Five Years of Surviving

Today is a special day for me. Five years ago I attempted suicide and I am celebrating that I wasn’t successful. I suffer from Bipolar Disorder, a disease that is characterized by extreme lows and extreme highs. The risk of suicide is high among those with manic-depressive illness; approximately 10-15% of people with a bipolar diagnosis complete suicide while many more attempt suicide unsuccessfully.

A lot of factors went into my suicide attempt. In 2011 I was on an antidepressant that my doctor was giving me free samples of because of the high cost of the drug. This went on for over a year and I was feeling well. Then the doctor ran out of samples. The co-pay for the drug was hundreds of dollars and I had no choice to go off of it. From there my mental health went downhill.

In December of 2011 I found out I was denied Disability (SSDI) and would have to go through an appeal process that would take over a year. I felt a sense of uselessness. I wasn’t bringing in any money to help support my family.

In 2012 my pain levels really kicked into high gear. I would go to the emergency room and was told that the best pain medicine I had was at home. I began experiencing sleepless nights because of the pain.

Throughout it all was the feeling that I couldn’t be the mother Tyler needed. I couldn’t support him, cook for him…play with him. I felt that Tyler would be better with another mother. He was five at the time and I thought he would barely remember me if I killed myself.

Luckily I was unsuccessful in my suicide attempt. I spent two weeks in the hospital but I wasn’t better. I was experiencing suicidal ideation, fantasizing about trying again and how I would do it. I realized that it was difficult to kill oneself but that didn’t stop me from wanting to.

In August, through a miracle, my depression and suicidal thoughts went away. I started seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist who put me back on medicine. I began to get my life back.

If I could tell someone who is as low as I was anything, it would be that depression lies to you! I would have ruined Tyler’s and my husband’s life as well as my friends and other family. Depression tells you that everyone is better off without you but that isn’t true.

Today, five years later, is a day of mixed emotion for me. I am so thankful I survived my attempt but I am currently experiencing depression. However, I am not as low as I was and I hope never to be again. I see a therapist and a doctor. Tyler is the light of my life and helps me get through my days.

If you feel like striking up a conversation with me because you are having suicidal thoughts please feel free.

If you need someone more anonymous you can call The Suicide Prevention Hotline in the U.S. at 1-800-273-8255 or if you are in the UK, there are many numbers so you can go here. All of the hotlines are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But don’t hide your thoughts. I have been where you are. Get help, speak up and speak out for suicide prevention.

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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.

10 Responses to Five Years of Surviving

  1. Mike T says:

    Thanks for sharing this very personal post. It’s important for people who are in the throes of mental illness to understand that there is a way out–one that ends up much happier.

  2. Alexis says:

    I want you to know, I had a friend from high school who had bipolar disorder, and she did commit suicide (we lost touch after high school). She had a seven year old daughter. Ever since I heard, I’ve been wondering why she did it. She had such a beautiful family, and I know they all loved her. I looked at my sweet beautiful baby, and I couldn’t imagine leaving her when she needed me. Hearing your story helped me understand the terrible things my friend’s mental illness made her believe, and how it could convince her to kill herself even though her death left so many people so bereft.

    Thank you for surviving and telling your story. I hope it helps people like my friend know there is hope. #weekendblogshare

    • mamasick says:

      A comment like yours is what made me write about my suicide attempt. For mentally healthy people to see into the minds of someone who attempts suicide or is successful at it. Depression lies to you, I wish someone had told me that.

  3. Heather Keet says:

    Congratulations! I’m so glad you survived and are spreading your story to help others. #WeekendBlogShare

    • mamasick says:

      As personal as it is, and it did take me a long time to put it out there, I do write about it to help others but to also help well people see what it is like.

  4. Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry to hear that you went through this and I am so glad that you were not successful. The way in which you received your medication and how the lack of money / insurance to cover it after the samples ran out is disgusting and down right negligible. I am so thankful to the NHS in the UK. Keep strong and thanks for joining the #weekendblogshare

  5. Gina says:

    You are so brave for sharing your story. I am so glad you were not successful and are here for your family! I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression for most of my life, and as a teen I was on birth control that made me have suicidal thoughts. Luckily I never acted on them, but it was a very dark time and I’m glad to have gotten past it. I wish you well and am so glad to have found your story on the #weekendblogshare!

    • mamasick says:

      Thank you, Gina, I hope it shows depressed people that their life is worth living and the value of the things they would be missing out on, not to mention how it it destroys the family and friends they leave behind.

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