Sunday, January 10, 2010

Suicide

As some of you know I lost a good friend and brother in arms to suicide several years back. It's really the worst way to lose a friend or loved one. I am not a mental health professional, so take this as you will.
I have seen my fair share of suicides and suicide attempts in my day. Been there to stop a few; have not been there and lost a few. So, I just want to get this out there. Maybe you are there now as a family member or friend, and maybe you are there now as someone who is thinking about it. Hope this helps in some way.
Why?
Suicide comes from two thoughts in a persons life. Disconnection and Guilt (or weight). The disconnection allows you to rationalize your suicide. No one will miss you, you don't have anyone that cares about you or understands you. You are different from everyone else.
The guilt and weight can sometimes be the motive behind the rationalization. Maybe you have done something to someone else or to yourself that you feel bad. Maybe it really was bad, maybe not so much. Maybe you feel guilty for being the way you are. A loser or gay or just different from the people surrounding you. Maybe the weight of it all is squishing you down. It is a burden.
It's not a burden that can't be dealt with. The biggest fear that we all have is the fear of the unknown and the fear of the future. How hard is it going to be? How much longer will I have to deal with this? Will I be an outcast forever. Will I ever find someone who love/understands/cares about me? When this fear outweighs the fear of death then suicide seems like your only logical choice.
It's fool's logic though. The painful side of the equation is an unknown quantity so it can never really outweigh the death. It can just seem that way.
Perspective.
If you ask anyone that is comfortable in their own skin, they will tell you the turning point for them came when they realized that we humans are 99.99999% the same; genetic material, feelings, experiences and paths that we have walked. It's all closer to related than not. So you are understood. Not only is there someone out there who understands you, but the majority of people have been where you are now and know how you feel. That dark hole is just a tourist trap on the road of life. We've all been there. Don't get stuck there. Let it go and don't concentrate on it.
We have also, all of us, had that weight on our shoulders. The guilt for hurting someone or the guilt for being the way we are can be quite a burden. It's not a mystical magical one-of-a-kind burden. It's just like any other burden. It's just like a 80lb. sack of concrete. It's a lot easier to bear if you share it with someone. Even if it's your guilt and you don't want anyone to know, share it with someone. You'll be surprised at how they jump at the chance to help. You'll be surprised at how they can be non-judgmental about it they can be.
The real perspective of it is this: That hole isn't as deep or as dark as you think it is. It also isn't as empty as you think it is.
Loved ones.
Don't hold back. Show them all of the love that you can give then show them some more. If it's screaming, crying and caterwauling then it's okay. Roll up your sleeves because you are going to be in the dirtiest, deepest and most emotionally tiring thing that you can go through. Get in the hole with them. You already are, whether you know it or not. Let go of your guilt just like you ask them to let go of theirs; let go of your fear of tomorrow, just as you would have them let go of theirs.
No, you didn't see it coming. No, you didn't act quickly enough. No, you don't understand why they would want to leave you with this. Yes, they did hide it from you. They hid it well, they know you well and the crooks and crannies of you. They fooled you on purpose. Don't hold that against them or yourself.
The Road Ahead.
The road ahead is not uncharted and it's not as bad as it seems. It's okay to ask someone else if they have been on that part of the path before. If they are old enough, they have.
Seek professional help. In-patient is better than out-patient, but it is something if that is all you can manage. Seek medical help with medications. Medications, no matter what anyone says, are a temporary measure. They are the bandaids that keep the infection out. They are necessary and help.
Reach out is the biggest thing. You will be missed and you will hurt people if you try it whether you succeed or not. The saddest thing is the loss of potential. Potential to love and be loved. Who knows? You may even cure cancer one day...or just be there to help someone who is in need.
Anyone reading this is welcome to call me 24/7/365. My number is right here on the blog.






Don't just call me, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255): Suicide hotline, 24/7 free and confidential, nationwide network of crisis centers.

This is not the end all/be all about suicide by any means. But I hope it can help someone.

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous10/1/10 16:41

    If I could offer any advice to those who have loved one who have attempted is after they have gotten professional help, and yes EVERYONE needs professional help, then give that person room to breathe. Talk about it. Use the words attempted suicide. Its not taboo and you won't break any kind of socials lines saying it. Call it what it is and don't walk on eggshells. This person needs to be dealt with headon and to know they're not a leaper to you now. Please make sure they get help. Inhouse programs are thmost successful. People who attemp suicide lack the coping skills inhouse programs can give. Also inhouse programs give that person time to "escape" and obvously that is an issue. IF your person doesn't survive, don't take on their guilt. Its not about you. Its one of the most self-withdrawn selfish acts anyone can do and it has everything to do with what's going on within them and their lack of ability to cope. Thanks for listening. Dena aka TheMrsFoolMonty

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  2. My cousin's suicide ripped through my soul, heart, and mind. It left the family in pieces and my nerves frayed. I've never healed from it, and probably never will. It's a gaping wound of unsolved questions ("did she really love me?") that can never be answered with certainty.

    When I am depressed myself, especially at the worst times, I think of what that death did to my family, what it's still doing to me, and I usually resolve not to do that to others. I don't know how long that excuse to live will keep working, but it seems to be a very powerful reminder that I am loved and that there are people who would miss me intensely.

    This is a good post, thanks for making it. I really hope people that need to read it do.

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  3. I lost a friend to suicide last fall. It's such a terrible tragedy when someone takes their own life. Thanks for the post. God's best to you...

    --Terrace Crawford
    www.terracecrawford.com
    www.twitter.com/terracecrawford

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  4. I have dealt with the aftermath of suicides since I have been an adult, some successful some not. They always leave a hole inside the survivors and guilt.
    Thanks for the comments. Maybe this post will help at least one person one day.

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