Preface: Before reading this post, please be aware of your current emotional state. Ask yourself if you are ready to read something that involves suicidal ideation, even if there is a positive outcome. Do you have a support system in case this may trigger any of your own past experiences that can leave you dysregulated or upset? Also, know that I have listed resources at the end of this post in case you need support.
I can never tell when it will go away, but I always feel it creep up.
It's a feeling of immense loneliness at first.
The feeling of being invisible comes next, like I'm yelling at the top of my lungs, and no one can hear me. I'm waving my arms, and no one can see me.
The image I have, like I'm watching from above, I'm in a pit, soaked in gasoline. There are people who could help me out, but it would take them fighting those who threw me in.
It would be uncomfortable, and it would risk their safety and acceptance. It's easier to look away and pretend it isn't happening.
Maybe it's easier if they make it out to be my fault like I deserve to be suffering.
As I try to pull myself back up again, I feel they will leave me. I've had to pull myself up so many times. I'm tired and the opposite will outweighs the will to be alive.
I sat in meditation and I decided to leave the city, so I packed my dogs and overnight bag. This is just what I need. I reached out to several Airbnbs, no response. I'm 2 hours out of the city and have nowhere to stay.
I drive past multiple bodies of water, each one calling me louder than the last. "Just drive really fast over the edge!"
I burst into tears and can't believe what I just heard come from my own lips. I begin to rationalize with that part of me. It's going to be ok, Patricia. These feelings happen sometimes; you will fight your way through like you always have.
The sobbing got louder as I pulled over and exited the car.
"I'M SO FUCKING TIRED!" The echo of my yell sounds like it travelled out for miles.
I whisper, "You win; I'm done."
I leashed both of my dogs and took them out of the car. I tied them to the fence that keeps wildlife off the highway. I left their food and a blanket. I left a note explaining that these dogs are very well-loved and to please return them home.
I also asked whoever found them to tell my family it was an accident, and I was trying to get the car out of a ditch. I tied up the dogs so they wouldn't get hurt.
I kissed them both goodbye and walked back to the car.
I turned back one last time...
My heart jumped out of my chest.
A black bear emerged from the bushes on the other side of the fence. I ran back as fast as I could; I yelled so loud. My throat ached and I could taste blood. The dogs see what I see and begin to bark.
They both went from looks of fear and concern, wondering why I was leaving them, to fearless and protecting the person who almost abandoned them.
They didn't care; they still loved me even at the lowest point of my life. They stood before me and became the voice I was so tired of using.
I got us all back into the car and drove to the next exit. There was nothing but darkness and I had no clue where to go. I feel my arm vibrate; my smart watch lights up with a notification.
NEW MESSAGE FROM:
I begin to cry, I take a turn and the next thing I see is a driveway lit up with lights. It looked so magical; I wondered if I was dead and if this was the driveway up in heaven. I began to cry happy tears. Someone is looking out for me. I found an inn.
"Thank you!" I whisper out loud.
I called the number on the sign to ask for a vacancy and their pet policy.
"Yes, darlin, we don't judge fur or not. Come right in, we'll set you up." I felt like Dolly Parton herself was going to check me in.
I park near the front door so the dogs can still see me as I check-in.
My eyes were swollen, I had a cut on my lip and I couldn't imagine my hair was in place.
Hi, I just called… (just as I was about to finish my sentence, I hear the warm, welcoming voice cut right in.)
"Of course you did, love. I already have someone sending an extra blanket and towels to your room in case the pups want to sleep with mom. All I need is your ID; you can pay however you like.
Today, we have a deal for women who need a rest and have cute dogs: $50 plus HST, and breakfast is included.
Cash, debit or credit?"
I welled up again, showed her my debit card and smiled through my tears.
As the machine beeps, I struggled to pull out my card and put it away.
She comes around the counter, puts my card back in my wallet, hands it to me and hugs me.
"I'm going to send you some tea, and you are going to rest. When you wake up, it's going to be a new day."
She hands me my room key. I looked down in my hands; she drew a heart around the room number.
I got into bed; my dogs got into bed with me, each with their head on top of me.
The next morning, I got up and took the most delicious shower. I felt like a lot went down that drain.
I packed up and wondered how I would take advantage of breakfast. I got to the front desk, hoping to see the angel from last night. Her shift was over but another angel stood in her place.
"Hi, I'm just checking out"…
"Well, look here, Odin the puppy and Jacques, his little big brother, was in room 111 with mom. How did you sleep?"
I couldn't believe the care I was getting. It moved me to tears.
"You have all been so kind; I'd like to thank you so much.".....
"Oh love, that's why we are here. Now you hand me the fur babies so I can get my puppy fix and you go enjoy some breakfast."
As I came to collect the pups, she asked if I was in a hurry to go home and recommended a quiet little beach that is usually empty in the early mornings.
"The dogs will love getting into the water and running around. Get them tuckered out for the ride home. You'll love the quiet there; it's an inlet, so the water is still."
I thanked her and made my way there.
It was like a quiet peace of heaven.
I sat in the sand as the dogs ran around and played.
I wrapped my arms around myself. "I love you!"
It was indeed a new day.
This is not a story I would typically share. I am a trained trauma-informed practitioner and something like this can be harmful to someone who is not ready to read it. Despite that, I am sharing this because I don't think it is discussed enough. What does the other side of depression look like? What does it look like to normalize that having overwhelming feelings of wanting to die happens more often than anyone cares to talk about and there is a way out?
Here is what I learned from my experience.
I believe that most of the time, suicidal ideation comes from a part of you who no longer wants to live in the current situation or as the person who is currently showing up in the world today.
Changing can feel impossible, scary, and isolating if you can't find the proper support.
Changing can start a grieving process that feels so painful without fully understanding that you are grieving the loss of an old version of yourself. If you are unprepared for this, it can blindside you and push you into a period of deep depression.
Beautiful people show up for you when you allow yourself to get a little vulnerable, even if they have no clue what you are actually going through.
Dogs can help you get through anything the devil can throw at you. (Any pet, really.)
Please know you are not alone. There is a reason that this is happening and even though it may feel like the most challenging thing you are experiencing right now, there is someone out there who can help.
Support Services in Canada:
Under the age of 18:
Kids Help Phone call - 1-800-668-6868 or text 686868
Talk Suicide Canada - call 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645
How to Support a Suicide Attempt Survivor
International Support Services: