A Compelling Letter from Death

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I have travelled the world from coast to coast, over and over since the beginning of time. I have seen the blessings and the sufferings of all of mankind. I have seen the souls of men, women and children through war, disease and famine. I have no sense of discrimination or bias. I do not judge.  I know not of religion, race, age or culture. It does not matter the riches you may or may not have had, or the tragedies and traumas you may have had to endure. It does not matter how much time you may or may not have had, or what you have or have not done, as upon the time of my arrival you are all the same. You are all on an equal playing field and at some point you all will have to face me, our meeting is inevitable; it is fate.

I am death.

I have a thousand faces, disguised in forms you recognize and many you cannot imagine. I am called to collect the souls that are loved and the ones who are forgotten. I pick up the leftovers of the damage mankind has caused to itself with war after war, century after century. I’ve gathered those of the innocent and naïve and those of people so heinous there are no words. I have watched the greed of mankind lead to millions of souls being stolen from starvation and disease, all for profit. I have seen the damage humans are willing to do to each other over the smallest of things and I am there to pick up whatever is left. I have forever been left saddened over collecting the souls of those who have departed too early; those of the children who never had the chance to grow and develop and live a life. Those who were not given a chance and their imminent meeting with me came long before it was due.

I have seen the beauty as well. I have seen the kindness and generosity that is possible.  I have seen things at their purest forms. I have watched strangers help one another with no expectations and loved ones support each other during the most trying of times. I have watched love bring together people whose paths undoubtedly would never have crossed had it not been for this serendipitous connection. I have watched the weak fight and raise above their struggles and the strong reach a hand out to help. I have watched the rich share with the poor and the poor share with the poorer. I have observed altruism from humans extend to every living creature, from one corner of the world to the next, and watched the innocence of children spread joy and laughter across the seas.

I am coming for you when it is your time, but I implore you not to call me early. I beg you not to take matters into your own hands regardless of the darkness that you feel, or the loneliness that seeps deep into your soul. I ask you to think twice, three times, or a million times if needed, before snuffing out the flame that represents your life. I will do that for you in due time. I have seen lives turned around in a matter of moments or a perhaps years, but the one constant is that everything changes.  Nothing remains the same. The seas rise and lower, the mountains shift. Your situation will change, the circumstances will change, your emotions will change and you will change, and what may seem impossible to face now will eventually be a memory; a stepping stone in your climb up to the light. You may not see it now but your life is a onetime gift and I plead with you to hold on to it like the rare treasure it is. I come for too many souls who have had no choice, but you do.

So, do not seek me out, we will unite when the time is right.

 

BPD and My First 15 Minutes

Blog 15 minutes

 

The moment my eyes open each morning, the same thoughts run through my head.

Here we go again, another day of fighting non-stop battles in my mind, another day in which I begin the day as tired as I end it.

The variations of thoughts that can overwhelm my mind in an instant have started; the first domino pushed down as the rest clatter and fall one by one, each one affecting the next and the speed picks up as the pattern continues. The rapid and often uncontrollable intense mood swings are my BPD’s worst nemesis.

Well as much as I want to stay in bed all day, I know I won’t sleep and the lying around will lead to even more destructive thoughts. I wonder if she has text me.

I sit up and as my eyes slowly start to open, I grab for my phone, knowing that something as small as a text, or the lack thereof could set me on a BPD ride for the day. Keep in mind there is nothing wrong with the text, it is usually as simple as a “morning” or an “I hope you slept well”, both perfectly nice words to wake up in the morning to. If for some odd reason I have had a good night’s rest or don’t wake up feeling quite as emotionally drained it seems so easy to just respond with a “good morning” and continue on with the conversation. However if I am on the BPD edge, the thought process is quite different.

Oh look, she did text…a morning and that’s it? Omg maybe she is mad at me, or upset with something I said or did. Maybe she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore or know how I am doing, or maybe she doesn’t even love me or want to be with me anymore. I don’t blame her, I am impossible to be in a relationship with and maybe I really am not deserving of love and no one wants me. I hate being like this. I hate feeling out of control over these mood swings and I am never going to get better, no matter what pills or what therapy, I am just too damaged to be fixed.

