World Suicide Prevention Day: a conversation

What’s most agonizing about suicidal thoughts are not the thoughts themselves, but the confusion behind them.

For what it’s worth, I want to live. There are hundreds of things I haven’t done, places I haven’t gone to, people I haven’t met, feelings I haven’t felt. Sometimes just the vastness of my “haven’t done yet”s make me so anxious, it cripples me into doing nothing at all. Motivation: lost.

I want to live, I do. I haven’t finished my first book (ETA, December 2017). I haven’t road-tripped across the country, purchased a piece of furniture, or learned how to rollerblade. I still haven’t broken my nail-biting habit (it’s gross, I know, okay?), and I still haven’t mastered ASL (working on it, though). There are things I want–maybe even need–to do before my time on earth is up, things that keep me up at night (maybe not the rollerblading thing, but definitely that impending CC-road trip). There is so much left to say, to do, to feel. I want to say it all, do it all, feel it all.

I want to live.

But sometimes? I just don’t.

Sometimes I convince myself that I am not worthy of love, of friendship, of the opportunities I’ve been given, of the oxygen flowing into my lungs. Sometimes I convince myself that those around me see me as nothing more than a burden, a nuisance, a blemish they cannot get rid of. Sometimes I convince myself that they will be better off without me. Sometimes I convince myself that my bedroom contains all I’ll ever need, and that leaving the comfort of it will bring me only anxiety, only sadness, only more feelings of inadequacy. Sometimes I convince myself that it would be easier to disappear than it would be to continue trying to find comfort in visibility, that it would be easier to end the cycle of misery at my own hands than to continue living a life I will never truly love.

On today, World Suicide Prevention Day, I want to open up a dialogue about suicidal thoughts and ideation. An uncomfortable conversation that many people are afraid to have, myself included. But not having the conversation at all has proven to be less-than-ideal. That almost innate refusal to speak on the things that are difficult hasn’t helped anyone suffering from mental illness.

It took a long time to feel comfortable enough to even say I dealt with suicidal thoughts and ideation. I was ashamed, embarrassed, and scared. I didn’t know what I was feeling, I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling, and I didn’t think anyone should have to listen to me attempt to explain what was going on inside my head. Living alone with my self-deprecation felt easier than burdening anyone else with those morbid thoughts I couldn’t even explain to myself.

So, openly offering my support to those who may need is is the step I’m taking today. I don’t want anyone to feel as if they are alone in their more difficult emotions, alone in dealing with the urges they bring up, or alone in their confusion behind the things they are feeling. I want to be the person I needed when I was younger, a sounding board for the suicidal ideation thrust upon me that I didn’t quite know how to navigate despite feeling everything so harshly and so deeply.

Open up a productive dialogue with your loved ones today. I know I’ll be doing the same for mine.

“Suicide prevention is important to me because I am alive because of people who cared enough to make sure I was okay” – TWLOHA.com

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Sandra

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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Article dear hope

A poetry selection: Ali Zagame Part 1

**Trigger Warning: mentions of self-harm, death, and suicide

 

IMPORTANT THINGS I LEARNED BEFORE I PROBABLY SHOULD’VE BEEN LEARNING THEM

The first thing that I ever learned as an infant was how to keep myself from choking.

Reason being: I refused to eat bite sized pieces of anything. I wanted to rip fruit from the seed with my infantile, underdeveloped teeth and rejected meat unless my mom put the slab of beef, pork, or lamb on my highchair, bone, if applicable, attached. Cheerios? Hell no Give me an adult meal and no fork, thank you. When my grandmother first came to visit me, she was appalled until she watched me slap my own back and continue on eating like I wasn’t a baby, but a competitive eater with sauce or blood dripping down my chin. I loved my food rare or raw, which only made it a tad more gruesome and alarming.

But I never choked.

The next thing I learned was how to save money. I learned that store-brand orange juice is 37 cents cheaper and still just as good. I learned that white lies aren’t so harmful because it’s better not to tell dad that you need new clothes and simply buy them instead, let him explode all at once each month, try to hide the fact that you’re growing, learn not to feel so guilty when mom takes the blame when you know it was you begging for that shirt, learn to love the words “you’ll grow into it,” fall in love with two pairs of sweatpants and trade them off, learn to ignore the comments asking if you own anything else because you don’t need to if it makes dad angry at your mom–it isn’t worth that because a peaceful night is priceless, learn to laugh at the surprise on that one day when you were 13 and wore that old pair of jeans in the back of your closet because mom was sick and couldn’t do laundry.

But I never choked.

I learned my pain is not the worst, and will never be. My hospital visits, my crying on Winnie the Pooh beanbag chairs screaming “Will I always feel like this?,” my sleeping on slanted beds and migraines and my burning throat became a splinter at the sight of her. The girl a couple grades above me. The one with the dark brown hair who lost one and a half lungs to a bad inhaler and sounds like she already met God. I can’t remember her name now but I never felt pain when I saw her in the waiting room.

But I never choked.

I learned from the nice police officer who visited us in middle school that your boyfriend can’t sexually assault you. If you’re dating him, then him stealing first kisses, grabbing you by the waist, and dry humping you in the townhouse basement when you squirmed away to the sound of your friend’s birthday party upstairs is considered dating troubles. I called the “nice” police officer and had to apologize for wasting his time because I didn’t recognize that my relationship was immune to the word “no,” I didn’t realize my willingness to hold his hand gave him permission to struggle with my training bra; I learned what rape did to someone the next school year when a girl in gym class told me the same boy lured her to his home. I learned sympathy doesn’t break popularity ranks when I asked to sit next to her at lunch and was denied. I thought I would never let it happen to me and learned later that it wasn’t going to be a matter of “letting it” because it wasn’t my choice.

But I never choked.

I learned that cutting yourself is difficult with nail clippers when there isn’t anything sharper in reach. I learned that sometimes your blood looks orange when you’re sick, and that missing your period because you starved yourself is not a goal, but an illness. I learned that if your mother finds out, she may force feed you cereal and Bible quotes, trying to fix your stomach, not knowing that it isn’t broken, but simply tired. I learned donuts have never tasted so good until you give up self-loathing.

But I never choked.

I learned the only way to get over your father calling you “worthless” and meaning it is when he apologizes for it on a hospital bed after having a stroke, and even then, it may take some time. I learned the only teacher you have that is going to make an attempt to understand why your homework is overdue is the one in the wheelchair because he wasn’t always in that seat and he knows what it’s like to feel unable to stand. He knows the difference between you passing out in the corner of the classroom after driving your father to the ER to cough up blood and the student with the Blink-182 tattoo sleeping after watching Adult Swim down the hall from his healthy parents last night.

But I never choked

I learned the difference between walking and marching for change; I learned that Title IX is a fancy way of saying fuck your trauma. I learned that PTSD isn’t just for soldiers and even if I never saw war to get it, that doesn’t mean I’m not fighting. I learned how to swallow worry and drink it down with cold sweats. I learned what the fuck a cold sweat was. I learned how to lie to a psychiatrist and pretend so well you almost believe you’re healing yourself until you look in the mirror and realize how fake it all is. I would wonder why my hair wasn’t greyer and how I still had all my teeth. I learned how to live.

But I never choked.

 

~

 

SCARS

Brandi was the last resort friend with a reputation preceded by the tears in her jeans that ran just an inch too high up her thigh, shirts that pushed dress code buttons and left gaps in the ones straining to keep the tissues of her push-up bra in place. Brandi taught me biting is fair game when you’re fighting, and not to trust the friend that bites you. Brandi drew my blood, but left scars in less easily healed places. She drew blood with what came out of her mouth, rather than the skin her teeth latched to.

The first time I cut, Brandi told me that I couldn’t be serious about hurting myself until the scars were vertical.

That’s how you know someone’s in trouble: when the lines on their wrist are less like morbid bracelets and more like a parody of veins.

The second time I hurt myself I whispered “don’t be a pussy about it,” and made sure that shit was a vertical line. “You don’t cut yourself to feel the pain,” I said. “I cut to die.”

