I thought about killing myself again today. Not the first time and likely not the last. Some people have Cancer. Some people have Aids. I have a mental illness. I cannot qualify it’s seriousness or pain. I just take my medication and pray that it does not take my life. Many of my friends don’t even know this about me. Surprise.
There are no parades. No colored ribbons. No t-shirts. No races to champion the cause. No soap boxes with celebrities on bullhorns. Just a stigma. Just the shame.
Every family has one. Or a dozen. But we don’t talk about them. Or when we do it’s certainly not with respect or without jest. You know, the crazies. The toothless wackadoodle folk that just stumbled off an episode of Cops or Jerry Springer.
But do we really all look like that?
I’m not sure when the first time I thought about killing myself was, but the first time I seriously tried I was 13, and then again at 20. And I couldn’t even get that right. Now I find myself torn by the compassion I feel for that sweet, innocent girl.
What did she know?
What do I know now?
I’m still that girl. And I just need a hug. And a little understanding from a harsh world. And I think there are far more of me out there than are brave enough to admit it. Because the world would frown on this kind of honesty. It would shame it back into it’s dark, sad and lonely corner where it belongs. It would question our worthiness to be parents, to be productive members of society.
And yet we are.
So today I’m breaking the mold, because I’m proud of the painful amount of work it has taken for me to stay alive. I’m not going to hide anymore. I mean, I’m not going to start introducing myself, “Hi there, I’m Sarah, I have a mental illness.” I can see how that might scare the sane folk.
But I’m not afraid of my disease anymore.
I didn’t choose this.
And I can’t be ashamed of something I didn’t choose.
So for all you other crazies out there, I thought about killing myself again today. But it was just a thought. And then I thought about you and decided to write this. So hang in there. You are more than your disease and you are most definitely not alone.