At this point, the tears start as I have a morning pity party sitting on the edge of my bed. This sadness, and these tears often goes on for hours as my mind continues to emotionally attack itself, but every time, at some point, the sadness turns to anger.

Who cares if she only said morning, I don’t need to wake up to some generalized text anyway. I don’t need to wake up to any texts at all because I don’t need you or anyone. I have gotten this far on my own and I don’t need your help. Besides, it’s obvious you don’t care because if you did you would have said more than just “morning”. You are just like everyone else who loves me on the surface and abandons me, the past repeating itself over and over. Fuck this life and everyone in it anyway. I am alone, a complete failure and a waste of space. I shouldn’t even be alive.

I sit up in bed and return the text with a casual “morning”.

Umm it’s been five minutes and still no answer. Here we go again. Should I ask what I did wrong or just leave it alone? Why won’t she just answer, it only takes a few seconds. Maybe she doesn’t have time to talk to me or really doesn’t want to and is ignoring me.

 

My phone vibrates and I quickly reach for it to read the message…”how are you?”, and the way I respond may very well set the tone for the day.

Does she really want to know how I am or is she just asking to be polite? Should I keep it simple and just say that I am ok or do I be truthful and tell her that I have only been up for ten minutes and my emotions are already bouncing up and down? What if she doesn’t want to hear it for the hundredth time? I am sick of listening to myself so why would she want to know. God, I am so pathetic.

I decide to keep it simple and reply with an “I’m ok”, to which she replies “good”

Does she seriously think I am ok? Since when am I ok? I am a mess and always will be. Why does she think that today would be any different? What is wrong with me that I think like this and why can I not get this BPD under control? She is only asking how I am, a perfectly normal, nice question and yet my brain takes all these statements and twists them so fast I can hardly keep up. I just want to be normal, whatever that may be. Is it going to be another day of this hell? I am so tired already.

All these thoughts and emotions have occurred before I have even stood up from my bed. Up and down that many times within 15 minutes. Welcome to the beginning of my day and thanks for taking the ride with me.

 

 

 

 

 

Drowning In the Waters of Depression

 

 

drowning blog

 

I don’t know if it is the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or the depression, or the two of them that work together to try and pull me into the water, after securing boulders to my feet. Regardless of the fight left in me, the weight of the rocks pull me slowly under the water, before sinking me to the cold, dark bottom. These are the times I find it hardest to keep going, to keep fighting. These are the times where I question the progress I have made in therapy and wonder why I don’t yet feel better, or if I ever will.  These are the times when the smallest of things irritates me, getting under my skin to the point of feeling angry. These are the times when I cry the most, feel the most frustrated and misunderstood. These are the times that I wonder if I should fight to cut those boulders off and float to the surface or allow the water to fill my lungs and put my mind and body to a final, peaceful rest. I have clawed my way to the surface more times than I can count and will continue to do so.

For me, these major depressive episodes can come on as quickly as the blink of an eye. They are often triggered by the simplest of things, and last anywhere from a few days to a few months. These are not BPD depression episodes which tend to bounce my emotions around more rapidly, like the lines on a heart monitor. These are feelings of hopelessness and despair compounded with an overwhelming sadness that leaves upon me, an invisible heaviness I can physically feel yet cannot accurately describe. This depression sucks the life out of me, emotionally and physically leaving a sense of tiredness that I can’t control. The simplest tasks like getting up and having a shower or doing the dishes can leave me feeling like I just ran a marathon. The exhaustion of doing something so menial leaves me wanting to crawl back into bed and sleep the day away, and the frustration of that, draws me further towards the bottom.

