“I want to die but I’m afraid to. I want to live but it hurts.”

“Sometimes you can do more damage by giving unsolicited advice.”

“I often really need somebody, but I’m scared to say anything because I’ve been invalidated or people will think I’m too “dramatic” or “sensitive.” Sometimes when I do muster up the courage to say something, it’s a cry for help that goes unheard.”

“I’m not asking anyone to take care of me, walk on egg shells or make themselves available 24/7 just to talk. The last thing I want to do is upset or inconvenience anybody in any way. I am not asking for anyone’s sympathy, likes or shares.”

“We don’t all fit into little boxes that certain medications cure. Mental illness is messy, it’s frustrating and often feels like a losing battle.”

What It Feels Like to Lose the Will to Live

Most people would never know that I’ve been suicidal, simply by looking at me. If there was anyone in my life who had consistently seen me every day for the past 5 years, they might see a slight difference in my overall mood from day to day, but I tend to keep my true feelings bottled up inside and no one ever sees them. Based on what I’ve learned of Chester Bennington, I suspect he was very much the same. I think this photo his wife posted on Twitter recently is proof that it’s not always obvious that someone is suicidal.

Look at that smile. He was with his family, and very clearly happy in that moment. I often find it very easy to be present in the moment, although, to be honest, it’s been a lot more difficult in the past 15 months. But usually, it comes very naturally, for me to smile and joke around and genuinely enjoy the moment. It’s once I’m alone that things go bad.

It’s still surprising, even to me, that this guy with this happy smile, took his life only a few days after that photo was taken.

Chester’s suicide has been weighing very heavy on my heart since I heard on Thursday evening. I haven’t been able to go more than 10 minutes without his pain popping into my thoughts. This letter from the band makes it even more difficult to comprehend because he seemed to be in a good place leading up to this.

Linkin Park is one of my favourite bands, and Chester had one of the most incredible voices out there. I’ve always felt a deep connection to their lyrics and I learned recently that Chester’s depression effected him in a very similar way mine effects me. The most dangerous place to be is inside our own heads. Having been very suicidal just a few days before this happened (moreso than my normal passive suicidal thoughts) I can’t help but wonder if that’s what ultimately took his life, being stuck in his own mind for too long during a time that was very difficult but he never expressed it outwardly. When I’m really struggling, I know I don’t show it. I don’t intentionally try to hide it, it’s just a natural defense mechanism, combined with growing up being taught to keep my feelings to myself.

Linkin Park’s original Instagram post…
My repost…

Video: Chester Bennington's cry for HELP! Linkin Park | Waking Up Dad

Today was hard.

I struggled to keep myself from crying at work. I couldn’t think. I don’t feel like I accomplished anything. Course, that’s how I’ve been feeling nearly every day for the past several months. Today was particularly difficult. We had a developer meeting, going over details of a new feature of our software, and I had a very hard time sitting still (course my ADHD doesn’t help, but when my depression is also bad, nothing helps) and I found myself trying to catch up several times because I zoned out and then suddenly something specific was being discussed and I missed the beginning and felt lost.

I had a follow-up (which is basically the only kind of appointment I ever have because my depression is not going away) with my doctor this morning. I had a hard time telling him how I was feeling. I don’t think the depth of my depression right now came across properly. It never does. Course I did finally tell him, not at my last appointment, but the one before, that I’m not good at saying how bad it really is. He remembered last time because he did bring it up. I’m not sure if he thought of that this time though. I didn’t tell him everything that was going on. I always chicken out or can’t find the right words. That’s a whole other story that I need to properly write about, but I can’t seem to concentrate long enough to actually do it.

I just watched this video and I started crying all over again. I related to this so much. I’ve always felt like I’m worse when I’m alone. I am not nice to myself. When I am around other people, it’s pretty easy for me to be present, in the moment, most of the time (when things are particularly bad, like right now, it’s not so easy at all) but then when I’m alone, it’s like the entire world is crashing down on me. He describes it so well.

Side note: I’m not sure why the uploader of this video titled it as being a cry for help, because that’s not at all how it comes across. It simply sounds, to me anyway, like he’s describing his depression. Either way, it’s a good video.

