I read a post on The Mighty yesterday that really disturbed me. The topic was about how fibromyalgia and mental illness coincide, which I’ve already been aware of due to my own personal experiences.
But the part of the article that bothered me the most was the statement that “Fibro sufferers commit suicide at a rate of 10 times that of the general population, according to a report in Psychology Today.”
Just fucking wonderful.
It upset me so much, I got the shivers after I read it and then shared the link on Facebook, which only a handful of people reacted to, since it’s a taboo topic that is mostly avoided.
I told my boyfriend (he’s fully aware of my mental health history) and I asked him to read the post himself. As usual, the scary “S” word makes people uncomfortable. It happens every single time.
Even my beautiful mother, who always fought for and fully supported me while she was still alive, hated to say the word itself.
It’s not a pleasant topic, is it? No, it most certainty is not. Yet every 40 seconds, someone on this planet decides to end their pain and leave this brutal, yet wonderful world behind. It’s the truth and it’s happening. There’s an excellent chance that each one of us will be touched by it in one way or another.
Steven hadn’t really said much after he read it, so on the way to our Thursday evening couples bowling league, I asked him what his thoughts were.
“I don’t really know what to say,” he replied quietly.
Ah yes, ding ding.
“Yeah well, most people don’t,” I said knowingly, with a twist of snark in my comeback martini, on the defense.
Then I sighed, feeling quite defeated.
“It scares the fucking shit out of me,” I revealed, trying to honestly explain my feelings further. “It’s scary. Actually, it’s fucking terrifying. And I’m so afraid that it’ll happen again. I’ll live with that fear for the rest of my life.”
I noticed him squeezing the steering wheel a bit more tightly than normal.
“I might not understand it, but I’ll never run away with my tale between my legs.”
I made the noise I make when someone mentions asshat, a sort of disgusted snort.
“It didn’t help that you had someone constantly putting you down and abusing you, treating you like a worthless cripple and saying that maybe you should’ve just done it, after all! The fucking dirt bag.”
Another snort from me.
“I won’t let anything like that happen to you, not on my watch. I’ll do everything in my power, honey.”
I smiled and patted his leg, then left it there. He took his hand and started stroking my hair. We didn’t talk for a few minutes. I just closed my eyes and enjoyed the sensation of his strong fingers comforting me and listened to the windshield wipers whisking away the chilly rain.
“I want you to be able to talk to me about it, to tell me when you start feeling like that,” he said. “That way, we can get you some help.”
I nodded and kissed his cheek. “Thanks for rubbing my head, that felt nice.”
“Anytime, my love.”
As most of you already know, my soon to be ex-husband (hooray!) decided to stick his dick in the mashed potatoes instead of coming to the ER to be with me on that shitty July day in 2015 when I tried to overdose on my pain pills.
My mother was the only one there and she was already beginning to show symptoms of her “mystery” illness. Now we know what it was that took her from us, an extremely rare medical condition. (A little too late, but that’s for another post.)
My boyfriend hates to discuss asshat and I don’t blame him, but I felt from the beginning that he needed to know my prior background in order to help him understand me better. We’ve been together for over a year now and the last thing I want is for him to someday exclaim “I didn’t sign up for this bullshit!”
And now that my precious mother has passed on, I hope that if I ever lose my battle with my suicidal thoughts again, I’ll have Steven to love and support me.
If I really have a 10% higher risk of suicide because I have fibromyalgia, then I better start praying hard and hope that I have a few compassionate people in my life, beginning with the man who plays with my hair.