[Imagine a thumb here for the appropriate article stuff because WordPress is being an asshat on the one fucking day I decide to make a blog post. Fuck]
Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide & suicide notes
By Raquel Lyons
One of the most alarming warning signs of suicide is a sudden, abrupt shift from a low mood to happiness. It seems like it would be the best thing, and in some ways, it is, but not for the reasons you would think. A sudden shift from depressed to calm and happy could mean that the person in question has decided to kill themselves. It is this sense of peace that can be so misleading for individuals around them.
The individuals around the person in crisis may feel appeased, that their loved one is finally out of the storm, but things may not be as they appear. Instead, rather than fighting the inner turmoil of contradictions that suicide can be, the individual may have set down their weapons, lowered their shield in uncertainty and is acting out with overcompensating happiness so as to not worry or draw attention to themselves as they take the final plunge, so to speak.
I have experienced firsthand the ins and outs of dealing with suicidality–most often my own. I have never known someone to have died by suicide–and that *is* the more correct and less stigmatizing reframe of what suicide is. I hope I never have to encounter such loss and grief as that of what suicide leaves behind.
While I have not known celebrities personally, I have been affected by their suicides. Indeed, any person who dies by suicide that I find out about, I am affected by. It is this overarching impact of what a single suicide leaves behind that is so unfortunate, sad and crappy about it. The what if’s and, as I’ve watched from TEDtalks, the guilt is enormous, and never really goes away. I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to lose a close loved one to suicide.
It is partially cliché that people think the person who dies by suicide leaves behind a note, sure, some do; I have often found it to be difficult to do. I have planted my roots into the ground so deeply that I realize more and more that potentially, so many people could be affected if I were to die by suicide. It helps to discourage me from acting on my thoughts again. There would be a smaller handful of people that I would leave behind some kind of note, but at least in my mind the complications of doing such things gets murky.
For one, I have found the process of writing suicide notes to be difficult, understandably, and let it be known that I do not recommend suicide whatsoever. And it is true that in my time of being suicidal, I have written several notes. There was a poem I wrote once titled “May Our Souls Rest Tonight.” Another I wrote on a Halloween to-do list (which the ER I went to found in my pocket). A few others in various notebooks of mine as well as one on some folded piece of paper and notes on a Word document of my phone.
Words, when I have struggled with suicidal ideation, are hard to pinpoint. There is often so much I want to say, so much more than I can possibly write, that it would probably take many renditions, time and patience for–which I either disregard so as to rush my course of action or find a reason to live so that I can “properly” write them.
But I have always prided myself on my openness and honesty. And yet, one time I had found myself beginning to believe what the thoughts were telling me, lies and truths mixing together to become one and I uttered them easily from my lips and fingers. It was not the best even as my brain told me it was for the best.
It was no longer a case of struggling with the suicidal thoughts rather, accepting them. And in that way, I had reached a liberating sense of peace. I no longer felt in turmoil. I felt as though I had passed the bridge of suicidality and entered a pasture of light and shine twenty miles south of it with the most incredible sense of ease and happiness. It had felt remarkable even while bursts of terrifying fear re-encompassed me.
In that time, I may have learned the most crucial lesson of life: becoming okay with the thoughts and living my life fully in each moment that still awaited me. Because in truth, life is fleeting and if I’m going to ride the rollercoaster, I may as well throw my arms in the air, scream until my throat hurts and enjoy the ride.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal ideation, I highly, highly recommend a few alternatives: One, learn about the warning signs of suicide through helpguide.net or the American Foundation on Suicide Prevention. Two, know that the Counseling Center can be located in the second floor of Quinn, all the way down the hall. Three, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1800 273 8255. Fourth, your life is worth living, you are important and you will always matter. Stay safe.
I took out an additional phrase from this article just now, the first time I tried working on it the draft was failing to save so there was some other thing I tried re-wording but since this is the second time around and it is still not saving, well, I can’t remember what the first thing was to fix. XD
Written January 20th 2018
Future articles here I come. (Kinda)
And if this thing tries reminding me one more fucking time I swear to god I’ll….
I’m too close to this article to be able to tell if it is worrying, and I’m doing better gradually. Sorry for the lack of posting and general worrisome-ness that I tend to evoke in people. Take care. ❤ ❤ ❤
PS I had to wait til the next day to get this up and I’m considering making another mental health song a day edition post. 🙂 We’ll see.