PATRYCK SOBCZAK / UNSPLASH
This entry was originally published in 2015.
It is a sensitive subject, but here it is: suicide.
I tried to commit suicide and I almost succeeded. I did not see it as a cry for help, but as a call to action to do something about the nothing I felt.
I was 15 and had fallen into a deep black hole. Friends and family had tried to drag me out, but unfortunately I did not listen and could not hear them. I was consumed with grief.
There was reason enough (I thought). My two-year-old cousin died in a car accident. I asked a girl to work and she went home and died. I found out the next day at work, pulled a sickie and was discharged the next day. This all happened within a few weeks.
That was the beginning. Later I thought I had found the end of it.
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Mama had tried an intervention, but I was not receptive and despised it.
The last drop came when my sad-arsed attitude played too much on a friend. When I saw him, he told me to leave because he had had enough of it.
I tried to take my life. It would have worked if it was not for a special friend who came by, saw me and convinced his father to take me to the hospital.
To this day I do not know why, but after my failed suicide attempt it was as if I had been restarted. Life started again, but I was so disconnected that I had to find a way to reconnect and find myself again.
I had spent the majority of a year sad, blue and mesmerized. It felt like I had lost something. For a while, while I was depressed, I found strength in black. It was self-nourishing and growing, a comfort in the dark.
But suddenly it was gone. I felt empty and devoid of a soul, but then I felt a memory of life again, only I did not know how to react to it after I returned from the edge of despair.
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So I looked. I observed and analyzed people. A lot of. I observed at-play and intrapersonal relationships. I read in body language and discovered what I liked and what I did not do. The most important thing was that I found out what and who I wanted to be.
All that was left was to rebuild my life. Piece by piece, block by block.
When I look back, I consciously copied behaviors that I liked and fitted it into my "new personality". I had spent so much time miserably as a teenager in development, that I lost all feeling for myself. Only after looking I could find where I had to start again. So I started with me.
It was not a perfect comeback. Occasionally someone recognized a behavior or a voice pattern that I had copied. A way of talking, taking a turn or actions that would make them think of someone else. Meh. I finally managed to get there. It only took some time.
Life went on and soon my depression was behind me. I was engaged at the age of nineteen and anticipated the birth of my first baby when my relationship broke down and I lived in my mother's shed.
But it all went well, because nothing could really leave me that way again. Of course I felt sorry for myself, but it did not drag me back in desperation. I went on, found work in another city, made new friends, met my future wife and the life went on.
Then I received a phone call that my niece had left a note after she had taken an overdose and died. She was 15. She left pain in someone's heart.
A while ago I thought of her and shared a tune on my Facebook page with the inscription "For Katchina". At that time it was one of her favorites, Always by Bon Jovi. One of my old school friends (a friend of her family) replied with a photo of her that she has been prominently present in her house for 20 years. I was moved and a little saddened that she was still gone and that she had missed everything life had to offer; love, camaraderie, old friendships, family, new experiences and all ups and downs that give life depth and meaning.
Looking back, we tried it. Try to reach out, try to find a place in the world and try to find acceptance among those we know. It can be difficult as a teenager. You do not fit completely into the adult world, nor in a child. There are no rules to follow. We are told that we can come up with our own future. That future is built on the here and now that (from that point of view) has not yet been defined.
Identity and a place in the "new world" has yet to be decided.
Recently, someone committed suicide at my workplace. He was forty, as I am now. I did not really know him well, but he had done some work for him a few days earlier. It amazes me how we can harbor so much sadness and despair, but show nothing of the torment that we hold inside.
It was all too easy to revolt myself in self-pity, to close the world around me and reject the conversation and friendship. I was not able to make a positive contribution to others and so I gave myself a cycle where others would not seek me for companionship and I could validate my depression and detachment.
I remember waking up in the hospital as if I had come from a dream. I remember leaving the hospital with a light heart and enriched with life inside. I felt positive and had a clean slate again.
To this day I do not know how I have changed like me. I have certainly changed a lot and fiddled from an extrovert to an introverted night. However, I also won a lot. I have won myself and a new life.
I would certainly not recommend a suicide offer as a remedy for depression. I think I just had a wake-up call and had a chance to find me. In one way or another I accepted it and left old, while I came forward.
We can only reach that far and be heard so much before action has to be taken.
Often our attempts to change ourselves are sabotaged by our own thoughts and feelings. Our lives are built up of moments in time and when our time is consumed by grief or depression, it can be difficult to see a future that goes on.
Sometimes it costs only one small thing to take you out. Sometimes it is a cluster. Likewise, it may be a small thing to start a new chapter; an arbitrary act of kindness, a sunrise after a storm. In retrospect, I think the best medicine I could prescribe for those who are depressed is laughter and positive experiences.
Thinking back, all it would have been for me to go through my depression would have been a cluster of positive experiences. A new job, a new girlfriend, a good movie, a day in an adventure park, a bungy step, a nice car ride on a long journey, meeting a new friend, moving to a new city, going out, what events look forward to , helping someone else etc.
It can be difficult to help someone else, someone who does not seem to want to help themselves, but it is possible, with time. Time to smell the roses and to find meaning and pleasure in life, time to build positive experiences to balance against the negative, and time to grow from a caterpillar that crawls through life to a butterfly that is flies, convinced that there is something better to do, something to hold for and something to look forward to.
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WHERE HELP HERE:
1737, Should I talk? Free phone call or SMS 1737 at any time for support from a trained counselor
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
Youthline – 0800 376 633, free sms 234 or email [email protected] or online chat
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
What & # 39; s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5-18 year olds). Telephone counseling is available from Monday to Friday, from 12:00 to 23:00 and on weekends from 15:00 to 23:00. Online chat is available daily from 7 pm to 10 pm.
Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800-kidsline) for young people up to the age of 18. Open 24/7.
thelowdown.co.nz – or e-mail [email protected] or free SMS 5626
Fear New Zealand – 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)
Support for families with mental illnesses – 0800 732 825.
If it is an emergency or you, or someone you know, call the risk 111.
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