I Attempted Suicide & I’m Not Sure It Was Wrong

It was just after Thanksgiving. My head was pounding, and I was freezing as my feet hit the pavement running.

My parents had gone to my grandma’s house for leftover turkey and dressing. I stayed home, eager for the time to myself.

While they were enjoying their family dinner, I took a bottle of Tylenol: 350 capsules. It didn’t help matters much that I had taken a muscle relaxant from my mother’s collection.

I wasn’t suicidal.

I had a migraine from running.

At least, that is the story I told.

By the time my boyfriend found me, my body temperature had dropped, my lips were blue and I was freezing.

I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

When I was 15, medical professionals tried to tell me that it was “depressive disorder.” Even then, I knew better.

While on Facebook, some days, just viewing my profile can cost me an entire day or a few hours. It’s one day one minute, and the next minute, it’s Tuesday.

The days just disappear and so do the hours. Facebook regularly prompts me to update my profile and poses this question:

What are some of your favorite memories?

I should mention . . .

I also have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

As an adult, I have learned that extensive physical and emotional trauma have conditioned my brain to a specific, organized, way of thinking.

Some days, it feels like it did the same to my emotions.

I couldn’t tell you exactly what at the time, but something changed just before I started seventh grade. I stopped going by my first name. I adamantly went by my middle name and became verbally aggressive if challenged otherwise.

Please, call me, ‘Grace.’

I also took a creative writing class that year. When we returned from Spring break, we were assigned a writing project prompted with this question:

What was the favorite part of your Spring break with your family?

In tears and confused, I approached the teacher’s desk and quietly whispered that I had nothing special to tell about my Spring break.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

I can’t remember what happened that year. There were many hard years. My counselor tells me,

We have a way of blocking the hard parts out.

I’d like to know what she considers as hard. 

The teacher told me to write about any happy memory with my family instead. On that day, I realized I didn’t have any happy memories—not one.

Not that I never had any happy moments, that is just how my mind works.

Ethics

As a teenager, if had succeeded in taking my own life, would the decision have been ethical? Would it have been right or wrong? After all, I was the victim of an abusive culture and upbringing, innocent in my youth and my thinking.

I was a child.

If mental health did not play a role, but rather a pure response to real trauma, would you tell a child he/she is selfish for escaping abuse the only way the child knew how or does the abuse give a logical and acceptable justification to suicide?

Physician-assisted Suicide is legal in the Netherlands, currently being determined in Canada, and moderately approved (with restrictions) across the United States. According to the American Medical Association:

Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patient’s death by providing the necessary means and/or information to enable the patient to perform the life-ending act (eg, the physician provides sleeping pills and information about the lethal dose, while aware that the patient may commit suicide.)

If the physical need for an escape from pain or the fear of the pain that is coming is an ethical justification for suicide, then, wouldn’t the same be valid in the case of a teenager escaping physical abuse or other trauma?

If suicide is justifiable for any reason, what gives anyone the authority to govern who and who does not deserve to choose if they live or die?

If an adult, undergoing extensive medical treatment for a terminal condition, can choose to end his/her own life at will, why would an adult undergoing daily pain and torment not also deserve that same right?

Wouldn’t it be “ethical” to determine that is for the greater good of all who are hurting to cease suffering, if possible?

The problem is human nature. It makes the majority believe that the method by which death is achieved is not moral. 

I would by lying to say that I am not torn on the topic. Losing a loved one to suicide feels like a shock to the heart. It feels like an injustice, like a life was stolen.

A close friend who lived in my neighborhood was shot in the head during the summer of 1996. His name was Michael Lime. At first, they tried to claim it was suicide. Then, there was rumor and speculation of murder. In the end, it was chalked off to boys playing with guns.

But nobody really knows because we don’t talk about it.

Why do we fight against the justification, ethical theory and legality, of suicide being socially acceptable?

Morals.

If we determine and declare that suicide is an acceptable way of dying, what message do we send our children, friends and family, when they reach out during that moment when life feels like too much?

In those moments, we want to send one message:

Choose life!

So, we declare it unethical, immoral, sinful, selfish and crazy. But is it?

To want to escape something unreal, unimaginable and unbearably painful, is that unethical? Is that wrong?

I’m not sure, but I choose life and every good or bad day it may bring.

I choose life.


Suicide Prevention

Image Credit

We Have A People Problem

We have a problem, America.

It’s convenient to focus vexation at our country’s ever-present adversity on impractical venues such as government. After all, we can vote, complain, post bumper stickers and invest in campaigns, but we really can’t change much.

Yet, what do we do in an effort to make changes? We find someone who resembles ourselves, carries our morals and will do what we want them to do (we think). Then we go vote for our hopeful savior. Whew! We did our part! Now, what’s for dinner?

Six months later, we find ourselves right back where we started. We’ll point to the president, media, Wall Street, guns, drugs and poverty; anything to keep us from looking at the real picture:

“We the people” are the problem!

The solution begins with us. If we cannot make a change, then we shouldn’t even bother showing up to vote because we have already failed.

After my previous article, I found myself engaged in many debates about guns. Soon, I realized I was saying the same thing over and over again: We have a people problem.”

The more I thought on that, the more media stories flooded my mind, and they all had a common denominator: people.

