Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Questions

Source - I took a picture of this heart (graffiti) last year. While searching the internet for a perfect "why"
 picture, I decided to take my photography and turn it into my own why picture. See more of my photography here.

For the last two years my life has revolved around questions.

What if? Why? Could I have done something? Did I do something to cause my husband’s suicide? Would of, could of, should of, why me? Why my husband? What did we do to deserve this? Why was love not enough to save him? Why was life not enough?

I have beaten myself daily with questions. For two very long years.

This week while reading I wasn't ready to say goodbye (by Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair) I realized I don’t live in the world of questions anymore.

Somewhere in the last 6 months the questions stopped.

I still question why? But I have come to the realization that unless I walk in my husband’s shoes, the world of mental illness, I will never understand.

I will never understand what it’s like to see dead people or hear voices. I will never understand what it’s like to have the voices in my head constantly tell me “You’re not enough. Just kill yourself.”

I will never understand how the love of my friends and family is not enough.

I (hopefully) will never understand the pain my husband was in. Pain so bad that suicide is the only way to make it stop.

I will never understand how he could leave me. I will never understand the thought process of suicide. Even at my darkest moments when I was suicidal, all I could think about was my family and what my suicide would do to them. So I will (hopefully) never understand the deep dark hole he was in.. where the hole is so deep and dark that thoughts of your family can’t even leak in to save your life.

I will never understand the stigma that comes with suicide. See, because my husband had bipolar disorder which is not a physical disease, people don’t get it. With mental illness people think “Suck it up, get over it. It’s all in your head.” People don’t understand that bipolar is more of a disease then a disorder...  In my husband’s case it was a disease that killed him, not a disorder.

I will never understand the comments DGI’s (Don’t get it’s) make. “Just kill me now.” Perfect example - this week a sales rep said to me “I have so many customers screaming for product that I just want to kill myself.” There is a certain hand gesture people do that is very insulting and triggering. People don’t understand how devastating suicide is, and to joke about it is just.. There are no words for it. All I can say is it’s not a joke and it’s not something to laugh about.

There is a lot of things I will never understand. I just accepted that I will never have the answers. 

So I stopped asking the questions.

Not questioning all of this has brought me peace… and quite. My brain is a lot quieter. I don’t get the racing thoughts as often (Sure, they still pop up, as soon as my head hits the pillow) but it's not a everyday, all day, process. 

Somewhere along the line, the questions stopped so gradually, that I didn't even notice it. I had to see it in black and white on paper to realize the questions have stopped.

I find peace in knowing my husband was suffering so badly that his suicide was not impulsive. It was years of suffering that lead up to his suicide.

Sure.. I will always wonder why. But I know at end of the day, I will not get any answers. 

I also know when it’s my time to go, it will all make sense.

That brings me peace.



  1. I whole-heartedly agree with this post. My husband suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts for years and died by suicide. It's infuriating to me when people say things like "____ is so frustrating it makes me want to kill myself" and do the gun-trigger-pull hand gesture. People don't get it, and most people don't even think before saying or doing things like that.

    The only "Why?" that I wonder is why my husband had to have depression. His suicide feels like how I imagine cancer widows feel when their partners die - like it was the end of his suffering. Mental illness is confusing to people who didn't live with and love someone who suffered from it.

  2. Depression is awful. It makes a person lifeless, joyless and in constant agony. Why constant agony? Because the depressed person has to motivate themselves to do the smallest of things. Get out of bed, get ready for work, deal with the constant pushing & shoving of daily life. And that's just at a 'get through the day' mentality. If a person is trying to be productive & creative, the effort is unbearable.
    The depressive person knows that their incapacity is such a change from the person they used to be. They realize they used to have spunk, vigor and creativity. It bothers them a lot that those virtues are gone. The virtues of happiness are gone, and the virtues are replaced by with a mind that can't respond with happiness to things that used to bring happiness. And all the efforts to fix this awful mind don't work. The efforts to exercise, to just participate and allow yourself to be wrapped up in the events of the day, to get a bit more sleep, none of those efforts work. And the depressed person keeps trying for days, months, years, but they don't work.
    I know it's awful for the survivors of the depressed suicide. I can't justify the action, but i understand why it happens. I know that a depressed person considering suicide hates the thought of causing pain to others. But all the choices a depressed person has will cause pain for others, because they are now disabled in their life. If there was a way to vanish and erase all memory of a suicidal person, that is what they would want for you. Unfortunately, our birth and life intertwine us with others, and that brings happiness during the initial years, but it can also bring pain during the later years.
    With every compassionate sympathy towards you and your loss and grief..

    "I don't get true pleasure from anything lately. There have been a few moments since Dave died when I did, but it's always been muted. Experienced through a gauzy, hazy layer of numbness. Lately, though, even getting simple comfort has been hard.

    My brain seems to be on the negativity channel and I can't change the frequency like I often can. A silly comedy I'd normally lose myself in at least partially, just annoys me. I can't find relief in music. No genre seems right, songs either grate at my nerves or make me too sad. Food is a requirement, not a pleasure. Being alone doesn't feel soothing and being with others feels like I'm putting on an act.

    I'm angry, bitter, sad and confused. I don't want to take a hike, or go on a little road trip, or cook, or paint or take pictures or learn to play my guitar. I don't feel like volunteering or traveling, or working on my resume or my Oregon teacher's license. I don't want to walk dogs, or work on my dog training certification. I want out of my skin. I want escape. I want to feel better. But I feel awful. Awful inside, awful outside. I feel jealous of others who don't have a dead spouse. I feel jealous of people who have kids. I feel jealous of people who have had loving parents. I am searching, searching, searching for a glimpse of the feeling of true belonging."