💔

Whenever I hear of someone, who I am a fan, of dying, it’s always difficult to process. Whenever I hear about someone dying by suicide, whether I’m a fan of them or not, it always hits me in a different way. When I hear about someone who I am a fan of dying by suicide, it’s that much harder to process, especially when I am currently experiencing suicidal thoughts myself.

I experience passive suicidal thoughts almost daily, but this past week. There has only been a few times in my life when I have experienced more severe thoughts where I was actually afraid that I might actually do something. One of those times was less than a week ago.

Earlier this evening, while watching (more listening to) eTalk, I heard about the death of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park by suicide. Initially, I was in shock, and didn’t know what to think. Then I started crying. I cried for about 10 minutes straight. By the time I stopped, I wasn’t even sure why I was crying. It didn’t feel like I was actually crying for any reason. Given that recent changes in meds have been messing with my mood, it wasn’t all that strange, but after crying every days for more than a week, and then suddenly going two and ha half straight days without crying, it felt weird.

A lot of Linkin Park’s music has gotten me through some particularly difficult times in my life, so to hear this  news was hard. I didn’t know a lot of Chester’s history, so the stuff they mentioned on eTalk I hadn’t known before. It made me feel for him even more. I haven’t had any serious trauma or a what you’d see as a hard life. I’m one of those people who you’d probably say has no reason to be depressed. Yet, I am. I have been for a very long time. I’m also very empathetic. I don’t know why, but it’s very easy for me to imagine how others feel, even when they’re going through something I cannot directly relate to. So, hearing all these other struggles he’s gone through made that pain even worse.

Having been so close to that point myself, it is incredibly difficult for me to hear that someone, especially someone I feel sort of a connection to, has been overtaken by those thoughts. I begin to imagine what it must be like, which isn’t that much of a stretch for me. I think the only reason I haven’t given in to the the thoughts, in the more recent times, have been fear and the lack of means. In the past, the thought of what would happen to my dog without me has prevented me from getting that close to the edge. More recently though, that has not been enough. The fear causes me not to reach out for help when I really need it. Combine that with the lack of means, it leaves me suffering alone, feeling as if there is no end in sight.

I had forgotten until the day after my most recent bout of these more serious suicidal thoughts, but when I was in a slightly better place a month or so ago, I actually did some research on a local hospital’s mental health services so that I would feel like it would be okay if I did get to that point again and so I would be safe about the idea of taking my self to the emergency room if I ever needed to. Problem was, when I did reach that point where I should have gone to the hospital, I was so terrified that they would send me away because I wasn’t sick enough and on top of that I didn’t want to admit to my family how horribly I was struggling at that exact moment. It didn’t hit me until the next day when I was feeling weirdly better (which really freaked me out, but that’s a whole other story) that I had done that research intentionally because I thought it would help me. But when I got to that point, I couldn’t think about that. All I could think about was how much I wanted, not to die, but to cease existing, and that I had absolutely no one I felt safe talking to about it.

While I am glad I didn’t give in to the thoughts, I’m still finding it difficult to admit that I’m having such a hard time, even though right now, at the moment I am writing this, I’m okay. I’m not great. Not good. I’m not sure I’m even okay, but I don’t have a better word for it. I’m just not in the horrible place I was just a few days ago. I survived the week I had to wait for my follow up with my doctor (tomorrow morning), and at the start of the week, I didn’t think I would. So… I don’t really feel like that’s an accomplishment, but I think it should.

Anyway, I guess I just needed to get some thoughts out of my head and I don’t have a person I feel like I can safely share them with, but for some strange reason, I can share them with the internet. I don’t necessarily feel safe about it, but its easier than talking to real people…

Until next time…?


Edit: I realized after posting this that I didn’t actually know a whole lot about the band members. I really just like their music a lot but never spent much time reading about the people behind it. It’s actually weird because I usually do read a lot/watch a lot of interviews and stuff about my favourite bands and musicians, but there are a few who I just never research and Linkin Park is one of them.

I made the mistake of watching several videos on YouTube (there’s a lot of stuff up from today alone) and I ended up lying in bed sobbing and I finally had to turn of my tablet just so I could stop. Plus, it’s after 12:30 now and I should be sleeping.

