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Life after Suicide

Not for the one who chose to leave us but for us the ones who get left behind... the wife, the partner, the best friend, the mum, the dad, the brother, the sister, the children.

What are we supposed to do? How are we meant to go on living when we are so broken. So betrayed by someone we love. Everything we thought we knew gets turned upside down.

For me my whole life was completely changed in that moment. That heart breaking gut wrenching moment of finding his lifeless body hanging. The world as I knew it was no longer and would never be the same again. How can it be? How can it be the same after such a shattering experience?

I thought I was strong and could handle anything, but that broke me. I thought I was able to process emotions but that made me void of any feeling, it left me numb for I don't know how long!

After the initial period of shock, and intense grief I feel empty, completely empty of feelings. I was unable to laugh, unable to cry, unable to feel happiness. In-fact I didn't cry a tear for almost a year. I felt like someone could have held a gun to my head and said I am going to shoot you and I wouldn't have cared. I know that sounds terrible. But until you have been there yourself you can not know how painful it is to have your partner commit suicide. I would not wish it on anyone not even my worst enemy. I would not wish that darkness, that numbness on anyone.

I was suffering from PTS - Post Traumatic Stress - I was in a dark hole of depression, I was trying to survive.

I would go weeks without talking to anyone. I lost most of my friends at that time because they did not know what to do, how to be with me, how to talk to me, what to say.... It's alienating. You feel like no one can possibly comprehend the pain so I shut myself away not wanting to be a burden on anyone, not wanting to ruin their day with my sadness.

What about the person who leaves us though. What about they pain they must have been in to be able to make the choice they did? I know that pain too. I have been there. I tried to jump off a motorway over bridge because the pain of living felt to great to bear. Staying alive did not seem like an option anymore.

It's actually incredibly hard to take your own life - you need to be committed and even then it doesn't always work. There are people who have survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, cutting themselves, hanging themselves or shooting themselves. They have had a second chance at life whether they wanted it or not. Most of them are grateful and have gone on to live great lives. But to get to that place it doesn't just happen instantly, it's usually a series of events that lead you to spiral into the well of depression out of which you can not climb. I call it a well because I liken it to being down a dark well and you can see the tiny dot of light up the top but the sides are so slippery and every time you try to climb up you slip back down again and every time you try you get tired until eventually you get so tired its impossible to even comprehend climbing out so you sink down into the muddy water at the bottom of the well and slowly drown.

I lost my partner 3 months before I actually lost him. He was not himself. He had clocked out of life, he didn't want to be here anymore, he couldn't see a future anymore and didn't know how to overcome his darkness and pain. In a way I understood when he finally left, I understood that this world was no longer for him even though I tried to help him see a future and a way forward. Even though I tried to be understanding and loving nothing made a difference. But that in its self was one of the hardest things for me to deal with, the rejection. I still have to work on myself and make sure that doesn't come into my current relationship. It has caused me a great deal of pain, the fact that I wasn't worth sticking around for, it makes me feel very vulnerable, still to this day I have issues around rejection.

I have days where I no longer want to be here, still have moments of wanting to die, but I have put a great deal of work into myself to be stronger in those moments and those days. I have done a lot of personal development, I have walked on hot coals to have a breakthrough, I have done lots of Hot Yoga to deal with the empty pain and focus on something, I have read books, talked to specialists, researched how to nurture the body with food and vitamins and minerals, researched hormones and the impact of being out of balance. I have spent thousands on blood tests, vitamins and supplements, seeing healers and spiritual guides. I chose not to drink alcohol anymore, I do not take drugs - I know I would not be here anymore if I did either. I try to get out into nature daily, I work a lot as that keeps me happy and focused. I spend time with my husband and dogs and friends. I have a clean plant based diet. I try to get adequate sleep. Try to have some balance between being too busy and not busy enough. It's hard to find the sweet spot. I am very success and goal driven so tend to err towards having too much work on.

I don't know what the answer is - I can only say from experience that when you loose someone to suicide you need to allow yourself time to grieve them properly, you need to talk to someone who can help you process your feelings and pain, the first year will be horrible there is no way around that - everything is a reminder, everything is so fresh and you never got your chance to say good bye. Allow friends and family to be there for you if they can, allow people to support you if you are lucky enough to have a good network. You will need it, don't push them away, don't feel like a burden, don't shut yourself away from everyone.

Talk, talk about the memories, talk about the pain, talk about the loss, talk about how you feel.

Try and find little things that bring you even just a moments happiness what ever that may be. Don't have too much expectation on yourself. There is no time line by which you should be doing this or that, take it in your own time at your own pace.

And most of try to give yourself a little bit of love no matter how broken you are, you are still an amazing human being and deserve love and happiness eventually when the time is right.

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