. Because even though it might not always feel like it, talking about it can make a HUGE difference. And when I read other people’s stories, it helps me feel like I’m not alone in my fight. And that’s a comforting feeling. I may never fully beat my depression, but I’m going to fight it until my last breath. Today, I chose:

 

#NotToday

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CADEN

 

I remember the first time I felt suicidal I was in grade six. I didn't understand what was wrong but I just thought how I did not want to be alive anymore. Since that very first time that feeling has never really left me, and as I aged it seemed to only get worse. More extreme. All of the thoughts I had seemed to be tainted by this desire to stop living. I became almost obsessed in a way. At some point the pain becomes addicting. You start to enjoy the self destruction maybe. Getting pleasure from feeling horrible, like you're finally getting what you deserve... I think the biggest change I've felt so far is when I went to kill myself by jumping off of the high level bridge and I heard a man crying on the other side. I didn't even think to jump over to help and it turned out to be my friend. And I think seeing the look in somebodies eyes when they thought you were lost, changes a person. The only way I can try and do better is by getting so furious with being alive that I can get revenge on it somehow. I've tried a plethora of medications from Amitriptyline to zopiclone and the one truth between all of them? None of them cure what is in your head. For me anyways. I've talked to doctors and leaned on many friends shoulders but I still haven't found my way out. I've done some horrible things in my short time of being alive. Things that have made me feel like maybe I should have jumped. Maybe everyone would have been better off. But I don't have any answers. This is no happy story of redemption and life changing epiphanies because I don't think that happens for a lot of people. You only ever hear "it gets better" and a whole slew of painful cliches, because that's what happened for them. This is no pep talk this is what I know. And nobody wants a fucking pep talk when you're in the shit at your lowest. You want somebody right there beside you. You never hear it doesn't get better cause the people that would say that aren't hear anymore. All I've got so far is that I'll just postpone it til tomorrow or next week. If I get really bad I just agree with myself to not do it today. If I just keep postponing suicide then I'll end up living a full life. Hell I may even live forever. But the point of all this negativity is I'm tired of hearing all that pointless bullshit people talk down to you. I want to hear the people like me. The people who are so fed up with the recycled trash that others think will help you. So as long as I can just say not today, then maybe I'll find some like minds and we'll all make it out of this world alive. 

JOHN

 

My negative feelings started growing out of control early in high school, but I started abusing drugs and alcohol at a young age so it shouldn't have come at to much of a surprise. My friends started to worry about me and what I was doing and feeling pretty young. so it's safe to say I've had a good support system surrounding me for most of my life.

One thing that sticks out to me is that one of the first people I dated and really cared about suffered from depression and anxiety long before I had any concept of what it meant.  To really be living with these diseases on a day to day basis. I would the say most stupid things to her like, what do you have to be sad about or there is nothing to worry about, stopping freaking out. I started to realize the year after we stopped seeing each other that, that was some of the dumbest fucking things you could say to someone struggling with mental illness.

I started to get really sad in the next couple years that followed.  Lots of little things make us sad in our everyday normal lives and that's okay, but it's not supposed to stick with you. Or to have something 

minuscule completely overwhelm you for an entire day or more, but that's what was started to happen to me.  I moved out with a friend immediately following high school and that's when things totally started 

to spiral out of control.  I drank a ridiculous amount everyday and sometimes, would just be up alone screaming and crying in my apartment cause I was so mad that I was so sad all the time and there was nothing I could do about it.  I started cutting my wrists as a sort of relief to it all.   Something about watching the blood run down my arm was extremely relaxing for whatever reason. Things went on like this for a couple months while continuing to get worse,  until one night I decided I'd had enough . I had a bit of a breakdown while out with some friends and snuck out the back to leave.  On the way home I grabbed a bunch of beers and started slamming them on the drive while balling my eyes out the whole way.  When I got home, I went to my parents prescription drawer and took two pills out of every bottle they had -  it was probably 30-40 altogether.  I sat down on my couch, threw them all back and chugged down a beer.  At that point I started to think of my friends, my sister  and my parents. Especially my mom and what I was doing to her, it all felt very selfish. I also started to think about everything I could miss out on if I didn't wake up like I planned and I got really scared. I think it was in that moment I realized that I didn't actually want to die, I just wanted to stop being sad and that there were other ways of accomplishing that without ruining my self and who knows how many others. So I texted my sister, told her what I had done; and I did so just in time, because by the time she'd texted me back saying go throw up I'm sending help I was already out. The saddest part for me was waking up was seeing my mom sitting next to my bed, and knowing she had been there the entire time i'd been out.  The nurses said it got pretty scary for a while. After that, I had a long talk with my parents about what was happening and agreed to see a psychologist.  I didn't end up seeing her for long, but I felt as if the whole scare pushed me to be able to handle myself better and to be able to control my emotions myself. Years later I'm still sad some days, I have pretty bad anxiety but I feel a million times better than I did back then.  Having a group of friends and family that care about you so much really helps with that.  I'll still say that the best decision I ever made was texting my sister that night and choosing Not Today.

