“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
I used to hate those words. I found them insulting. They didn’t take all scenarios into account. Those words were just meant for otherwise happy people going through a rough patch. My ENTIRE LIFE was not a TEMPORARY problem, goddamn it!
As a child, every day I feared one of my family members would kill another. Every day the people I went to school with mocked and berated me ceaselessly. Even physically assaulted me at times. Every day the people I called “friend” didn’t actually give a damn about me. Couldn’t be bothered to ask me what was wrong if they saw me hurting. Couldn’t even pick up the phone and call me to say “hello”. One call, I used to think, would be enough to make a difference. But that phone never rang.
Every day I felt like I had no one. Every day I wished I was dead. Every day, the only thing keeping me from killing myself was my refusal to let “them” win. I never knew feeling another way, even in elementary school. Enough years go by feeling that way… you don’t think it can EVER change.
The theme song from the show “Friends” has that line “when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year”. I heard a radio DJ once say, when talking about that song, something to the effect of “if it hasn’t been your year, it’s time to throw in the towel”. (Damned radio DJ’s… no one should ever take their drivel seriously.) So what about those like me – where EVERY year hasn’t been their year?!
Yeah… those like us? That slogan doesn’t apply to those like us. Or so I thought.
It took a LONG time for things to change, a lot of fuck ups, and A LOT of FIGHT. And I didn’t even notice that things were getting better until one day I turned around and realized I had an entirely different life.
Even though I didn’t appreciate the significance at the time, I do know when it started to get better for me. The fundamental difference.
In my case, it was something so small. So simple. One little pill, and all I needed to do… was take it… EVERY day. Stop convincing myself that there is nothing wrong with me and going off the meds… AGAIN. Having the courage to accept that I had a mental illness, and that did NOT make me weak. What was weak was refusing to accept help when I needed it.
It wasn’t the first pill I tried that finally helped. More like the sixth. Pharmacology isn’t an exact science.
And then when I FINALLY found the right one… that pill didn’t make all my problems go away. My life still sucked. But something was different… ME. My outlook. I realized that with time and effort, I could CHANGE my circumstances. And I did.
It took years. Years where I still felt like I was failing. But I didn’t want to die anymore. Now, I wanted to make things better instead. Until one day I looked back and realized… I LIKED my life. It’s not perfect. I still struggle and have hard times. But… life is full of ups and downs. Now I know when things are down, they WILL go back up again. Turns out it really was a temporary problem. For some people, temporary is just A LOT longer.
If you’re struggling, don’t give up. No matter how hopeless it seems – there is ALWAYS hope. And if you see someone struggling, show them you care. You may never realize that your kindness was the difference between life and death.