The depression eats away at my desires. It sucks the pleasure out of the few things that once brought me joy, and replaces them with a complete lack of motivation. It feels like there is just no reason and no ability to see more than an hour ahead. Anything further than that feels impossible, and pointless. The depression makes my mind foggy and takes away my clarity and focus. It makes something that comes naturally to me, like writing, become a daunting and overwhelming task, as if I have to dig for the words instead of them just flowing. This depth of depression takes away every last ounce of hope I have. It makes the sunshine less bright and the flowers lose their wonder.

This type of major depressive episode has an inner monologue that drowns out any voice of reason. It is louder than and stronger than the positivity in my mind, or the therapeutic techniques I have learned to put into practice. It feeds my inner critic with falsehoods so convincing, I have to stop myself from believing them, and remember that depression is a master liar. It amplifies every negative thought or action I have ever done in my life. It takes the words from voices of my past, reiterating that I am a failure, that I am worthless, that I am all those things they said and repeats them over and over like a skipping record. It slowly eats away at my hope replacing it with overwhelmingly realistic scenarios of negativity that are as easy to fall into as a pit of quicksand. It makes me question my existence, my purpose and if I will ever be able to do anything more than just survive.

However, despite the despair and fear, I remain to fight. Despite the feeling of being constantly weighed down, I continue to fight the war in my head and survive its battle scars. I realize this will not last forever. It will pass just as the other episodes have. I know that regardless of the depths of dark, cold water I am pulled into, that I will continue to fight to untie those knots and release those boulders so I can take another breath and perhaps each time, I will spend be able to spend a bit more time at the surface.

 

Is the New Method of Suicide Note Online?

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I have been passively suicidal for most of my life and actively suicidal three times. I know what it feels like to be carrying a burden so heavy your legs can no longer hold you up. I understand what it is like to see nothing but darkness and pain in your future and to have lost every last ounce of hope. I realize the amount of pain you have to be in to get here; to reach the point where death seems like your only option, the only way out. Without getting into the gritty details, let’s just say with my last attempt was meticulous and organized. To me, suicide is a very personal and private thing and I do not want to traumatize anyone more than they may already be. I wanted to make sure the authorities found me and not leave that scar upon my friends. I think most suicidal people would tell you they are not trying to hurt anyone, they just don’t know how else to end their pain. To them, this is the only way out.

That being said, I ponder the people who are determined to make their suicide public. What drives them to jump in front of a train packed with commuters at rush hour? Is there any maliciousness towards others? Why not wait for a cargo train or an empty one? Why affect the lives of others intentionally? Have you felt so invisible your entire life that you felt this method of suicide would draw some attention to you for the five minutes of “fame” you will get as they mention you once on the news or in the papers? Do you feel that because you are in so much pain, then others should be too? These are questions that remain unanswered because there is no one left to answer them.

Technology has done so much for our society and we have come so far in such a short time. The internet has provided endless amounts of information and resources. It has connected people across the world, whether it is family or new found friends. The advancements are rapidly changing and many things become fads until the next new thing is available. We were once excited about the fact we could make a video and put it on the internet for the world to watch at any time but now that is “old”, as the latest and greatest allows you to post live and to show the world a piece of your life at the very present moment. Sadly, there seems to be no limit to what people share, or what people are willing to watch, hence the alarming raise in the number of online live suicides. Again, what motivates someone to share both the preparations for and the last moments of your life with the entire world, and what kind of twisted individual do you have to be to sit and passively watch?

The examples were certainly not difficult to find.

A 12 year old girl, who had previously broadcast a few times that a family member had tried to rape her, hangs herself from a tree, live streaming the whole 40 minute video. Not only did people watch her live, but many of those people online actually encouraged her to kill herself.

Another girl who had spent her life being bounced around foster care hung herself from the shower door of her bathroom, while 1000 people watched her make her preparations, many ridiculed her. A friend saw it and alerted police but they did not arrive in time.

A 20 year old university student went on a message board and offered to kill himself online if he could get help setting up the live video stream. 200 viewers watched as he chased down pills with vodka, barricaded his dorm room door and then set fire to it while he waited to die lying under a blanket. No one online called 911.

