Defeating the Purpose

Alisha - Invisible FI don’t know how many of you think about your PURPOSE. I try not to – it depresses me. In fact, the thought of it depressed me for 3 years so now I avoid it. One of our fabulous FCK bloggers, Alisha Nurse from The Invisible F, has been thinking “a lot of things about it.”

Your Life is Worth More than you Know

As always I am thinking about purpose. A lot of things about it.

I don’t know if the same is true for anyone else who has walked in my shoes, but every time I have seriously considered suicide or acted towards it, I always wondered what the world would be like without me. I say world, but I mean what would it be like for the people in my world to not have me anymore.

I always felt my existence had been meaningless.

And while I still struggle with this to a great degree, I’ve realised something imperative.

I’d always thought without me life would just go on. The people who love me would mourn but eventually life would carry on as it does. I don’t think I’ve made any significant contributions to the world to not be forgotten. Not yet anyway.

Years ago, I visited my home country from which I’d migrated. When it was time to leave, I was surprised at how my little sister wept. She went to school inconsolable. I left and later found that she had cried herself so sick, the school telephoned to ask for a relative to pick her up. I was moved to tears and overwhelmed. This was an important moment for me.

The power of love

When my half-sister was born I was indifferent to her due to no fault of her own. That’s actually putting it mildly. She had been welcomed into the world with loving arms, whereas I’d been told I was an unwanted child. As I grappled with trying to survive a childhood riddled with fear and numerous problems, I showed my sister little love and expected none in return.

But my God, she loved me. And she loved me so much that I couldn’t understand. She loved me even when I didn’t love her back.

I didn’t deserve it. But such is the power of love, it turned my cold heart inside-out, and shook me up. I couldn’t not love her back, my little sweet potato muffin.

Now she loves me and I love her.

When I almost went to my death my sister didn’t know. When she found out again she wept again. And I understood how I had hurt her. I know that had I been successful, it would have hurt many loved ones. But I felt that if I did pass on it would have impacted on my sister’s life in some great way. I am actually convinced it would have altered her life. People close to my sister have before told me of how she dotes on me and is influenced by me. I didn’t know.

I say all of that to say no matter how insignificant we think we are and our existences may be, to someone we are so special, that a world without us would break them.

We struggle, yes we do. But if ever we venture down to the path of death we must know it’s not only our lives we take. We are likely taking someone else’s.

Be encouraged.

If you feel suicidal, please know that you are not alone and you do not have to walk that road alone. Reach out. There are some numbers below that you can ring to get help.

Need help?

In Australia, call 13 11 14 Lifeline Australia
In the USA, call 1 800 SUICIDE or 1 800 273 TALK
In the UK, call 0800 068 4141
In New Zealand, call 0800 543 354

Related Posts

 

Untitled

Fierce and Fabulous (and Depressed!)

Alisha - Invisible FOne of our fabulous FCK bloggers has been presented with Fighterzine‘s  first Fierce Fabulous Fighter Award: Alisha Nurse from The Invisible F. Alisha is a very worthy recipient of this award – you’ll have noticed I re-blog her quite regularly.

In fact, even before I found out Alisha was a Fierce Fabulous Fighter, I was going to let you read this one:

Depression Awareness Week

It’s officially Depression Awareness Week and I want to ask you to take time to either learn a little bit about this illness, or help raise awareness.

Photo by Gloria Williams

Photo by Gloria Williams

For a very common illness which will affect 1 in 5 people at some point in their lives 1) there are still ALOT of misconceptions about depression, and 2) people don’t realise the seriousness of it.

In case you didn’t know and you’re asking me now, what is depression?

It is the feeling of persistently feeling sad for more than a couple weeks accompanied by other symptoms. Read more about it by clicking on the link above.

Who gets depressed?

Depression can affect anyone. It does NOT discriminate. It doesn’t care who you are, what job you have, how qualified you are, or that you’re determined to be happy. You might be at risk of getting it if:

  • It already runs in your family
  • You have low self esteem
  • You live with a long term illness

But you can also get depressed for no reason. Perhaps you’re one of those affected by a chemical imbalance in the brain, (particularly of the neuro-transmitter serotonin which regulates our moods). Even if you don’t naturally have a lower amount of serotonin in your brain, if you get depressed it may lead to lower levels of this neurotransmitter, hence, the need sometimes for anti depressants.

So you see, it is a real illness caused (or causing) physical changes in the body. It is not imagined, it is not feigned and there is no one remedy that works for everyone.

Make a difference

Stigma attached to depression often causes people to hide. And if people are hiding they cannot get the help they need to get better.

Instead, many give up.

More than 70% of recorded suicides are committed by people with depression. In the UK and Ireland alone  more than 2 young people commit suicide every day.

