Friday, February 12, 2016

Do You Feel the Pain?


Pain. Sometimes pain is ripping through your body. You just feel crushed by it. You feel like something is wrong with you, so you hide it. You smile. You laugh. Inside, you cry, you scream. The hardest part is, there is NOTHING wrong with you - you are hurting and you need help. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

Suicide takes the lives of so many good people. Mental Illness is, unfortunately, alive and well in our world. People judge when they don't know the facts and that can make it harder for a person in emotional pain. So many that are in emotional pain hide the pain. So, what do we do? How can we help someone that won't tell us they are hurting?

We need to share about suicidal tendencies. We need to talk with our friends and family. We need to let people know that mental illness is taking over our world. We need to encourage research. We also need to share that research. Did you know that a simple concussion can cause a person to increase their risk of suicide? I just read an article on that recently, and it's one that I need to learn more about. We all do.

So many of us spend our time on social media, sharing laughs and funny things we come across, but do we share important things too? Do we ask people if they are hurting? Many that choose suicide are those that we love that seem to have it all together. They laugh and share all the time, yet they hide the pain because they feel like there is just no way to talk about what they really feel. So, they choose to end the pain. They choose to end their life.

When I was younger, I made an attempt to take my life. I can't tell you the specifics, but I truly felt alone in the world. I felt that I just couldn't take another breath. What woke me up? Well, after they pumped my stomach (not an experience I would ever recommend), I realized the pain that I caused my family by my attempt. However, after that, did I wake up and share about suicide? No, I hid it. I didn't talk about it. Perhaps if I did, I would still have my daughter, Heather, with us. I can't bring her back, but I can let people know that there really are options. Options that let our loved ones get the help that they need and be able to stay with us.

The one thing I do know is that Heather was in a world of pain. A world of pain that she hid by laughing and helping others. A world of pain that she hid from everyone. To escape the pain, she took her life. Now, that pain belongs to us. The pain doesn't go away. Those that loved Heather truly feel the pain of her loss. Do you want to feel that pain the way we do? No. I don't think so. I would do anything to have my baby back but I can't. Death doesn't take the pain away from those left behind.

Watch what you say. Your words could have serious impact on another person. One day Heather hit a deer and some lady told her, "I hope someone hits you and kills you." Did that person know how much those words hurt Heather? Probably not. Did I know how much those words hurt Heather? No. I told her that there were just some people that didn't think about others. Did that woman cause Heather's death? No. Yes, it may have contributed to her pain, but alone, it wouldn't have caused her death.

We all need to watch our words. We need to speak with compassion and love. We need to reach out and share mental illness. Yes, there is more and more research going on. Are more people getting these messages about mental illness? I don't know. But I get them, and I share them. Yes, I still share some funny and cute messages that I get, but I do try to make sure I share that mental illness can be helped. People don't have to die. We can work together to make sure more get help.