The sweet embrace of death

It’s on everyone’s mind with the passing of Robin Williams. It’s on my mind every day. I don’t know how I feel about the people who don’t understand suicidal thoughts talking about it, because so many of them can’t have any idea what it’s like to be on the edge, reaching for death, praying for an end. I’m glad so many can’t understand, but a few end up posting comments or blogs acting like they do know what they’re talking about and their words are hurtful and misinformed. I’ve seen people telling us that joy will cure depression, or that we just don’t have enough faith, that we aren’t believing in God enough. Some people claim that anti-depressants and other medications are evil and we shouldn’t take them, but without them, some of us wouldn’t be alive. I need something to help me. I may not have found any medications that help me yet, but I’m still going to try. If someone can have a somewhat normal life away from the darkness, why wouldn’t they want them to have it? Why do they expect people to be able to overcome something physical with happy thoughts?
Brain scans show that depression is physical, that it’s not “all in our heads” so to speak. Do they tell schizophrenics to just think positive thoughts to get rid of the voices or paranoia? My schizophrenic aunt is a very positive person, she just had no grip on reality without medication. In fact, without her meds, she thinks she’s fine, but I dare anyone else to agree. 

I guess I’m just really upset that there are so many people spreading dangerous information. Some people are glorifying suicide, even saying “Good for him” that he was able to kill himself and end his suffering. I know how painful and lonely my depression is, I know how my suicidal thoughts make me feel. How there doesn’t seem to be any hope, how death seems like the only answer, how everyone would be better without me. But I never wanted to truly end my life, it just seemed like the only way to go. I wanted peace, I wanted the pain to end, I didn’t want to suffer anymore and I didn’t want to be a burden on everyone else. I’m glad that I didn’t succeed. I’m sure one day my children will be glad. They’re probably glad now, but they’re too young to comprehend it. If I’d succeeded, I’d not have met my husband and my sons wouldn’t be here now, and the joy they have given people, even just random strangers, is surely a good enough reason to have stayed alive. Granted, I’m sure they’ve also given random strangers insane headaches too… ^_^

I’ve learned to tell myself that while I’m in my darkest moments, reaching for death, that my brain is lying to me, that there are people who care about me and that by leaving them, I would be making their lives miserable. So I need to be strong, for them. I need to keep going. I have fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism along with severe allergies that prevent me from eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, and most grains. I’m in pain constantly and I have to force myself sometimes to just get out of bed. My kids are a good motivator, I have to constantly keep them alive from their own mistakes! But I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep going on my own, even though my life could be much worse. I sometimes feel like such a wimp for feeling how I do, and I have to remind myself it’s my brain torturing me, lying to me. 

Over ten years ago, when I was singing up in Vancouver, on concert day, things happened in a way that I ended up not drinking or eating all day (not exactly for lack of trying, I did buy the food…). After the concert, we went back to the hotel only to find the high schoolers had bogged down the elevators so we took the stairs. I think I ran up 6 flights of stairs before I collapsed. Oh that darkness… it was like a peace, a relief I had never known before and I wanted it badly. I wanted it to wrap itself around me, envelop me in its comfort… but then the people around me saved me and the darkness sped away from me, bringing me back to life and it hurt. It really hurt to be ripped from the darkness. I wanted it so badly, only to have it taken forcefully from me. I never really recovered from that, I think, since that was the incident that triggered my fibro. Touching death gave me a lasting pain, a constant reminder. With each time I’ve gotten seriously ill (like with my pregnancies), it makes life that much harder. But the harder life gets, it seems like the more I have to live for.

While I was a teenager, I didn’t feel like I had anything to live for, everything felt so horrible and I was convinced everyone hated me and I barely had any friends. Now, I have a support group of 62 amazing women, I’m on pretty good terms with my family, better than most, I have a great husband and kids, and I have the ability to speak to others and listen to them, help them through difficult times. So even though right this moment, I am in incredible pain, exhausted emotionally, mentally, and physically and still have so much work to do, my life is really good. I even have people asking me to do art for them. The depression still takes me, it still drags me down and I find myself doubting people, doubting their love for me, doubting their need for me. But I know that my brain is lying to me and I can’t give in just yet. Maybe some day I will be embraced by death completely and know that peace and relief I touched so long ago… but not yet. Not while I can still do some good in this world. Because if I can continue to help people, it’s worth it. 


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