Tuesday, September 22, 2015

On Suicide

Suicide was in my mental edge of vision today.
Two events pushed this in - one, an article from a complete stranger on how his brother took his own life in June, the other the news from a Throwing Friend that his father had committed suicide as well.

Both were surprises.  Both were, so far as I know, left without explanation or reasoning.  Just gone, leaving the survivors behind in pain and confusion.

I am not a counselor nor a psychologist.  But I do know a little bit about the road leading down there.

It was a long time ago - maybe 30 years gone now.  Life was simply not getting any better and did not seem to have the hint of getting better. I was 17 or so and simply did not feel that anything was going to improve.  And so I started toying with the idea of simply ending the seemingly unending pain of simply being.

If you have never gone through this sort of depression you cannot imagine what it feels like.   It is a sort pain, yes, but the worst part about it is that it feels as if it will never end.  There is no sense that tomorrow is going to come, just a long tunnel of bleak that simply feels as if it will never end.

How serious was I?  Fair question.  Probably not all that serious in that there was no "serious" attempt but serious enough that I tried to damage myself.  Serious enough that others took it seriously.

I was fortunate or blessed.  I got help.  Am I great?  Nope - surely if you read here regularly, you know that.  What I have come to reach is a sort of truce:  I get depressed but I understand that it is not a never-ending tunnel.   While there may never be full sunlight at least the cloud cover will allow patches of sunlight through.

The point of this excursis, I suppose, is that to those who are suffering and to those that are near them.  To those that are suffering, nothing is forever in this life.  I cannot know your pain fully, but I can tell you that whatever you face is not never ending, unless you freeze it so in death.

To those who are near them, understand that in suicide the ending of pain is usually the primary objective.  It is not that that they do not care, it is that the pain is more overwhelming than anything else currently going on.

It is real.  And people's struggles are real.  That is why it is critical to listen, even when one does not feel like they have the time or inclination to do so.  The sympathetic ear of one voice can be enough to give someone the realization that someone cares, that the tunnel is not without end.

Be mindful of others, because you never know what they are truly going through.


PioneerPreppy said...

Funny though suicide effects Men far more than Women but you don't see the government forming a Men's health department over it now do you?

kymber said...

TB - this is going to be one of the most long drawn-out blathering comments i have ever left.

i was sent to work with an AI team at my last job as an analyst and we were going to work together to build an AI system for use by analysts. i walked into the office of the colleague and immediately burst into tears because of the drawings and colourings on her wall. they were done by her adopted daughter. this colleague, whom i had never met before, recognized my reaction and took me to the bathroom. i explained to her that i was a serious empath. she got it. she explained that her daughter was a special needs adoptee. i explained that i knew that looking at the drawings.

we left the office, went to a coffee shop and she told me all about her daughter. she wanted me to meet her. she brought her daughter in a few days later - her daughter climbed all over me, talked too loud, was grabby and demonstrative - but i didn't care and just let her be. her mother brought her in to the office several more times during the month, then invited me and jam over to their house, and then we invited them to our house. me and the daughter (i don't want to put her name here) became very close.

her mother then asked me if i could spend some time every month with her daughter - just me and the daughter. i told her i was fine with that. i then told her that based on what her daughter had been diagnosed with - aspergers - there was a high likelihood that her daughter would consider suicide as a teenager as they go through a very difficult period transitioning from child to teen. her daughter was right on the cusp.

i told the mother that if the daughter was completely in my care and did not want to live anymore, that i would not stop her. i would talk her through it, of course...but if she made the decision to end her life, that i would not stop her.

i never saw her daughter again and maybe that is a good thing.

i am a firm believer in the concept that sometimes what one carries during their lives affects them. and i am a firm believer in allowing people the choice to stop the pain.

am i glad that you came to the understanding that it doesn't last forever? YES!

but do i believe that some people come into the world so broken and hurt, and then feel that way all of their lives, no matter how short or long, that they feel that ending their lives might actually make the hurt stop so they can return to the Lord - that would be a resounding YES!

it takes a lot of courage to end your life. it takes even more to keep living it. some souls are so hurt that the only thing that can help them is to return to the Lord. and i believe that the ones who actually do take their lives...are listening to the Lord calling them home.

i am sorry for this blathering long comment. i am glad that the Lord was not calling for you...he had other plans for you. you needed to stay in order to create your beautiful family.

i hope this all makes sense to you and that you don't mind my sharing this. i am sending much love to you and yours!

your friend,

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Kymber - I honor the story and certainly do not mind you sharing it. I think I disagree with underlying concept though, perhaps only because of the fact that I do not believe anyone can be so broken that they cannot be made better. I think people believe that they are and that circumstances may seem that way but almost nothing is forever in this life.

That could be naievete on my part. In many ways I have lead a very sheltered life and perhaps have not seen the wrack to what people have been pushed, and surely have not had to deal with some of the horrors that will not go away. People become desperate for the pain to end. I understand in some broken fashion. And maybe that could just be chalked up to my fundamental belief that I am God's creature, not He mine. The decision of when to go is ultimately His and I will not go home until I have accomplished all I am supposed to do.

Thank you for sharing again Kymber. I appreciate it more than you can know.

Much Love, your friend TB

kymber said...

TB - thank you for your understanding. but like you mentioned in your post, we can never truly understand what another person has, or is, experiencing. and there is the rub.

of course i would do everything in my power to keep someone from committing suicide...but i have met people in my life who are so hurt from the world that they felt it was their only option.

i am sending much love back! your friend,

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Ultimately we cannot prevent others from doing what they will. All we can do is at least try to stand in their path.

Much love, TB