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BRETT

 

Fortunately for myself,  unlike so many others, I have not had to deal with the thoughts, or actions involving suicide. I do however,  have many friends, and family who have struggled vigorously with depression,  anxiety,  and suicide. 

My depression, and anger has still been a long and tough road to get off of as well. More often then not you wake up, and as soon as your eyes open, you know the day is gonna be shit. You wanna break something but you don't want to move. You want to fucking scream, but you don't want to say anything. But the fact that there are so many people around me and in my life, that I know are going through the same shit, and even some of them, worse shit, I think it would be whole lot harder if i was alone. If I didn't have people who understood it.      

The line that separates depression and suicide is very, very thin,  and I'm hoping that being able to share this, and being able to hear other people's struggles, will help keep me from slipping like so many others.

MARCIE

 

If you’ve been following Truth Love Patience, you know that I have weathered a life long struggle with anxiety and depression.  As I sit here and try to count how many waves, fog’s, battles I endure each year – I am overwhelmed.  So, let’s break it down to monthly, that doesn’t seem so pathetic in numbers.  During a month – 30 days, I will spend ½ of those in a battle with one of my “demons”.  Not all battle days are bloody and broken.  Some are an unconscious game of friendly fire back and forth.  The trouble is; I never know in advance what to be prepared for, or when it’s coming, or how long the battle will last.  

 

I was getting up every day, putting a smile on my face, looking in the mirror and saying with conviction that I didn’t have a drop of; that I was doing ok. 

 

I was sad, my life was full of big changes that I didn’t instigate; but I was trying to own that sadness and loss.  I was trying to process it and move through it.

 

Was I really doing ok?  Or was I lying to myself?  Or did the immense fog of depression that hit next just come rolling in without any warning?  Even as I reflect back now, I don’t know which is was.  The Truth is, it doesn’t really make any difference – the fog hit.  Heavy, thick and with it, a pain that I hadn’t felt before.

 

It started on a Friday night.   I arrived home from work and was just so sad.  I couldn’t stop the tears, once they began falling. I cried and cried and cried.  I tried all the tricks I had come to rely on throughout the years to trick my mind into a break – to give myself a second of peace.  Nothing worked. 

 

It wasn’t the tears so much that made this particular breakdown so unique, (I had spent many days doing nothing but crying in my life).  What made this unbearable was the pain.  The pain that rolled into my chest in one mighty swoosh.  It was a physical pain that made it hard to breathe. I grabbed my chest between my breasts to touch it – to feel what was there that was ripping a hole through me – but there was nothing.   The pain was physical – but the wound was deep within me.  There was no way to access it, to massage it, or to do anything that would ease the agony.  All I could do was sit or lay and let the pain wash over and over – the tears falling and falling.

 

Hours passed by like this.  I thought of phoning one of the few friends I had that I had shown this side of myself to.  But the thought of telling them one more time – like the thousand times before – the same struggle, was filled with so much shame I didn’t.  The only other people in my life were my kids – and there was no way in hell I was going to call them, put this burden onto their shoulders.  Mothers don’t do that. 

 

So many tears.  They didn’t cleanse like I had been told throughout my life.  They fell out of my eyes and somehow flowed right into the black empty pit inside me.  Filling it, expanding it adding to pain of it.

 

The TV was on, but I couldn’t tell you one thing that ran.  Sometimes I would cry out or growl or moan, because I felt like if I didn’t make sound with the next wave that it would set off an explosion inside me – ripping my chest open from the inside – shredding my heart into a million little pieces.  There were minutes when I dozed off, too exhausted from the battle – but it never lasted longer than 30 – 40 minutes.  I welcomed these times, it was only in sleep that all the pain stopped, the tears paused.

