“The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow.” ~unknown
The more I have been reading and researching various information and articles about suicide, suicide attempt survivors (which is me) and suicide loss survivors and mental illness survivors (which is me too), I have realized how many similarities and parallels there are with all of us in many areas of all our lives.
We are all connected, bonded in a way that others can’t be a part of. People who are not affected by mental illness in any way can never truly understand what it is like. Any of us and all of us that are affected by mental illness in some way, are suicide attempt survivors, suicide loss survivors and mental illness survivors can understand each other better.
In many ways, others not affected by mental illness or suicide can never understand or even begin to understand or grasp the depths of the pain, suffering, feelings of hopelessness, loss, grief, loneliness, discrimination due to stigma, struggles and obstacles we have faced and must face daily.
Our lives, at least I know my life, will never be the same again. In some ways my bipolar, mental illness and suicidality has helped me become a better person by being able to help others, increased my compassion, empathy and acceptance for other people, increased my endurance, strength, courage, perseverance, resilience and the appreciation of my ability and fortitude to find deep inner strength from deep within myself to keep fighting and surviving.
After I have overcome many huge obstacles, struggles and the closeness to my own demise so many times, I have learned to appreciate that fight and determination about myself. I have become proud of myself for being a survivor in ways other people will never know or understand.
Also, I have been born again as I know God has saved my life numerous times, keeps saving my life and has never left my side even when I didn’t know He was with me. He has always been with me through every one of my struggles, holding my hand and catching each one of my tears. I know, have felt and feel God’s love, mercy and grace and have seen, witnessed and felt God’s healing power and hands.
I see life differently and will forever see life differently because I know what death is. I know what pain is. I know what pain is beyond the depths of any possible description and understanding that is humanly possible unless you have been there, lived there, lived through it and survived.
Once you have overcome and made it through some of the darkest days, you feel like you are very strong, a superhero for that moment because once again you survived the pits of hell of deep dark despair and death and lived again to breathe another breath of beautiful air of life. You survived.
For all of us who have been touched by this ugly, cruel, horrific, sometimes destructive demon of mental illness, even though there are many different types, ways and with different magnitudes of severity and recovery, it is like we are all connected by an unspoken bond that unites us as one, knowing things that others cannot even comprehend.
We are united with a type of bond that no one else can have. We need to remember this and learn that we all need to help each other always.
“We rise by lifting others.” ~unknown
We have been there, lived through it and survived. We are here to let others know they are not alone and we can all help people by giving them hope that they too can survive and recover.
We are their living proof, living, breathing examples to give them hope. There is hope for everyone. We can do this and we can fight mental illness, mental illness stigma, the stigma associated with suicide and prevent suicide.
I believe there are no accidents in life and I believe that every person God puts in front of me or you, either in person or in this beautiful virtual blogger reality world, has been put in front of us because of God, for many reasons. He has put us together to help each other.
If I can help you in some way and love you and touch your heart, you can then reach out and help someone else and love and touch another person’s heart and then they can do the same and so on and so on.
The beautiful chain of love and our domino effect of helping and educating others goes on and must continue on forever. It is a necessary, unstoppable chain reaction of educating, loving, surviving, recovery and living beautiful, important, meaningful, loving lives that matter.
We listen to each other and help, because we understand what true pain really is and we never want another person to have to experience what we have experienced or still may be experiencing. Even when we may be in the middle of a severe suicidal depression, we will still reach out and help someone else, because we do not want someone else to have to suffer or know pain like we have had or are having.
People that do not have mental illness or do not understand mental illness and have been fortunate enough to never have been touched by it in any way are people who seem to be afraid to talk about it, or touch the untouchable. They are frozen because they do not know what to do or say, so some just don’t say or do anything. They do not know what to do and it makes them uncomfortable, so they do nothing and that is extremely wrong, ignorant, unfair and cruel. They do not even want to try to learn about mental illness and they need to and they need to do it now. It is their obligation to humanity and society.
Silence is almost worse than saying the wrong thing sometimes, at least if someone says the wrong thing I feel they cared enough to try, but if they fail to even attempt to talk to me about it, they signal to me that they don’t give a damn about me or mental illness.
However, they may be giving off the wrong signal and they do not mean to do that or hurt anyone. Their lack of empathy can come from fear of the unknown, so that is why we must talk about suicide, mental illness and the stigma of mental illness and suicide.
When people are afraid to speak to me and avoid the topic of my bipolar and mental illness and suicide, it makes me feel like I am invisible. I feel like no one sees me or wants to see me and has no interest in what have to say. I am invisible to the world and my surroundings. No one can see me or wants to see me or know me.
Sometimes I feel like I am a like fly on the wall that someone just wants to get rid of and have me go away and pretend that I am not there. But you know what? You cannot hit me with your fly swatter and I will not die and I will not go away. I am here to stay. I am here and I am going to talk and talk some more, again and again until you get it and understand and know what mental illness is. I am here to talk to all of you about bipolar, mental illness, mental illness stigma, the stigma associated with suicide and suicide prevention. I am going to keep talking about it until the subject begins to become comfortable for you and with you. It is time for all of you runners to stop running from mental illness.
I can die from my mental illness. It can be a terminal illness just like cancer. I have been going through twenty-five years of chemotherapy, so to speak, just to keep myself alive.
We are real people and we deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We must start being treated like we are the very strong survivors and heroes that we are. We need to be treated with the same kind of respect, dignity and honor, like cancer survivors receive.
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