First thing first: no longer suicidal. I’ve gotten past that again. Still in a depressive state, but I’m being looked after.
Life happens in waves, it really does. Even for someone with no physical or mental health conditions, you have perfectly normal days and then the days you can’t see yourself making the next morning because it’s too much. It’s simply what we can put up with as humans – people can commit suicide without any previous mental health history. Rare, but it can happen.
Waves. It’s all waves.
The reaction we get changes as well. Say someone with no mental health history went ‘I want to kill myself’ and they had that intention; people, including medical professionals, may not take them seriously because they are ‘fine’. Friends and family may not take them seriously, even if they are aware of an event that may have triggered these feelings. The outcome?
Now take me; if I turned to someone right now and said ‘I want to kill myself’ and had that intention, I would be picked up and forcefully dropped into the nearest A&E with the person who dropped me refusing to leave. I am, possibly unwillingly, receiving the help any suicidal/self-harming person should get. People will be made aware and plans put in place. My friends and family will rally around me. The outcome?
Just think about it.
Two people with equal intention. One a perfectly healthy medical history, one the complete opposite.
Who, in this situation, is most likely to live?
These thoughts were triggered by a conversation I had with a very good friend yesterday evening in the library, a very good friend who also struggles. Let’s call her Alice. Somehow we ended up having a conversation about another student – say, Lucy – who left for a leave of absence in January after falling out with her friends and hence went around telling everyone she had become severely depressed and left a few days after the whole thing: One day broke up with friends, the next told everyone she was next to suicidal, next day left.
Now to anyone reading that it reads like making a mountain out of a molehill, yes?
It’s also being triggered by a message someone sent me; “you always were the strong one and you keep proving it”.
Back to waves.
Life is like swimming; keep your head up, don’t get out of your depth, if a difficult situation arises go with it, etc.
You’re stood in the break at the beach. You’re there with a younger human who is 10 and a 6ft soldier. 4ft wave comes. 10 year old won’t stand a chance, soldier will probably stay strong and stable for the next one. What about you?
Take that analogy: you’re stood in life with a mentally ‘weak’ person to your left and a mentally ‘strong’ (yes, ‘strong’ – you never know why they’re ‘strong’) person to your right. A wave of events hits all three of you. Who’s going under first? Who cannot stay standing?
Who will go under?
Think about yourself in both of those scenarios; if you’re stood in a break with a ten year old and a wave the same height as them approaches, what are you going to do? Are you just going to let them be knocked off their feet? No.
The same should be for the second scenario. Just because you might be able to stand it doesn’t mean the next person should be expected to. We all have different, well, tolerances of life and it takes different strengths to overcome them. You may have the strength for something that someone else doesn’t, and vice versa.
It depends on the wave.
This is long and winded, so I’ll conclude with a more precise point.
Different people can stand different waves of what life throws at you. Alice and Lucy have different staminas, just as I have different stamina to you.
It doesn’t matter how ‘healthy’ your mental state is, no more than it matters how healthy your body is. If you’re stood with a 10 metre wave breaking on your head, you’re going to be smashed into the sand.
These waves can come at any point. Don’t underestimate or assume what someone’s wave should or should not be. Only they know that.
Always take ‘I want to kill myself’ seriously because nobody ever truely jokes about it. Just keep an eye out, an open mind, and a loving heart.
Your wave could be next, and we always need someone there.