J.E. Skye’s Thoughts on Suicide

 

Suicide.

In the darkest places of my mind, I still remember how it felt when suicide was all that consumed my thoughts. What a dark place I must go to again, but this time only to better understand. Some are put on this earth so that they can help others deal with the same problems, I like to think this is one of those times.

I have so much to say about suicide because I have had the unfortunate pleasure of going down that road three times in my life, and survive. That doesn’t count the suicidal thoughts that have waged war in my head in the years before and after my diagnosis.

I am afraid and excited at the same time to write this blog post because I haven’t really explored my thoughts about suicide other than expressing that I am against it and that I have tried three unsuccessful times in my life. The topic has come up, but not in this way. It took one person asking to write my thoughts about suicide that gave me the strength to write. So here I go.

It has taken me many years to be in a good place with my diagnosis so that talking about suicide is something that I can do. It’s been a little over seven years since my last suicide attempt, and since that time I have always advocated against it.

To be in a place where suicide is the only option is still fresh in my mind and it is the worst feeling I have ever felt in my life. The places that my mind went to when my depression was at its darkest was hell and it felt like there was no escape. I wanted to be anywhere but in my own body.

In my own experiences, my suicide attempts were the result of weeks of very little sleep, the constant racing of my thoughts, and convincing myself that I was not good enough to live in the same world as everyone else. I went inward into myself and disappeared from the real world. I barely ate or spoke words, and spent hours on end in bed trapped in the darkness.

Nothing seemed real to me the weeks leading up to my first suicide attempt. My girlfriend at the time was constantly worried about my mental health because just weeks before I had said goodbye to the world on social media, but I was stopped before I could take it to the level of suicide. Somehow, I convinced everyone in my family including my girlfriend that things were fine and I was on the mend.

I honestly don’t know why I wanted to convince the people I loved that I was okay. It may have been a selfish need to make myself feel better about what I was planning, and yes it was very selfish. I didn’t think or care about anyone but myself and it showed in the fact that it took three suicides for me to come to grip with the reality that my suicides had hurt the people that love me.

Being who I am, I researched suicide. I saw the real statistics and I didn’t care if I became just another statistic on a website. The tools were there to let someone know that I was suicidal, like calling the suicide helpline, but I didn’t want to be helped. I wanted to not exist. I found the only means to take my life that was accessible to me an overdose. It wasn’t a great solution, but at the time it felt right, even if it felt wrong after.

Over the weekend and the day leading up to my first suicide attempt, I didn’t sleep. I was fighting a war inside my head, and the battles seemed endless. I always remember my first suicide the most vividly because of when it happened, during Thanksgiving week. I remember feeling angry that the doctors wouldn’t release me after telling them I was no longer suicidal (which was a lie) and sad that the first time in my life I would miss Thanksgiving.

Looking back, I think that first suicide attempt failed because wanting to not be a part of this world was just my cry for help. I think that is why I decided to tell the world that I planned to end my life, again. Deep down I wanted to be stopped, which is what happened. I was found in time.

It’s a weird feeling when you finally take that leap to commit suicide (for lack of a better word) and it that moment the world becomes surreal. Everything in my mind became clear and at the time I felt for the first time that I was at peace. It wasn’t real peace of course and it was only a temporary feeling.

I remember some of what happened next. Being rushed to the hospital. The doctors and nurses were forcing a black charcoal substance down the throat, faint conversations about me committing suicide, and then many hours later being pushed down a long hallway to the psych ward.

That was the first time that I was so deep into depression that I turned to suicide. Within a month, I tried again with the same result, a stint in the psych ward. I chose to write about the first and second suicide attempt together because they are quite similar in that deep-down I didn’t really want to die. I mention this because that is starkly different than the last time I committed suicide.

In 2010, I again wanted to end my life, and the need to not be a part of this world. It had been two and half years since my last attempt and my life had only gotten worse. I was amid the longest depression cycle of my life that spanned from 2007—and possibly since 2006.

I barely left my house. When I was alone my thoughts were dark. I imagined walking out of my house and down the street to walk into traffic on the highway almost daily. I thought about hanging myself from the huge oak tree next to my house. I thought about slicing my wrists and bleeding out on my bed. I thought about the many ways I could remove myself from existence.

Outside my immediate family, most of the people in my life had given up on me. If I am being honest only my mother still had faith in me. Most of my family came to realize that if I wanted to commit suicide, there was not much anyone could do to stop me. I don’t blame for giving up or at least feeling helpless because I was the worst version of myself during these years.

I remember one day I was especially suicidal and some of my family had come to visit my parents. I was alone in the dark with my thoughts when my aunt came in to check on me. My aunt is the sweetest lady in the world, but I really was in a bad place. I not only picked a verbal fight with her I resented when she called the cops after I told her if she didn’t leave me alone I would kill my myself. Suicide became this horrible weapon that I could wield against people who only wanted to help me. My aunt forgave me for all of it, but I often remember this and feel bad about the altercation.

It was much of the same behaviors as the last time I tried to commit suicide but it was also different. The most glaring difference was that for the first time in my life, I really wanted to die. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted it to happen and that it would happen. Since the day I was diagnosed with Bipolar One, I didn’t believe that I would make it out of my twenties, or that there was something with me. At that moment in 2010, it was becoming clear that my life was going to end.

I planned everything this time. For weeks, I hoarded my Seroquel so that I could take such a strong amount that it would kill me. At this point in my life, I was no longer in charge of holding onto my medicine only to take it. I found ways to pretend to take my medicine. I told no one of my plans and I stopped all my online activity. I disconnected from life. It was just luck that my friend couldn’t get ahold me and had my parents checked in on me. It saved my life.

I don’t really remember anything after taking my medication that night. Years later my mom told me it was the scariest suicide attempt that she had to live through, and she reluctantly told me what happened. I was in a coma for three days (which I remember waking from and thinking what the hell, why is there a catheter in me?) The doctors had no idea if I would live or die, but one thing they were sure of, that my family barely got to me in time.

I spend a week in the hospital after I came out of the coma, and  I was eventually released. About two days after being released I collapsed on the dining room table and had a seizure. I was rushed to the hospital where I had three more seizures over the next twenty-four hours. It was the scariest thing in the world to live through and sometimes it is hard to believe I survived it all. My doctors thought it was a late reaction to the overdose but they were never sure. I was on anti-seizure medication for two years and luckily never had another seizure. It was these two hospitalizations that changed my life and finally made me open to fix my problems.

Why tell this story? For one I was asked to share my thoughts about suicide after my last blog post. It was a great idea, but how could I tell someone reading this that suicide is not the answer if I don’t share my own experience? So, I decided that I would share my story and then my thoughts. Well here are my thoughts.

Suicide is dark and it feels endless. If you decide to go down that route there is a good chance that you won’t live past that decision. I am lucky in some ways because I am here, but it’s sad that I let myself get to that point. My story should be a cautionary tale because if you survive it you must live with it and it is better to never feel that way. No matter how much better I have gotten, my family will always be left wondering if they could have stopped me. It is always there that someday I could put my family through that again.

If you feel like there is nothing left to live for, I will tell you there is—your family. Life. It is worth living. Things are bad, even at their worst, it will get better. Yes, something is very wrong is happening in your life if you feel suicidal at this moment, but it can’t be so bad that not existing is okay.

Suicide is never the answer, and there are people in this world that are living with diseases that could take their life at any moment, and they have no control. You can control your situation no matter what suicide tells you, and trust me the voice that tells you suicide is okay is dead wrong.

I tell anyone who feels this way to seek help. Call the suicide helpline. Call a friend. Find a way to fight. I have my writing, reading, and music. I watch sports and when I am down I binge watch Netflix of shows that make me happy like FRIENDS. Please learn from my experiences and believe me when I say if I could go back, I would choose to get help instead of suicide.

