when i was a psych nurse, i took care of a lot of different kinds of people. ten years of work, on both the open wards and psych emergency, taught me a thing or two. i don’t like to talk about it much because i fear marginalizing people who are already, sadly, shoved to one side.
i won’t write about it. i’ve tried to write about it only once, and it was uncomfortable.
but i can talk about the respect i gained for suicidal people. to my thinking, suicide is an accident. in 30 minutes time suicidal people will likely change their minds and, for most, it’s a waiting game while depression recedes.
the pain, for some, is unbearable. and when the people i cared for suicided, i learned to tell myself the following: i may not understand their decisions but i’ll respect them. because they made them. i know i never could make that decision because it’s incredibly hard to kill oneself. i’m chicken.
this week, a 17 year old girl in Nova Scotia took her life. the circumstances preceding her suicide are complicated (alleged rape; bullying by slut shaming; and, resultant depression) and i acknowledge them. but there’s a time for political and systemic debate, and it isn’t now.
because right now there’s a mother and father trying to make it through the day. they’re listening for her voice, lying on her bed just so they smell her perfume on the pillow, and wishing like hell they’d been around in the split second their daughter decided to go through with a suicidal idea. so they could’ve waited depression out together.