This reality came back to haunt me this week as my friend almost ended a statistic. But thankfully, she belongs to the charity Depression Alliance which provides key volunter led support. We were able to get her medical help, and she remains in hospital recuperating.

I end now how I started. By asking you to do something to further this cause. Share some knowledge, learn about it, start a discussion, volunteer or donate to my fundraiser to raise money for Depression Alliance. It’s imperative to me because it is something I’ve lived since childhood.

I too have hidden, been ashamed, laid in hospital recovering from failed suicide attempts, been criticised and scorned, even by those meant to care for me. It’s taken me a long time to get to this place of talking openly because I realise someone has to, even if it’s not easy. Even one life saved is a difference made. The life saved could be someone you know even.

Thankyou for reading with an opened mind.

Gentle hugs :)

N.B. The Depict Depression fundraiser art competition is still open. Prizes include Estee Lauder gift sets, book vouchers and Vicky Scott artwork. Deadline Wednesday 17th April 2013.

Suicide is Painless


Something I didn’t know before starting to research this topic – We,ve all heard of Dr Kevorkian but did you know that on August 15, 1996, Dr Jack Kevorkian reportedly assisted in the suicide of Judith Curren, 42, of Pembroke, Massachusetts, an FM sufferer.  Jan Murphy, another FM sufferer, also turned to Kevorkian for help; ABCNews.com later reported her assisted suicide in the summer of 1997.

“When you start hearing there is no hope, no treatment, and no cure over and over, you lose your will to fight,” wrote Jan Murphy in a eulogy read at her funeral. “What most people saw of me was a shell of what was going on inside.” Know the feeling?

In a survey of Spanish FM sufferers:

  • 16.7% of them reported one to three previous suicide attempts.
  • Drug poisoning was the most frequently employed method for suicide attempt (70%).
  • No relevant differences were found between suicide attempters and non-attempters in relation to age, education and marital status,
  • But a significant difference was found in relation to employment status.

Pain, poor sleep quality, anxiety and depression were positively correlated with suicide risk.

Anyone who has suffered with FM knows that it requires a huge adjustment, not only to the illness itself but to all the consequences it has on our lives. Chronic illness is likely to affect the way sufferers live, the way they see themselves, and how they relate to others. With the present state of world events, many people are feeling additional tension, anxiety, or sadness. But suffering with severe depression may be unnecessary. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, it’s essential that you know you don’t have to go it alone. Suicide is preventable, and there are a variety of resources that can provide the support you need.

Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Talking or joking about suicide or statements about being reunited with a deceased loved one
  • Making statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness (“Life is useless” or “Everyone would be better off without me.”)
  • Preoccupation with death (recurrent death themes in music, literature, or drawings)
  • Appearing suddenly happier or calmer
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about
  • Unusual visiting or calling people one cares about (saying good-byes)
  • Giving possessions away, making arrangements, or settling one’s affairs
  • Self-destructive or risk-taking behavior (alcohol/drug abuse, reckless driving, self-injury or mutilation).

What you can do if you see possible warning signs of suicide…

  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide. It’s okay to ask the person, “Do you ever feel so badly that you think of suicide?” Don’t worry about planting the idea in someone’s head. If someone has been thinking of suicide, she will be relieved and grateful that you were willing to be so open and nonjudgmental. It shows her you truly care and take her seriously.
  • Be non-judgmental. Listen attentively, allow expression of feelings, and accept those feelings. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong or whether feelings are good or bad. Never call someone’s bluff or try to minimize his problems by telling him he has everything to live for or how hurt his family would be. This will only increase his guilt and feelings of hopelessness. He needs to be reassured that there is help, that what he is feeling is treatable, and that his suicidal feelings are temporary.
  • Take it seriously. Always take thoughts of or plans for suicide seriously. If someone admits to thinking about suicide, question the individual further and ask, “Do you have a plan?” “Do you know how or when you would do it?” If you feel the person is in immediate danger, you must make sure that he or she is not alone and can talk to a professional immediately. If necessary, call 911 or take the person to a crisis center or emergency room. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
  • Never keep a plan for suicide a secret. Don’t worry about breaking a bond of friendship at this point. Friendships can be fixed. A suicidal person must see a doctor or psychiatrist immediately.
  • Offer support. If you feel the person isn’t in immediate danger, you can say things like, “I can tell you’re really hurting” and “I care about you and will do my best to help you.” Then follow through-help her find a doctor or a mental health professional. Offer hope that alternatives are available, but don’t offer glib reassurance.
  • Get help. Seek support from individuals or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

Need help?

In Australia, call 13 11 14 Lifeline Australia

In the USA, call 1 800 SUICIDE or 1 800 273 TALK

In the UK, call 0800 068 4141

In New Zealand, call 0800 543 354