…More Than Sweet Potatoes

Emotional Stigma

Its been a couple of weeks since my world (and so many others’) was rocked by the death of Robin Williams.  There was a lot of chatter here and there about suicide and depression.  It’s a touchy subject because for all that we comment and concern ourselves with others’ lives, we actually have no idea what we’re talking about.  The only person we can comment on factually is ourselves.  With that in mind, I decided to comment on the whole thing now that the initial shock has worn off.  Disclaimer: no matter how general the statements in this post are, I don’t mean to apply my thoughts to everyone.  These are just my thoughts and how they pertain to my life.  Oh, and I guess trigger warning: suicide.  You should have figured that out by now, thought.

It’s not necessarily good to be happy always.

It may sound silly, but I think having negative feels and then being able to work through them to a place of some sort of contentment or acceptance is actually better and more commendable than just being happy all the time.  Sorry about the run-on sentence.  I think people who are always happy and always think they matter are naive and jaded.  I’d hate to be that.  I’d rather be enough aware to get upset and unhappy about my life and then be able to either accept it or make changes about it.  Seems more… self-actualization-y to me.  Shout out to Maslow.

Many people will have a similar story to mine.
Some with have more intense stories.
Some will have less intense stories.
That’s why I’ve written it down.

I have never really sat and thought about suicide.  I’m not afraid of dying, per se.  I am, however, afraid of sudden changes.  I’m also a control enthusiast, so aside from suicide, my control over my eventual death is minimal, and that scares me.

I did, once, when I was 15, think about committing suicide.  I was in Mexico with my parents and my sister.  It was the only trip we ever took that wasn’t to visit other family or family friends.  I’m aware of how elitist that may sound.  Sorry.  My sister and I had one room that connected to my parents room via a door in the middle of the wall.  The three of them were in my parent’s room and I was in the “kid’s room.”  There were balconies and hammocks off each room and the way the hotel was shaped, the balconies made a stair-shape to the building.


These are pictures of the actual balcony and hotel where we stayed.

Anyway, I stood on that little ledge that overlooks the balconies below and then the ocean.  I stood there for a really long time.  At least 20 minutes.  Just bawling.  Thinking about whether or not I should just jump off.  Would I clear enough balconies to smash into something and die or would I just break a bone and get hurt?  Would this be the answer to whatever question I couldn’t answer?

I wish I could tell you why I was so unhappy.  I wish I could remember what made me stand up there in the first place.  I wish I could say with certainty that it was just for attention and that I didn’t actually want to do it.  I wish I could tell you there was a moment of clarity.  I wish I could tell you my sister or parents walked in and caught me.

Instead, I can only give you the most anticlimactic moment of my life.  After 20 minutes or so, I stopped crying, I stepped down, walked next door to my parents room, sat down calmly, and said to my mom “I considered suicide today and I didn’t do it.”  I remember that sentence clearly.

There were some tears and very calm reminders that nothing can’t be solved with the help of my family who loves are cares about me.

I never thought about doing it since.  Again, I don’t remember why I thought about it that time and I have no idea why I never have since.  This story doesn’t have an ending… But basically, I’m alive because I decided to not be dead.  And I don’t know why.

But I think maybe that’s the point.

I don’t know why.  And we’re talking about something that happened almost happened to me.  I’m the person writing this.  This is a first person narrative and I can’t even come up with a reason or explanation.

But people do it all the time.  They try to find reasons or explanations.  They try to remind people of the reasons they should “snap out of it.”  They try to point out the silver lining.  “You’re so talented!”  “You have a loving family!” “You make people laugh.”  “You have so much to be happy about!” Here are all the reasons you should be happy.  Why are you so unhappy!?

I really don’t have a good ending to this post.  It just ends.  I suppose that’s how it should end.  Just by being done.  It’s almost poetic if not slightly sad.

I will, however, leave you with one of my favorite quotes and one of my favorite GIFs.  They have nothing to do with anything except I felt like including them.  You’re welcome.

“If you live long enough, lots of nice things happen.” – George S. Halas



3 comments on “Emotional Stigma

  1. Ben Cotton
    August 28, 2014

    Thanks for sharing your story. A week before I graduated high school, I attempted suicide by overdosing on my antidepressants. It wasn’t a determined attempt, and I immediately went to the hospital afterward. I remember what sent me over the edge, but it was such a trivial thing that I can’t explain why it affected me. I just know that I had been angsty for several months.

    Externally, it seemed like I had a lot going for me. My family was (is) loving and supportive. I was a few days away from graduating high school. I had a McJob that I was McGood at, I was about as well-liked as a nerdy kid could be, I was preparing to attend the finest institution of higher education known to man. Yet, despite all that, my brain told me horrible, horrible things. Not even specific things, but it cultivated a general disdain for being alive.

    In the 13 years since, I haven’t come close to suicide since. I’ve thought about it a few times, but more as a thought excerise than actual planning. I no longer require therapy or medication to keep my brain in check, but every so often, the bad parts pop in to remind me they’re still there.


  2. Aussa Lorens
    September 4, 2014

    Yeah, it never helps to point out all the reasons why someone should be happy. Unless your goal is to get punched in the face.


    • Deborah Ilene
      October 10, 2014

      Though, in that case, punching someone in the face might make me smile a bit more…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: