Financial Woes * Illness or Pain * Loss of a Loved One * Bullying * Loneliness * Family or Relationship Issues * Holiday Depression * Veteran PTSD * Overwhelmed with Life.
These are just a few reasons that some choose to end their lives. They are our spouses, friends, neighbors, or even people who attend our church. Each encounter, they may appear no different from any other occasion.
But the fact is so many people are in an indescribable pain that those of us around them have no clue about. It’s after the time bomb goes off,
and we’re left with a myriad of questions and wonderings that we rack our brains to figure out where we failed them. Sometimes we never know the answer.
In the last forty-five days, suicide has been a word on my tongue and in my thoughts. And before you become alarmed or jump to conclusions, this is not about me. I have not contemplated or took any actions to end my life. Life may not always be what I like, but I enjoy waking up to see a new day. Instead, this post is about two individuals in my life, one personal and the other professional, who either attempted suicide or completed the act.
The first person is a relative of relatives. (I know that sounds crazy) He’s a teen who’s had his share of troubles – brushes with the law, hanging with the wrong crowd, etc. Long story short, he ended up in foster care and then a group home. It is the latter where he attempted suicide. Thank God he was unsuccessful. It is my understanding, that he felt no one cared about him, and his life was filled with negative struggles and being without. His outlook on the future was bleak, believing things would only get worse.
Since then, he has received help and placed in a different foster home. While he’s not completely out of the woods, he learned how much his family and friends love and care about him. And they are there for him whenever times are rough.
And then there’s the most recent shocker – a co-worker. While we didn’t work on the same team, we did work together on a number of projects and troubleshooting tasks. He’s always been kind, helpful, knowledgeable, and just an overall good guy. Definitely, the last person I’d ever think would commit suicide. It’s still just as devastating now as when I first heard about it. The why’s of his decision are still a mystery to us. And it goes through my mind whether any of us could have said or done something to prevent it. We will never know.
Sure, life hurts sometimes. Even to the point of considering an escape of the pain – emotional, physical, or otherwise. Visions of the afterlife and no more human worries seem like a welcoming parachute. But whatever the problem, it doesn’t last forever.
Suicide is a permanent recourse to something that, in most cases, is only temporary. And while the individual may hurt and feel that no one understands or will truly be there for them, the truth is that most (even complete strangers) will do all they can to help the person through.
Many say that suicide is selfish. Something in me cringes whenever I hear that. I understand the viewpoint because loved ones, friends, and others who knew the person are left wondering why or if they could have done something to stop it. But it’s also just as selfish to say something like that. It’s like no consideration that the person felt so desperate to end it all. We never know what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes until we find them on our feet.
But I tell you what. When things like this happen, it’s a lesson learned. So to make sure that I’m doing my part to help someone else in need, I have listed the phone numbers and websites of several suicide prevention agencies below and in the post image. Also the American Psychological Association has information on suicide prevention.
I’m also including the song “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips as an inspiration and reminder to hang in there.
Share this post with your family, friends, acquaintances…everybody. Suicide doesn’t have to be anyone’s solution.
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE
CRISIS TEXT LINE
Text “GO” to 741741
Photo: The Green Squirrel via Flickr