It’s week 7 of Beckie’s Working On Us Writing Prompt! It’s another week to help break the stigma on those with any mental illness or disorder. This week’s topic is suicide.
Have you ever experienced suicidal thoughts?
I’ve had suicidal thoughts since the age of 11. Your brain tells you that you’re worthless, that nobody loves you, and that nobody would miss you. Even if outside circumstances tell you different, your brain lies to you. My brain has always had a way of doing just that.
Have you ever attempted suicide?
Once, when I was 21. I was self-harming and I decided to do the deed. My PTSD was in full swing and my ex was telling me how awful he thought I was. I couldn’t take it anymore.
I sent a worrying text message to my mother who then called my roommate, the Donsterr (my nickname for him). He busted into the bathroom and took the razors away. He talked me out of it.
He’s still one of my best friends to this day, though we don’t see each other as much as I’d like.
I would self-harm by cutting to prevent myself from attempting suicide. I know that may sound confusing but it was a release that temporarily took the pain away so I wouldn’t end my life.
When the pain overwhelmed me and I thought it was never going to end, I needed some sort of outlet. I just had chosen an unhealthy coping mechanism.
Where you ever hospitalized for a suicide attempt and/or ideation?
No, I haven’t. I’ve never been hospitalized, though I should have been numerous times.
When you were hospitalized, what was your experience like?
Do you ever feel suicidal ideation since your release?
I still have the thoughts but it’s gotten better since I got sober and since I’m back on medication.
Most of the time, it’s passing thoughts like “What if I drove into a tree?” or “What if I just stood on the railroad tracks and waited for a train to come?” or “I wish I’d disappear”.
For me, these are minor thoughts compared to what I use to have running through my head.
I lost one of my best friends from high school to suicide. He was Andy, or Dandy Andy (my nickname for him for years).
Andy was a weirdo and eccentric. I mean that in a good way, it’s why we became close friends.
He liked to push buttons and pushed things to the extreme. He would do things like carrying around a Bible and tearing out the pages. He once hacked our school’s computer system while robo-tripping (slang for chugging cough syrup).
He was one of a kind. He always made me laugh.
He suffered from depression. We would talk all night when one of us was feeling suicidal. He was my go-to and I was his go-to.
A few days before my 25th birthday, my grandma Judy passed away. We knew it was coming, it was her second time with cancer. She had lived much longer than the doctors predicted.
We’d made a promise to celebrate her life instead of mourn her death. So my uncle rented out several camping spots for the weekend after her funeral on a Friday.
That Friday night, the campsite was busy with friends and family. We drank and we talked about good memories with my grandma.
Andy was also texting me that night. He never said anything about feeling depressed, never said a word that he was suffering.
But I can’t say he hadn’t said anything for sure because I ended up breaking my brand new cell phone. This ended our conversation.
The next day on Facebook, I see the posts. RIP Andy. My heart dropped.
He was gone forever. He was hurting and I didn’t know. I didn’t help him.
His death hit me harder than my grandma’s. We knew my grandma was ready to go but Andy was only 24.
I still think of him everyday. In fact, before I saw this prompt, I was thinking about him. I was thinking about how much I missed my goofy Dandy Andy.
I’ve even been contemplating getting an Alice in Wonderland tattoo with his name when I have the chance.
I want an Alice in Wonderland theme because he loved the book, Through the Looking Glass.
He gave me my own copy because I hadn’t ever read it entirely. I still have the book.
He’ll always be in my heart and in the back of my mind. I wish I could have done more, but I think everyone feels that way when they lose someone to suicide. It’s a different (not worse, just different) type of grief.
The light and fun he brought into my life (and others’ as well) will never cease to shine. He always have a place in my heart.