For those that are not living suicidal thoughts but know someone who is dealing with depression or suicide remember this; 8 out of 10 people give signs their intentions on of suicide (Mental Health America.) Listen to the people around you especially those you love. If someone is joking about suicide (I have so many times in my life) or threatens suicide take it seriously. Call the authorities. It is better to be safe than lose some to suicide. Eventually, they will forgive you, and if they don’t it is still the right thing to do.

The greatest advice I can give those who are suffering from depression that is leading to suicidal thoughts is to first admit that there is something wrong. Its okay to admit this to people. When I started on this path to recovery and understanding of my diagnosis it took me saying for the first time “I am Bipolar, it is a part of me but it doesn’t define me.” When I finally believed that depression was a really dangerous thing in my life, it changed my outlook.

My life at times will always be filled with depression, anxiety, and the many other things I deal with daily. I still fight every day that I am lucky enough to wake up alive. It gives me solace. I want to be alive because death is never your friend. You never know when it will be your last day. Live as much as you can even if your depressed. I take days off too because sometimes you just need a mental health day.

My greatest aspiration in life is to teach people about suicide. The pain it brings to your life and those around you. My experiences are a part of me, and wouldn’t wish them on anyone. I can’t stress how I feel about getting help so I will say it again. If you feel suicidal get help, it not worth it to give up hope.

I really believe that someday we can totally prevent suicide. I know it’s idealistic to think this way. I’d rather believe this is possible than to see any more of my people live and die because of suicide.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: James Stamler

76 Replies to “J.E. Skye’s Thoughts on Suicide”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your life…
    I can understand not wanting to die but so much pain…
    You hang in there the best that you can…
    Hugggs
    Suzette

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A really powerful post. It takes tremendous courage to share your narrative. I think embraced in this narrative are some special signs of your emergence. You are an inspiration to many.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. *teardrop*

    I’ve never really come across anyone describing their journey of being suicidal,you’re the first one .Very brave of you!

    Thanks for enlightening me and creating more awareness about suicide and what exactly happens.I’ve never understood it better .
    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I struggle with the thoughts many times a day and how I feel after realizing I’m thinking of it, makes me terrified. It’s very brave of you to go back and think of everything and write it down.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your own experience. I know it’s not easy. Please take care of yourself and fight the suicidal thoughts. It is very terrifying to think suicidal thoughts and you are in a place where you recognize it. It took me years to get there. Always keep fighting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I applaud the journey you’ve opened from inside your mind to share. It’s not a little task by any means. Even if you’ve come to terms with it on your own, it can be very difficult to share with others knowing some will be open to hearing your thoughts, some will be resistant to your experiences altogether and hopefully some will gain insight that helps them from their own depths.

    The world can be very cruel, but we have it within us to overcome that cruelty and to draw deep from inside of us for each step, one at a time, toward a path of increasing strength and peace. And many who read your words will indubitably find some momentum from which to draw upon that can help them on their path forward.

