I have never been very good at faking anything. I've never faked an orgasm and I have never faked a liking for someone I couldn't stand.
And this hasn't served me well in life.
There were times when I would be at work (where ever I was working at the time) and I would have to dash off somewhere secluded and cry because some stranger was rude to me, or because I was panicking inside for no reason. It's always been a little bit difficult pretending to be happy and well-adjusted when I was always wondering what was so different about me from everyone else: all the people who could go to work all day long and smile and be happy when they had no reason to be whatsoever.
With me, it's almost as if I've always needed a reason to be happy. I would wake up and think about my new lipstick, and think to myself there's a reason to get up and shine today! Or I would have to go to a mall or a bookstore, see a product on a shelf and think this will make me happy for a couple of days, let's buy it! But it was always superficial crap that I didn't need. And none of it ever made me happy. And so I would always keep asking myself what real happiness was, and why it was so hard for me to keep a hold of it. I would taste happiness one day, and the next day I would think what the fuck is so great about this and that when in the end we are just mechanisms waiting to shut down forever? I couldn't keep happiness in my heart and I got exhausted trying. I'd go to bed and have a hard time falling asleep. I would feel my heart beating, pay attention to my breaths, and just imagine myself dead. All of the machinery stopping. No more body. No more brain. No more thoughts. And that would calm me down. Playing dead. I would grasp onto happiness and joy once more. I would be full of energy and full of love and creativity would be surging through me and I felt like myself. And I would later crash again and wonder why I couldn't just switch off and be put away in a storage unit for a while, until they figured out what was wrong with me that wasn't wrong with anyone else. I always felt so alone in my despair and talking about it was like talking about architecture. What do you say?
Faking it can be so exhausting. My friend Tara and I were discussing this last night over coffee. I think she fakes it til she makes it. She's a very positive and grateful girl and being around her rubs off on you. And I wish I were more like that. But I spent so many years of my life faking something that wasn't there, and now I don't fake it anymore.
Now I'm completely honest about who I am. I don't tell lies about myself anymore, and I think that gives me strength. I have found that people are a lot more understanding and supportive than I used to give them credit for. Even the happiest people can understand that the world can be a tiresome place to be, and the pursuit of happiness is never ending. And when you're so exhausted from just making it through day to day, a never ending pursuit of happiness just sounds like the most daunting and painful thing imaginable. So people kill themselves.
People kill themselves and instead of trying to wrap our heads around the incredible anguish they must have felt, we call them selfish and we condemn them for leaving the world of the living behind when so many people loved them. How could they do this to their parents? Their children? How can anyone be so selfish?
Maybe it is selfish. I know I could never take my own life. But I have never been desperate enough to (thank God). History has shown us time and again that anyone can do anything if they are pushed far enough beyond the brink of their own humanity. And that's what happens with suicide. You can't fake it anymore. You can't continue on because you feel like you came off the assembly line in pieces and you just can't put yourself together properly. You shave a bit off of this piece, make it fit here, but in the end you are not whole, and you feel like you will never be happy, and you are just too tired to keep trying.
I am lucky to have people around me that understand me and support me no matter what kind of crazy comes out of my mouth! A lot of people don't have that and I think that the very first step in preventing suicide is to start a conversation about it.
If you know someone and you recognize the signs of a deep depression, you have to open up about it. They may not even know that they are depressed. They may not know that there are ways to treat all forms of depression and anxiety. They have options that they may not know they have. You, as family and as friends, have to reach out to people and say I know it doesn't feel okay now, but I promise, things will get better if you want them to. And it's true.
When I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, I went online and found forums and discussion boards, did some research and I felt so much less alone and I felt so much less despair. The world is a harder place for me to live in than it is for others, but I have love around me and people who support me no matter what.
I'm not crazy. I have an illness. And so does anyone else who resorts to suicide. We have to start the discussions. We have to bring this issue to the forefront because there are people who need us. There are people who can't afford psychiatric care and don't know that there are other resources available.
This is an epidemic killing people just like any other treatable disease and we, as a society, have to pay more attention to this issue because it is killing the people we love.