I've reached the three-year mark of Phil's death by suicide and have grown in many ways. Along with the loving support here, and through much therapy, I have found a deep inner strength. I found a love for myself, a tolerance for others' suffering, the thrill of a laugh, the feeling of a smile breaking on my face. I am still living in my home, working again, making new friends, adapting to being alone and so many other moments. From the everyday simple tasks to the overwhelming tasks, I have survived.
I have overcome the desire to give up my own life when the pain was so intense that I just wanted to disappear. I understand the pull of suicidal thoughts, the trance, the whirlpool of being pulled into despair and the anger at the lack of understanding and support from family and friends. When everyone else ran away from the stress, they left me alone to deal with it. I was even told to kill myself and spare them the misery of my pain.
I feel that I have come to a place where most of the journey is a distant memory, always there, just not hurting me as much. I now focus more on me, what I want for my life now, changing therapy to allow life to come to me again instead of simply holding on and surviving. I have learned to let go of toxic people in my life. I don't fully know yet what my future looks like, I simply realize that I am not afraid to go it alone. I can do this, I have done this.
I still find that most people cannot handle hearing the word "suicide", it drains them, my journey drains them and I am drained staying in that mode. I now desire a break from it, from being identified by it, to having it show in my eyes.
I have also moved my spouse's memory from the "pedestal" of my life, to a past not fully understood, yet accepted for what it was. I have filtered through what was emotion, shock, and speculation to an honest view of what living with a man who was ill was truly like. I have stopped feeling the need to rescue him, and decided to rescue me instead. I am the one left that needs to live now.
I pray that one day, a loving and supportive man will join me in my life and that we may laugh, love and live out the joys of today. In the meantime, I reach out to all of you with words of encouragement, hope and courage....I truly mean it when I say that if I can do this....you can too!
Be brave, dear ones, I stand with you in compassion and love.
This post first appeared on the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors forum. Reprinted with the permission of the author. Visit our moderated community of support to those who have experienced the tragic loss of a loved one to suicide.