Suicide is Painless

The theme song from MASH often goes through my head these days.  I am so tired of reading people’s posts on social media saying there is always someone out there ready to listen to you if you want to commit suicide.  This always seems to happen whenever a famous person kills themselves.  There have been a few suicides lately and everyone is so surprised that it happened and everyone jumps on the mental illness bandwagon. Apparently all these people are “THERE” for you so you don’t have to kill yourself.   BULLSHIT.  OK .. I said it … it is total BULLSHIT.  If someone wants to kill themselves they will do it and you posting on Facebook that you are always available to talk if someone needs it is crap too.

I will admit that over the past year I’ve thought about suicide many, many times.  After John was diagnosed and when he passed the heart ache was so intense that I would have preferred to die rather than endure it.  The thought still crosses my mind at times but it is becoming less and less and more fleeting now rather than serious contemplation about ending my life.

So why don’t I believe people will be “there” for me if I’m thinking of suicide is because where were they when I was deep in my grief?  After the funeral I found people that were here while John was dying suddenly deserted me.  They were giving me space to grieve, or so they thought.  What they really were doing was leaving me alone to try and deal with everything alone.  Everyone else went on with their lives and really didn’t give me a second thought,

Two woman that I counted among my closest friends turned their backs on me.  The first one was someone that I became friends with about 9 years ago and I spent a great deal of time with.  We were very close and I thought she was my best friend.  Since she lives in Florida and I live in Canada we often texted or messaged each other but that has ended.  Once John’s illness began she basically disappeared from my life.  I didn’t even get a card when John died.  She is super friendly when we run into each other but there is no contact anymore unless I see her in person.    I lost my closest friend at the same time as when I lost my husband.

The other friend I lost was someone I knew since my children were young.  I don’t want to go into it here but she told me she could not be there for me as she had enough going on in her life.  I was gobsmacked because I never shared any of my grief with her as I didn’t see her until about 9 months after John died.  When we met I worked very hard to keep the conversation happy and positive so I was just devastated when this woman told me that she was cutting me out because of my pain.  She stopped following me on Facebook because I was “liking” posts dealing with grief and it depressed her.

So two people that I thought would be there for me made it clear that I was on my own.  Both of those women posted on Facebook that they would be there for someone if they were contemplating suicide.  Hypocrites!!!

Over the past year I rarely have anyone ASK me how I feel.  They TELL me instead.  I’m so tired of being told I’m such a strong woman and it is wonderful to see how I’ve moved on with my life.  You know, John would want it that way.  It is just so uplifting for them to see I’m doing so well.  What they don’t see are the days I’m sobbing and my son has to sit beside me to comfort me.  They don’t see the days that I don’t move from the love seat, looking outside at life going about its business and I just can’t move.  I’m exhausted from crying.  I don’t sleep.  People don’t see the days that I am so numb that I can’t even read or even go outside.  All they see is me smiling, talking and looking like I’m having fun.  Those times probably add up to less than 10% of the hours I have been without John.  Over 90% of the time I’m depressed, lost and struggling to move on.  But I do move on.  I am getting stronger but I am not there yet.  Breathe in, breathe out, move on.

I’m not saying I don’t have a support system.  I have my children, my brother, nephew and a few close friends.  But there is not this massive outpouring of humanity from other people that I considered my friends or family.

I shouldn’t have to post that I’m struggling, I shouldn’t have to put on a brave face all the time, I shouldn’t have to act strong (other than for my children … and boy does my son get the raw end there but that is because he lives with me.  I wouldn’t have survived this year without his help.)  Instead of posting words saying you are always there, how about you actually BE there for someone.  How about you reach out to someone that has suffered a loss, a death, divorce, loss of job, loss of a relationship and you be there for them?  How about you look over your telephone screen and see the hurt in front of you and do something about it?  Posting things about mental illness on social media does nothing for the person, please, actually care enough to reach out and touch someone in person.  If you don’t you’ll be clogging up your feed with another post saying how surprised you were when so and so killed themselves without reaching out.  And those posts depress the shit out of me.

Through early morning fog I see
Visions of the things to be
The pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see…
That suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please.
I try to find a way to make
All our little joys relate
Without that ever-present hate
But now I know that it’s too late, and…
The game of life is hard to play
I’m gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I’ll someday lay
So this is all I have to say.
The only way to win is cheat
And lay it down before I’m beat
And to another give my seat
For that’s the only painless feat.
The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn’t hurt when it begins
But as it works it’s way on in
The pain grows stronger… watch it grin, but…
A brave man once requested me
To answer questions that are key
Is it to be or not to be
And I replied ‘oh why ask me?’
‘Cause suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please.
… and you can do the same thing if you please.
Songwriters: MANDEL, JOHNNY / ALTMAN, MICHAEL B
Suicide Is Painless lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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