This painting is, “Ugh”. When I sat down to paint last week with suicide prevention on my mind I tried to think of what my initial reactions are when I feel suicidal thoughts come on. Usually, if they are passive, “I just want to sleep and not wake up.” I initially just feel like, “Ugh”. It’s not a sluggish ugh though, it’s a sharper, more traitorous ugh. I finished ugh and thought more about the intermediate suicidal thoughts I get from time to time. These ones usually involve some type of self-harm, “Ben didn’t sleep last night because he had to stay up taking care of me, therefore, he would be better without me and get more sleep.” These types of suicidal thoughts make me feel like “stop”
This is “stop” it’s scarier than ugh. It’s threatening but also mischevious. It likes to make me feel like me being out of this world is the logical solution. When I get these types of sneaky and alarming thoughts I feel and think, “stop”.
Lastly, and I only share this because I aim to be transparent in an effort to help others, is “help”.
“Help” is desperate. It is green and good to go. This means I have a plan. These are the times I have actually attempted to take my own life. I lose control of my thoughts entirely. I reach out in anguish and desperation against my own mind and the only thing I can whisper or scream is “help”.
I share this not only because it is world suicide prevention day but because I want others to know suicide is a silent killer. I can feel all of these things, mild or severe, in complete silence with a smile on my face and a pep in my step. Check on your friends and family. If you’re hurting tell someone. There is no need to be afraid or suffer alone because you’re not alone. I’ve been there and so many others have been as well. As a survivor, I want to share that you are valid, you are loved and help is out there. Be stubborn. Stay with me.
This year was my 4th year walking in the Out of Darkness Walk for suicide prevention. I was able to raise about $585! I was accompanied by my husband, father, mother, Pastor, a friend (and our church’s youth leader), my furry friend Bear, and my Loki baby.
There is NO SHAME in using crisis resources. I have used them before. If you’re hurting, or worried about a loved one, even if it’s not a suicidal crisis – you are not alone. Reach out today by calling National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ‘1-800-273-TALK (8255)’, sending a text to Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or chat online at ImAlive.org or CrisisChat.org