What I Wish People Understood About Suicide
TRIGGER WARNING: this article contains sensitive content regarding suicide and depression. If you are suffering please know you are not alone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. It gets better.
This year I lost a close friend to suicide, like most suicides, it came as a complete and utter shock to those around her. I honestly couldn’t believe it. She was one of my oldest friends from high school. I wrote a letter to her a few days after her suicide.
It also opened up old wounds, suicide isn’t something new to me, not only did I lose an aunt to suicide but I also had a difficult road where I myself tried taking my life multiple times.
Every year during September I like to bring extra awareness to suicide in honor of Suicide Prevention Month. Here’s the thing, people still make ignorant comments, and these comments still can sometimes eat at me and they set me through a rollercoaster of I wanna punch this person but at the same time does this make me a bad person for thinking this.
That brought me to this next thought and that was if I don’t let people know that it bothers me how can I expect them to ever know and then stop?
When I was younger I remember thinking suicide was a private choice and that no one else was invited into that decision. While it is morally neutral, and since we cannot presume to begin to comprehend the pain and the emotions that come with such an act, it isn’t something we should talk about. Like there was no more to be said about the subject. I thought this for years.
This type of mindset started to change throughout the years when I had my first suicide attempt.
SUICIDE IS NOT A SELFISH ACT
It truly saddens me when I hear that people still believe suicide is a selfish act. What I want to go up and tell them is, it’s a selfless act. Each time I had an attempt, in my mind, I was helping out those around me. I thought their lives would be better off without me.
SUICIDE IS OFTEN IMPULSIVE, IT ISN’T A THOUGHT OUT PLAN
I didn’t plan them out. Each time they were very spur of the moment. All I really wanted was to free those around me.
MEDICATION DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE SUICIDE FREE
I suffered from undiagnosed depression throughout high school and into college before finally being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. During the period of time that I was on medication I had multiple suicide attempts, I lost a friend who also was on anti-depressants for months and her therapist thought she was doing okay. Just because the person is taking medication doesn’t mean their safe, or that suicidal thoughts cannot pop in.
THERE’S IS A PART (BIG OR SMALL) OF MANY SUICIDAL PEOPLE THAT DOES NOT WANT TO DIE
I always thought that everyone would be better off without me, that I didn’t deserve to live, that I was sick and I was breaking those around me. I thought that and so much more each and every time. Maybe if I voiced these feelings, things would have played out differently.
IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY TO
SOMEONE THAT LOST SOMEONE TO SUICIDE, A HUG IS MORE THAN ENOUGH
When my friend took her life a month ago and I found out I was in the middle of a move, and I was with a couple of friends who were helping me move. One of them said she was so sorry for my loss and the other one told me she didn’t know what to say so she was going to hug me. That was more than enough. Don’t overthink it.
WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT IT MORE OPENLY SO THAT PEOPLE DON’T FEEL ASHAMED OR LIKE THEY CANNOT ASK FOR HELP
I still slightly tear up when someone lowers their voice when talking about suicide. In my mind the more we talk about it the easier it is for people to ask for help. If you are ashamed or feel like you are going to be outcasted you immediately withdraw and keep whatever is going on to yourself. Talking about suicide could prevent someone from taking their own life. The less we fear it the more results we are going to see in the form of helping those suffering.