There's quite the topic for today.
Yesterday was the first time any such thoughts have ever crossed my mind.
I have debated throughout most of my sleepless night whether I will go public with it as it is such a personal experience. As you can see, I decided to go through with it, and here's why: lately, I've noticed a lot of posts in our TBI Tribe group regarding suicide. Everything from posts about giving up and not being able to deal anymore, to straight up "farewells". It made me realize how big this topic is for people in my shoes. If I'm going to raise awareness about brain injury and concussions, I have to raise it all - the good and the ugly. I'm not seeking attention with this post, nor am I seeking pity or sympathy. I'm seeking understanding from those who haven't been there, and am looking to bring hope to those who have. This project is my soul, so I have to give you a glimpse into mine to understand it. Here goes:
As my previous posts mentioned -you are no longer the person you were. You can't do any of the activities, you have a headache pretty much 24/7, you feel alone and worst of all, you feel like a nuisance to your friends and family.
Having recently found out that I may lose my license, I'm no longer allowed in the kitchen unsupervised, and that I will unlikely ever be able to work again has put quite a damper on my mood. But what led me to these thoughts is the fact that all of a sudden I felt I wasn't good enough for my husband. Being in our mid 20s, I felt I am not enough and I can't give him what he wants. Sparing the details of that story, we decided to spend the long weekend at his grandparents' lake house. It's about a 1.5 hour drive and I silently cried the entire ride thinking about this. What set me off the most was the thought that if we just got in an accident...it would solve everything. A slip off the road, a ram into another car or truck, head on, T-bones. Whatever. I pictured every scenario.
Picturing it, out of nowhere, was like a punch in the face. And, of course, I had a panic attack and it just spiraled down from there. What's worse is that it wasn't just me in the car, it was my husband and my fur baby.
I finally thought I had calmed myself enough by the time we got there. Walking in and saying hello was easy enough... Until they asked how I was doing. Anddddd I just lost it. Most embarrassing way to say hello. I holed myself up in the bathroom and had another anxiety attack: full sobs, hyperventilation, and more tears than I thought were possible in one go.
What calmed me down? Two extra strength advils, a gin and tonic and a meditation session. I was now a whole new person; apologizing for my break down and laughing it off.
Having slept on it, I'm scared shitless that this even crossed my mind. Ironically, I've spent this past week designing a tattoo - and I'm looking to get the green ribbon for TBI awareness with the word "unbreakable". I had also recently laughed off the thought when my psychologist asked if suicidal thoughts have crossed my head: "oh God no, not me" I giggled. That was 2 weeks ago. Which just comes to show how quickly it can change.
That said, it also shows how quickly it can change the other way too. If you have a concussion or a brain injury, I can guarantee this has crossed your mind, or it will at some point. All I can say is stay strong. Keep your chin up, and look forward to what is yet to come. You will get through this. Think of the people who love you and whose heart you'd be breaking. You are not alone and we will get through this. That is my message that I have continuously kept sharing, and I do not intend to stop here.
You are not alone.
In the beginning when I was confused and frustrated I would lay down and tell my brain, ‘look if you don’t want to wake up you don’t have to. It would be easier for all of us really. Just sleep, sleep for a couple of weeks if you need to or forever. It will be easier than explaining to work, family, and friends. They will probably think you’re faking it unless something extreme happens anyways. So you might as well just sleep and not wake up.’ Now I have good days mixed in with the bad, clearly this is a good day because I can handle lookin at this stupid screen and reading your posts and writing back although it’s giving me a headache as I type. Damn this world where all the good information is on screens. I ask my friends not to message but to call and yet they’re all so scared to call and send a Facebook message instead. So only on my good days do I get to feel even better while on the bad days even seeing that I missed your call because I was sleeping or not in a good place to answer I feel special that you called.
I ask myself all the time what is my timeline for the sake of my boyfriend, how long do I give before I’m not better and realize I’ll never be the same before I break up with him and release him of his burden. How do I wait? But then I feel selfish and think ’where would I go anyways? ’
Your posts make a difference, please keep posting.
Thank you for sharing. Sometimes speaking or writing about it gives some perspective. Hope you got to enjoy some of the weekend.
Diane, mother of TBI son
This was tough reading. Really tough. I did try to take my own life. I walked out onto the Severn Bridge between England and Wales. I was prevented from doing so only just by police who intercepted me 100m or so from the point I was going to jump from.
Thank you for being brave enough to share your thoughts and experience.
I am the father of a 25 year old son that suffered a severe TBI on July, 26, 2014. We have been on a roller coaster ride of extremes over the past 13 months. I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know that I could not have gone on living myself had my son not lived. My faith in God has gotten me through this time and we have been greatly blessed. My son is my hero through all that he has been through. He has not complained learning to walk, talk, feed himself and bathe himself. He still has a very long way to go, but he continues to improve. I ran across this statement and have kept telling my son these words and hope that they might help you as well.
Having a rough day today?
Place your hand on your heart.
That’s called purpose.
You’re alive for a reason!
Don’t give up!!!!!
You’re reason may be to help those with TBI and raise awareness. Thank you and may God continue to guide you.
What always stops me are these considerations: Life is the story being written by God. Evil has infested the world for now. I’m a victim of it but I’m also a conspirator with it because by nature I’m God’s enemy, as is true of all of us. Redemption and eventual freedom from the curse upon us all which evil has brought with it is found in Jesus Christ, God’s son. I must persevere with the burden of injury and loss which God has permitted to mark my life. There is the Resurrection to come. I just do not have the right to kill myself because I didn’t make myself. May, I’m not saying these things to you as someone who was injured and recovered. I was almost murdered when I was 7 and have never been well since. Today is a particularly bad day in a terrible 2015 for me. Without my church, without the Lord Jesus, I’d certainly have killed myself long ago. There is great meaning in your suffering but it is found only in Jesus Christ. You have my email address. Please feel free to contact me.