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.
Threes as a blur for me. Death becomes so routine, so part of ordinary life that it is no longer a big deal. You expect to think about the greatness of death when you wake up, and during every task. Death is no longer just on your mind, it is a part of who you are. You inhale death, and exhale hope of it.
This is when the idea of suicide first comes to you. It comes in various ways. For me, it came with an intense hatred for those that 'commit' suicide. I remember, one night after class, talking to a friend about it as I was waiting for my bus. I said "that it's selfish. It's the most selfish of all actions. We all hate our lives and wish we were dead, but we don't, we suck it up and deal with the agony. Who do they think they are to not suffer?"
This hate lasted for weeks on end.
Other times, it manifests as a means, If Death is the solution, then Suicide is the tool. At first, it might be unappealing, but eventually as your options fade away, you start thinking of suicide more and more.
In threes you do not plan, you are not active yet. It is just a mixture of death over life, and the realization that Suicide is an option.
This is where I have been for the majority of my seven to eight years of suicidality. I have gone above, and occasionally I go to a two, if I am doing extremely well, but 3 has become somewhat of my baseline. Things are fine here, for me. 3 is my everyday life. 3 is normal when Suicidality has been with you for so long.
Threes are dangerous though, they're the phase your mind is looking for an escape, and it might find the 'wrong' one. When I begin leaning towards a four, not when I've reached it, is when I know I need additional support, and need to make a change in my life. Because 4's, are one of the few things that scare me.
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.