Got Suicidality? | Article

By Raquel Lyons

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“I’m not afraid to take a stand. Everybody come take my hand. We’ll walk this road together–through the storm, whatever weather, cold or warm. Send it over, you’re not alone” – ‘Not Afraid’ by Eminem

So you’ve been contemplating suicide. So you’ve acted on your self-harming thoughts or the idea of suicide is becoming more common place within your mind.

You’re depressed or you’re anxious, angry or apathetic. And you may be thinking that you should just keep these thoughts and suicide plans to yourself. You may be thinking the world is better off without you or you are diminishing your worth and the impact you have on all those presently and not presently around you.

If you’re thinking of this, if you’re thinking you don’t matter and life has no purpose for you–let me be the first and not the last to tell you that your brain is full of manure right now.

Let me be the first and not the last to reassure you that you are not alone.

The fact that you are reading this article right now shows that there is some part of you, no matter how small, that wants to live another day.

Hold onto that. Nurture that small part of you, cherish it and begin to grow your roots into the shaky ground around you.

Trust in the process and the belief that your feelings are temporary and that this crisis will NOT last forever.

I won’t tell you that you have so much to live for, I won’t lecture you on what’s right or wrong, I won’t bring religion into the conversation, and I won’t shame you for your experiences.

I will say that I’ve been suicidal, too. The last Wednesday of September, in fact, was my most recent bout of intense suicidality.

I didn’t want to continue living my life with the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I never asked for the OCD and I struggled to fathom why I had still received it. I was tired of my brain loop-loop-looping on ideas and thoughts and plans of suicide. I just wanted relief.

The reason I’ve chosen to self-disclose is because you need know that the words you are reading are coming from a place without judgment and with safety.

I want to encourage you to live another day–another hour, another minute.

You need to know that there are others out in this world, in this community, in this state of Massachusetts, at this university who are feeling like you have AND who have gotten THROUGH it.

I didn’t do it alone and I don’t recommend putting that extra stress upon you.

When a stranger happened across my fetal position, I chose to tell them truthfully what was going on. I told them I needed to go to the Counseling Center, and so, together we walked there.

That is one resource available to you: the Counseling Center on campus, located in Quinn 2nd floor. If you’re ever in a suicidal crisis while on campus, you can go to the Counseling Center. Advocating for yourself is the bravest thing you can do.

Later, the second thing I did was to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800 273 TALK.

Next, I spoke with Craig Bidiman (CC-3-3407) who encouraged and supported me in a way that would safely ensure my getting to my therapy appointment.

I know that it’s hard and it might be unfathomable to talk to someone about your struggles, but it really, really can help.

You need someone to notice you, to acknowledge your pain and how desperate life has gotten for you. There ARE people you can turn to and there ARE people who can help you.

You are important. You are irreplaceable. You are worthy of recovery and you can feel better.

My final point for this article is to ask you to contract for safety with me; in which you will remain safe and not acting on a suicidal or self-harm thought for the next twelve hours or the next twenty-four hours. Have the length of time be long enough that it’s achievable for you and that you can reach out to someone. Tell them how you are feeling–don’t leave anything out because it’s likely that what you think “isn’t important” very much is. If you can contract to safety for me, you are utilizing your survivor strength. And if you cannot, you are still strong, it’s just difficult for you right now–and I still encourage you to talk to someone and I believe in your power to get better no less.

Finally, as a blogger friend who has lost a loved one to suicide told me:

“You are a fighter. Please keep fighting.”

 


So, I’m not sure if the title will remain as this but I thought of the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign and decided to switch out milk for suicidality. I don’t think there’s much of a trigger warning for this piece, as it’s more helpful, hopeful and encouraging. Hope you guys enjoy it! I finally got it done today, written up by my hand and now typed up and sent off to the paper. I’m also attaching the photo to this piece above, as you’ve likely seen.

Also, yeah, I have a new 800 world count limit :O LEGASP! It makes it a bit tricky but that’s okay. 🙂 STILL THRIVING!