Anyway, I just wanted to make a point of saying that I think it’s really amazing that they are one of the few bands out there who are not all cliche musicians who are on drugs and whatnot. I know Chester has had issues with addiction in the past but I does not sound like that had as much to do with his death as you’d expect. Although, it’s to early too say that for sure right now.

It sounds like he was hit pretty hard by the death of Chris Cornell a couple months ago and today would have been his birthday. I can’t help but wonder if that had anything to do with Chester’s death. Others have mentioned this as well.

Okay, that’s all for now. I just wanted to add that thought to this post. I’m going to go try and sleep now, listening to Linkin Park on my phone. 💙


Edit – Friday @ 2:40pm: I posted some more thoughts on Instagram this afternoon. I don’t know if this will show since my account is private. If it doesn’t, I’ll copy the content over later when I get home from work. I just wanted to post the link now.

I was completely heart broken yesterday when I heard about Chester Bennington's death. Not only because he had an incredible voice and Linkin Park is one of my favorite bands, but because of how he died. Having been so close to suicide multiple times myself, it hurts a little any time I hear of someone dying by suicide. When it's someone I feel connected to, whether they're a musician I like or some other celebrity I'm a fan of it's hard to process. There's something about music though that connects you to a person on a deeper level though when you relate to the music. Linkin Park's music has been there for me through a lot of difficult times in my life, including my more recent ones. I'm one of those people who can't listen to happy music when I'm down because it makes me feel worse. I have to listen to music that matches how I feel. It makes me feel validated and less alone, something I don't often get from the people in my life. I've been listening to Linkin Park exclusively, non-stop since last night because I just can't listen to anything else right now. I've been struggling a lot this week. Especially early in the week. This news yesterday made it worse. I'm trying to stay away from too much news about this right now because of the negativity and stigma towards suicide. I saw a few people saying horrible things about it and some simply ignorant things about suicide in general. While I know those people simply don't understand what it's like to be suicidal, hearing/reading those negative opinions can make my already horrible mood even worse. Because I'm struggling with this specific topic myself right now, I just can't allow myself to let it get worse, so I have to stay away from it. But I just wanted to post something here about it because this news has been very present in my mind all day today.

A post shared by //keira (@keirahenricks) on

Around the time I kind of, unintentionally, stopped posting on here, this happened, and it hit me really hard. A lot harder than I expected.

What We’re Reminded of After Amy Bleuel’s Passing

Why Amy Bleuel’s Death Does Not Invalidate Her Message

When I first heard about Amy’s passing, wasn’t able to find the right words to express how I feel about it. I still haven’t. I probably never will.

I’m still in the middle of my own battle. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve lost count of how many times I came right up to the edge. The fact I’m still here is not a feat of strength, by any means. In all honesty, fear is the only thing that has prevented me from stepping off the edge and completely giving up on life. Fear is the reason I’m still here. Fear of failure. Fear of missing out of the things I used to dream about. Problem is, the longer I keep going, the further away those dreams seem to be, they feel less achievable than they used to be.

The fact that Amy wasn’t able to hold on, especially after all the work she’s done for the mental health community is absolutely heart breaking, especially as someone who has come so close myself. To be honest, I’m still having a difficult time even comprehending it, even though I didn’t know her. It certainly doesn’t invalidate her message. It’s more a reminder of the fact that this stuff, this pain, the struggle, it doesn’t just go away. Even when someone looks fine on the outside, it doesn’t mean they are.

Even though we may be mental health activists, even though we put our stories out there hoping to inspire other, even though we are comforted by being a part of a community where we share common struggles, we are still battling.

I don’t want to to be here.

I want it to end.

I don’t want to kill myself. I don’t really want to die. I just don’t want to exist.

I’m so sick of feeling like shit all the time. I hate feeling like a failure at life, like I’ve never accomplished anything.

Whenever I feel like I’m making progress, something happens that sets me back and feels like the world is crashing down around me.

Continue reading

I just read this post on The Mighty about a woman’s encounter with Robin Williams before he died by suicide just over two years ago.

It’s an absolutely incredible and heartbreaking and then heart warming story, which of course made me cry. A lot.

I cried when I first heard Robin Williams had died, partly because I was in a really bad place myself at the time, but also because, it was Robin Williams! I hadn’t been diagnosed at the time so I didn’t fully understand the feelings I had about his death, except that I had been thinking about suicide a lot around that time.