    I applaud your bravery and openness.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember what it was like right after my accident how I had my entire suicide planned out. Being a Christian, that’s very hard for me to admit since it goes against my beliefs, but I was depressed. I read about how suicide is a very big topic now during these times, and it saddens me how it seems like the only way out. I’m very glad you’re still with us and writing down your thoughts and experiences. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I’m a Christian as well but for long time I was away from my faith. I still struggle with reconciling what I have done in relation to how close I am with my faith. I have had people, Christians, tell me what I did in my past means that my faith isn’t real because they would never do such a thing. I think they miss what you said that when your depressed your not thinking right. I know I am here because God decided to keep me here. Given I really wanted to die, and what I have done with this blog I have no doubt it is true. Lucky so far people have been accommodating with me sharing my thoughts and experiences. Thank you for sharing your experience with suicidal thoughts I know it couldn’t have been easy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are truly an inspiration, James. I haven’t the faintest idea as to why someone would say that your faith isn’t real simply because you had a moment in your life where you were uncertain of your future or of your decisions. If that was the case everybody’s faith, regardless of what it is, would be considered broken or faltered. So that really doesn’t make any sense that they can say that about your faith. Everybody experiences a moment of weakness. That makes you human but that also makes you more realistic. You are a gift from God and as you know, He knew that you would go through that moment in your life and He also knew that He would get you out of it. I may not have read everything you have written this far but I’m very proud that you are writing your thoughts down in your blog. That shows strength. Please continue your work because there are those of us, such as myself, who truly appreciate it. God bless!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Thank you for sharing. I am, once again, amazed by your strength. Suicide is heartbreaking for those left behind, and I’m so amazed that you touched on that, as it’s something I didn’t realise for years after my attempt. Not until I lost an incredibly close friend to suicide. I grew up with his family and saw, and continue to see, the impact it had on them, particularly his mother. It just brings it all home how important it is to try your hardest to stay alive, as does your post.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Keep writing and fighting!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What an emotional post. I wish I could post about how I feel but it’s scary to see how my mind thinks. I’m personally trying to focus on other things that make me happy but I’m restricted because of the type of relationship I’m in. I’m trying to take day by day and let my mind control me anymore. I’m not going to lie, it’s very hard somedays. But you gave me hope by sharing your own experience. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this. I have to admit this post was the hardest I have ever written. It took a it toll on me but it was worth it if it helps give hope to someone. So again thank you for sharing with me. It’s good to take it day by day. I hope you find your way and thank you for reading my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank YOU. Your story helps me understand more about my brother, and I’m so glad you are still here, not only to tell your past story, but to create a new one for the future.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. What a very brave post, thank you so so much for sharing. When I was suicidal what kept me from thinking it through or making plans was the thought that it’d hurt my loved ones. This is really, really, a good post. Its provocative in the best of ways. Not everyone can make it through suicidal ideations, but you create a compelling case as to why a person should try. Thank you so much for sharing this, it was truly insightful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. It was a bit on the long side, but I am glad I made a good case against suicide. It is such a hard subject to write about but I am really glad that I did.

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  9. Thanks for sharing your suicide story here. As a sufferer of depression who is currently having more suicidal thoughts than why to stay alive thoughts, this was a good read. Every day I tell myself I hope I am strong enough to find a good enough reason to live another day. But it is not really the reasons to live that are hard to find…it is the holding on in a storm of suicidal thoughts. I hope I get to write a success story someday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing. I know the feeling of holding on in a storm of suicidal thoughts all too well, and it is so much easier to give in. As you know I have too many times in my life. Just being able to tell me that you struggle with staying strong to me means that you can, I never had the courage to tell anyone “I am having trouble holding on.” Keep fighting. I hope that you are able to write about your success someday too, it will never be east but wanting to live never is. Good luck, and I am always here for people that follow me.

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  10. Thank you for sharing this story. Speaking out so openly is incredibly powerful, and I have no doubt that you can change lives with your advocacy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for such a brave article. Just a comment on language – a few times you referred to things like your first suicide, or the last time you committed suicide, and phrasing it that way suggests they were completed suicides, which luckily they weren’t and we’re able to enjoy your writing now:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a great point. I am actually expanding this article for my memoir. I use my blog for the purpose of getting feedback. I do edit extensively but sometimes things get missed. Thank you for the feedback.

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  12. It took courage to tell all of the cyber world your story about suicide. I am hoping this means that although you are feeling some depression right now, you are in a better place overall. Was your reason for not taking your meds so you would have enough for the attempt? The reason I ask is that some people feel they are in a fog when taking the meds and detest it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am. I have been steadily improving since 2010, which is the last time I had suicidal idealizations. I still have depression especially in the fall and winter months where I struggle the hardest but I don’t get so low that I feel suicidal. My medication with other stuff helps and I do struggle at times with changing my anti-depressants. Its been a long road to feel good enough to write about suicide in this way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It took over eight years for my doctor to find the right “anti-depressant” for me. The reason for the quotes is that the med is classified as an anti-depressant but is used more for people whose main problem is anxiety. The doctor will find the right one but it could take a while. Keep on truckin’, James.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Hard to read this, but thanks for writing. I want to come back to your blog when I have time for a longer comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring others. It’s great that you are using your experience to help others. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ‘To be in a place where suicide is the only option is still fresh in my mind and it is the worst feeling I have ever felt in my life’ wonderful blog post I completely relate to your thinking patterns back then, I too have come through an attempt and out the tunnel at the other end, and can say as hard as life can be at times, I’m glad to be alive. X