I wanted someone to know what I was capable of; I didn’t even wear those gothic fingerless gloves that made me feel like I was hiding something. I tucked my hair behind my ear when it was already resting there; I pretended to look embarrassed. I held that wrist with my other hand. I raised my left hand when the teacher called on me that day because I wanted the world to know I was serious.

In making my statement that I wasn’t doing this for attention, I begged for attention.

My neon pants said “notice me.” The downward gaze said “but don’t talk to me unless you’re actually going to help.” I was motherfucking sick of youth group leaders and homeschooled snobs saying they’d “pray for me,” washing their hands clean with the smile: problem solved. Maybe I was dirty to them, but you have to get your hands dirty to help someone who has spent the days wading through bullshit.

My large, broken-heart choker necklace shouted that I was already halfway to strangling myself. My attitude became the stereotype for the quiet girl in the movies that is screaming internally for human interaction. Prove her wrong that you’re just another “friend” that hates the sound of rain when it sleeps. You won’t stay for the bad weather, so why bother? In my town, it is flooding.

You do not cut to see the blood, to feel the pain, the force that cry upward. You cut to die. I cut to die.

I wish I knew then that it was okay to ask for help.

But more importantly, I wish I knew then that it was okay if someone refuses help.

It’s not okay that they leave you drowning. It’s not okay that they don’t give a reason and expect you to know why the relationship you grew died. It’s not okay when they’ll teach you the difference between laughing with and laughing at by accusing and pointing fingers. It’s not okay that they say, “You’ll go to hell.” It’s not okay when they wish you there. It’s not okay that they tell you to speed up the process and cut a little deeper.

But it’s okay, because you’ll be okay.

 

Ali Zagame, the author

 

This is part 1 of 2 in a poetry selection written by the extremely talented Ali Zagame. You can find more poetry (and some music!) from Ali on her website, Facebook, and Bandcamp. Be sure to check in next week for part 2, and give lots of love to Ali in the comments!

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Sandra

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

Follow us for more posts, inspiration and art on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram

dear hope poetry Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More

A poetry selection: Mouse

**Trigger Warning: suicide, self-harm

 

do you

do you know what its like to always wonder
to always worry
to always fear
to always second guess
to always wander in your mind
do you know what its like to cry because you have
no one
or what its like to want to die because you have
no one
and do you ever wish you had someone
but all you do is avoid everyone

 

 

the note

i didnt realize how bad id gotten
sitting in my car
1:23 am
tears running down my face
like an infinite waterfall
sending silent prayers to anything out there
deciding i wanted it all over
i needed it to stop
while everyone fantasized about their future
i fantasized about my ending
rope
blade
pill
bleach
anything sounded fine
1:37 am
running bath water
writing a note
i find one already written
1:41 am
draining bath water

 

 

Big thanks to Mouse for sharing her work with us. We love being able to share such vulnerable, beautiful poetry like this. Be sure to live some love to Mouse in the comments.

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Sandra

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

Follow us for more posts, inspiration and art on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram

dear hope poetry Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More

I Wear a Mask

It is truly amazing how one person can bend over backwards for the people they love and care about, but only feel the tiniest bit of self-worth.

I am someone who is devoting my life to helping others.

I believe that everyone has purpose.

I put in so much effort to make those around me feel loved and appreciated.

Yet, I wear a mask.

Creative Pieces dear hope

Treasure Map to Confidence

Your insecurities are a treasure map to confidence

Growing up, I was insecure to the point where my insecurities looked like insanity. I took those insecurities and literally shredded them into oblivion, shredding them apart just a little so I could see the light. Just to get a small bit of relief.

Well, the light was strong enough to force much of them away. This was because your insecurities can lead to a unique way of loving yourself, further leading to a different type of story that people want to hear.

