Some argue that heroin addiction is mostly about choice — a bad decision followed by repeated bad decisions, with the addict deliberately and continually choosing a quick high over healthy, normal existence.
But others contend people addicted to opioids, which include heroin and prescription painkillers, eventually need them just to avoid getting sick. It results in a life no one would choose, and from which all choice has been removed.
The obituaries and writings of overdose victims often support the latter view. One of the latest examples comes from the obituary of Delaney Marie Farrell, found dead on July 1 in a public bathroom at the Red Roof Inn along Route 15 in South Williamsport.
The first sentence of the obituary states the 23-year-old died “after a long and hard battle with drug addiction.” It goes on to describe a young woman known for her love of jokes and Oreo cookies and who had a loving family and plenty of friends, including 4,953 Facebook friends.
It also describes a person who loved to write, and who had shared a recent journal entry with her sister:
“Funny, I don’t remember no good dope days. I remember walking for miles in a dope fiend haze. I remember sleeping in houses that had no electric. I remember being called a junkie, but I couldn’t accept it. I remember hanging out in abandos that were empty and dark. I remember shooting up in the bathroom and falling out at the park. I remember nodding out in front of my sisters kid. I remember not remembering half of the things that I did. I remember the dope man’s time frame, just ten more minutes. I remember those days being so sick that I just wanted to end it. I remember the birthdays and holiday celebrations. All the things I missed during my incarceration. I remember overdosing on my bedroom floor. I remember my sisters cry and my dad having to break down the door. I remember the look on his face when I opened my eyes, thinking today was the day that his baby had died. I remember blaming myself when my mom decided to leave. I remember the guilt I felt in my chest making it hard to breathe. I remember caring so much but not knowing how to show it. and I know to this day that she probably don’t even know it. I remember feeling like I lost all hope. I remember giving up my body for the next bag of dope. I remember only causing pain, destruction and harm. I remember the track marks the needles left on my arm. I remember watching the slow break up of my home. I remember thinking my family would be better off if I just left them alone. I remember looking in the mirror at my sickly completion. I remember not recognizing myself in my own Damn reflection. I remember constantly obsessing over my next score but what I remember most is getting down on my knees and asking God to save me cuz I don’t want to do this no more !!!
Her concluding words — “I don’t want to do this no more” — echo those of Aaron Cooley, a 27-year-old Kentucky man who died in March. Following his death, his family publicly shared some of his writings, including this:
“It rips my heart apart knowing its my actions and decisions that have caused a separation from my family. I’m a dope fiend, a heroin junkie, drug addict, or just cursed by a disease of the mind. It’s taking a toll on me…There seems to be no escape. Some of you will never fully grasp or comprehend this … I’m stuck, trapped, owned, miserable.”
Those are words written by someone who was addicted to heroin. Substance abuse and alcoholism are listed in the DSM-V Manual of Psychiatric Disorders as a mental illness.
More than 90% of people who die by suicide have a mental illness.
Even though I have never had a substance abuse addiction, I can feel their pain. I know the pain of wanting to die so much that all you can think about is death. The suicidal thoughts flood and overflow your mind and your thinking is not rational, but you feel at that moment in time that there is no other escape from the deep dark depths of suicidal thoughts and despair you are in. There is no other way out. Your brain is trying to kill you. I know what it feels like to actually take that last step. I know how beyond horrific that kind of deep dark intense lonely pain and agony feels like to the core depths of your being. Life feels hopeless and all your spirit of living has vanished, disappeared and no longer exists. Life is gone. I feel as if I am already dead. I seem so very close to death already that death seems like the only answer. I can see death. I can smell death and I can taste it. I know death. I want death. I know death. I am dead. Death is calling me and it is all I know in my broken brain and mind, body and spirit at that moment in time when suicidal thoughts overtake and overcome all of my thoughts in my broken and non-functioning mind.
I see the pain in everyone’s eyes every time I look at them. I know all the pain I caused them and continue to cause them every time I see them. So, I try to stay away from them so I will not have to be reminded of the intense pain I cause them and how because of my illness their lives will never be the same. I know I did this to them. I wrecked everyone’s life. I know I did this to my family and friends 25 years ago at the time of my initial diagnosis with bipolar 1 disorder and other mental illness diagnoses. My loss of life would be better for them, since they already lost the real me, the me I used to be. Now I only cause pain to everyone around me.
These are some of my thoughts and the thoughts of others, that enter into a severely broken mind that is not functionally normally. These are some of my thoughts and the thoughts of people who are contemplating suicide, thoughts that overcome the mind when it is not functioning normally. I have been there and I have attempted suicide numerous times and luckily, I was not successful and I survived my many suicide attempts.
Usually a person that loses their long fight and battle to survive and dies by suicide has had suicidal thoughts many times for years before their death by suicide. But, the last time the pain and the darkness won. They could not fight the extreme pain, agony, loneliness, demons, darkness, hopelessness and death any longer. They lost their very long and hard-fought battle by an illness that they did not ask for, The depression was stronger than them. No one wants to truly die and leave the people they love and leave earth forever. They just want to end the pain and they see no other way to avoid the pain. At the time, their mind is not functioning at a normal state and the mind loses the battle within itself, the will to live, all hope is gone and darkness and death overcome.
I am not in a severe suicidal depression right now. I have many times overcome the deep dark depths of my despair. I won and overcame again very recently as well. I won, beat suicide, survived again… and so can you.
Sometimes I still have suicidal thoughts and ideations. It will most likely be a lifelong battle for me because of the type of severe bipolar 1 disorder, PTSD and other mental illnesses I have, but I will continue my fight to live. I will keep keeping on. God continues to save my life. Praise God. I am blessed and happy to be alive.
Copyright © By Susan Walz and myloudbipolarwhispers.com – All written content and personal artwork is © myloudbipolarwhispers.com and Susan Walz. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner/artist is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Loud Bipolar Whispers and/or Susan Walz with appropriate and specific directions to the original content. (With the exception of the article written by David Wenner).
By the way, I must confess that this first week in September has been difficult for me to make a great post a day each, but I am trying my best.
I eagerly anticipate Friday, September 8th as that is the day my amazingly awesome, extremely handsome, talented, gifted, sweet, kind, compassionate, loving and blessed baby boy I love beyond words and measure… is getting married.
I am finishing getting my house ready, shopping, more preparations and my family will be coming to visit soon. Also, Tuesday, September 5th was the first day of school for my youngest very beautiful, kind, compassionate, talented, gifted, smart way beyond her years, loving and blessed daughter. It was her last first day of High School. That is unbelievable and exciting all at the same time.
I must add this…
I am so blessed, fortunate and ecstatic to be alive today to see the love of my life, my baby boy, get married. Also, I may not have been here to be with my beautiful baby girl on her last first day of High School. I may not be here to enjoy the beauty and joys of life. I am very blessed that my suicide attempts were unsuccessful and that God saved my life every time. Praise God.
Suicide is not the answer.
Your story is not over yet. You have many more chapters of your life to write and your story can be the #best novel of all time. So, keep living, surviving and thriving and writing your story.
I pray I am an inspiration and will give many people hope to know that it will get better. Hold on. Persevere. Keep fighting. Keep going and living and surviving and thriving. I am an example that it is possible and it is beyond words WORTH IT!!!!!
My first week in September is busy, but I promise you that as the month progresses and I have more time, the posts (hopefully) will continue to get better and more beneficial for everyone. That is my passion and where my heart is.
Please remember in September to check out my blog every day for important and inspiring information about suicide prevention.
Love, hugs and blessings. Sue