Recently I've found suicide is often like cancer, it has either touched you or someone you know. A childhood friend passed by her own hand at 18, it definitely rocked our group of friends and I was torn watching it's effects. I had always struggled with the idea of death and how much I would rather be gone, but never made serious attempts. After watching the ripple effect of grief following Rachael passing, and feeling her loss, I knew I'd never be able to do it. Not to her family, not to mine, not to our same friends. It still hits me at different times every year. I think about how she would look, what she would be doing, all the incredible and interesting things that were past that moment of weakness. Missing her is what helps me push on and keep trying.
Within the next 2 years I was diagnosed with depression and began seeing a private counsellor in addition to beginning an anti-depressant medication. I began to cope and notice an improvement with medication in addition to starting to understand what mental illness does to a person. Researching my thoughts online also helped me to see that they weren't crazy or uncommon, rather a 'broken record' that thousands of others couldn't turn off either. Even more enlightening was working in a pharmacy. I encountered hundreds of different medications for mental illnesses and had the resources to learn about how they worked. Watching and providing patients with the same type of medications I was taking taught me empathy and sympathy towards those struggling, including myself. More recently I've had the privilege to attend CBT appointments (cognitive behavioural therapy) at St. Joe's West 5th Campus. I had been researching additional treatment and therapy for depression and had been interested in it's success rates. Shortly before starting my appointments in July I realized that this has been the missing puzzle piece. I'm learning new skills in how to manage thoughts and emotions, and how to prevent automatic negative responses.
Suicide is a moment of weakness, when everything, everyone, the past, present and future are all out of reach. This moment is terrifying, you gain a false sense of relief in the idea of escape. For some, that relief feels real enough that they quickly indulge... I say this because I still have those false fleeting moments of relief. Now though, I'm able to see it for what it is, a moment. A moment I am weak, but it doesn't define me, nor will it be indulged. I know the moments will just pass and it will be better, but never worse.
Don't ever feel like your problem isn't important enough to be heard, you are important and so is your own mental health. Someone is always there to help, listen or just sit with in silence. COAST (Crisis Outreach and Support Team) 905-972-8338 www.coasthamilton.ca are a 24/7 hotline with multiple branches across Southern Ontario. They cater to all age groups as well as family and friends looking for help. Talk to your family doctor about a referral to St. Joe's West 5th campus, they have an incredible team of staff with endless resources and support in many different forms.
Help is ALWAYS there.