the life of zooey who happens to be Bipolar 2
I will not say I know all the answers about why people commit suicide and how and the statistics quoted around this topic. There are several good articles out there. I’ve listed a few at the bottom of this blog for your reference. I can only speak from my experience. If you are having sucidal thoughts, please seek help immediately.
Here it goes…
Several things coalesced in the past few days which have prevented me from writing this blog about suicide.
1. There were lots of messages about National Suicide Prevention last week. To Write Love on Her Arms lead with the slogan, “You cannot be replaced,” which I borrowed for the title of this blog. Other agencies had other messages as well. This put suicide front and center in my mind most days of the week.
2. This discussion lead me to think… about suicide as a topic. I thought about my own past plans, how detailed they were and where I would change them today knowing what I know now. I would be lying if I told you that I don’t think about suicide anymore. Bipolar 2 folks are at the highest risk of suicide for the manic depression they experience. Think manic, but instead of high and a kite and buying a complete store of merchandise off of eBay but the lowest viewpoint of life and living there is. To not being able to delineate between your critical inner voice and reality.
3. Then I read this book. Or the beginning of the book. My dear hubby and I stopped at the public library to renew my library card and to pick up a book he had delivered from interlibrary loan Saturday. I picked up this book called Little Bee. In the second chapter, we learn that one of the characters committed suicide after a really long depression. It got me to thinking about plans again and signs/signals given off by those in this state. About what signs I’d given off and how my ex never picked up on any of it. Thankfully, my dear hubby (friend then) and dear friends did at the time and got me to seek help.
It was just too much. Too much to bear. The story was incredibly sad and it hit so close to home for me. I broke down that night after reading those chapters and shied away from writing about it. I thought, yes, I could still go in that direction and it didn’t really bother me much. That made me even sadder. So with the topic of suicide so fresh and sad to me, I waited to write until I felt stronger and distanced from reading that book.
Please realize this are thoughts that I discuss with my therapist and there is no danger as I write this blog.
I grew up with the notion from my parents that suicide was the ultimate selfish act. I heard this phrase over and over. It was a hard stigma to overcome. I respect my parents immensely, but I cannot abide this statement anymore. As a person who has planned and several times almost carried out my own death, I can tell you the depression is the most debilitating motherfucker I have ever known. It surfaces your worst critical voice and amplifies it in your everyday life. That voice talks to you, bullies you, compares you to others, shows what is bad in anything you do and sucks all the hope from your existence. In my darkest moments, I could only see through lense of my critical voice as it continuously chanted and wheedled me. Nothing could convince me to look at the positive. In this state, the only thing that kept me from carrying out a certain plan was the risk that my daughter would find me. Since I have seen what happens to a kid (one of my classmates) who found her mother dead, I made it past that urge. Its a good thing that most of the most horrible parts of this time were when school was in session. Otherwise, my daughter spends quite a bit of time at my relatives in the summer. Yes, it’s a very good thing.
Suicide is NOT selfish. It is the farthest from how my mind has worked around these thoughts. My logic was people would be much better without me in their lives. They could find other spouses, role models, friends, mother figures, colleagues that were much better than me. After all, our motto at work is “everyone can be replaced”. Sure, it would be a tad painful at first, but in the long run, better for everyone involved. Notes could be written to alleviate guilt. Neat and tidy. Done. I am not saying this is logical at all. In fact it is delusional, as manic depression can be for a person. My critical inner voice, my IT is persistent and I fight against listening to IT every day of my life. As I noted before, BP 2 has the highest risk… for this reason.
Help comes in many forms for people, but help does require some intervention from loved ones and/or the person struggling with suicidal thoughts reaching out. I was lucky to have a support network of folks that helped. That read the signs. To be perfectly honest, getting help was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but it saved my life. For all the effort I put into keeping in a better state of mind, most days I would continue to believe is worth it. I’ve never really been a fan of therapy or drugs, but it took both to bring me back from the brink. Months of trial and error to balance my chemistry back to normal. Hours of talking with a good therapist. It took learning it takes a great deal more strength to ask for help than to let it fester. Knowing this and hearing it from my support network kept me going and I am thankful for all those that helped me get to the point of writing this blog.
Aye, not the be-all end-all blog about suicide, but hopefully it has given you an idea of how one brain thought.
Some sites of note. Google it too, there is tons of information