***I’m going to talk about suicide. After reading posts on Facebook from others with dystonia, it seems to be on the minds of many lately. I want to share my experiences with suicide and I am going to be brutally honest. Some of my first-hand experiences may be tough to stomach.***
Someone suffering with dystonia attempted suicide a few weeks ago. I hear about an attempt every few months. It made me reflect on my own experiences with suicide. Yes, to be frank, I have contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. And while I won’t go shouting from the rooftops, I feel it important to share and step outside my comfort zone. I don’t regret my suicidal times. They have given me perspective on my life and helped shape who I am today. They have also shown me how strong I am. I dealt with suicide caused by clinical depression, as a teen and young adult. Then again, in more recent years, when I was beginning my journey with chronic pain and dizziness from dystonia.
There was a time long before I ever had dystonia that I dealt with depression. Dealing with chronic depression as a teenager and young adult, I understand the need to end your life. I sincerely hope you don’t. I would describe it as a never ending drive. An overpowering drive. A drive that pulls you down a bottomless pit. A place where evil beings claw at your arms and legs in an endless attempt to keep you falling down, down, down into total darkness. No light. It hurts to breathe and you have lost control of all rational thoughts. You don’t deserve to live. You are worthless. You are not being selfish, you are making the world a better place by removing yourself from it.
Within this deep depression, normal thoughts are shoved out and replaced with creative ways to kill yourself. What would be the quickest? What would cause the most pain? A painful way is best because you deserve the pain. I will spare you my list of ways. Yes, I still remember them all and I it is a lengthy list.
Luckily, I escaped that depression some time ago. It lingers, on rare occasions. But now I can discern the irrational from rational thoughts. That’s how I know that I’m ok.
There was a more recent time when I was unsure I could handle the dizziness and physical pain from dystonia. A time when I couldn’t consider living the rest of my life that way. Contemplating ending my life was completely different that time. By then, I no longer viewed suicide as a viable option and knew there was no danger of me acting upon it. Still, I dreamt about it when I saw no end to the pain. And while I was depressed then too, (because it is depressing to live with chronic pain) depression didn’t lead my thoughts. The pain and never ending dizziness did. This time, there was no drive pushing me to do it. This time, dying was not darkness but going into the light. Becoming engulfed in never-ending warmth. Like a sunny day that never ends. Or a bath that never gets cold. An end to all pain. Complete peace.
I can’t explain how both situations could carry such different emotions. I don’t know if others have had similar experiences.
Today, suicide is not an option for me. I have known that for years. I don’t condone suicide. Not at all. It is a completely selfish act that I have no right to make. God has a plan for my life and even on my worst days, I hope for a long one. It turns out, as the years have passed, my dizziness has subsided for much longer periods of time. My pain is more manageable. But at my worst, I wouldn’t have believed that was possible. I do understand why people choose to take their lives. I truly get it. And I keep those like me, living in chronic pain, and those struggling with depression, in my prayers.
Please keep an eye on those around you, both friends and those who are mere acquaintances. Please speak up if something seems wrong.