“It is Friday, October 22, 2004, and I know I cannot keep going; it has to end. The darkness is unbearable, the sadness and desperation are all-encompassing. This is my first real thought of suicide, and I am filled with relief that I can choose to end this, though I am consumed with fear. I begin to put a plan in motion: I make my way slowly to the pantry, and I grab every pill bottle I can hold. I retreat to the safety of my bedroom and, crying hysterically, I begin to open the bottles.
No, you can’t do this, I think, what about the girls? What about Neil? If you do this, it will destroy them. Well, I’m already doing a good job of that right now. Wouldn’t they be better off without me? I argue with myself, the inner turmoil unendurable. Suddenly, my best friend, Sandra, fills my thoughts. One year ago, her sister ended her life by suicide, and I have seen firsthand the pain it has caused. Do I really want to cause her that kind of pain again? I wonder.
For a brief moment, my thoughts are rational: What am I doing? I can’t do this! In a frenzy of anger, resentment, and hatred toward myself, I gather up all the bottles, return them to the pantry, and find the Yellow Pages. I stumble back to my bedroom, collapse on the bed, weak and exhausted, without any hope. I pick up the phone, open the phone book to the front page, and call the 24-Hour Crisis Line provided by Distress
Centre. As a woman answers, I feel an uneasy knot in my stomach, but soon her calm, soothing voice reassures me. She is caring and helpful, listening attentively, not judging me, and all the while asking questions gently. For the first time, I feel that someone really understands and cares.”
An excerpt from my book A Quiet Strong Voice.
Reaching out and asking for help is seen by some as a sign of weakness. I beg to differ! Asking for help is a sign of strength.
For the longest time I did not ask for help. I wore a mask of “I’m okay.” I didn’t want to bother anyone, or be judged for how I was feeling. In an unhealthy way I felt safe as long as I suffered in silence. Suffering in silence does not serve you, or anyone else. Often people who love you can see that you are in pain, and lack the knowledge, or possess fear that holds them back in reaching out to you. You need to, and you must, ask for help.
You can ask for help in many different ways:
Say to someone you love trust, “I am going through a difficult time right now, I would really appreciate if you could listen to what I am going through with an open heart and non-judgment, and be there to help me through this.”
Call a 24-hour crisis line. These organizations are there to provide you with acceptance, and support. Visit http://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/ to find the nearest crisis line for you.
Make an appointment with your family doctor, and be completely honest with how you are feeling, and ask for help and guidance.
You may be scared, resistant, and worried about asking for support. I invite you for a moment to think of someone you love, for me this was my daughters. Now, imagine that person going through a difficult time. Imagine her in darkness, and no one to support her because she chooses not to ask for help.
Would you ever wish for someone you love to be in darkness, alone, and isolated?
Try to understand how important it is to do this, not only for yourself, but also as a model for your children, and those you hold dear. It will take time, I promise you though the wall of resistance you have built will come down.
1. What is the support you need?
2. Who are the people that may be able to support you?
3. How can they support you?
Take responsibility for your mental health. You can’t do this alone. Reach out and ask for help.
You are not alone. You are loved.
Hugs & Love Lee
All net profits for sales on Amazon on March 3rd, will be donated to Distress Centre Calgary. Order today http://amzn.to/1frC8es
Lee Horbachewski has delivered her message of courage, hope and inspiration as a speaker to thousands of people. Although not currently practicing, Lee is a certified professional coach through Erickson College International. Through her personal experience and many of the people she has worked with, she believes the number one step in starting the healing journey is to feel heard, loved, and accepted—beginning with self. She is a quiet strong voice of hope, inspiration, and authenticity for millions of people impacted by mental illness. Lee lives with her husband and two daughters in Calgary, AB, Canada