"OMG! You need to watch 13 Reasons Why, like NOW!" I was told by several friends.
A teen drama? Sure! I love reading YA (young adult) novels so I thought this would be my next binge-worthy show for me ... and then I read the synopsis.
According to Wikipedia: The show revolves around a student who kills herself after a series of culminating failures, brought on by select individuals within their school.
That's where I stopped. I had to make a decision whether or not I was mentally capable of watching this show.
If you suffer from suicidal ideation, the mere mention of suicide can be triggering.
The word "triggering" is so often used today in a mocking tone that negates the actual meaning behind it.
For those who don't suffer from depression or even those that do but don't have suicidal thoughts, this concept may seem foreign or crazy.
So I'm going to try to explain myself the best way I know how and that's by being raw and truthful.
Reader discretion is advised!
I've suffered from depression and suicidal ideation for years.
You know how some people, even maybe yourself, dream about that beach vacation you've been saving for?
Or maybe it's finishing a degree so you can finally pursue the career of your dreams!
Suicidal ideation is the same mindset but instead of lavish getaways, you dream of killing yourself.
It's a feeling of relief.
It's a feeling that dominates your thoughts because you're so broken and hurt that the only way to feel better is to know you have the option to end the pain.
It's not selfish.
In fact, it's the opposite of selfish.
Often times, you feel like such a burden to the world, to the people close to you, that suicide is a way to free your loved ones of the trouble you think you cause.
I'm mostly stable now. I use the term "mostly" because this is something I will suffer with for the rest of my life, no matter how many pills I take every day.
There are good days, even good months. But then that feeling floats from your heavy heart, like a balloon that lost its anchor and has nowhere else to go but up to your already hurting brain.
And that balloon just grows and grows until all you can think about is:
How will I do it?
When will I do it?
Should I leave a note?
Do I want XYZ to find me like this?
I wonder if anyone would even care; probably not.
These feelings could pass. But when they don't ... they just don't.
You begin to feel a certain disconnect to the world. You're in a fog. The world around you is playing out like a garbled movie you can't really understand but your head is completely, 100% clear.
Going back to 13 Reasons Why, I've seen a lot of people discuss how Hannah had the time or patience to make those tapes before her suicide.
When you're at the point of no return, nothing matters.
When you're at the point of no return, you're so disconnected that you may not even realize what you're doing which is finishing what you feel you need to settle before you go.
I made the choice to watch the suicide scene against my better judgment. I had a full blown panic attack during the 3-4 minute sequence.
Hannah made a decision and she was going through with it.
The wave of emotions Hannah felt was exactly how I felt when I decided to attempt suicide.
"This is it."
"There's no going back once this is done."
"The pain will be quick and fierce, but at least I won't be in constant pain anymore."
And then ... when the act is done ... you feel at ease. It's like a release; pure relief.
It's over. And then you wait for the darkness to wash over you like clouds on a rainy day.
That feeling of relief is what makes certain days bearable when you suffer suicidal ideation because no matter what happens, you always have that option to end the ridiculous emotional pain you feel when you are in that fog.
I can't say I agree with the rest of the show's premise, blaming others for her final decision.
Though graphic and disturbing, the suicide scene was one of the most real and heartbreaking depictions of suicide I have seen to date.
Luckily for me, I was able to get through it which is why I am here today.
I'm not writing this for me. I know how I feel.
I'm writing this for YOU.
I'm writing this for the person who has someone in their lives suffering from this beast of a disorder.
I'm writing this for the person who is actually thinking about suicide.I want you to know I understand.
I want you to know that no matter what anyone says about things getting better, I know you won't believe it.
But I want everyone to understand ONE thing: Suicide is not a trope. Suicide is not something to joke about.
Suicide is not just something someone says because they want attention.
It's real. In fact, in 2014, more than 42,000 people died by suicide, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
Please be gentle with each other. The world needs you, even if you can't see that now. I promise.
If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. ALL calls are confidential.