*Warning: this post may contain triggers for self-harm and material which may be upsetting. Please stay safe and steer clear of this post if you have these triggers.*
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Given the kind of year I’ve had and my diagnosis of major depressive disorder and my destructive coping mechanism of self harming this past winter, this is something that means a lot to me this year. And I think it’s something that will be a big part of my life from now on. Because I know what it’s like to be suicidal. I know the despair, when you can see no end to your suffering but to end it yourself.
I’ve made several posts about my depression. Some of you may have not had a person with depression in your life before and don’t really know how to respond to or interpret what I’ve written. So this post will basically be a compilation of material I’ve found that puts it another way. Maybe hearing the words of another will put it into just the right perspective.
The rest of this post is going to be excerpts from Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. I highly recommend the book to everyone. As you can see, I have multiple pieces of paper bookmarking about a dozen sections of the book that particularly rang true to me. It’s a short book and a quick read. It is funny and heartwarming, yet deeply honest. I couldn’t put it down.
“Now, listen. If you have ever believed a depressive wants to be happy, you are wrong. They could not care less about the luxury of happiness. They just want to feel an absence of pain. To escape a mind on fire, where thoughts blaze and smoke like old possessions lost to arson. To be normal. Or, as normal is impossible, to be empty. And the only way I could be empty was to stop living. One minus one is zero.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive