I wasn’t planning on jumping into this subject right off the bat, but with September being Suicide Prevention Awareness Month I thought I would take this opportunity to share a personal story about suicide.
More than likely we’ve all been affected by suicide in some way. I reflect back on my teenage years and I can still remember the names of a couple of peers that took their own lives. My son lost a dear friend in 2019. Another one of my son’s has carried a friend to the front office at school who had overdosed and watched her be taken away in an ambulance in hopes of saving her life - she pulled through. This son is on the Hope Squad at the High School and has loved his experiences over the last 3 years. He’s learned many valuable lessons.
When I got on my mission and into counseling my counselor said I was stubborn and a fighter. I honestly hadn’t ever thought about taking my own life through all of those challenges. I guess I felt I had something to prove and I was being successful at portraying a happy, all together life.
Over the years there have been times I’ve thought how am I going to get through this, different challenges felt very heavy and difficult, but I’ve honestly always been a fighter and felt I would find a way through things.
Last year as everything came crumbling down I honestly couldn’t think through things anymore. I was so exhausted and had lost hope. I was sinking into a very deep depression and my heart was racing a lot and at times I felt I couldn’t function anymore - I felt paralyzed. I would push to get up and do the things that had to be done, but didn’t have much more left in me. Nights were crazy difficult for me. Usually around 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. I would start to crash for the rest of the evening. I didn’t even feel like myself.
The counseling was a huge blessing to start processing things. I started to better understand depression and anxiety and how much I was dealing with those things. I hit a point that I couldn’t deal with things anymore. I found myself staying in my bed and feeling like I couldn’t push through everything and thought a handful of times about ending my life. It was like an out of body experience. I honestly wasn’t connecting to the 47 year old recognizing all of the good things in my life. None of that was really being considered in my thinking.
I hit a point that I couldn’t deal with things anymore. I found myself staying in my bed and feeling like I couldn’t push through everything and thought a handful of times about ending my life
I was struggling with sleeping. I was on an antidepressant that had definitely taken the edge off things, but I was truly falling apart. Towards the end of May there was an afternoon / evening that I had spiraled. I honestly couldn’t think through things anymore. I was tired, didn’t feel I would be missed by anyone and honestly felt I was destroying the good relationships in my life. Those I wanted to accept and love me I just knew I wasn’t enough. Everyone was gone. I was home by myself curled up on the couch crying. I shut off my phone, had a plan and was ready to end things. I was honestly not connecting with the real reality. I felt I was in a space of reality, but it wasn’t real.
THEN, in walks one of my son’s much earlier than I thought he would be home. He said he felt to come home for a few minutes before heading somewhere else. As soon as the door opened it was like I snapped back into my real reality. I felt back connected to my real life. It didn’t take away the pain, the sadness, loss of hope I was feeling, but it did help me see that I needed more help.
With the help of a couple of friends and Rick I made an appointment with my doctor. I almost didn’t go to the appointment, but I had a friend make it clear to me that I needed to make myself a priority and take care of myself before I could sincerely help my family and others. Talking with my counselor he talked about the importance of sleep. I kept the appointment and as I talked with my doctor he decided to put me on PTSD medication that would help me sleep through my dreams / nightmares.
With medication, counseling and alot of support I was able to turn a corner and I’ve not looked back at that as an option in my life. I look back at that time and I came to really understand how people get to the state of mind of giving up. I’m so grateful for my son that has been in Hope Squad who sat down with our family and shared so much of what he has learned.
Most wouldn’t have ever guessed that I was struggling to the point of taking my own life. I come across as having it all together. Happy, laughing, busy, serving, volunteering in many different places, looking out for others - it appears things are going well in my life. I’m sharing this experience, because we honestly don’t know what is going on in people’s lives. We don’t know their internal struggles. Depression, anxiety, low self esteem and many other things are not visible. Can be hidden well. I encourage everyone to always strive to look for the best in people. To be kind. To smile. Be a friend. If you have a feeling to reach out to someone - do it. You never know what kind of an impact you can have on others lives.
I love this video and I’ve watched it over and over and over again. As a child we feel stay can be a rewarding positive word, but as we get older and feel the pressure of the word stay it can be difficult to stay.
PLEASE STAY! There is hope. There is help. Things are not all lost. People love you - you just might not be loving yourself right now to feel others love. When your facing anxiety or depression or those moments that are out of body experiences and just don’t really feel like you go for a walk, write down your thoughts, turn on some music, go outside, try to have a conversation with a loved one, write yourself a letter when you are feeling strong that you can read when you hit the tough times.
I will say that for the first time in my life I’ve come to really understand the importance of sleep. The importance of taking care of yourself. Think about the foods you eat. Taking time for yourself. It’s the little things that add up to make the biggest difference - we don’t have to be perfect or do it all at once. One step at a time.
Be kind to yourself. AND, CHOOSE TO STAY!!!
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity