A village & a person

I’m thinking about all these widely known people committing suicide the past couple of years.

Having been there (had suicidal ideations in the past), I have written before about my thoughts on the increasing number of suicides and of suicide in general.

Well, to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s an increase of suicides, or if it’s just the same as in the past, but nowadays the incidents see the light of day more frequently. It doesn’t matter that much.

For the past couple of days I was thinking that all these cases, they should work as a wake up call.

Mental health is here. It may be unseen sometimes, but we have to do something about it.

It takes a village to make progress. But it always starts with a person! Me, you, everyone. Each one of us should start doing something, talking, speaking out, sharing stories, opening a dialog about mental health, about what really is about, etc.

I have been someone with an untreated mental health disorder for about 8 years and I have friends who have a mental health issue and don’t continue their treatment (being in denial) guilty or not even starting a treatment in the first place (also a form of denial).

But denial doesn’t lead anywhere. And all the myths about what mental health disorders and issues are like continue going from mouth to mouth; and it would take the same energy to get to know mental health better, than creating a ton of misinformation around it!

It takes a village, but it starts from the person, you, and me, and everyone else.

The most important thing, and an idea to begin with is acceptance. Accepting that mental health exists, that it’s a real thing that can kill you if left untreated and inside a tornado of denial. Otherwise it’s treatable.

And then, after acceptance, come words, and expression, and the beginning of a dialog.

Sounds like an utopia? Maybe…

But, mental health is something that’s treatable, it’s about your brain, your body is there to support you; anything related to mental health has some kind of solution.

And even though you might think you’re alone, there are thousands (if not millions) of people out there that can relate to you.

So, why keeping yourself and your issue in the shadows?

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The word “suicide”

Once upon a time there was a word called “suicide”. It meant taking your own life, for a variety of reasons, caused by a variety of triggers. The word was one of the “hidden” ones, people didn’t like talking about it much, and society was kind of scared of it. Time passed, ages, and the year 2018 came. But not much have changed…. Only a few glimpses of light were making their appearance every once in a while.

And here’s my glimpse of light, about the word “suicide”…..

What a magical intro about a theme like that, right? Haha. We’re trying to get more familiar with the idea of suicide and mental health, and I like writing about these matters, because they are so taboo for many, and in reality they shouldn’t be, because they’re basically part of every day life. They’re not from another world, they’re here, they had always been here and they will be here for as long as the human mind will be here.

I have written aboout suicide in the past, about all the suicides of musicians and more known people, and how close to home they strike. But this one is different, more personal and an attempt to get some things straight about suicide.

You may be wondering if I’m a professional of mental health. No, I’m not. I’m just someone that had my share of problems with my mind in the past and I have done a lot of work with myself to reach the point where I am today.

Oh, here’s me, make up free as they say on social media, just taking a break of working a lot lately with my arts….

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I’m going through one of the best periods in my life so far, I love myself, I love the people around me, I’m super productive, I am the happy-go-lucky person I’ve been since I can remember myself, I’m dealing great with all the things that life brings, and many more.

But there has been a time when I was suicidal. I had suicidal throughts (aka suicidal ideations), I had a ton of thoughts when I had knives around me or in my hand. Once I had a migraine and thought “I should take a painkiller” and then my mind told me “you could take more than one, that’s the way you would kill yourself”. And I had my therapist make me have a list of three people that I would call if the thoughts were going to turn into actions. They never did, but it was a fight (well, a few fights) for them not to be realized.

(pause of writing, some tears, a smile)

This is one of the most difficult posts I have ever written and one of the most cathartic ones. And it makes me emotional, because I know the hell I have been through, how many good things I have managed to gain out of it and it makes me sad that I once wanted to hurt myself. I love myself, I have always loved myself, maybe not as much as I do now, but I did love me.

In my case the suicidal thoughts were caused (together with depression) by my then untreated OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, an anxiety disorder where your mind has so much anxiety that creates compulsions (like repeated actions) to deal with the anxiety). My mind had enough and the alarms started screaming at some point. I remember feeling so helpless inside my own mind and body, I remember not feeling like myself, even now sometimes it seems like that person going through all that wasn’t me. But, it was. The mind can talk nonsense sometimes. It’s kind of natural. But, this is why in case you don’t feel well, you should ask for help from the people around you and a specialist, a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Being suicidal isn’t the easy way out. You go through rough times.

