“Save Me From My Reality”
Many people say that suicide is a selfish act and I can understand why a person would feel that way as I have been on both sides. I lost my Uncle to suicide when I was very young but the memory of my Grandmother, La La mourning her youngest son is something that I will never forget. I cannot imagine losing a child and I honestly choose not to even think about it as my daughter stole more of my heart and soul than any human could ever take. However, I do not know the pain my Uncle was in but to take your own life the pain must be so bad that one sees no other choice and sadly I understand that feeling as do many of my readers. I have written this many times but the number one reason a person with chronic pain dies is by suicide. Is this statistic shocking to anyone? It is sure as hell not surprising to me. Some days I have no idea how I made it through. Not only did I not die but I learned to truly live despite pain. I cannot tell you the amount of nights in Colorado I would just sit in the freezing snow drinking with friends and just crying, screaming (literally at times) for help. I remember the coldness of the snow and not even caring whether I had a jacket on or not. I remember drinking to the point of endless tears that finally got me to fall asleep. I stopped caring about myself and my life. All I knew was pain and there came a point that I truly did not care whether I lived or died. I never thought about truly ending my life or a way to do it because I never wanted my dad to go through what I saw my La La go through but if I did die from carelessness or by my lifestyle I think at the time I was okay with that. Ten years of living with chronic pain that only got worse year by year had done me in. If you have seen pictures of me from that time in my life I am almost unrecognizable. I was not the Jessica I was before my accident nor the Jessica I am now. That is not to say I would ever judge a person for thinking about suicide or judge any action a person takes to relive their physical pain. I get it. I write to not only share my story but to show people with chronic pain that there truly are ways to live a happy, fulfilling life despite an invisible illness. I also want to spread awareness regarding this life threatening disease that most cannot see but a disease that is felt so strongly it can cause a person to end their own life.
Yes, I have accepted chronic pain and manage it naturally and you will not see me at the doctor’s office for anything having to do with chronic pain. Am I an anomaly? I do not know. I found what works best for me but I have already known two people with chronic pain who took their own lives. I met them at the Mayo Clinic. I will never forget the phone call I got from one of my closest friends there who lost her husband to suicide. She was the patient, he was her main caregiver. Chronic pain clearly does not just affect the person with the illness but the people closest to them as well. It was heartbreaking to hear this woman who had the same illness as myself cry. scream, and worst of all blame herself for her unwanted invisible illness. They had two children. Chronic pain is no joke whether you are able to see it or not. I never write my inspirational posts to brag or get everyone on board with how I manage chronic pain. I write because I do believe I fell off my bike to help other people and it is my passion. For the loved ones of those with chronic pain, I urge you to never judge how your loved one choses to manage their invisible illness. You have no idea how much pain he or she is in and the best thing you can do is let them know you believe them and love them despite their disease.
I am thirty four years old and feel a lot younger than I did at the age of twenty four. I am healthy, happy, and living my dreams despite chronic pain. My hope is that in my lifetime the number one death of those with chronic pain is no longer suicide. I will do whatever it takes to make that statistic nil. I am here and I know so well how you feel. You are never alone nor crazy. The best we can all do as a society is stop judging others for how they chose to deal with their pain. That would be a great step in the right direction.