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This week (September 5th – 11th) is National Suicide Prevention Week.

The World Suicide Prevention Day is this coming Friday, September 10th.

This is a cause very close to my heart for many reasons.  In the Chronic Pain world it is common knowledge that more often than not  depressions goes hand in hand with chronic pain. Statistics would lead us to believe that those who suffer from chronic pain and/or chronic illness have a higher risk of attempting and completing one’s desire to end their life.  It is sad…. and I believe it is needless.  If those who suffer chronically were to be treated properly and with respect – both medically and personally, I believe that this risk would lessen.

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When I first became ill and my life fell to pieces, I suffered from severe depression.  It wasn’t the first time in my life that I had to fight the demons in my head – but it was the most all-encompassing and debilitating depression I have ever experienced.  I completely lost myself… literally.  I became a stranger to myself, and couldn’t find any resemblance of who I used to be.  Every inch of my body became foreign to me… I doubted every reaction, every thought… And with a life-long diagnosis I lost all hope of ever finding myself again.

I can admit now that I was far more depressed than I ever let on… I was more depressed than I could admit to myself.  The only way I could describe it is that it felt quite a bit similar to me as when my brother died.  I don’t know if anyone one could understand that at the time, I don’t know if I truly understood it either.  Looking back I now know that I was grieving – grieving over the loss of the ‘old’ me combined with an overwhelming anger that I shouldn’t have to.  I didn’t want to let go of the ‘healthy’ me.  I was scared to let go.

Although a lot of that time is now a blur to me – a foggy whirlwind…. a darkness that numbed my senses…. I do remember many internal conversations with myself that I truly thought my family would be better off without me.  I remember feeling like the perpetrator, my family being the victim of my pain.  I remember trying to convince myself that I could never be the mother I wanted to be… I felt all alone… I felt misunderstood… I felt overwhelmed… and I didn’t know if I could face life anymore… and that is when the thoughts of suicide came creeping in….

The thought of this now is so disturbing to me, it fills me with that feeling all over again.  It makes me want to cry for the woman I used to be.  Nobody should ever have to feel that way.  Nobody should ever feel like suicide is a valid option or good solution to any problem.  Our lives are worth so much more than that….

Our lives are worth so much more than we ever realize…..

YOUR life is worth more than YOU will ever realize….

72.365 purpose for the pain & world suicide pr...
I am one of the lucky ones who had family that were constantly reaching out to help me, listen to me, and to love me unconditionally.  When I couldn’t stand on my own two feet I had my parents to lift me up.  I wasn’t judged for who I was or how I felt and I knew that, so it made it much easier to be truthful with how I was feeling.  Between that and the guidance of some earthly angels who crossed my path at the time I was able to admit that I needed help.  I spoke to my Doctor at the time, and got some help.
I won’t say it was as easy as just making the decision to get help – because it wasn’t.  But that was the hardest part for me – admitting to myself and to others than I just couldn’t carry this weight on my own any longer.  I had always found pride conquering life on my own, but as ‘they’ say – No man is an island… me included.
I spent close to two years on an anti-depressant medication while working closely with a Psychologist who specializes in Chronic Pain.  Slowly I began to let go of the fear that was controlling my life at the time.  I let myself grieve over the ‘body’ I once had, and learned to separate THAT from the ME I am inside… The real ME.  Through the process I not only learned to accept who I am – I learned to love myself, something I don’t think I ever did before.
There is a National Movement advertised on Facebook today that I wanted to share.  It is asking that you use your forearm to send a message.  the part of your body that is associated with ‘a way out’ in terms of suicide can become a canvas today to spread a message of hope…. simply…. LOVE.
It symbolizes not only the compassion you have for others, but the compassion we all need to have for ourselves.  LOVE – a simple 4-letter word that has a definition greater than the sum of its parts.
It symbolizes hope….
Hope that tomorrow won’t be as dark as today,
Hope that the pain you feel, both physically and emotionally has a cure,
Hope that one day guns, razor blades, ropes and pills will be used for
what they were intended, and not instruments to bring the end to some,
and to others a lifetime of excruciating pain.

Today please take the time to spread a little LOVE in your life.  No matter how you do it, it is so much more powerful that you think.

And if you are someone who is suffering from depression, or you know someone who is –

Please know that Depression is a very valid and debilitating illness, an INVISIBLE ILLNESS…

And like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Diabetes, or Cancer…

The first step is getting a proper diagnosis.

The second step…. is treatment.

Please know that you are not alone.

Pick up the phone, call a suicide hotline, your doctor, or a friend or family member you love and trust and ask for help.

Believe me, it will be the best decision you ever make for yourself.

There is hope.  I know there is.

I am still here.  And I am so thankful for second chances.

Millions of people suffer from Chronic Pain – some is housed in our bodies, but some is housed in our hearts.

And Suicide is NOT treatment for this pain,

LIFE is.

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For those of you who don’t know how blogging works, or more specifically how WordPress blogging works – I have what is called a “Dashboard” from which I can manage this site.  I can see who has signed up for email updates, see my blog stats daily, weekly, and monthly, and I can also see ‘search terms’.  What this means is if you search a term in Google and find my site, I can see what it is you typed in to find http://www.gracefulagony.wordpress.com … For example these are a few common searches that will bring you here:

“Graceful Agony” (Obviously)

“Chronic Pain Support”

“Fibromyalgia Blogs”

It is a really neat thing to be able to see, for the most part.  It helps me understand who is finding me on the world-wide web, and what it is they are looking for.  I usually check my stats each day – and I can tell you that on my really bad days, it is truly motivating to see how many people are sharing in my experiences, regardless of whether they leave comments or not… Day or night  – I KNOW I am not alone.

Yesterday when I checked in, I found a really disturbing ‘search term’ sitting on my dashboard… it was glaring off my screen… Try as I might, I just cannot let it go.  It makes me horribly sad, and I wanted to address it here… this is the search term that someone entered to find me:

“Best drugs for suicide”

Now you might be asking yourself WHY on earth would that be linked to my site somehow? – But I can explain that.  I wrote an article recently about the risks associated with the drug Tramadol – one being a higher suicide risk…  because of that the word ‘suicide’ is now linked to my page.  Make sense?

Now I have NO idea who it was who used this search term, and what brought this person to sit down at their computer and look up “best drugs for suicide” – but no matter how I look at it, it seems like a huge cry for help.  I am thinking that you have to be in a pretty low place in your life to be looking up that sort of information…. 😦

So here is my open message to the person who found my site this way, or to ANYONE reading my blog who has had those thoughts…

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reach outside yourself long enough to ask for help.  You are NOT alone… there are SO many people who have struggled with this sort of depression and feelings of hopelessness… but the good news is that is a fight that you can win… It is okay to admit that you cannot handle life at this very moment without some support.. WE ALL feel like that at times… YOU ARE NOT ALONE… And there is NOTHING that is as bad or as permanent as ending your life.  It is always dark before the dawn… and take it from me – nothing ever stays the same… change is always occurring, even when you cannot feel it…  It seems trite to say that things will get better.. but they almost always do.

Depression is a VERY serious and debilitating illness – but there are many forms of treatment… suicide however is not one of them.

1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

1-800-273-TALK

1-800-667-5005 (Canada)

1-800-273-8255 (Canada and the USA)

Pick up the phone and make the call today… It is the first step… there are people who are waiting to help you.

Wherever you are today – please know that you matter.. your life matters… and there are people who truly care.  The sun will rise and shine again, I can promise you that… I have seen it happen in my own life, and so will you…

LOVE to all my readers today…. I hope you have a peaceful weekend!!!


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