September is a very important mental health month — it’s National Recovery Month, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and just so we can really hit things home, this week is National Suicide Prevention Week AND today is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Obviously these all hold a special place in my heart because I have ties to each one. You all know I am in recovery and I make sure to emphasize that not only is it doable, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I feel that it’s something to be celebrated because there are so many of us who never make it to that place.
I didn’t have suicidal thoughts until I was already in recovery and had rebuilt a shattered life. Even at the lowest points of my addiction, I knew that killing myself would really hurt those closest to me, so I didn’t seriously consider it. Always the people pleaser.
As I was seeing a therapist here in Chicago and I was on the cusp of being diagnosed with clinical depression, I came to the realization that if there were a way for me to simply erase my existence, I would go for it. I’d never hurt anyone because I’d simply never be. While it wasn’t possible, it was a step further in my suicidal ideations than I had gone before and it was a unique enough thought for me to pay attention.
All of these things are tough. Recovery is tough. Living with sub par mental health is tough. It takes just a little (sometimes a lot) more effort for us to function at baseline. What I’ve found about everyone I have met who has gone through these types of situations, however, is that they come out stronger. They grow. They have a more interesting perspective on the world and one that I feel only adds to it, not detracts.
Those who suffer learn how to rise. They know themselves better than those who live in denial or who wash away stress with alcohol and self-sabotaging behaviors. We are more empathetic, a trait that I feel people would be better off to learn.
I’m proud to be someone who can speak to both of these subjects and I urge you to do so as well if you have any experience. It’s not a long post today, but it’s an important one. If anything, my goal is to bring more awareness to the things that cause us pain, but that we can get through if we try. Lots of love to all of you. 🙂
If you’re interested in more posts, some of these may resonate with you as well:
- Mental Health: How You Can Actually Help
- 8 Years
- How To Start Opening Up About Tough Topics
- My Experience With Starting Antidepressants
- When Depression Comes Back
Also feel free to click through any of the related links below which also focus on mental health and self-improvement.