Here is a comment to one of my posts “I am stuck in a deep depression at this stage, and now that I have read this…if gives me hope. It is keeping the suicide thoughts at bay. Strange how these little things help in a time when you really need it!”
Oh my god, this comment has taught me more about blogging than a million blogging courses could have. If one of my posts could do this, could give someone hope, could possibly stop them from acting out their self harming impulses, than what more could I ask for? Am I not here to give people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as well as other mental illnesses, hope? Am I not here to show them how to be strong, show them that I have been fighting this disease for the last THIRTY years, and surviving, no even thriving? Am I not here to show them that you can be in a suicidal depression, but you don’t have to act on it? Yes I am, yes I am and yes I am.
I was in a suicidal depression, in 1985. I was so severely depressed that there was nothing, absolutely NOTHING left of me. I had severe anhedonia (totally unable to experience any positive emotions), I had gained weight, had acne on my face, the only thoughts/emotions I experienced were confusion, abject sadness, hopelessness, and only negative thoughts. I felt totally helpless to do anything about this because I did not understand what was happening to me. I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. Finally, not being able to stand these feelings and thoughts, I formulated a plan to kill myself. I kept thinking about it for a day or two. The will to live is strong, and even when life is almost unendurable, you hang on. The third day, I heard a song on the radio called “Never Surrender” by Corey Hart. Those words spoke to me. For a week I went back and forth. But every time I heard this song, I felt more sure of myself, I felt more sure that I could live, that I would live. I had a bottle of tranquilizers prescribed for my mom that I had been planning to take. After about a week of thinking about it, I flushed all the pills down the toilet and decided no matter what, I was going to live. No matter what, I was not going to give up. And finally I did get treatment from a psychiatrist. My aunt took me with her to her house, as my mom and step dad were beside themselves, taking care of my seriously mentally ill brother. My aunt kept me in her home, even had her friend who was a psychiatrist come and talk to me, he diagnosed me with depression (later to be changed to bipolar d/o type 1.) He prescribed antidepressants, which I took and became better and better, until I was ready to go home. At the same time, my little brother had also been diagnosed with bipolar d/o. Unfortunately, he did not fare so well and with his demise, all of us, especially my mother, underwent heartbreak and tragedy no words can describe. I don’t know how my mother survived it. She was a strong woman. I would wish that on no one, not ever, not my worst enemy in the world. To lose a gorgeous, loving, intelligent, funny, most beloved brother, it is not something to be borne. I will write his story another time. This post is about never giving up. Which is what I’ve done, even after my brother was gone. And I have lived to get married, lived to see my adored son turn 24, lived to see my niece become a doctor and my nephew get a Master’s degree. I’ve seen my brother and sister come into their own as successful, intelligent, charismatic and beloved siblings. I have spent time with my family and friends, and we have laughed and cried and had loads of fun. I’ve been in plays, I’m in one currently, I’ve moved from Buffalo to Louisville and made so many new friends. And there is still a lot in store, I’m sure.
So you see, never give up! If I had given up in 1985, instead of fighting with all my might, then none of the things I just spoke about would have happened or at least none would have been witnessed by me. My precious son would not have been born, what an awful thought. My son is über compassionate, super intelligent, handsome, very loving, and he will be a lawyer soon, he can accomplish so much, help others, help the earth, help animals, what ever he chooses to do. Just that is a good reason for me to have hung on in 1985.
Never give up. Hang on. Things will get better. It’s always worth it to stay around. No one who has been saved from trying to kill themselves has ever been sorry that they were saved. So you too, save yourself! You will be happy you did. Love and hugs for you my friends.