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.