When asked about Suicide most people would paint a very black and white picture. The reality is that Suicide exists within a multitude of shades of grey, and to this day is extremely misunderstood, despite our perceived awareness of it. This series, aims to shine a light on a topic that many would rather keep hidden. This is What Suicidality looks like.
Over the last seven years I have developed my own scale for Suicidality. Based on this scale, I know exactly when I'm really in trouble and the best help to seek. I know when to be scared, and when things are going to be okay. My scale is different than most Suicidality scales, for mine does not end with dying, and for me, 4's are the scariest. To better explain, I'm going to be doing 10 blog posts, one for each number on the scale, describing what it's like for me, and when it's all done I might do another post to wrap it all up.
I want to stress here that this is not a comprehensive series, and Suicidality, like Mental Illness, differs from individual to individual, this is what it looks like for me.
May death shine it's light on us
I remember the first time, not the very very first, but the first real time I thought death might be better than life. I watched my family drive away from our kitchen window, and I prayed that they never come back. I hated them then, with everything I knew, and I wished that they would be the ones to die. Then a part of me thought that that was too much to ask for, and it'd be easier if I was dead instead.
It was just a moment, where I realized that ALL my problems would be solved, I'd just have to die.
At a 1, the idea of death awakens within you, and you realize that death is preferable over life. You don't do anything about it, and it rarely manifests itself during your daily life, but deep down, it is there. Death is better.
1's don't concern me, but at the same time I haven't been just at a 1 in seven years, since that day 8 years ago. I was 16 at the time, and I haven't left the scale since then.
I don't remember much of 16. I remember watching MTV's sweet 16 leading up to my birthday, and I remember being dissapointed in the world for forgetting yet another birthday. I remember writing, and I remember jumping fences to ditch school, but I don't remember much more. But this memory shines beyond all the rest combined, symbolic of the beginning of the end.
At the time, I was suffering from Major Deppression, Body Dysmorphics Disorder, a Dissociative Disorder, and Social and General Anxiety Disorders. Any of these Mental illnesses could've pushed me to that one, or it could've been the comorbidity of them. I might never know what drove me over the edge, and that is okay. A line was crossed, and I have had to live on the other side since then. I could try to piece it together, and figure out which one, but that'd take time from adapting to my new world. And I need all the time I can get.
Stay tuned for Post 2 about the next step on my scale. If you haven't already check out some of the other posts about Mental Health on lifeinmydays.com
Ahmad Abojaradeh is the Co-Founder of Muslim Community Link, An Engineer, a world traveler, a Peer Support Specialist, a Novelist and the founder and editor of Life in My Days. He hopes to spread awareness of living a life of wellness through his writing, workshops and speaker events. Follow Ahmad on twitter, instagram or facebook.