I am going to be talking specifically about suicide today. So if you are in a vulnerable spot or are in the depths of mental illness yourself, or just aren’t up for reading a post like this; I just want to let you know that I’ll get pretty real and raw today... and I understand if you can’t read this.
I’ve tried to avoid talking about this deep and dark side of my mental illness, but this is part of my chronic illness (for which I am trying to raise awareness).
This topic is actually one of my main motivators for raising Lyme awareness.
Among people with Lyme there are a higher number of deaths by suicide than the number of people who get help/timely treatment. This is so utterly tragic.
I think that a huge reason for these statistics is a lack of education/awareness. Because if there was enough education there would be enough funding and treatment options.
And now my experience:
I have attempted suicide on 5 different occasions. And contemplated, planned, and even wished for (or dreamed of) many times. I have a voice in my head. And not just my thoughts as voices... but a distinct voice (male). During each of my attempts he was SCREAMING at me that I had to die, I had to end my pain, I was a burden and people would be much better if I were gone. I had so little hope, and I truly believed that there was only one solution. I was not getting proper treatment from doctors. And some Lyme literate doctors didn’t know how to treat me BECAUSE of my mental illness.
Each time was like an out of body experience. I would turn into this nasty, manipulative, and scary person.
I will spare you any more details. And I’ll move to the second part of this post: support.
Let me start by saying that if it wasn’t for the support I have I’m sure I wouldn’t be here. A number of people literally saved my life, wether that was sitting by my bedside ensuring that the voice didn’t win, or sensing that (after reading the text I sent) something was off (I was also home alone) so you called me... and then an ambulance to come get me to the hospital
Whenever I start forgetting the support I have, I just have to remember people like that, who are there every step.
You may be wondering why I felt like sharing all that. It’s simple. You guys are the reason I’m still here. And I want to raise awareness, with the hope that in the future (once many more are educated) other people will be able to have treatment and support for their darkest days.
What can you do about this?
Believe us. Listen. Educate yourself. Continue to love us, just as you would with anyone else.