    Liked by 2 people

  16. That was extremely brave. I understand what’s it’s like having to relive something very painful so you’re able to put your heart in your writing. This is a very important topic. Thank you so much for sharing this. If I can find it in me, you have inspired me to share my own experience.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It does. I tried something similar when I wrote Ivory, but that was fictional. However, the note was very real in how I feel about myself and my life at times.

        Like

      2. I actually wrote a fictional screenplay earlier this year before I could start this blog and write my memoir. I wrote the screenplay about the subjects I write here, but completely fiction, but some of my own life made it to the pages.

        Like

      3. Yes it does. I’m going to try to write something from two perspectives: one from my perspective, and one from someone else’s.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. TY! for helping to break the silence and the stigma regarding suicide. I have written about my own attempts, as well. Because i work with Bereaved Parents, I have encountered children as young as ten yrs. old who have died by suicide. Years ago while at college (in the 80’s), I did a speech on suicide among the elderly. At that time, more elderly were choosing this route in one year than the total amount of men that were killed in the entire ten year span of the Vietnam War. The light needs to be shown into the darkness on this subject. Paul despaired of life (2 Cor. 1:8) as did many others in the Scriptures. I had recently written an article on Elijah who also wanted to die (1 Kings 19) and how God sent an angel to care for him and encourage him. He went on to have a very powerful and victorious ministry. Please continue to break the silence and stand against the stigma. (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me. It saddens me to hear that people so young, and even those who are our elders turning to suicide because they feel lost and alone, feeling forgotten. I agree that there has to be more people telling their stories so that some how, some way we can find a to end the need for suicide.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. this did a great job of showing the stark reality of suicidal people without glamorizing it. i meet far too many people who think suicide and mental illnesses are romantic, and it’s posts like these that help take away that stigma

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know exactly what you mean and in my mind, there is nothing romantic about suicide. It is an ugly dark thing that needs the right light to be shed on the subject. My goal is to prevent suicide by showing the realities behind it and why it is never the answer.

      Liked by 4 people

  19. Suicidal ideation is a road I am all too familiar with and a tough thing to live through, especially when the feelings become so intense that the rest of the world fades away around them and all you are left with is the desperation to immediately cease to exist. I am so glad you have found the strength to continue on, to write and to share your experiences with others. xx Kate

    Liked by 1 person

  20. My heart goes out to you. I was there once. Never again. I don’t know how you feel about spiritual issues but I do pray God’s blessing and protection over you today. Don’t give up. Depression is manageable. I see that you are following me. If you go to my menu, you will lots of articles about depression. Please check them out. Also, I recommend some very good books to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Brave. Well written. Extraordinarily lived. Honesty will get you very far as a writer; allowing the reader into your heart will endear them to you for the length of your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. You are a child of the Universe, James, not of mankind.
    The Cosmos does not hold you from anything, nor hold judgement over you.
    Like all things, you are perfect and beautiful, even in you imperfection.
    The Great Cosmos will always have a light on for you, and listens without interruption.
    Me too.

    Seek peace,

    Paz

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you taking the time to read my blog and this post. This was one of the hardest posts have ever written but I am glad I could share.

      Like

  23. I have been thinking about you a lot today James after reading your more recent post. I do feel that you have a purpose to help those who struggle with suicidal thoughts and I was reading today in a poetry book about the thread that runs through our lives that we must pick up and follow, I think all that happened to you happened for a reason. You will make art out of it as you unpack your life story and you will help so many other people. Just remember that when you have dark moments again. The world needs you and your voice. We need those who can say the dark is something we can experience and birth light and love out of.

    Liked by 1 person

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