Being suicidal doesn’t mean you’re weak. Everyone’s mind has its limits and life can get taugh.

Being suicidal means that your mind and body tell you to take better care of yourself.

Being suicidal is something that can happen to anyone.

Being suicidal is not your fault, it may be nobody’s fault. Shit happens, there’s a solution to this shit, there always is.

Being suicidal isn’t something you should be ashamed of. Period.

Nowadays, sometimes, I pause and think how nice things there are and how grateful I am to still be here. Life isn’t always easy, but it’s interesting and full of great experiences and wonderful days, and color, and art, and beautiful things all around, and people, etc, etc.

A few words to you, that you might read this and be where I used to be:

It’s going to be ok. You can’t see right now, probably, but everything is going to be ok, and even better than just ok. You’re goind through some difficult times, totally normal. Pick up the phone and call a friend, a family member, a help line, a therapist, someone to talk to. Spill it out, you’re not feeling so good and you would like some help or just someone to talk to. Remember that your mind is messing with you and there’s a solution for it, called therapy, or medication, or a combo of them both. You have managed to realize that there is problem and that’s the first step, that’s really great. You’re an amazing human being that after a while you’re going to be an amazing survivor/fighter/hero. And I love you, I know what you’re going through and I can guarantee you that everything is going to be ok.

A few words to all of you, from me, a person that was suicidal and managed to deal with it and got over it:

Don’t judge. Me and everyone else that went through suicidal thoughts, are normal people. Each person has hers/his limits and each brain and body has its limits. And the human brain can take a turn for the dark sometimes, it’s something that can happen to anyone. You never know the baggage, the problems, that “inside story” of someone’s life, so keep an open mind. And help. And be there for those close to you that might going through hard times.

And one of the most important things f all, that I come though many times when I’m talking about mental health: don’t be sorry for someone with mental health problems or a past of suicidal thoughts. Many times, when I’m saying or writing parts of my story, I get so many “I’m sorry”s.

Well, I’m not sorry for myself (why should you be?), all I have been through made me who I am today and I’m very proud of it all.

Too close to home

These past months two musicians have committed suicide, due to mental health problems. The news hit too close to home both times, so I decided that it was time to write about it. 

Well, I have been there, not too long ago. About one year ago, after years of untreated OCD, my mind got really tired and started giving me suicidal thoughts. They were coming when I was really stressed, or even out of the blue. Believe me, when your mind tells you even the way you could try and kill yourself is one of the weirdest moments of your life. 

The one thing you MUST do when these thoughts come, is ask for help from a psychologist/psychiatrist! With the help of an expert you see things how they really are. Suicidal thoughts is your mind talking nonsense, your mind being tired of certain problems, your mind trying to cope with untreated mental health issues. Killing yourself is never the answer! 

Many people may say that “you cannot do this to your family”, but I say that YOU CANNOT DO THIS TO YOURSELF. In life, hard times always appear and (mental) health isssues appear as well, but there are doctors and experts for it, to help you cope and get healthy, fight, survive and move on from bad times. 

Each individual has hers/his burden/past/memories, but there’s nothing you cannot deal with eventually. It just takes help, time and willpower. But it’s all worth it. Because you cannot lose life, all the happy times that are going to come, all the love, the people, the nice things, the moments, the everyday things, everything, because your mind told you so at some point. 

Suicidal thoughts are about problems with your mental health, and though it’s still some kind of taboo (in 2017), mental health is still HEALTH. When you get psychically sick you go to the doctor, it’s the same thing with mental health, your mind gets sick and you need to go to the doctor. After all, your body works because of your mind/brain! 

So, don’t ever give up, if you have suicidal thoughts it might seem logical to turn them into action. But it’s not! In the end of the tunnel you’re into there is light, there is life, there are good things you can’t even imagine right now. Difficult times definitely come in life, but definitely go as well. And you must be breathing to meet them! 

Trust me, because I’m a suicidal thoughts survivor!