I have been thinking of writing this blog post for over a month. In my meditation yesterday I was encouraged to finally write it.
But still resisted.
Then the very sad news of the death of “Twitch” by suicide came out today….and now I know I need to write this.
By sharing, I hope it helps someone out there understand the complexities of mental health struggles and the impulsiveness of actions that can’t be undone.
As many of you know, I have had a pretty tough year or so. Actually, let’s be real, the last 10-15 years has been tough. But this past year has been one for the record books. There have been moments where I wasn’t sure if my heart could take life anymore. It was broken in a million pieces – for many reasons.
The loss of my brother Cory has gutted me. I knew losing him would be hard but when it actually happened it devastated us all. And continues to. I know the ongoing grief from losing Cor will be there forever.
Then my marriage ended this year as well.
When I got married I never thought I would be here….EVER. When we made the decision to officially go our separate ways, the real grieving process began. And let me tell ya, it has been intense.
There is grief from losing my spouse, my family unit as I’ve always known it, selling our family home, going through belongings and deciding who takes what (including family pets), moving kids back and forth every week….and the fear of losing extended family members.
The amount of grief this year has been substantial. It’s felt insurmountable. And the crying has been guttural. The kind of crying that feels like your heart and soul are going to die.
On one of these darker grief days I was driving home by myself. I was coming up to a bend in the road and I saw an oncoming vehicle. And instead of that vehicle looking like what it was, a car…..it turned into “my way out”.
It passed by safely.
But then another one was coming about 2 miles down the road and it too became “my way out”.
The thoughts took shape quickly. Very quickly.
I want to be with my brother.
I want my heart to stop breaking.
I want to stop crying.
This is how quickly suicide ideations can happen. A mere 3 hours earlier I was with my family in Medicine Hat to honor the 1 year anniversary of my brothers passing. And I felt loved….very loved.
What made me not use that oncoming vehicle as my way out? 7 things.
And my brother telling me “You’re going to be ok. There will be better days. There will be light again. Please stay Tiff.”
It happened in a matter of seconds. The very dark thought that I couldn’t take anymore pain.
What I know is this. When dark thoughts of ending your life come up, it’s scary but it’s also…..tempting. And it can be acted on very quickly and without much thought. I was there in that moment.
For myself, I have been building my toolkit for the past few years to help in these moments of crisis. My toolkit involves my therapist(s), my Mom, my sister, a few close friends. My toolkit also includes breathwork, meditation and walking. Trust me when I say I utilized every single tool in my kit when this was going on.
It’s true you never know what someone may be going through or experiencing. I have been very open about how my journey has been unfolding and yet you didn’t know (until now) that I was *this close* to not being here.
I don’t know what led Twitch to take his own life. But do I understand how he came to his decision? Absolutely. I am so incredibly sad for his beautiful wife and three kids. I LOVED watching their dance videos and seeing his smiling face on Ellen’s show. I am sad for Twitch because I know the amount of pain and suffering he must have been going through to make the decision he did. We may not have the exact same pain, but I do know he must have felt like there was no way to make it stop.
A word that is often avoided or lightly danced around. People have a hard time asking someone if they are thinking about suicide. When that’s all the person really needs is to have someone say “are you thinking about suicide and if you are, let’s get you some help right away”.
I am grateful for the support I had in my very dark moments (not that long ago). I will keep building my toolkit until it is overflowing so if I ever find myself in this space again, I can reach in and grab the lifeline I know is waiting for me.
Please know that if you are in this dark space right now or ever in the future, I will ALWAYS be a lifeline for you. No matter if you are someone in my family or you are a complete stranger on the other side of the globe. I am a listening ear and someone to talk to.
Please be kind….you never know what someone is going through.
I love you.
Tiffany. I hardly know you and when we do comment on each other’s posts, it’s usually about something happy or funny. What you wrote above is so honest but also heartbreaking. Please know that so many people care so much about you (including myself) and only wish for you to be at peace. Hugs
Tiffany, I applaud you for sharing your story – it cannot have been easy. You are brave, you are strong, you are inspiring, you are needed!