TRIGGER WARNING!! The content in this article discusses suicide and suicidal ideations.

Suicide is the act of causing the death of yourself. When people think of suicide an image of someone jumping off a bridge or a cliff may come to mind. Maybe even jumping onto train tracks or from a high place into a body of water or the ground below. It can involve things like rope, ladders, concrete, sharp objects, alcohol or drugs, and endless other things. None of those ways or things are often possible for someone with mobility issues due to a disability. Does this mean that those without the ability to access these means do not experience the feelings of suicide and want to end it? NO!

For as long as I can remember I’ve had an overwhelming feeling to escape and get away. Not from just one situation or certain people but all people and all places. As early as the age of seven or 8 maybe earlier I would sit in the car and as it was moving I would open the door hoping to fall out as I was unable to jump due to my disability. Of course, I would be caught and get in trouble for doing this as it wasn’t safe which I was aware of. Other times I would hold my breath as I pretended to be asleep int the back seat when I was checked on to make sure I was breathing. Because I was a child there was no understanding of the result of what I was doing. I never had a thought about wanting to die. I wanted the abuse to end and to get away from the people I was around. The older I got an awareness that I was going to be in trouble for the thoughts and feelings I was having and the fear of being unable to complete it was a big part of my life.

As an adult during my first year of college was what I consider to be my attempt. It was late evening and I was sitting alone in my apartment at the time. Because of the people I was hanging around at the time, there was alcohol in my apartment along with a bottle of aspirin 600 and knives were within my reach. I HAD THE PLAN! I had failed attempts in the past trying to drown in the bathtub as my knees are unable to bend and I have a rod in my back. I wanted to be sure that if the pills and alcohol didn’t do it that I had the knife to finish. All that was left was to write the note.

It started as many do…To whoever finds this it wasn’t your fault. I faked an I love you statement to my parents which I fully did blame and did not love. The place I found myself in that night had everything to do with my childhood. I stated several reasons for why I had done what I did. When I had finished the note, had the pill bottle in hand going to get the knife and everything else, I heard a knock on my door. I rushed to hide the knife in the closet and act as if nothing was going on opening the door. On the other side was the person who would become involved in turning my life around. I didn’t go through with my plan that night and even though I still do struggle with thoughts and there have been urges I’ve never gotten to the point of a plan and further to a note. The biggest thing I took away from that was the realization of how creative one has to be when a disability is in the mix of suicide, suicidal ideation, and suicidal thoughts.

Because suicide doesn’t show up the same for disabled people due to the challenges they face with mobility it often goes unnoticed and it’s not something that many if anyone is equipt to deal with. It can feel for those who struggle with it as if it’s a non-existent problem. Another complexity in this situation is those around you that assist you with daily needs and support fear of getting into trouble. Those things alone can add to the need to end it. The worst part was being able to hear the voices in my head that were saying how much of a mess I left behind or my life wasn’t that difficult and I was selfish.

It’s not selfish and it’s not about death. For many, it may not have anything to do with anyone externally. I once heard suicide being referred to as the ultimate self-harm and it is because for those that get to a place of suicide or even before we would rather hurt ourselves than the ones around us in any way. It was a difficult challenge and time in my life that getting to a place of no escape was overshadowed by limitations and the overwhelming feeling that it was yet another thing I couldn’t do “right” or had the choice because of the “trouble” I would have caused for others

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