An Update To The Gray Area

If you’ve been reading my work, whether on The Mighty, Upworthy, or through MWL, you’ve probably stumbled across my post When You’re In The Gray Area of Being Suicidal (and if you haven’t you can click the link to catch up). And if you are new to reading my works, welcome.

It’s been almost a year since Gray Area  has been uploaded on The Mighty, and a little longer if you’re an original reader of mine (quick shout out to the readers who have been following me since MWL, and sorry that it’s come to an end). Gray Area was my way of talking about suicidal ideation. Suicidal ideation is the beginning stages of suicide, followed by suicidal planning, and attempt. Suicidal ideation is a dangerous mind state to be in; the urges to harm yourself or end your life are slightly managed, but always linger. You may not want to hurt yourself exactly, but you’re constantly envisioning it. There’s a fine line between the ideations, and the acts to follow. Yet, as dangerous as this mind state is, it’s often overlooked.

This is why I decided I had to write the post. Being stuck in that mind state isn’t healthy, and I don’t want people dismissing it when they should be talking about it. Suicide isn’t some disgusting word that people should feel ashamed for thinking of; it needs to be voiced, so we can help the people experiencing any of these stages.

Since writing the Gray Area I have come to (quickly) realize I wasn’t alone. The article started spreading like wild fire, and at this point in time has over 219k shares. I have received e-mails, Facebook messages, tweets, and more from around the world on a weekly basis. I have gotten thank yous for giving people words they couldn’t say, I have received congratulations on opening up. I’ve also received death threats, and hate mail, but let’s not give that too much power, yeah? This past year my writing made a major impact on people.

So where am I at now? 

The truth is simple; I still live in the gray area. Some days are great, some days I can’t get out of bed because I’m so depressed, others I’m so manic I can’t even remember what I ate or if I even took care of myself that day. I’m able to get what I need to get down; take care of my son (which I have constantly done, and he’s smart, strong, and healthy). I’m functioning, and yeah, sometimes I’m happy. But I am still in the gray area.

I get a lot of messages asking How can you be suicidal? You have so much to live for! Think of your family etc, etc… It’s really a simple answer, but it’s not one everyone can accept. I’m still living with suicidal ideation because I have a mental illness. I can’t shut it off. I don’t choose to be suicidal, I don’t like it. I cling on to the days that I love myself, and feel comfortable in my own skin because it brings me absolute bliss! But my silly, sick mind doesn’t always let me stay there.

I’ve done a lot to combat the gray area this year; therapy, medications. And I will be continuing to get help when things are too much (and quite honestly, even when things are great, because I want to stay in control!). But it doesn’t just go away.

I will keep fighting it though. I know there will be brighter days ahead, and I see that more now than ever. My eyes have been opened since writing  Gray Area and I can see that there are better days ahead.

If you’re in the gray area, or feeling suicidal know that there is help. And don’t be so hard on yourself. We’re all human after all. We make mistakes, we feel things deeply; but just remember all of us are worth our own lives. Myself included.

Keep fighting.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Karen says:

    God Bless you Taylor. Your honesty and openness are inspirational. You shed a different light on mental illness by putting your feelings into words that others can understand. By speaking your truth you will help others find theirs. Keep fighting.

    Like

  2. Denise Stankewitz says:

    I came across The Gray Area on Facebook and it really had such a profound impact on my way of thinking. If you were to ask me if I was suicidal I would have answered without hesitation that I wasn’t. I have suffered with Bipolar Disorder for many years. It still amazes me to this day how insidious this disease is. Since reading The Gray Area, I have realized that I am indeed suicidal and I need to get help. Thank you for opening up about your struggle so that others who are struggling as well can recognize theirs and get help.

    Like

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