Those who turn on their webcams during the darkest, most desperate moments of their lives must feel a need for someone to bear witness to them, or perhaps wish that somebody out of the thousands watching the suicide would care enough to intervene and alert the authorities. They feel like finally their name will be heard and remembered, however within minutes of the video being taken down, most of the viewers will have already forgotten their name.

The internet provides an outlet to suffer in public, to share pain and gain the attention desperately needed, however in these cases, perhaps the internet is just the new form of suicide note. Even though social media sites “prohibit” the promotion of suicide or self- injury and ask viewers to report to authorities immediately, there is no enforcement or regulation for these things. It is impossible for the sites to monitor everything which shifts the burden to the community to help stop bad things from happening. There are now groups of volunteers who monitor many of these live sites hoping to intervene before it’s too late, or perhaps before it is even started.

What I find deplorable are the ones that watch. Are people so disconnected and desensitized that they can sit in the comfort of their homes and not only watch, but encourage a child to kill themselves. Unfortunately it isn’t surprising that online viewer’s tap into these streams, it is almost human nature. There’s no such thing as an accident without a crowd gathering and standing on tiptoes in order to see the person lying on the ground, or people slowing down to stare at the car accident.. Violence and destruction are everywhere in society, from the news to the entertainment industry. Perhaps there is a fascination with other peoples pain because it’s only one gesture removed from our own, or maybe it is just bystander apathy, which basically is a social phenomenon where people are less likely to help someone in need if there are other people present. We are all relying on someone else to make the first move, to differentiate themselves from the crowd, when in fact we should all feel a moral responsibility to help someone at risk, whether you take it seriously or not. How is it going to sit in your mind years from now that someone who was seriously sick killed themselves while you egged them on?

I have been on both ends of suicidal situations and I know the anguish you can feel inside and the desperation to get any bit of attention, but posting a suicide attempt live is the ultimate cry for help, and I will never understand how anyone would take the time to not only watch someone make preparations but taunt and encourage them to carry through with that attempt, most often with fatal results. Think about it, someone’s life was in your hands and you made the conscious decision to do nothing but watch them die. It frightens me, the number of people who feel no moral obligations. We are all human.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When The Thought of Suicide is Paramount to Survival

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Despite the rapid increase in numbers in the past few years, suicide still remains a taboo subject, something we don’t want to talk about and generally don’t until it hits close to home. Despite the recent and ongoing efforts of the media to increase general social awareness on the topic, it is most often spoken of as a statistic rather than in terms of preventative measures, and those numbers will continue to rise as long as we, as a society keep looking away. Talking about it does not encourage it but instead helps to opens minds and lines of communication and promotes understanding and empathy.

As you may, or may not know, I have survived three suicide attempts, the details of which are irrelevant right now, as the causes take prevalence. I did not just wake up on three separate occasions and impulsively decide to kill myself, rather the combination of years of abuse and the consequent depression, BPD, dysthymia and anxiety wore me down to the point of seeing no other option to end the pain. That is the depth that some illnesses go, convincing your mind and lying to you to shatter and leave only a glimpse of hope, if anything at all, and without that, what do we have to hold on to.

Being a victim of childhood abuse, be it sexual or otherwise is the ultimate loss of control for a child. It is not only the trauma of the acts themselves but the sheer terror that accompanies it. In most cases the perpetrator is someone we know or at least are familiar with, and the fear of repercussions is almost insurmountable. This loss of control is one thing that has carried over into numerous areas of my life for years. No one likes things that are completely out of their control, but for the survivor, that is enhanced tenfold, to the point of becoming a trigger of the past, that is how it is for me anyway. Any situation that I have little to no control over triggers my mind back to the childhood traumas when I was also helpless, and amplifies the intensity of my depression and anxiety to a level I cannot explain.

