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Updated: Jun 21, 2023

One day a doctor told me, “Recovery from mental illness is 75% coping skills and 25% medication. You have incredible coping skills and use them every day and you’re medication resistant, so it’s not going to work for you.” I was dumbfounded. So there is no hope?! This is one of the times that my suicidality was at it’s worst because it truly seemed like there were no options.

When people with terminal cancer or other similar illnesses get to the point of no hope they go on hospice and have the choice to stop fighting. When people with mental illness are told there is no hope, there is no option. In fact, when I started saying that I just wanted to die, people said I was selfish, that I was going to hurt so many people. It seemed so unfair. I just had to suffer so that everyone else would feel okay.

The biggest problem with my illness is that I can’t see the forest for the trees. There are a lot of really bad days with Bipolar and OCD, but there are a lot of really good days, too. Yesterday I got four loads of laundry done and wrote several blog posts among other things. It was a really good day. But when a really bad day comes along I won’t remember the good days. It’s like they never existed.

It’s amazing how fast I forget the good things in my life. How quickly it turns to, “It will never be good again”. I have been working for years on shifting my thinking so that suicide isn’t so automatic, but man, is it hard! Thankfully I have incredible supports that help me remember, but sometimes even that isn’t enough, and that’s usually when I end up in the hospital.

It’s hard to explain to a person who has never felt suicidal. It’s like I can’t imagine ever getting tattoos because the pain would be so immense it wouldn’t be worth the reward. But I’ve never done it, so I don’t really know. But I just get so desperate to be out of pain, that it seems like the only option.

But it’s not.

Working out, painting, playing the piano, calling a friend, listening to amazing music, those are the options. Continuing to fight, that is the option. So if you ever feel like me and just want it to end, try some of those things. If they don’t work, try something else. And always know that if you need help you can call 988 and there will be someone there to talk to. Life is really hard, but I promise it’s worth it.

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