Crying my Mom asked me why I didn’t tell her that I suicidal in 2007.
The truth was I was ashamed. Ashamed that I wasn’t the person that I portrayed myself to be to others, ashamed that I wasn’t who I wanted to be, ashamed that I wasn’t the mother/daughter/wife/marine spouse that I thought I needed to be for others,ashamed that I was having suicidal thoughts. You see I was ashamed of all that I was, and moreover all that I was not.
I didn’t speak of these feelings to anyone, and because I felt ashamed of so much, not speaking of these feelings almost made the feelings not real. But the truth is even if I wasn’t verbalizing how I was feeling there were other ways that the feelings manifested.
I may have been a little more quiet, smiled less often, had a negative outlook on life, or it became easier to get angry or upset. These are all subtle differences. Differences that might not seem like much, but in my world meant something was drastically wrong. I don’t say this to blame anyone that didn’t notice the little changes that I was exhibiting, no one knows what goes on in another persons’ head, and it definitely isn’t an easy conversation to have.
I tell you this so that if you have a friend whom has changed, even slightly, have the conversation to ensure they are “okay.” You may have to prod but in our world, as a military spouse, it is easy to get caught up in the strength we are continually “supposed” to exhibit. We begin to perpetuate the stigma, that seeking mental health is a weakness among our own community. Your friend(s) may not be in such dire circumstances as I was, but they just may need someone to talk to- release their frustrations. It is our duty to those within our community to check on each other, make sure that our sometimes difficult life isn’t dragging someone you know down.
If you are needing to have the conversation with someone you know, please go to our webpage for suggestions on how to do so: