World Suicide Prevention Day

I know I’m a day late. I couldn’t find the words yesterday.  I’m not sure I can find the words today, but I’m going to try.

I have a story.  I have to keep reminding myself.

I have a story.

I have a story about suicide, and its mine, and its valid.

It’s a quiet story, the real one.  No attempts, no hospital stays, no nothing. Only two people knew about it when it happened. Myself and my therapist.

The other times…those times were just thoughts.  My particular brand of Bipolar can give me thoughts that aren’t my own.  Sometimes those thoughts are about death. It’s scary, but I will tell someone. I will ask my parents to come stay with me.  I’ll text my therapist and she’ll remind me where those thoughts are coming from.

Even still there are other times where those thoughts are rooted in depression..that hopeless black hole that can suck the life right out of you. Those are the times that I’ll research suicide, but I won’t do anything about it.

But this isn’t about those times.  This is about that one time when it was more than thoughts and more than research.  Its about that one time where all that research became useful.

I don’t remember the days leading up to it.  I don’t remember what I was thinking that got me to that point. What I do remember is that calm that I felt about it, and how having a plan made me feel safe.  That’s weird.  A suicide plan made me feel safe. Actually, having a way to carry out the plan made me feel safe. Odd.

I had collected an assortment of pills from playing the guessing game with meds for over two years. I hadn’t originally collected them to kill myself.  I still had them because it is such a pain to get rid of prescription drugs. But I still had them.  And I knew what exactly each one would do.

What I do remember is sitting in my therapist’s office that day. I quietly told her the suicidal thoughts were back. She asked that series of questions that anyone who’s been there knows all too well.

“Do you have a plan?”

“Do you have a way to carry out that plan?”

She doesn’t always ask me those questions. Like I said before, suicidal thoughts are like a side effect of bipolar for me.  She doesn’t always need to ask me those questions.

This time she asked me and this time I said yes. She kept asking questions to figure out what that plan was—I didn’t want to talk. She made me promise to get rid of them. I didn’t want to. But eventually I agreed.

The next day I dropped that bag of pills off at my mom’s for her to throw away. I told her that I was cleaning out my back bedroom and wanted to get rid of them.  I don’t think she thought twice about it. I texted my therapist as promised after I did it.

There have been times since then that I’ve regretted getting rid of the pills if I’m being honest. I still think of a suicide plan as a safety net.  I think I always will.

That’s it.  It was quiet, it was short.  But it happened and it was real.

Yesterday, Hazel commented on my post that feeling silenced is one of the worst feelings.  It is.  And as I read over this post to proofread it, I’m reminded how I’ve silenced myself because I have chosen to hide this part of my life from my employer.  I’ve silenced myself because one of my worst fears are people I was once friends with going “Well, that explains her crazy.” I’ve silenced myself because I am convinced that if I spoke out, I’d lose everything I’ve worked for and people would dismiss me in the future.

I hope that one day I’ll change my mind.

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