Saturday, April 1, 2017

Chronic Illness and Suicide

If you have a family member or friend who is suicidal it is better to be there for them while they are alive and struggling, then to mourn them at their funeral after suicide! I have always been one to speak my mind and say exactly what it is I am thinking unapologetically without hitting an imaginary edit button in my mind (or would it be in my mouth?). I always hear people saying, while devastated by the suicide of a family member or friend, I wish I would have known or I wish there was something I could have done. Well, there was you could have been there, PERIOD! Now, this blog post is not for everyone who has ever lost someone to suicide, so please forgive me if you have lost a loved one to suicide and you feel offended. If you were there for your loved one before they did it then this is blog post is not aimed towards you. But, as sad as it is many of the people who commit suicide do so because they have reached a place in their life where they do not know where to turn, they feel completely alone (and usually are), or they just can't bare with what it is that is tormenting them (kind of like dealing with chronic illness or chronic pain).

You can make a difference in a person who is contemplating suicides life! It's quite simple, all you have to do is be there for them, as a family member or friend, hell you can be there for someone as a stranger. All you have to do is LISTEN and be a shoulder! Reach out to your loved ones who are struggling, or seem to be withdrawn, it could save their lives! Especially in our current times when life can become so completely hard and overwhelming for so many, so quickly! We all have busy lives and forget to check up on those that we care about being engulfed in our own situations and troubles in life. But, if you knew that reaching out to someone who is about to pull the plug on their life, would you then spare those few moments to help? I am willing to bet that your answer has changed from not having time to you would do absolutely anything, including stopping whatever it is you are too busy with, right? 

I am not ashamed to say that at times I struggle with the thought of suicide, and it is just that a struggle, sometimes a full-blown battle with myself. I am sometimes at war with my own self. My thoughts tell me to do it, just end it, you don't deserve all of this struggling, suffering, and grief, but my soul and my faith tell me to hold on just a little bit longer it will all work out in the end and you will be much happier for it, despite all you are against at the moment. Sometimes I sit on the edge of my bed and think I just filled my script and it would be so easy to just swallow them all and I really do contemplate it. In that moment I usually call my mother, post on facebook how I am feeling, or try and find someone to turn to. I don't have many people in my life that I can turn to, but I have a few people who depend on me and need me here, my son and grandchildren. That is usually what snaps me back into reality, thinking about them. I have heard people say things, not about me but in general, that suicide is the easy way out or that the person is just seeking attention. How absolutely heartless and ignorant must a person or group of people be to say such things? It is inconceivable to me, but there are plenty of people in the world that think this way. Good for those people, that they have never known or had a struggle in their life so overwhelming, to have such thoughts of suicide. 

My contemplations all started with my medical struggles (it's a tough struggle and battle with self). There are so many factors of being chronically ill that can lead to feeling as though suicide is the only way out of it all. The pain would be the leader on the list of reasons why. It is always there, no matter how many medications I am on and swallow every six hours, the pain is always there, just lurking. It never completely goes away and I know that when the medication wears off it is going to be 1,000 times stronger until I take the next dose and wait until it kicks in. Then there is the fact that my life is no longer what it once was and I am always in mourning of that. What I would not do to go back to those times when all I wanted to do is sit down and relax for once. There are so many different aspects of chronic illness that can make myself and others go to a point of thinking that we normally wouldn't and I would be here forever trying to explain each and every one. The point is life may be hard for the average person on an everyday basis, but just imagine how hard it is for someone who struggles day in and day out with a chronic illness. Like dealing with something that nobody else even believes you are struggling with, to begin with. 

I don't think anyone who has contemplated suicide or actually gone through with it things that they are going to do it for attention or that it is even the easiest way out. I can speak from experience when having suicidal thoughts it is the scariest choice. It is absolutely frightening to think that a life you otherwise besides the problems love is about to come to an end. I can tell you that when everything is coming at you from every which way and you feel backed against a wall and don't know how to overcome or even shut the thoughts up, the thought of suicide at that moment makes you feel calm and at ease. That is a dangerous point when one comes to that feeling about suicide, that is is calming and the answer! My faith in God is what helps me win the fight in that moment. I also fear about the next moment that my mind goes there to the thought of suicide and not being strong in the moment and no-one being there to talk me down from the thoughts that I sometimes have with myself. 

Last week I had a battle with myself, whether or not to do it. Only this time it wasn't because of the thoughts running through my head alone or the struggle I was going through. It was because of a medication that the doctor put me on that I was not doing well on. There is a family of medications that I am either allergic to or I just plain fail on every time I take them. They are called Lyrica, Cymbalta, Savella, and Gabapentin the class drug they are is Antidepressants and Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. The side effects or adverse reactions of these drugs are suicidal thoughts and tendencies, which I always seem to have when I take them. So, if you have a loved one that is acting differently and on these medications, there is a good possibility they are having an adverse reaction to the medications and you should watch them closely and be there for them! 

 I am in the states, but I was helped by writing emails back and forth through an organization called Samaritans and some of my online #spoonie friends who care enough to keep checking up on me and being an ear and shoulder for me. You never know what someone is struggling with or if they will do what they threaten or speak of, so be there for them while they are alive and struggling and you will not have to mourn them!!!! Suicide is preventable!!! All it takes is one person to reach out to that person and help them!! 

If you know someone who may be suicidal or you are contemplating it yourself. This too shall pass. Do not give up reach out to someone and ask for help. You can also use the information that I am sharing below like I have in the past. They will help you! Life is precious and if you keep your faith in the lourd and pray on it, put it in his hands, he will help you through! 

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