Why Suicide is Not Selfish

**Trigger Warning**

Well where do I start with this. Maybe first let me start by telling why I feel I’m qualified to talk about this and why I have a very unique perspective.

I have a BA in psychology, I’ve worked in mental health for over 10 years, I have bipolar disorder, I’ve had several depressive episodes and 2 suicide attempts. My father also died to suicide.

Now let me start off by saying I’m not condoning suicide. I don’t think it’s ever the answer and it doesn’t solve anything. I’ve heard someone say “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. I’m just going to make an attempt at showing you my thought process, and perhaps a similar thought process in others when they make that decision.

One thing that really resonated with me in university while I was studying psychology, was that “mental illness distorts your perception of reality”. (Now depression IS a mental illness which apparently some people don’t know. For some reason depression, and anxiety for that matter, seems to be the more socially accepted forms of mental illness from what I’ve seen).

Mental illness, depression in this case, is almost like a lens that affects our perceptions, feelings, beliefs and eventually behaviours. We all see things through a lens regardless of whether we have a mental illness or not. We believe certain truths. Some people see themselves trough a lens where life is good and good things will happen to them. This affects their perceptions, feelings, beliefs and behaviours. Usually this is me when I’m well. I see the world with optimism and happiness. I love life, love God, I love helping people and serving others. Standing in the rain makes me happy when I’m well. I’m so happy to be present in that moment (because due to my illness there have been times when I have not been able to be present in each moment so I really am grateful and appreciative of that now). Making people happy and making them laugh warms my heart. Interacting with people and learning about them makes me happy. Simple things make me so happy so it’s really not hard for me to stay in that place. I’m a very rational and logical thinker. Close with my mother. She’s my best friend and I would never want to do anything to hurt her.. or hurt any of the people around me. I’m an empath so the thought of hurting others literally hurts me. I believe that although some people do hurtful things, overall the world is a good place and i hope for the best from people. I try to see the good in people. I love animals and they make me smile. I love children and they make me smile. I love my dog and he makes me smile and laugh. I love my family and friends. I’m successful and driven and I’m always striving for more. Generally a happy person.

So now that you know the way I usually am, let me show you a little of my thought process when I’m depressed/suicidal. Let me just make it clear that following description of my thought process is NOT the way I’m feeling or thinking currently!!! Im NOT depressed or suicidal right now! [ when I’m depressed, I usually start focusing on my pain from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence. I fixate and obsess over it. I focus on the evil that’s been inflicted upon me. I think the world is an awful place and if people close to me have hurt me other people will too. The world is not safe. I am not safe. My pain will never end. I feel numb and dead inside anyway.. I’m a burden to my family and they’re better off without me. I’m doing them a favour by leaving them. They must hate me and be sick of me. They’re disgusted with me. I can’t take the emotional pain I’m in. The pain will never end.. never end.. never end.. never end.. I have to do something to end the pain.. I can’t take it anymore things will never change and I’ll be hurting forever. I’m such a failure. I can’t do anything right. People probably laugh at me because I’m pathetic. I can’t take this pain.. can’t take this pain. It will never go away].

That’s hard for me to read but that’s the way I thought. Notice a lot of these things I believed were not true.. but the depression distorted my perception of reality! I believed my pain would never end. That was not true but I believed to to be true. I believed that my family hated me and would be better off without me. That’s not true but I believed it to be so. So eventually I made a decision to attempt suicide not based on the reality of my situation, but based on my distorted perceptions of the world and my life and my situation due to my mental illness.

So my attempt wasn’t out of selfishness. I wasn’t thinking “I’m having a bad day so let me do something that will hurt, destroy and devastate the people around me who care about me” I didn’t believe anyone cared. I thought they’d be better off with out me. That was my perception of reality at the time. It seemed so real! That’s the scary thing. The fact that it seemed so logical at the time to make such an awful and permanent decision.

Since then I’ve had 11 years of therapy. Working through a lot of my trauma issues has really helped a lot. I’ve still gotten into the place of having suicidal thoughts after my first two attempts but I haven’t acted on them. I’ve learned a lot of healthy coping mechanisms. I’ve also learned how powerful my mind is. Like if I sit in my room and start thinking those negative self destructive thoughts, within a few hours I can bring myself down to a dangerous place. Like if I fixate on the abuse and how awful my life has been at times, it just starts this downward spiral into feeling depressed and suicidal. But I’ve learned to redirect my focus in those moments. I’ll play with my dog or go for a walk, talk to s friend, take a shower. Those simple things can stop the downward spiral. Even when I’ve gotten to a place when I’ve had suicidal thoughts I just tell myself “this is the illness making me think these thoughts are rational. It’s not real.” When I come out of it I’m still shocked at how real those thoughts seemed.

So I hope this gives you some insight into the thought process of someone who’s suicidal. This someone anyway.. It hurts my heart when I hear people say it was selfish when a person dies to suicide. All I can do is think of all the pain the person had to be in to make that decision.

So all in all I’m doing very well now. I do have negative thoughts sometimes, but not suicidal ones. That’s progress! I love myself, which I didn’t before so I’m very happy about that. It took years and years of work but I’m doing very well. I have a career in mental health, my own business, happy and healthy relationships and a healthy and rational outlook on life.

If you have depression, suicidal thoughts or negative thoughts about yourself, please talk to someone and get help. It will get better and there are people trained to help you through it. I had suicidal thoughts on and off for 15 years before I had therapy! Please don’t wait 15 years like me. It really is a life and death situation.