The years of domestic abuse I watched was just another thing that was completely out of my regulation. No matter what efforts I put forth to try and interrupt or cause a distraction failed and with that another major loss of control in my life. When the domestic abuse stopped, the cancer began, and dealing with my mom’s six year battle and her impending death was the ultimate loss of control. Having to just sit helplessly and watch someone you love die a slow, lengthy death is a torture I would not wish on anyone. Even going through the process of recovery requires a relinquishment of control by having to “follow the lead” of a therapist. Often when I am trying to try to heal a past trauma in therapy, the resulting triggers bring your mind right back to the times when I had no control and that feeling consumes my present and adds to the fear of the future.

Suicide is in my control.

As unorthodox as this may seem to someone else, the thought of having complete control over whether I live or die has provided me, many times, with enough of a sense of comfort to make it through what may have been an otherwise unsafe night. While it seems like the rest of my world is turning into chaos and growing further out of my management, the fact that I can control something as essential to life as a breath gives me a sense of strength. I do realize in essence, everyone is in the same position, being able to end their lives, but being passively suicidal most of the time, I often feel that is truly the only thing that is in my control; and just knowing that provides enough hope and comfort to get through those nights, and live to fight another day.

A Simple Gesture of Kindness is Free

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Having survived three suicide attempts and having had two friends who died by suicide from their mental illnesses, I have become quite passionate and open about my own experiences, in hopes that one day, they may help someone. I have also, for many years, contended with bouts of self-harm and try to reach out to as many people as possible, in an effort to provide alternative methods of dealing with the pain. I leave my DM (direct messages) open to anyone on my twitter account (@onelastkick71) so anyone who may be struggling can reach out anonymously, know that someone cares and they are not alone.

I am no therapist by any means. I have been to countless numbers of them over the years, each with their own approach on how to best “fix” me based on their numerous years of reviewing textbooks, attained level of education and job experience. Now don’t get me wrong, I see a psychologist and am an advocate for therapy if that is something that works for you in your healing process, however I truly believe that regardless of the therapeutic viewpoint, suicide and self-harm are sometimes best empathized by survivors. I am certainly not equipped to handle a full blown suicidal episode, and have and will always do what is necessary to make that person’s safety a priority, however there is often a buildup point before reaching that extreme state and that is where I have found my life experiences have been most helpful to others.

I know in my case, and I believe, in many others as well, that sometimes being suicidal does not necessarily mean we want to die, we just want the pain to end, and our illnesses have convinced our minds that suicide is the only option, the only way to find some peace. The people who reach out have accomplished the hardest part by taking the first step and asking for help, even if it is only someone to listen. You don’t have to understand what the person is dealing with in order to listen without judging and to provide kindness. I know from experience that it is often easier to communicate such desperate feelings to a stranger, rather than a friend or family member, if not only due to fear of judgment or repercussions. I know there have been times when I have called a crisis hotline, only to be left on hold so long I have hung up in frustration and tears, and all I really needed at the time was someone to lend an ear and make me feel cared for and wanted. It really does not take much to be one of those people, and doing such a small thing can greatly impact a life.

Self-harm can be an addiction like drugs or alcohol or anything else we do compulsively. For me, it has gone in waves throughout my life, sometimes going away for years at a time, and generally surfacing amidst a trauma of some sort. The endorphin release and distraction from self-harming may only be temporary but at the time I am looking for any sort of diversion from the immense pain I’m feeling inside, that I simply don’t know how else to release. Again, something as elementary as allowing someone to speak can be a long enough distraction to slow down if not stop the impulsivity that often comes with self-harm. I understand the need for pain, or self-punishment but have learned over the years that there are less harmful things to do that provide the same type of relief without the long term consequence of scarring. There are plenty of resources online for not only people who self-harm, but for concerned friends and family members. The people I have spoken with I have not only given other options to but also made deals with them… if the urge presents itself, we will contact each other before acting, and as basic as that may sound, just knowing someone else is fighting alongside you can be motivation enough.