Recently, the Slender Man case that’s been monopolizing the media has sparked the ethical debate of whether or not children should be tried as adults. As I watched the masses respond, I was appalled.

Of course, it was a horrible tragedy, but among the comments were remarks such as, “Hang ‘em!”; “Death penalty!”; “It’s a shame what our children have become!”

Yet, didn’t we establish and sustain a justice system specifically for juveniles? Didn’t we do that because they are, indeed, children? Children have not changed; we have changed. We’re not legally focused, anymore; we’re emotionally charged.

What about those two 12-year-old girls? Didn’t we create that law to protect them, too?

People.

Not long before that, I found myself shocked that an elementary school student’s gender identity disorder made the front page of news outlets, announcing how a boy had returned to school as a girl.

I was angered by every media outlet that felt it was okay to make her a hot topic for debate, but I was even more upset at the people.

Again, I watched as the comments filled the thread, “This nation’s going to hell”; “That’s why homosexuals shouldn’t raise kids” (the child was raised by a loving mother and father); “I don’t want my kids exposed to that!”

Yet, do we not still fight for freedom? Have our forefathers, sons, mothers and fathers not died defending our freedom for every American citizen?

Like selfish fools, we disregarded her privacy, her vulnerability, her age, her disorder and her family, and we did what we do best, America! We made it all about us.

People.

“American Schools Are STILL Racist,” wrote, Joy Resmovits of the Huffington Post. I can’t get the beginning of that title out of my mind. Why didn’t this article go viral? Why weren’t we angered by that? Who stood up to make a change? Who took action? Who talked about racism with their children?

Why are we not angered and enraged to see any adult take his fists to a child, even if that child is a teenager? An adult is 18 years of age as defined by law! How do we stand back so smugly and announce on public networks, “That bus driver can drive my kids to school every day of the week!”

Then we look at ourselves, our nation, our families and our children, and we wonder what we’ve become and where we went wrong.

WE the People!

That means all of us, every single person in this world.

It means if we want our schools safe, we should keep our homes safe. If we want our streets free of crime, we need keep our homes free of crime and teach our children the same. If we want guns to be controlled and to reserve our right to bear arms, we need to keep our guns controlled inside our homes!

If we want our children to love and respect others, we should love and respect them every day, at the dinner table, on the phone, in the middle of the night or early in the morning when we’re already running late. We need to show them our love every single minute of the day!

If we want to a change in our nation, “we the people” have to change.

Time is of the essence.

We cannot stand back one more second and believe we have the right to shake our heads at our young people while setting such a poor example ourselves.

The most important culture this country thrives upon starts at our own front doors. 


If you enjoyed this post, please hit “like” and share it! Thanks for reading! This post is also featured on Elite Daily.

Stand Up and Speak Out

At the age of 31, I just realized the power of my own voice. It only took thirty years and one article, written by 12-year-old blogger for the Huffington Post.

Society thrives on technology and I’m the old fogey in the corner who remembers when the first cell phone came out and the World Wide Web was the latest trending hype.

Now, we have Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook , Twitter and trending hashtags, for that! Until now, I didn’t realize that the key to reaching the world with just one voice is learning to use your social networks and resources.

Different

“Different” was the name of the article that caused an already growing revelation to transpire to the max. Marcel Neergaard has a voice. As a young member of the LGBT community, he wasn’t afraid to speak out. And he didn’t just speak, he shouted his message. He made me think about how I was using my own voice.

I could be louder.

Fortunately, someone cared enough to just say hi.

Hello. One word that helped move him to action. One word what told him that he was important. In turn, he found his voice. We all have that power—the power of a voice.

What’s the most meaningful conversation you had today? Did you know with a simple “hello” and a smile, you have the power to change someone’s life?

Marcel helped change mine, and he doesn’t even know it. My favorite part of his article came at the end:

This week I will be in Nashville for Advancing Equality on the Hill Day talking to my senator and (hopefully) representative about making schools safer for kids like me. What will you do?

When he spoke, 9000 ears listened and helped echo his message on Facebook alone. That’s just what he did on March 10th, from the comfort of his home, while sitting at a computer; and for all we know, still in his pajamas!

Wow.

What will I do today, tomorrow, or in the weeks to come? I’m not sure. What will you do? Just asking yourself the question is a fine place to start.

As this week comes to a close, I have yet to reach the ears of thousands of people. I have, however, literally been awake around-the-clock. That tends to leave a plethora of time for thinking, reading, and writing.

For months now, I’ve been preoccupied with the power of the voice of the people. There are so many voice is the world and so much shouting, yet so much silence about the things that matter.

It’s as if we’ve learned to believe that our message, stance or topic of choice, is the most justified and correct or we should gain profit from acts of compassion, or we don’t bother to speak up at all.

Every voice matters.

Rarely do our words fall the same way on each ear that hears them. Listeners interpret more than just the words we speak or write. We can hope that your words will be concisely construed, but words are not what reach the ears first. Words are not what touch the heart of a person. It’s not always the message that’s the most powerful part of a message. Sometimes, it’s just the voice.

People were supportive of this writer’s LGBT advocacy and brevity to raise his voice on the matter, yes. But the loudest message he could have sent was this…

He stood up.