Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.
No matter how it starts, intrusive thoughts eventually set in. It might begin with an idea that I should tell people I’m dying or that I’m hurt. At this stage, I just want some compassion and empathy but fear that I won’t receive it if I reach out. I believe this is where the stigma of mental illness comes in. Some people have confused reaching out with attention seeking. This really hurts because these experiences are beyond the control of the one suffering through them. Ignorance of mental illness and its severity at this moment can literally be a matter of life or death. At the very least, are we not all deserving of compassion?
I might start to think about taking a break from my own reality. I think about calling the crisis hotline. I think about reaching out to a friend for help. This is usually when I scroll through my phone and social media friend lists looking for someone who will listen. Someone who will understand, not judge and not tick me off in that moment. Someone who will show up. Someone who will sit with me. Usually, I come up empty handed because people tend to minimize my feelings, or they don’t take me seriously because I’ve done this before or they victim blame me, and I just can’t bear to go through that in this moment.
This is when I wonder how hard it is to get a gun. I wonder if I could jump in front of a train or a truck. I wonder if I could walk into the lake and freeze to death or drown. What if I cut deep enough? What if I found a way to overdose? Could I jump from the roof or window? Could I hang myself? This is when I say goodbye to friends or tell people I love them. I don’t offer any further explanation. Sometimes I tell people I’m leaving for a while and can’t be reached by phone. I almost always try to say goodbye though. I desperately seek someone to recognize my pain in these moments. Sometimes this is when I cry and sometimes I just feel relief and acceptance that soon my problems will end.
While you are busy reading this article, try mo rin makinig sa episode namin:
Today, though I decided I’d write what I was feeling as it was happening. Today, I tried something new. I don’t feel cured; the thoughts are still there. But now they’re written.