Talking About Suicide

Another update on the situation in life we are leading. Overall, I mostly feel better. Although I didn’t sleep last night so today is a struggle. I have been sleeping quite well recently. We have adjusted my medicine which has seemed to help, but last night was a rough one, I don’t know why.

I think there are a lot of reasons why I feel somewhat better. A lot of it is due to the outreach I’ve had from family and friends. For that I am truly thankful. It’s been hard discussing this situation, but overall, I think it is for the best for both Isabelle and myself. It’s painful when you try to hide the truth and pretend all is well. I may as well peel back the curtain so you can see what’s really happening.

Another large factor is simply talking about the issues surrounding our lives. It is somewhat cathartic to write down and speak about what is happening. I think it helps me confront the issues facing the. It’s quite hard to put these thoughts onto paper and try to make sense of it all. Personally, I think it is helping me. But then, that’s just how I feel.

All in all though, I think the largest factor is getting enough sleep. Sleep is much more important than we give it credit. We all try to jam in way too much in our day and then spend the evening staring at a screen and then not sleeping. All those reports about how important sleep is are true. If I could give you one piece of advice – turn off all your screens, leave your phone in another room, and get some sleep. When I get caught up in my sleep my whole day is better, and my attitude improves. As I said, last night I did not sleep and today has been very difficult. I had about an hour nap this afternoon. Hopefully it won’t affect my sleep this evening. It knocks me back for the whole day and it is hard to get accomplished what I have planned. But then, it is always difficult to accomplish what I have planned. I think of things that I need to get done in the evenings or at night, but I cannot write them down and, since I wear a breathing mask to help sleep, I cannot dictate them to Siri to remind myself in the morning. I have tried in the past, but I cannot understand what Siri has written. Such is life.

Now the part that is tough to talk about.

From my posts most people can tell that I have thought about suicide. When I am asked point-blank if I ever think about it the answer is simple. As I’ve told everyone, including psychologists, I have thought, and continue to think about suicide every day since my accident. And I am not the only one. When I was at GF Strong there were 3 of us, all similar age, and similar injuries. We would sit and talk about our lives and yes, we all agreed that we thought about suicide every day. The changes in our lives are so sudden, so overwhelming, so profound. Each of us were and are trying to come to grips with what has happened and what our lives have become.

So yes, I have thought of many different ways to bring this all to an end. As I have always said I have two challenges in front of me; the first to accept that I am a quadriplegic and the second to ensure that Isabelle loves me. I am feeling miserable at the first challenge and it is affecting tremendously the 2nd challenge. So, I am trying to find a way to make things better.

While I was in hospital then in GF Strong we watched 2 movies about quadriplegics. The first was “Les Intouchables”. It is in French with English subtitles and is available on Netflix. The other movie was “Me before You”. It is a movie from England. One movie ends well and the other one doesn’t. My life is like these 2 gentlemen (but without all the money). I confront the same issues they do. The movie glosses over a lot of the actual life of a quadriplegic but you get an idea of what our lives are like. I am caught somewhere between these 2 gentlemen. Some days I lean towards one, other days towards the other. If you want to try to understand our lives I highly recommend watching these movies.

So to bring this post to a close, I am going to say that I intend to be here today, tomorrow, the day after that and the day after that. Life has been extremely difficult, but I am blessed with tremendous support from Isabelle, my family, my friends and all the other people who keep in contact with me through Facebook and our blog and our podcasts. Isabelle too has had incredible support as she deals with her injury at the same time as I deal with mine.

This is been a long blog. Thanks for reading. Thanks for trying to understand.

I will talk again next week.

Jim