This is a music related series I hope to continue, so if you have any music you’d like me to write about that is pro-recovery or for suicide prevention, send them along to me!! I’d love to have more prompts to work with (even as I have dozens of article ideas lol)

Stay safe, peeps!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Also for the picture, I’ll show you guys more of HOW that happened and where it began later (it’s from the 16th of September)

Written and Edited between 9/28 & 9/29 and October 2nd 2016

Inside A Psychiatric Hospitalization 1 | Article

By Raquel Lyons

Shaky and anxious with tears in my eyes, I tell the police officer, “I’m feeling suicidal.”

An hour ago my only goal was to make it home to feed my hamster and get to sleep as soon as possible. It had been a long day, with extra stress in my three hour drawing class from trying to use charcoal to draw some taxidermy birds that looked like taxidermy birds.

It had been my goal at least, until I drove around the ponds in the center of my town. Then, the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder kicked my brain up a few notches as I crawled a steady thirty miles an hour, watching the moonlight glittering on the inviting water, hearing the whispers of my brain entice me with thoughts of suicide.

Afterward, I got angry and floored the gas pedal. I only caught the glimpse of my speedometer on the way down, but I remember the revving of the engine and the pull of the car as it propelled forwards and the serious, cold faced look plastered across my facial muscles.

I just had to get home, that was it, but the possibilities of death swam in my vision as I imagined hurling the car towards a pole or swerving unexpectedly or slamming on my brakes.

…Instead, I saw the approaching headlights and the swift blue and red lights flashing in my rearview mirror as the police officer did a double take and came back for me.

I was honest with the generic named police officer and I watched as my weekend plans fell away from me when he called for the ambulance to come pick me up.

Another psychiatric hospitalization: my fourth time.

I had to call my Mom from my cell phone, held up in the palm of my right hand, telling her I had gotten pulled over…again.

To the officer I uttered, “I’m so sorry,” repeatedly. In my mind I thought, this wasn’t supposed to be happening.

I was apologizing for the resources I was taking up, for the fact that I’d been driving when I shouldn’t, that it’d be yet another hospitalization during a point in time where I was meant to be stable and okay. I was apologizing for what didn’t feel like such “a big deal.”

But still, I was feeling suicidal and I needed help.

At the time it felt like feeling suicidal and actually being suicidal were two different things–and I think suicidality as a spectrum can involve that–but what really made the difference in that moment was that I was actively behaving recklessly and I was only about one further action away from becoming another suicide statistic.

The reality of that is hard to swallow. Part of me would love to do anything I could to dismiss the severity of that statement.

Yet, at what cost would that be?

I’d be lying to myself and placing denial ahead of my own recovery journey if I didn’t state my circumstances clearly both to myself and to you, the reader.

Tying into this, a couple of people close to me have questioned whether it’s a good idea for me to use this platform to talk about these recent events, however–from the moment it happened I was already ghost writing this mini-series.

I don’t believe I have the heart in me to edit my story–to edit out the most important parts of my recovery journey. I’ve written it before: Recovery is a series of ups and downs in which lapses and relapses can occur. Honesty is a strong value of mine in my recovery and it allows me to be open and vulnerable across an array of audiences.

I have a blogger friend who once told me that I won’t always have my recovery to wellness material together and how that IS okay. By speaking out about my experiences–the falls, the triumphs–is to share one person’s trials with recovery from a mental health condition. It’s important to know that not every day is a good day, that I’m only human and therefore make mistakes, and that readers like you can learn from what’s happened to me and be aware of similar behaviors in yourself or loved ones. Is that not the purpose of storytelling? To find purpose, authenticity, accountability and to shine light on suffering so that others in the darkness feel less alone?

That is my goal in writing these articles. I want to raise awareness and share what my story has been as it continues to unfold. In choosing to write this mini-series, I am choosing to look back on recent events and determine what helped, what didn’t, what’s changed and how does it fit into my recovery.


A more recent Mass Media article. I submitted the “Voice from the Darkness” as three parts a few weeks ago, so this is a more recent work that I was meant to submit this past week but didn’t get the chance to. Any who, I’m thinking it’ll be about four parts or so. I have another article I want to work on, too. Basically, I’m coming up with a lot of series articles 🙂 I also want to do a destigmatizing article too.

This piece was written/edited: 9/25, 9/26, 9/29

Hope you enjoy! 🙂 ❤ ❤