Say the Word Suicide: Give It Time
By Raquel Lyons
“I don’t want to be alive, I just want to die today, I just want to die.”
I was walking down a long road with my new puppy, Mocha, and my Mom. The sunlight was bright, streaming through the green branches of the trees rising up above me. It was beautiful. And yet, all I wanted to do was die. I had just gotten out of a sixteen day hospitalization, and I felt like I wanted to die. In that moment, I did not feel like myself, and I liked who I was on ‘the inside’ (the hospital) better than who I was on ‘the outside’ (not in the hospital).
I had felt so pro-recovery Raquel on the inside of that hospital stay. Without the hospital, it felt like I was just struggling Raquel. I did not like that. I wanted to be back to the person who was a resource, and a helpful one at that. I wanted to feel useful and content, but I was not. Not yet.
“I want you to be alive. You don’t gotta die today. I know where you’ve been, where you are, where you’re going. I know you’re the reason I believe in life. What’s the day without a little night? I’m just trying to shed a little light. It can be hard, it can be so hard. But you gotta live right now; you got everything to give right now.”
It would take many more days ahead of me, of not acting on self-harm thoughts, before I began to feel differently. It would take a ten day stint at a partial program (in which I went to groups and went home at night) and the lessening and lessening of crises before things would change.
Even when I had a crisis in the start of August, I worked with my outpatient therapist to figure out where I could intervene with myself before a crisis came to exist. It took understanding my needs and when to ask for help, despite who might be around me (family), and just making the phone call, or accessing the online chat service.
This song spoke to me in more volumes after the hospitalization than it did beforehand. There was some sense of community in it while I stared out the enmeshed, double bolted window of my hospital room. There was the sense that I was not alone. It was the sense that I had never been, and never will be.
Because: so many people have also experienced suicidal thoughts at some point in their lifetime. Because: there are people that live a long, desirable life after being suicide attempt survivors. Because: life moves forwards, pain is temporary and suicidal crises pass, given time.
We just have to give it time.
“I finally wanna be alive, I don’t wanna die today, I don’t wanna die. I just want to live. I wanna feel alive; I don’t even wanna die anymore. ” Featured lyrics by Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid from the song 1800 273 8255.
Giving it time means not acting on the suicidal thoughts right this minute. It meant giving me time to heal, to feel better, to have the feelings pass. It meant reaching out to friends, one day soon reaching out again to a hotline, and just holding on for the seconds, for the minutes. Because holding on for the seconds and the minutes will turn to hours and days, weeks and months. And somewhere during that duration of time, I will feel better again, and I won’t want to die anymore at all and some days, I won’t want to die as much. And in that time, I work on my adaptive coping strategies. I tolerate my feelings, which does not mean I like them, but I co-exist with them.
And soon, the sunlight comes drifting through my white curtains, and my new unicorn canvas sparkles in the light. And I find meaning and purpose in every inch of space I acquire. Because: by then, the pain is just a fleeting memory.
And I’m alive, I’m alive and I’ve survived, like a true survivor radiating badassery.
And that’s all that really matters.
Stay safe, give it time and hold on, pain ends.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal ideation, know that you can call the national suicide prevention lifeline anytime 24/7 at the number above (1800 273 8255). For resources on suicide warning signs, check: American Association of Suicidology. The Counseling Center on campus is also an available resource, and can be reached at: X or Quinn building second floor past general medicine. They can also be reached at an after-hours emergency phone number: Y.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this one, you guys!! This song has literally become an anthem for my second volume of recovery! It’s also been interesting looking through volume 1 of recovery restoration as it’s so different than current artworks! I find myself wanting to share more current works, if anything!
Once again, also very vulnerable in this piece, and I’m super proud of it! I think it says a lot of what I want to say, and I read a post from Twitter talking about how to blog about suicide and so I’ve incorporated some new things into my writing.
Stay tuned for the next #WWRRM post, coming tonight!
Can’t wait to have this published in the newspaper this semester coming up! YAY to pre-writing!!
Written August 2nd and 9th 2017. (This is also helpful as my online journal (so I can reach it in therapy) because I can’t print shit at home anymore so yay!)