I refuse to watch 13 Reasons Why. As someone who has attempted suicide myself, on more than one occasion, and obviously failed (self high-five), I don’t feel I need to know someone else’s reasons behind killing themselves, or whatever else happens on that show. Do I think it’s a good show for people to watch who have never experienced suicidal tendencies? Sure, maybe, I don’t know. But like I said, I won’t watch it, so I can’t advise.
My first attempt was when I was about 16 (I think… in around there). Looking back, my life was pretty good, so from all outward appearances there was nothing that would have given away my intentions.
I grew up in the suburbs, in a brand new house my mom designed and had built when I was 10 using the inheritance my dad got when his parents passed away within a year of each other. I was pretty much a straight A student for the most part until Gr. 12. I had a solid group of friends. I was involved in lots of activities, you know the standard boring stuff like band and *synchronized* swimming. I played b-ball in junior high and rugby throughout high school. I wasn’t a “trouble” kid, never even been sent to the principals office (unless the teacher needed an errand kid… than I was your girl) I wasn’t your emotional girly girl, my friends all came to me for advice, knowing I could be trusted to keep secrets as well as lead them in the general right direction. I’ve never been fired from a job since I first started working at 14. I was/am fiscally responsible, and bought my first car (at the time a sweet black coupe Sunfire lol) at 16. Basically, I was your model goody-two-shoes citizen.
It would seem I had it all.
So why would someone who had it “so good” feel so desperate that they had to try to kill themselves. Good question. One that I can’t even explain well. It’s like you get to a point where you feel desperate. You feel like no matter what, no matter how hard you try or what you do, it won’t be good enough, or even better, it won’t matter. It comes from inside. It’s not necessarily because of a certain situation or because of something someone said to you, it comes from deep within. You feel like your drowning in yourself. You feel out of control. And as hard as you try to “think positive” or “look at the bright side” or whatever other ridiculous thing people tell you in that moment, the feeling is there. Deep down inside. So you stop telling them about your struggle. You say your fine. You act like your fine. You show no outward appearances of being in trouble. You try to maintain normality. Because you don’t need the words from people who don’t understand you, trying to “make things better” They don’t get that words won’t help. This is a feeling. An emotion. A confliction rising from places you didn’t know existed deep within yourself. Places you’ve tried to keep hidden. Because you are a happy person. Who doesn’t have 13 reasons to kill herself. A person who has a million reasons to live.
Yet, you just don’t want to.
So, one night at 16 years old while my parents were out, I very carefully and methodically downed an entire bottle of extra strength Advil, laid down. and went to sleep for what I hoped, in the moment, would be the last time.
Imagine my surprise and to be honest, hurt, confusion and annoyance when I woke up the next morning feeling nothing but a slight stomach ache. WTF? Seriously? How much does it take? So I got up and went to school as per usual. I hardly told anyone until now. Why admit failure at something as ridiculous as this right? I continued with my life as usual thinking back on that night often… than less as time went on.
Until about 3 years ago. Went the feelings came back again. Harder, and much more intense. But this time I was more “mature” about it, if that was possible. I had two kids looking up to me, so I at least went for help first.
I had recently left E, and was living with my parents again (full circle hey) and I knew I needed help, because those feelings of desperation were back. So one night after I put the kids to sleep I asked my parents if they minded watching the kids while I went out to the clinic, because I really needed to go. Like RIGHT NOW! So I went to the clinic… where the Dr was a douche.
I tried explaining why I was there, and how I was looking for anti depressants. Simple right? Give the depressed suicidal woman antidepressants and everything’s good. At least that how I thought it would go down. But nope. He kept asking why I felt I needed them (Ummmmmmmmm, I’m depressed? Idiot) and saying if I’m suicidal or even overly depressed, he wouldn’t be able to let me leave and would have to call it in to the hospital, and put me under an emergency watch.
So all I could think about was that I had already shared too much. I had come for help. And now you want to lock me in a ward somewhere? What about my kids? Nope. Nope nope nope a million times no. I did a hard 180 and back tracked on everything I had said to him and walked out the office ASAP. But as I drove home, the feelings crept back in. Deeper and more desperate than before. If a doctor couldn’t/wouldn’t help me, than what chance did I have? I felt I had done my best going about dealing with it the “proper way” by going to see a “medical professional” but left feeling more overwhelmed then I had felt an hour ago.
So when I pulled into the garage at my parents house, even though it wasn’t premeditated… I closed the overhead door, and just stayed. I had the car running and the windows down and I just sat there with my eyes closed. I briefly thought about my kids and how they would be fine with my parents, and I could at least enjoy my last moments relaxing with nothing going through my head but whatever songs were on the radio.
Music. One of the most important things in my life. Because it can connect you with/too so many things, but also it can disconnect you from life. Which is what I wanted right then. To forget life. And forget pain, and fear, and every other emotion. I wanted to just “be” one last time. Until I’m not sure how much later, but my Dad walked out to the garage, saying he had heard the garage door, and wondering if I was ok/what I was doing out there.
No. No, I was not ok. I did not get the help I was looking for. And now you’ve interrupted my “master plan” to kill myself, so now what?
Well “now what” turned out to be a visit to a competent doctor the next day at the urging of my parents. The new doctor worked with me, getting me the proper anti-depressants that would work with the seizure medication I’m on, as well as follow up calls and emails to ensure I was doing better. Which for the most part I was.
And I still kinda am. Although, upon reflection, I’ve noticed it’s definitely a S.A.D. thing. Which is not something I’m embarrassed about. Even as recently as this past winter, I’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts. Which is probably why I never felt this way while living in Africa. And although I’m not taking anti-depressants anymore, I deal with the emotional pull of the darkness inside myself during that time of year. Something I’m sure will probably happen this coming winter too.
Do I think I’ll try to kill myself again? Not really. But right now, I’m okay. I’m not depressed… for now. So I cannot say for sure it won’t happen again though. All I know is there are not 13 reasons for me. There is not even one. In my opinion, someone who is suicidal, is that way because nothing makes sense. The thoughts in their head are all “down” and “dark.” It’s definitely not a well written and organized 13 point plan/reasons. It’s just desperation and hopelessness.
Or just someone who has had enough. And I hate to be a downer, but sometimes there aren’t warning signs. I was very good at keeping it to myself, and being a “happy friendly carefree” 16 year-old, who looked like she had her shit together. I never cut myself, or had any other indication of other self harm when I went straight to downing those pills. I never gave anyone a heads up. I didn’t even write a suicide note. I wasn’t in it for the attention, I was trying to do it to be done with life. I didn’t give two shits what anyone else thought, then and still to this day that’s how I do life.
I have never had someone close to me commit suicide. And I’m truly sorry if you have. But to be honest, it’s not about what you could’ve done to help. Because depression comes from within. And needs to be solved from within. My medication helped me. No conversation with friends or family, although everyone is different. No amount of get togethers or going out helped me. Because the individual could just paste on a fake smile and then once they go home and are alone, the “dark” thoughts will be back, if they weren’t there the whole time anyways.
Depression is a medical condition that should be helped with medication.
It should not be judged or laughed at. It also should not be made to be explained by the inflicted. Because most times, it can’t be. You either are depressed or you are not. like I said before, nothing in the outer world “makes” you depressed.
For me it came from within. And I shouldn’t need 13 reasons why.