I've written about this stage before, but it needs repeating every time. Suicide is complex, like Mental Illness there's no guaranteed progression, or even an end. Some will reach an 8, and they will be missed, and we will never know what truly could've been, had they been here. The world will never be the same. Some will recover and reach places they, and many times those around them, did not believe they could. But some, don't leave.
People often stare at me curiously when I say I have been suicidal for 7 years now, not realizing that I don't mention this detail to everyone. I have learned that it's easier for those around you if you hide your suicidality. I have been called callous, abusive, and a million other names because I spoke to the wrong individuals. At this point, many jump to the conclusion that those individuals did not care, and definitely did not love me. That is false. They care, and they love me deeply, but they don't understand what I go through every day. So, I don't mention it. Instead, I hide the fact that I have been on this spectrum since 17, and I'm not sure when, or if, I'll get out of it. Obviously you don't want to hear that, and I definitely don't want to live it, so let's agree to get past this moment and not make a big deal out of it.
But how do you stay alive when you're supposed to be dead? In my head, I died on July 28th, 2010. It was my 18th birthday. I had been suicidal for months, and my life was over. I didn't physically die that day, but a parts of me did die that day, and some other parts stuck around. Since then, I have gone through bouts of Major Depression, constant anxiety, dissociation, PTSD, and BDD. I have been happy, sad, overwhelmed, and everything in between. I have even been at Peace, but I have never left suicidality.
When I talk about my time Beyond, I normally start months prior to my expiration date of my 18th birthday. The truth is, it's a mix of both the time before and the time after that date. Without that date, I would not be Beyond. But without the months prior to this date, I would also not be Beyond, and if I was not Beyond, I would not be alive.
A few months before this date the realization that I can not kill myself dawned on me. It was an overwhelming realization and the hope that I held was entirely swept away from me. Our brains our incredible though, and they do not want to live in pain, and so it gave me a way out. I was going to die on July 28th regardless. I just had to wait.
I waited, vomiting everything I ate for months prior, my nose bled incessantly, and I even broke a rib. To put it simply, my body started shutting down, attempting to fulfill my expiration date. But I did not die, but I did not come back either. I had swam to another area of life, a place without the hope of suicide, and without the hope of truly being alive. I have been lost here ever since. Again, I have been happy, and even at peace, but I have never wanted to be alive more than I have wanted to die.
This is a 9 and a 10, living outside the outskirts of both life and suicide, as if living in another dimension. A 10 is when your existence in that dimension becomes so intense that you begin to shut down, literally.
At a 10 it's also an end, but of a different kind than 8. We view death as the ultimate tragedy, without really doing much for everyone that's dead but still breathing. The walking dead exist, the question you should be asking is what you're doing in your daily life to create a culture that's built on Support, Love, and Compassion.
A 9 is similar to a 4, you're being pushed to the next level.
The real tragedy in Suicidality, is Suicidality. The point of this series was not to tell you that a certain level is worse than any other. We all deserve support, and no should feel this way, ever. But Suicidality is not a personal failure. Suicidality is not the problem, the true failure is how our society reacts to it, and all the unnatural systems of oppression and abuse we have created to dehumanize one another.
As I wrap up this series I want to leave you with a few final notes that I hope have been clear throughout the series:
1)Suicidality is always a problem and should always be taken seriously.
2)You never know what anyone is going through.
3)we must do more to combat suicidality in all of its stages. Death is not the only tragedy.
Ahmad Abojaradeh is the Founder and Executive Director of Life in My Days, Inc. He is the co-Founder of Muslim Community Link, An Engineer, a world traveler, a Peer Support Specialist, and a Novelist. 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.