“It gets better.”
Let me ask you: has that sentence ever helped anyone? I know that every single time I heard those words, I wanted to scream. I wanted to say that it doesn’t get better. You are only saying that because you don’t feel the emptiness and anger. I could not possibly bounce back from this crushing self-loathing that has ruled my life for a decade. Saying “It gets better” will only reassure me that it does not, in fact get better.
Someone suffering from depression will not understand that it gets better until it happens. And let me tell you, sometimes they don’t even believe it then. They wait for the inevitable fallout that leads them right back into the darkness. And then sometimes, they don’t even get the glimpse of what “recovery” looks like.
They kill themselves because that is better than suffocating in life.
September. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
I literally just had to stop writing this for a few minutes. Take a breather. It is hard for me to write about this now…hard to tap into those emotions (or lackthereof) and that mindset. My heart is pounding right now.
There are reasons besides depression that people commit suicide. Anxiety, terminal illness (though that is usually “assisted suicide”), PTSD, avoiding a worse fate (like dying is better than life in prison, etc)…the list goes on. But when I think of suicide, my mind goes to depression because that illness is the reason for my suicidal thoughts.
Being home this last week (and for the next week) has thrown me back into a bad groove. I am suffocating here. I wish I could say otherwise, but there is too much here that has so easily dragged me down. I feel like I am seventeen and drowning in Bad Thoughts. I’m not, let me get that straight. But it has not been easy in the least bit, and I cannot explain why. It makes me question my recovery, for sure, but that is another post for another day.
Maybe it’s because I am thinking about Jino again…walking on that overpass…I don’t know.
But I do know that I may hate the sentence “It gets better,” but there is life past the darkness. I cannot tell you what it is or how to find it, but I promise there is something. Maybe “better” is not the correct word. But it is different. I still feel the numbness that depression poisoned me with, I do. I can feel things, though–so many good things. Adventures with my friends and beautiful sunsets and good music are my biggest catalysts for the release. Like the keys to the chains that bound me for so long. Sometimes at the end of the night, the numbness is there waiting for me, and I let it take me into the night. After a day of hiking or being at the beach, giving in is easier than fighting it. It is harder to break away from in the morning, but it does not have so much power over me.
Yeah, so maybe “better” is the wrong word, and that is why we hate it so much.
But that does not change the fact that, in my eyes and in the eyes of many people like me, suicide is not the answer to your problems. I know it seems like it is, I know. I cannot tell you when or how, but things are going to change. Maybe it’s a person that comes into your life. It could be a change of location. It will possibly be just a new feeling you wake up with one day. You won’t get to see what it is if you end your life.
Maybe someone or something won’t come around to change your life, maybe you are meant to change someone else’s.
So I am asking you, if you are thinking about it, please don’t. I know that sounds weak, like I am begging. But take it from someone who has been there, who has seen so many others crawl out of it. Recover. And from someone who has seen someone they care about fall too far into the clutches of it all.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
They have an online chat, as well.
Or if you don’t want to talk to any of them, talk to me. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org