So this past Saturday I had a major panic attack. The worst I can remember. While I was in the thick of it… horrible hysteria… I couldn’t even put together a complete sentence, my mother called me. She dropped everything to come and help me through it.
I have struggled with mental illness all my life. On my mission I was fortunate enough to have a brief window of relief. I had only two panic attacks on my mission, both very early on, and I thought when I go home that I had basically been cured. I was not, and when I fell, I fell hard.
A Walk to the Past
There was a time in the not to distant past where I went to a very dark place. I felt like I was worthless, a failure. From my perspective I couldn’t do anything right. I had gotten it in my head that my closet loved ones were annoyed and angered by my existence. It seemed that even my parent’s lives would be better if I wasn’t around. Suicide became a reoccurring thought. It was more than an escape from the emotional pain it was in, I thought I would be doing a favor to my loved ones if I was out of their hair.
Suicide is often considered taboo. Which, in my opinion is very counter productive. I was lucky enough to have been able to escape the horrible suicidal thought pattern without too much external intervention, but that was honestly luck. My plan was to wait for someone to notice or acknowledge my suffering, when they were ready, when my problems wouldn’t inconvenience them.
When someone is struggling in life I find that more often than not they just need a friend. Someone who can be there without being an inconvenience. On Saturday my mother was there for me without a thought about all she had to do. She was willing to talk about how I was feeling, with out judgement, without solutions, with just ears. To be there and to show me that she loves me.
So, when it comes to addressing taboo topics, the only solution is to address them. To talk to communicate. To talk about them before they are an issue. To talk about them with love and understanding. It takes being proactive when something is out of whack.
When I was at my lowest I planned my suicide twice. Each time I got to the point of execution my mother was there. She noticed a problem and inserted herself into my life. She saved my life. So I invite us to follow her example and be present and involved in the lives of those around us. To observe and act.