To The Mentally Ill Who Attempt Suicide
It is a depressing reality most people with a serious mental illness will attempt suicide at some time. Yes, more than half will attempt suicide. That’s a very large number. More women will attempt suicide but more men will commit suicide. Women will overdose while men will use firearms. More than half of these people will not leave suicide notes.
We are lucky most suicide attempts fail. Most people who attempt suicide will be rescued by others.
A Suicide Attempt
Last Friday night a man I met online tried to kill himself. He posted his suicide note online. Thankfully, some friends of his called 9-1-1, the police entered his apartment and took him to the hospital.
I am very grateful he is still alive.
The Shame of Attempting Suicide
After a suicide attempt, many people are thankful they didn’t succeed. Most people who attempt suicide later realize the moment they attempted suicide was a particularly brutal part of the fight against their mental illness and death is not truly what they want. They end up feeling ashamed of their suicide attempt.
I understand the shame that goes with doing something you later regret. I understand the shame of realizing you did something because of your mental illness. I understand the shame of acknowledging you admitted defeat at the hands of pain and depression.
But a suicide attempt is not shameful.
A suicide attempt is a symptom of an illness. It is no more shameful than sneezing from a cold. Attempting suicide is brutal and hard and painful on you and those around you. No one wants to see you die, see you gone. But the fact for one moment you gave in to the pain isn’t shameful, it’s human.
Those who do not know the pain may not understand. But sometimes you hit a wall. A wall of pain. And sometimes that wall tries to kill you.
You Are Not Who People Say You Are
Some people try to hurt you because you have attempted suicide. Some people try to use this symptom as evidence you are, in some way, “bad.”
But you are not bad. You are sick. Anyone that would use an illness to hurt another person is an abuser. Anyone that would try to use a suicide attempt as a weapon does not deserve a second thought. Or a first one for that matter. You are better than that. They are not worthy of you.
Humans Make Mistakes
Every one of us has done things we later regret. Some of us (most of us) have been complete assholes at one time or another. Humans are selfish, crass, hurtful, awful people sometimes. We’re like that. We’re wildly imperfect beings.
But these mistakes make us human. Recognition of frailties is a strength. It’s only after realizing what we don’t like in ourselves that we can change it.
A Suicide Attempt Isn’t the End of the World
Yes, a suicide attempt is horrible; a suicide attempt may run roughshod over your life; a suicide attempt may hurt those around you. A suicide attempt is painful but it isn’t the end of your world.
Attempting suicide puts you in the company of many of your fellow crazies. If you look to the left and to the right of you, you will see thousands of people just like you. Who made the same choice. Who now live to tell the tale.
A suicide attempt is horrible, but it is part of mental illness and not the end of the world.
Save Yourself Now
I am extremely grateful my friend is still here. The people in your life want you to be here too.
—————————————————————————————————————Know that there is zero latitude when commenting on this post. I will not tolerate negative, hurtful or sarcastic comments.
About Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.