Canada Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-833-456-4566

US Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

Peace & Blessings

Emelle Q

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Opportunity of a Lifetime

I’m so torn right now. On the one hand I feel positive, hopeful, joyful, excited. I found the most amazing business opportunity that is the answer to many very specific prayers that I’ve made over my lifetime. On the other hand, I feel a little disappointed because the timing of this opportunity is not right.

My current job, in mental health, is very rewarding. I have an amazing manager who believes in me and is so supportive not to mention hilarious. He encourages me and really listens and tries to understand when I’m having challenges with my mental health. I have an amazing team made up of some really wonderful people that are extremely passionate about helping the clients that we serve. The benefits are good. Vacation is good. We have access to a lot of sick days. I believe in what the agency stands for. The problem.. The team I’m on, the way it’s structured, is very stressful. I feel so drained most of the time and have very little left to give at the end of the day. It’s very difficult to find the energy to work on projects, take a course, start a business, maintain a social life and strengthen relationships with family and friends, with the amount of stress from this position. Some of my married coworkers say they’re so drained at the end of the day that they don’t have the energy to play with their children or engage with their spouses. Maybe that’s ok with them but that’s completely unacceptable for me. The job is slowly, and literally, making me sick and tired. I’ve been battling depression and anxiety for a long time with this position. Initially I referred to it as “burnout” but was later told it’s depression and anxiety.

I learned of an amazing business certification program that not only will teach me a very valuable skill, but it will teach me how to successfully structure my business. Initially I thought the cost of the program would be what would deter me. The more I thought about it I realized that the timing was really the issue. Having my current job, planning a wedding and trying to do this business at the same time is just a recipe for disaster. I’ve tried to take on too much in the past and failed miserably!

So yes a program and certification program so perfectly suited for me is likely one that will only come around once in a lifetime. It encourages many of the values that I find important and hold dear. It will allow me to do the work I’m passionate about.. helping people. It will help build on what I already know. It has a proven track record. It has skilled and successful people that will mentor me. People that have already done what I am striving to achieve. People that can take me by the hand and lead the way. A system that could potentially be the mechanism for change I need to transform my life and lead me to financial and spiritual freedom.

I had to say no for right now because I really need to create more balance in my life.. especially work-life balance. I really need to get a job on a different team that has a different model. One that will foster more independence for me. One that will give me more autonomy and control over my work day. A team where I can have lengthier and more meaningful visits with clients. Where I can really get to know them, build more rapport and get a true sense of who they are and what their needs are.. so I can be more effective in helping them. Seems rather obvious no?

In the meantime what am I going to do to achieve my goals? Everyday I’m going to envision myself living the life I want. I’m very good at visualization.. Have been ever since I was a child. I have 2 vision boards and I will look at them daily. I have written a statement that I will read out loud everyday, twice a day, so that hopefully it will also filter into my subconscious.

Im bound and determined! Once I put my mind to something there’s no stopping me. So my saying no to it right now is not the end of my dream, it’s simply delayed. I’ve learned from another major thing in my life that sometimes a delay in something I really want, can end up so much sweeter in the end. When I mentioned what I would do to achieve my goals I probably should have started with prayer 🙂 God is at the centre of my life but I probably shouldn’t have assumed that you knew I would do that.

Have a wonderful week. Try to make positive change in the world people!

Many blessings,

Emelle Q

No Longer a Stranger to Myself

Well it’s been rough in some ways for the last year. Struggling with anxiety and depression without realizing that’s what it was. I just kept referring to it as “burnout”.. work related stress that I felt I had no control over. This episode was different than the others.

Went on a new medication that worked wonders! That, and I had some people praying for me. I finally recognize myself again! I’d become a stranger to myself. I was negative, had no hope, drained, exhausted, numb. I had a lot of emotional pain but was unable to cry. Even simple tasks took a Herculean effort to complete. I had a significant decrease in my level of focus and concentration. I was just overwhelmed by life.

Thank God I’ve made it to the other side. Everything is temporary. Now I have so much hope! My connection with God is much stronger. I can hear him again. I’m back on my path. I know this, because there is so much synchronicity taking place in my life. I have a burning desire for my life’s purpose. I have renewed confidence, clarity and this sense of peace that I’ve never felt before.. Peace and joy. I am so grateful for my life and everything that God has allowed me to do. I am so incredibly blessed and highly favoured. I’m understanding this on a much deeper level now.

Each day I wake up excited to see what will unfold.. what wisdom I will receive.

Have a wonderful week!

Many Blessings,

Emelle Q

How this Easter has a deeper meaning

This Easter has a much deeper meaning for me this year. I have a much deeper relationship with Jesus now. This is the first time God has been THE central part of my life. After really accepting Him in my life, submitting my heart to Him, making a consistent commitment to talk with and praying to Him daily, read His word, not making any decisions without Him, my life has changed dramatically.

I had trauma issues and PTSD and God completely healed my heart and my mind. No more nightmares, depression, flashbacks or intrusive thoughts/memories. No more anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, hurt, pain, torment, shame, guilt or self-blame. He cleared out all the junk that I had tried so long and hard to get rid of. What 11 years of therapy couldn’t do, God changed in an instant.. with one touch.

Now I feel like I’m living in the freedom that God intended for me. I have this joy in my heart that I never had before. I was happy at times, but never this joy. He has given me some phenomenal experiences and an amazing relationship. He has set up some wonderful opportunities for me this year and I am so grateful, humbled and excited.

So on this days when I really think about the way Jesus suffered so that I could be free!! I just think, he died for me, so I’m choosing to live for Him! Praise God.

He is risen.

Emelle Q