Every birthday since my 28th birthday has been a gift. A gift that I have given myself, because I choose life. I found this on tumblr very early in the year and I had to keep it. When I need to, I refer back to it, and it has given me comfort.
The problem with suicidal thoughts is that they’re not just there when your sad. You’ll be there, chillin, reading a book or talking to a friend and you’ll think ‘This is nice. But do you know what would be better? Death.’
This is referred to as “mild suicidal ideation“ or the desire for suicide without substantial action behind it. It often happens when someone deals with prolonged mental health issues and suicidality at a young age. When you’re young, we go through a period where our neural pathways completely rearrange- the things that happen to us at that time will influence these changes. In a way, suicidal ideation becomes an ingrained coping mechanism. A sort of “well at least suicide is always there for me”. Your brain is part-muscle, it remembers things, it learns, it’s super great at adapting, this is just a reflex. It doesn’t mean you are weak, it doesn’t mean you aren’t in recovery.
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For me, suicide was not what I wanted, but it was what I thought was my only way out. The interesting part of my planning was that I was never going to do it myself. I figured I would go out guns-a-blazing and that in itself is a scary thought. I don't know if you've seen the Sandy Hook video, but it resonated with me, because of the unseen plan. It's after they rewind that most people see what's happening in the background. I did catch a lot of the signs, I just didn't put it all together to see what it meant. Just like in my planning, I never thought about what guns-a-blazing meant for me, but one never really thinks about the consequences of those actions. It's a big reason why I prefer European TV over American; there's realistic feelings and emotions in most European TV when someone is killed.
The other thing I didn't plan on was my life changing. Last year on my birthday, I was fighting depression and I wrote
I have a great desire to live and explore and I am saddened by what my childhood experiences lead me to write that day.
"That day" refers to when I was 16 and made a deal with myself to commit suicide at 28. I still agree with the quote from last year. The difference is how much I have grown this past year, causing that sentence to have a different meaning. It was written in depression and sadness. Now I look at it and realize I have much to share from my past, and so much to experience in the future. It does get better. It takes time, effort, and lots of tears. You have to be willing to tear your heart out, remove bad people, and change everything. But it is worth it.
Tomorrow I will be 30
That's three decades I will have lived on this earth. As I've mentioned lots over this month, I have really enjoyed the spirit of the holidays. It's been wonderful to celebrate the season, but I haven't yet figured out how to do the same for my birthday. I want to rush into it and know instantly how to do celebrate it "right", but things don't work like that. One day I hope to have figured out a good way to celebrate the day, because I feel it's important to me. It's an acknowledgement of how I've done in the past and a cheer towards the future.
At the end of the day my thoughts are this: don't give up, find your crowd - they're out there.
I'd love to hear about your birthday experiences, share them below.
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Veterans Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255
Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
I'm a lifestyle blogger, covering deep subjects including body images, battles with food, and overcoming how I was raised. I try to be as authentic as possible and I don’t sugar coat how I see things.