Suicide Awareness

small__14361441374I would be lying if I said I’d never thought about it. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know about the struggles I’ve had over the years with childlessness, weight/food issues and loss. 2014 has been pretty rough too. I’m generally cheerful and am always good for a laugh; but I’ve considered it.

Not seriously, I’ve never tried it. I’ve thought about options and on one particularly dark night I hatched a plan; and that made me feel a bit better. That night was the turn around. The woman I had been at 4am, calmly calculating what it might take… well she frightened the living daylights out of me. For the first time, I had become aware of my own suicidal thoughts. It was terrifying, and I knew it was time to tell someone.

I can understand why people don’t say out loud that they have considered taking their own life. When you hear yourself say the words it makes you feel ill. Physically sick to the pit of your stomach. When you see the face of someone you love react to that statement – actually I can’t describe it, but it’s not good. We then had to enlist some help and I had to say it out loud again. In that moment I understood what and ‘out of body experience’ felt like.

My prayer life was a mess at that stage, but I started trying to say the Our Father regularly. When you spend time praying that and only that, you realise it pretty much covers everything.
Honouring God’s name, accepting His will, asking for daily provision, asking for forgiveness, asking for help to forgive others, help against temptation, and protection from evil.

I started having counselling, I went to the doctor, and was prescribed some mild medication. I remember sitting in the car with the prescription in my hand, crying my eyes out; convinced that anti-depressants were the beginning of the end. I was sure I’d never come back from there. But it was the opposite. They helped me to lift my head just enough to see over the darkness, and I started to recover. 18 months later I reduced the dose and was off them 6 months after that.

I remember the counselling session when I said “I want to live!” It took me a while to get back there, but I did.

Despite a really hard year, I'm doing great. Writing helps :)
Despite a really hard year, I’m doing great. Writing helps 🙂

I wish I had some inspired words of wisdom that would change people. Suicide awareness is increasing all the time, yet people still take that option. The change came for me when I became aware of my own thoughts. I thank God that I spoke up about it.

In 2012 I wrote about a couple of people I knew who had taken their own lives. I briefly referred to my own struggles, and made lighter of it than it was. I wasn’t ready to be honest about it.

Say it to someone. Say it to me if you like. It will sound even worse on your tongue than it does in your head. But in my experience, real suicide awareness started with myself; then I knew I had to make others aware of it too.

I thank God that I am alive 🙂

A x

Places to call:
Pieta House Call +353 1 6235606
Samaritans Ireland Call 116 123

Photo credits:
1, Polina Glezova via photopin cc
2. me 🙂

Suicide Awareness Day 2012

When I think about it, I’m shocked at how many people I know who have been affected by suicide. Today is the start of Suicide Awareness Week and marks Suicide Awareness Day around the world.

There are two people that come to mind in particular today. One I’d known since I was a kid. I fancied him like mad and dreamed of marrying him one day. He was a great laugh! Even though I hadn’t seem him for years, cos he was my brother’s mate, I invited him to my wedding – not as the groom tho 🙂 It was different from any other wedding he’d been to and he loved it! I remember him running over to me at one stage shouting, “Amo, this is a BRILLIANT day!” with his huge smile.

The other person I’m thinking about today I didn’t know as well, or for as long. She was a beauty! She was a scream too. I remember a wedding we were both at – we were dancing like mad women 😉 She was a fiesty fiery redhead  – another one with a big bright smile…

I’ve had down days. Some VERY dark and dismal days! But I don’t remember a day when I felt I didn’t have anyone in world that I could talk to, or that there was no way out of a situation. I can’t imagine what that would be like. How crushing it must be to feel that there is no way out and no one who can help.

I can’t give enough praise for Pieta House – an organisation working to prevent suicide and self harm in Ireland. Their work is inspiring – and tireless. And this week I’d encourage you to look at their website, Facebook page, Twitter feed – what ever is your thing. Get involved, raise awareness , or a few quid even – and let’s work together to help those who feel helpless.

There is always hope! My hope is in Christ Jesus. I know not everyone reading this shares that hope. But hope still exists and help can be found. You are not alone.

You are NOT alone!

Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.