Happy world suicide prevention day!
Happy you ask? Yes happy. I’m happy we have one, and it’s worldwide. That signals to me that we’re acknowledging the problem. We’re no longer in the dark ages and that’s huge!
But, on the downside, it also means we need one. That’s the downside.
We should rejoice, if not for a better word, for those that are still alive and for the education, awareness and efforts to save those in crisis.
Spreading the message is key, rounding up resources is also key, yet we can at least open up the dialogue, make known what help is out there and reach out to one another.
Our students are at risk, teens, veterans and countless others especially with mental illness. It is said that 90% of those who committ suicide have a mental illness. One out of five bipolars committ suicide and half of the suicides in the U.S. are committed by people with bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder are, on average, typically diagnosed at age 19-22. That’s when I was, I sure fit the bill. In this way, college aged students are ripe for diagnosis and, particularly, suicide. Getting help, screening, staying connected and an aware and resourceful college community is key for survival. It saved my life.
On this day I think of my two friends who killed themselves. I should say one was a definite suicide, my friend drowned herself. The other was using drugs and nobody knew, at least no one except the one person she was using with. We were new friends, only six months, but it didn’t make it any less painful. I believe it was a suicide due to surrounding evidence; but the truth is, we’ll never know. There was a breakup involved, the love of her life had turned his back on her for good. That’s all I will say about that. You can have a feeling, though the only person who truly knows is the person themselves.
And I although I morn today, I also am grateful my attempts did not work. Lord knows I tried. Four times. I won’t go in to details but it was bad, hopeless and to this day I have no idea why I’m still here. (It’s all in my 1st book: I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar if you want to read it. It gives me shivers to even mention it here.)
So let’s shake those thoughts off….change of subject so I can.
I am sitting here with my kitty on my lap. Darn if she doesn’t make her way in to my office. She competes for my attention like a needy child. She is funny, lies on my arms while I’m typing. Gets in my face. If I put her down, she just jumps up again. If I put her down and close the door, she scratches and stares at the door (Nora says she does this) for twenty minutes. I’ve set a bad precedent. I’ve even tried putting a comfy towel or small blanket on a section of my desk and whisking her over there. Nope, she wants my arms. (Have you ever tried to type with a cat on your arms?)
Well, that worked a little. Some of the above is out of my head. Now I know why I shouldn’t write about my attempts. I’m surprised I could do it in my book. Some have accursed me of being shallow about it, not descriptive enough. I say ‘you try it.’ The worst was editing and reliving it over and over and over and over. Ugh.
So back to being happy I’m alive.
In the past 10 years since my first attempt – it is exactly 10 years and one week away – I am so blessed. I know it. I am sober, since the day of my first attempt. I have a roof – my own house as of this year – over my head. It’s my first house, at age 43 so I truly, truly appreciate it. We got our first book deal this time last year and I’m working on my third. I love having a lawn to take care of. (Even when I’m grumbling about mowing the lawn!) I have a loving partner and a loving family. Of course there’s friction with one person, but that’s life right? Hopefully it won’t always be this bad. We’ve grown apart due to my illness.
Sorry kitties, let’s throw you in there too. I don’t have kids, so I have cats. I’m a sprinter, not a long-distance runner. Thus, no kids. Love ’em, just can barely take care of myself.
Happy Suicide Prevention Day everyone! Let’s be grateful we’re alive and well. If we’ve lost love ones, let’s honor them by staying alive.
(*Caveat: If I’ve made any typos, please forgive, I’ve worn out my keyboard and keys can stick on occasion. I don’t have time to proofread.)