So this isn’t an easy topic for me to talk about but I feel it is something that needs to be said. I have been wanting to write about suicide for a while and something happened recently that has brought it to the forefront of my mind. I started to write about it today but stopped myself as it was just too much. Then I heard that the country artist Mindy McCready had killed herself and then I had to write this.
I found out a few days ago a friend of mine tried to commit suicide. Instantly my heart dropped to the ground when I heard the news. I felt very helpless over the situation and felt like there was more I could have done to help this person. I knew that the person’s situation was very dire and that help was needed. I also knew that the person was suicidal. Anytime someone talks about suicide I take it very serious but in this situation there wasn’t a lot that I could do as he/she had no phone and he/she lived over an hour away. I also didn’t know where he/she lived. I really wanted to rescue the person but knew that I was in no place to do so.
All I could do was offer my support via facebook and let the person know that I was there, and hope that they were okay.
My friends situation reminded me of how blessed I am to have the family that I do and how different my life would be with out them. I am also reminded that many are not as fortunate as I am when faced with a difficult situation, so many don’t have a place to turn to when they are knocked down. For some suicide feels like the only rational solution to bring them relief from the pain. Their pain is so severe and no relief is in sight.
Hearing the news that my friend attempted to kill him/her self was a chilling reminder of my own personal experience with death. I have never tried to kill myself but I have came close to heading down that route. It gives me the chills to even admit it. Having suicidal thoughts at various times in my life were the norm, it brought a sense of relief to the pain. I know that probably sounds crazy but it is the reality of it all.
Personally I believe anyone who tries to, especially those who succeed, kill themselves have lost their light. There is nothing connecting them to this earth, no beacon to pull them out of the darkness. The one thing that has kept me tied to this earth was my nieces and nephew. During some very dark moments in my life those three beautiful children kept me safe. When everything else was dark, dismal and hopeless, they were my sunshine. I can’t imagine where I would be without them. Honestly I wouldn’t probably still be here.
My last biggest bout with depression, after a very bad breakup, was probably the deepest depression I had ever suffered. After I moved back to Michigan, I literally felt like I was going to die. I am so grateful that my Mom and sister talked me into coming back home, and that my sister and her husband opened their home to me. I have suffered from depression for a big part of my adult life but this was the first time I wasn’t sure I could get back up, nor did I want to.
I felt so broken and defeated that I was ready to give up. It was the closest to suicide than I had ever been before. Previously I had thought about it but this was the first time I had a plan. I felt so low that I couldn’t even see or feel my niece’s and nephew’s light. I felt so alone. You get to a point in your life when you continue to suffer over and over, that you begin to think there is no end or relief in sight. Death begins to be the only solution for the suffering and pain. The pain blocks out any reasoning, rationale or relief. All you can see and feel is the pain.
The only thing that kept me from doing anything was knowing the suffering and pain that would come to my family. As much pain as I felt I could not inflict that grief upon my family. As low as I was, I knew what my suicide would do to them and I could not lay that burden on them. They were my hope and I held onto them.
So many don’t have that option. Mental health is still seen as this taboo subject. Getting help is buried in so much red tape that it gets in the way of true healing. With depression comes isolation and irrationality. You get trapped in this pitch black jail cell, with no way out. There is no release only pain.
I urge anyone who knows someone that is suicidal to take it serious, it is a desperate cry for help. For many that is the only way ask and get help. So when you get that SOS signal please don’t ignore it. You could be the difference between life and death. If you see someone drowning, you would rescue them… so why isn’t the same done when you see someone drowning mentally???
Be a shining light for someone who needs it. You could be their only lighthouse. A beacon out of the darkness. The only hope they can see. If you see someone deeply depressed, take action… Show them love and kindness, and be firm. Don’t wait until it is too late.
Do whatever it takes. If you have to call the police to keep them safe, do it!!! Sometimes people need intervention to get them out of bad situations, especially if they are in an abusive relationship.
There is help out there, as well as some very caring individuals. You are not alone.
There are some great organizations out there for those who are struggling with suicide and/or depression. One of them is The Trevor Project which offers support to those who are struggling in the gay community and need someone to talk to. The Trevor lifeline is open 24/7 and is free to call 1-866-488-7386.
They have trained counselors around the clock that offer help to those in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk. It’s free and confidential. While it is geared towards LGBT youth, anyone can call and they will gladly talk to you.
They also offer online chat on select days/times for those who are not suicidal. As well as Trevor Space which is a social networking site for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth ages 13 through 24 and their friends and allies. The Trevor Project also has a program called Ask Trevor. Ask Trevor is an online, non-time sensitive question and answer resource for young people with questions surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity. You can browse the published letters or submit your own letter.
Make sure to like The Trevor Project’s facebook page as well.
Another program for those who need someone to talk to is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you feel like you are in crisis, no matter how big or small, they want you to call. They are also available 24 hours a day. They also have information like finding a therapist, as well education material. They also have a program for youth and veterans. As well as a facebook page.
The numbers listed above are also available for friends and family of loved one’s who are suicidal. They can help you with resources in your area for those who suffer from depression and/or suicidal.
How To Be Helpful to Someone Who Is Threatening Suicide
- Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
- Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
- Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
- Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
- Don’t dare him or her to do it.
- Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
- Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
- Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
- Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
- Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
The main thing is to be aware of the person’s feelings and what they are going through. Those having a crisis sometimes perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control.
“If you experience these feelings, get help! If someone you know exhibits these symptoms, offer help!”
Both the Trevor Project and The Suicide Prevention Lifeline are for those in the USA. For those who live outside of the United States a great resource is the International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders.
When you are drowning in the pain and darkness of it all it seems impossible to see past the grief and suffering. There is help out there, as well as hope. You are not alone. You are loved and of value. If you are surrounded by darkness, get out… Search for the light. Trust me I know how it is to be up to your neck in muck. It is a scary, unsafe place to be. You are worthy of love and help. There are kind people in this world. I know it may not seem like that is the case, especially if you are surrounded by negative people but there are true angels out in this world. Hold on. I believe in you. You matter.