Creative Pieces dear hope

Clean House

Worry not, friend, for despite its title, this piece does not detail the pseudo-therapeutic practice of the de-cluttering of the mind (and therefore of the soul) through mindful sorting of writing utensils on one’s desk. This is not an uninformed do-gooder’s letter to the masses written to conjure imagery of a desperate teenager, vacuum in hand, ridding their bedroom carpet of a film of negativity dust with the misguided gospel cluttered room, cluttered mind glaring in red paint from the adjacent wall. No healing could be so simple or immediate. Rather, this is an honest work; it is myself, and that state of being is a rarity in recent days. This is the point, I suppose: that I want to feel something true today. While this goal takes its place in a dizzyingly lengthy queue—such is the curse of the unrealistically ambitious depressive—I will add it nonetheless with the detachedly determined hope that I fulfill it.

Creative Pieces dear hope

Pull the Trigger: song lyrics from Sleep Season’s Christian DiMare

Pull the Trigger

Verse:
When all our questions
jump right out us
and run,
We’ll feel so inspired,
we’ll never feel higher-than-now.
“Watch for suggestion.
New direction,
At once!”
But whispers inside
say, “you’ll trip when you try,”
that amounts.

Chorus:
Take a chance.
Pull the trigger.
No clue what will become,
Nothing’s there to be won
When you wait.
How’d you figure?
Take a chance.
Pull the trigger

Verse:
Time is an essence
Effervescent
And young.
All the more that transpires
Leaves you wilted and tired
While there’s less left to live
To do what you desired.

Chorus:
Take a chance.
Pull the trigger.
No clue what will become,
Nothing’s there to be won
When you wait.
How’d you figure?
Take a chance.
Pull the trigger.
Come to life.

Bridge:
Wonder.
Will what will become.
Make your mark.
Take your time.
No point
In holding on
Tightly to what’s
Left behind.
When world bolsters up,
Then you fight.
It won’t always pay out
On the inside of right.
If you focus too hard
You’ll get stuck on the “what” you’ve defined
In your mind.

Chorus:
Take a chance.
Pull the trigger.
No clue what will become,
Nothing’s there to be won
When you wait.
How’d you figure?
Take a chance.
Pull the trigger.
Come to life.

 

“Pull the Trigger” is a continuation of Identity for me.

Many people loved that song best from our debut, but it was actually my least favorite. I think I finally understand why: It reminds me of the hatred I couldn’t begin to understand behind the eyes of my perfect self/that I still won’t look into. How much it is to disallow what is simply human had become: It wore a face; it had a name; and it was None.

I’m writing this song to try to provide insight into my human experience; if you identify with this, you have a capital Right to that. The moment you deserve is to live a life of your very own. You can be “crazy” in whatever way you choose.

Being gay doesn’t come easy to everybody. It might come to you as a surprise that some people refuse it all their lives. That rush of sex is a forbidden treasure they can’t pursue. Idealogical fear distorts their perception, making them act against their interest (sometimes for good reasons). They’re not the ones you think you know when they’re alone.

“When all our questions…” hints at that moment where you’ve never felt more certain of yourself. It’s a rare feeling when you’re struggling with anxiety because “whispers” flood your mind immediately. Sometimes I award myself my obsessive compulsive neuroses, but some are toxic, like never picking something to pursue. I hope for music and I’m good at math, but never deciding is what kills me, and I know it. Sometimes I make an effort to do both.

An allusion to suicide, “Pull the Trigger” acts as a metaphor for making a strong decision. Coming out for me was the strong decision that changed my life for the better. It meant a change from being what others want for me, to shaping my own identity. I struggle with finding the “who” I want to be. It has its own set of challenges, but it’s better than hiding from who I am.

If you’re ever struck with the feeling that living would be better if something were true, then you should act in the interest of that something; make it so. Don’t give up because you love you when no one else does. Continue because you would miss you in their shoes.

I hope you find that feeling to be something to hold onto.

Happy Pride Month.

 

This song comes from Christian DiMare, the lead singer of Sleep Season and a wonderful new member of our community. We are so happy to end out June, Pride Month, with this submission. Give some love and good words to Christian in the comments!

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Sandra

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

Follow us for more posts, inspiration and art on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

dear hope Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More