My psychologist had me bring my two closest friends into our session today.
We talked about past suicide attempts, current risk of suicide, and what the risk is during mood swings. The goal is to make a plan to keep me safe. What is so difficult about making that plan is willingly giving up some of my rights ahead of time. I had to agree that when it reaches a certain point, they can hospitalize me. They can remove my medications and sharp objects. I’ve given them permission to use force to subdue me. My psychologist has had me make this plan now so that when I am not willing to give up these rights, they will know that the rational me has chosen to give them up in order to keep myself alive.
Mental illness is life threatening. I think that is one of the hardest realities to face for both sufferers and caregivers. It scares me that a mood swing could drive me to that point tomorrow and there could be nothing I could do about it. Bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia…they’re actually capable of taking your life. Just like any physical ailment – but we’ve already gone over this…mental illness is a physical illness.
It was just weeks ago I got trapped in a mixed state and nearly took my life on multiple occasions. It was terrifying. I stuck close to my psychologist and my psychiatrist, while my friends stuck close to me. Surviving it was the farthest thing from easy. I curled up in a ball and screamed. I self-harmed. I was catatonic in the shower. I thought of suicide every hour of every day.
That’s the brutal truth of mental illness, though. That happens. It’s life-threatening. I hope more people can recognize that so more people can get the help they need. It’s not easy living this way, and it makes it harder when those who do not understand dismiss it because it does not affect them.
If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, please reach out. Get the help you need. If you need, go to the ER. Call a suicide hotline. Call a friend. Just…keep your head above water. Sometimes, I forget, too, but there’s a lot more to live for.