Trigger warning: Talk of suicide.
This week’s news has been full of articles about two celebrity suicides and the study showing that suicide rates have risen by 30%. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, this kind of news can be difficult to navigate.
I’ve shared a few articles on social media about reaching out for help and about watching your loved ones for signs. I think those are a good thing for us to share and talk about. I think talking about suicide helps us all to understand better and, hopefully, prevent more loss.
But it also gets in the brain of someone like me and makes me wonder, makes me afraid.
I look at these events and the loved who speak out saying that the person was struggling but there were no signs they would do something like that. They might have been getting help. They seemed happy the day before or even the day of.
And I wonder, could I change that quickly? Could I be happy one minute and gone the next? Were they hiding the fact that they were planning this or was it spontaneous? Both scenarios are scary.
If they were hiding it, then it’s possible for no one to know that the person is in pain. There is nothing anyone else can do to stop it. I’ve hidden my own feelings from others. I’ve had people I feel close to ask me if I’m ok, what’s wrong, etc and I shut them out. Could I get so good at it that no one could help me if I really needed it? I’ve always been able to open up with at least one person. I hope that never, ever changes.
If it was spontaneous that’s almost even more scary. What could possibly be that tipping point and could I ever get there? Seems there is just no way to know. The unknown is a really hard thing for someone with anxiety to grapple with. We obsess over the unknown.
I can’t help but wonder and worry about myself when there are stories in the news about suicide. I remember my dark days last Fall and fear a day when it happens again and maybe I’m not able to battle the demons away.
So for now I will feel sadness for the loved ones of those who lost their battle and hope that the rest of us keep fighting and winning every day.
If you are struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.