 

This was my existence Friday night, through the wee hours of Saturday morning, throughout the day Saturday into the early evening.  It was around 7:00 pm that I picked up my computer and search online for “help”.  Pages popped up instantly and I clicked on the one that was 1st in line.  The page asked a question before you could scroll further; “Do you have a plan to harm yourself”? It went on; “If you have these thoughts go immediately to your nearest emergency room or call 911”.  I scrolled down.  I didn’t have a plan, this wasn’t a 911.  The page listed off a neat little checklist of all the things I might be feeling or experiencing – overwhelmed, sad, uncontrollable crying, things I was and had been feeling and experiencing for over 24 hours now.  It offered ways to connect with someone – text, email or live chat.  I stared at that screen, reading the checklist again.  Looking at my options to reach out again.  All it did was make me angry.  Who wrote this list?  Had they ever experienced (even remotely) one moment of the things on there?  If they hadn’t they had absolutely no fucking business trying to help me.  There was no way to know.  There was no way to know if they were reading off a carefully constructed script, put together and spewing all the things you are “supposed to say” when someone is struggling.  There was no way to know if they rolled their eyes at my story, or listened and judged, or though I was weak, shameful.  Therefore, there was no way I was reaching out.  I closed my computer.

 

I knew that sleep that the only reprieve I got.  While I slept the pain stopped.  The tears stopped.  I went into my bedroom and picked up a bottle that had a few sleeping pills in it.  I brought them to the kitchen and poured them onto the counter.  I wasn’t thinking that I wanted to take all the sleeping pills and end my life.  That thought really never came to me.  What I was thinking was – how many sleeping pills could I take so that I would go to sleep now (Saturday night) and not wake up until Monday morning when I had to get ready for work.  Trying to do the math so that I wouldn’t wake up, but only until Monday morning, not take too many and not wake up ever again.  In the end, I never took any.  I just couldn’t trust myself, my math, to not end up taking too much.

 

I can’t really say what happened next.  When I became aware of the time again it was just shortly after 8:00 pm.  An hour had passed, and I couldn’t remember anything.  Two things happened almost simultaneously next – one, I realized that I wasn’t crying and two – a thought rolled into my conscious mind and played itself out like a movie.  It wasn’t “me” in the movie, in the thought – it was “someone else”. I couldn’t or didn’t, put a face or body to them.  I left the “someone” almost like a blob of grey.  I cannot stress enough that this "someone" wasn't me.  

 

 I wondered if “someone” was going to hang themselves, (and they lived on the 2nd floor like I did), would they go out on their balcony and hang themselves from their railing down to swing above the first floor?  That “someone” would run the risk of the person living on the first floor to rush out and cut them down.  Or; would that “someone” climb up to the 3rd floor balcony railing and hang themselves from that, this way that “someone “dangled into the 2nd floor?

 

I considered these options for “someone” slowly, carefully over and over again.  No tears fell, no pain ripped apart my chest.  For the first time in 27 hours I had a sense of calm.

 

I slept then, with that thought wrapping itself around me like a blanket. Settling itself into me. 

 

I opened my eyes, it wasn’t morning yet – outside was still dark.  Out of a sense of habit I had already developed over the past 2 days, I took a sharp breath in, waiting for it to be cumbersome and heavy.  I braced myself for the pain.  Instead, my mind recalled the thought that had circled there – the thought of “someone” hanging themselves. 

 

Clarity hit me then.  I didn’t know.  I didn’t know I had a plan. I didn’t know how close I’d come.  I didn’t know, I didn’t know, I didn’t know ~ I had a plan.

 

I was scared, sad, ashamed, anxious all at once.  My next thought was that I couldn’t tell anyone about this – ever.  If they thought I was crazy before what would they possibly think now?  Even considering admitting out loud all that had just happened made me nauseous.  Push it down, push it far far down I told myself.  Don’t think about it again. 

 

I listened to The Song then.  Played it over and over again.  When I didn’t have it playing in my ears I was singing to myself in my head or these out loud;

 

“I don’t know who I am but I’ll figure it out, I’ve got my whole life to live I will find out somehow.   I hear this sinister voice inside my head, constantly calling me to my death bed.

 

 I saw death’s face and I looked in her eyes, we said Not Today as we said our goodbyes”.

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