But what really got me about reading this story was the fact that I cried!

If I’d read this story two months ago, or maybe even two weeks ago, it would not have got me the same way. I mean I would have definitely been touched by it, but it would have been so deep. I was too numb.

The last few days, I’ve noticed the numbness beginning to lift. I’m still very physically and mentally exhausted, but I’m beginning to feel again, and for some reason that feels really good.

I used to hate how naturally emotional I was. I felt like I had no control over my emotions. But now, I long to have those emotions back! I read all kinds of heartbreaking and heartwarming stories while I was in the midst of the numbness and I was completely shocked when I first realized how I was responding to them – or rather, how I was not responding.

But now, here I am, having cried only a few moments ago, reading this story, and crying more because I was crying.

I’m happy that I cried because it means I’m learning to human again.

Depression Kills, by B.L. Acker, Contributor, The Mighty

People are struggling through life, feeling completely lost and alone, feeling like they have nobody to turn to, no one who understands. People are struggling in silence because we’ve made them too afraid to speak up. They’re afraid of being labeled or seen as weak, a danger to themselves or others or as a joke. We’ve told them too often to suck it up and reminded them that others have it worse rather than acknowledging and addressing their pain.

Silence kills.

We need to stop treating mental illness like a dirty secret that we can’t talk about. Depression is killing people. Silence is killing people.

I didn’t realize the stats on this, but it kind of makes sense. Men are taught that feelings make you weak, or “girly” and you have to be macho. So it’s no wonder that people are more shocked when men attempt or commit suicide, because they think they can’t talk about it.

Being a woman with depression, it’s hard enough talking about it simply because of the stigma of depression alone, without the added pressure of gender expectations. But what’s even worse, is the stigma from the people closest to me.

Even though I’m a girl, I grew up thinking that my feelings were wrong and felt invalidated by the people who were supposed to love, protect, and support me. This led to me bottling everything up and not expressing my feelings and is the main reason I was not diagnosed until I was 26, when I easily could have been diagnosed with depression by the time I was 14, and anxiety by 6 or 7.

My counsellor has told me multiple time that I’m very good at hiding it. It’s not that I’m intentionally trying to hide it, I’ve just been doing it for so long that I do it without even thinking. I may appear functional on the outside, while inside I looking for ways to give up and escape.

Even the people closest to me often don’t see when I’m at my worst. If they do, they may not realize what they’re really seeing, because it often comes out as agitation and irritability. It’s often combined with my anxiety as well. The two definitely feed off each other, but as my doctor pointed out a couple weeks ago, one always seems to be more prominent than the other.

Over the past two years, my anxiety was quite severe, and my depression was more of a byproduct of my anxiety. Once I started CBT for my anxiety, it got better. Once the things going on in my life (mostly with work) improved, so did my anxiety. Because I still hadn’t found the right antidepressant for me, my depression symptoms started to become quite severe a few months ago, which is why I’ve now started my 4th antidepressant.

The biggest, and hardest part about my depression at the moment, is that it was not triggered by anything specific. Work is going really well. In general, my anxiety is basically under control. Or more accurately, I’m able to process through it better than I used to. It’s definitely not gone, but I’ve gotten better at listening to the logical part of my brain. Yet for some reason, I couldn’t stop feeling unhappy, hopeless, and worthless, and thinking about suicide. Did I tell anyone? Of course not. I don’t feel safe telling anyone except my doctor. So, I finally did.

But no one seemed to notice how down I was. I was struggling to concentrate at work, and really wanted to call in sick on several occasions. The only reason I didn’t, is because what scared me more than calling in sick to work was answering to my parents as to why I was staying home. I didn’t want to tell them I was feeling suicidal. So I kept going to work.

I’ve been on my new antidepressant for 3 weeks now. I am starting to notice some smaller mood changes. I saw my counsellor yesterday, and he said I seemed happier than the last time I saw him, two weeks ago. I told him I didn’t want to get my hopes up though because I’ve had had several that seemed to work for a bit, and then they stopped. It’s too soon still. So we’ll see.

But anyway, back to the initial topic here. As hard as it is, we do need to talk about this stuff. That’s why I started this blog.