With the people that have reached out, I have formed emotional connections  and incredible friendships merely by being able to empathize with their mental state at the time, after all, having BPD, I have spent the majority of my life dealing with both these subjects. There is nothing more rewarding for me than to know that the trauma I have been through actually helps to positively affect a life. I have received numerous random thank you messages from those who have found help through my writing, and for that, I am extremely humbled. For the many people I have spoken with online or on text, thank you for being brave enough to not only reach out to me, or anyone but for allowing enough trust to let me try to help. Reaching out truly is the hardest part, but know when you reach out your hand there will be someone there to hold it.

 

I Can Do This, It’s Just a Day

 

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I need to remind myself often that it’s just a day; 17 hours or 1020 minutes of time awake. Good, bad, or indifferent, it’s just a day like all the ones before it. I made it through years of trauma and somehow made it this far, so whatever this day brings, I have every intention of making it through this one too. I have many bad days, where I can’t pinpoint why, I just know I feel heavy and sad. I wish for to awaken again in a different mindset so I can start again and it won’t be a bad day. I wish for the control over my mind that some people have, to influence their own thoughts in a positive manner but instead, I have mastered the ability to negatively self-talk, even at a subconscious level. I try to sort through the mess inside my head, filter through the past and trying to shove it aside so it isn’t affecting my present. It isn’t easy and even with practice and a desire to change my mind set, I fail far more often than I succeed.

It’s just a day.

Some days I feel like I can’t possibly take any more and even taking my next breath seems painful and exhausting. I become blanketed in a darkness so black no light could ever shine in. I often feel defeated, like I have fought so many battles yet despite my best efforts remain wounded from each fight. Although my fears are mostly inanimate, these fears are very real to me. I feel like I was robbed of my innocence, my ability to trust, my sense of value and self. The violations inflicted on me were out of my control which makes you angry, but I don’t have a proper outlet, so I just internalize. The voice of negativity comes through a loudspeaker and does not turn off.

It’s just a day.

Rationally I know I am not my thoughts and that my illness is lying to me. I know I have to dig in and draw from a reserve I rarely use, in order to fight the negative thoughts and get through the day. I know these thoughts should not define or control me, but on some days they do, and I have come to learn that the less I fight them, the shorter their visit is. I try to accept that it is simply a bad day and attempt to accept these negative thoughts and their emotional side effects. I want to allow myself to feel them, without allowing losing my control. I try to remember that I have been through thousands of days like this and still managed to survive, what makes today any different?

It’s just a day.

Days like these I spend too much time trying to decipher what thoughts and actions are illness related and what are just habitual. I find myself questioning if I have a purpose in this world, and if I do, will I ever find it, or at least get a clue. My illness reminds me I will never truly feel accepted or a safe sense of attachment. The negative voice drowns me with guilt and blame for driving my friends away, even though I now realize my conduct was BPD related. I fail to remember that I have an illness, I am not an illness.

It’s just a day

On these days I will learn to remember I don’t deserve to be judged, and that it is ok to have my own voice scream loud enough to drown out the negativity. I will convince myself that I own my thoughts and no longer have need for the adverse and disparaging ones that have I have been fed to me for years. I will become able to see that I am valuable and deserving of love simply because I exist. I will remind myself I am not alone, and that asking for help does not minimize my strength, but perhaps enhances it. I will remember there is an online community where people validate your pain, and hear, not just listen. I will train myself to reach out to without embarrassment or feeling weak, instead of internalizing to the point of thoughts and possibly actions of self-harm.

It’s just a day.

I will conquer these minutes, these hours, and these days. I have fought to survive this long, is there a point of giving up yet? I will feel better one day, and possibly do more than just survive the days, maybe one day I will thrive. Perhaps I could make a difference and use my negatives to help educate others. I would really like to learn to love myself and trust others enough to let them love me. I want to subdue that fear somehow as I think I might feel a bit less alone. You are worth giving yourself the same love, affection and respect as you do to everyone around you. I hope to realize one day that I am worth the same love, understanding and respect as I give to those around me.

I’ve got this.

It’s just a day.