People kill themselves. Such is the complexity of the human condition, the human mind. Still, because of the victims’ emotional and mental miscalculations, we can’t be casual when it comes to suicide. Are you suicidal? Someone you know? Read this…
Then there’s the feeling of frozen helplessness and hopelessness that come so quickly for some. It isn’t about weakness, and it sure isn’t selfishness.
If you think about it, why shouldn’t we talk about suicide here?
If this was a cancer support site, don’t you think we’d have our heads in the sand if we didn’t discuss death and dying? Depression, anxiety, mania, loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness, desperation – cancer. All potentially deadly, all in the same boat.
Take a look at “Andre” above. Here’s his story…
Andre has more going-on than what appears to be a nasty headache. He was diagnosed with major depressive disorder 10 years ago and has taken an antidepressant ever since. He participated in therapy for a year after his diagnosis. But since he was feeling much better, he left it behind – even though he still had his “moments.”
Andre is an ER nurse, so he has an ongoing relationship with COVID-19. And it’s an intimate relationship because he tested positive – and beat it – three months ago.
But, most important, Andre is an average human being like you and me. And in spite of his intimacy with the virus, and how it works, it scares the heck out of him,
What really shakes his world, though, is the change in his definition of “normal.” For Andre, the loss of order is extremely hard to abide. Social distancing, lockdowns, masks, isolation, constant news alerts, inconsistent facts, political fighting – this isn’t his world.
Of course, his depression makes the chaos all the more intolerable.
So, yes, Andre has more than a nasty headache. In fact, he’s decided he’s out of here. Andre wants to die. He’s had suicidal thoughts in the past, but never said a word. However. this time he’s gone beyond just thinking. He knows how he’s going to do it and when. That’s called a plan. Andre means business.
That’s how suicide often works.
Anytime can be the “right” time for suicide. But it hits a flash point during times like these.
And, by the way, the pandemic may be the biggest factor at play for Andre, but there are so many other suicide-inducing stressors going-on these days. I’ll bet you could quickly make at least a short list.
But why suicide? I mean, there’s no turning back. If the attempt succeeds, it’s over. Done.
Well, let’s first keep in mind that chronic and acute emotional/mental misery can play a major role. And a diagnosed disorder like Andre’s doesn’t have to be involved. Even an average dose of, say, catastrophizing at a vulnerable moment can lead to deadly consequences.
Then there’s the feeling of frozen helplessness and hopelessness that come so quickly for some. It isn’t about weakness, and it sure isn’t selfishness. It’s just that we all have different beaker sizes – capacities for stress. When the beaker begins to overflow, anything can happen. For many, it’s the ultimate loss of control. And that can’t be accommodated.
Look, no matter what’s at the foundation, it so often comes down to statements such as these to self and others: “I’m out of options.” “I don’t know what else to do.” “I’ll get the help I need if I’m lucky enough not to succeed.” “I’ve lost hope.”
There really is so much more, but I think you get the idea.
What about you?
Yes, people kill themselves. But I don’t want you, or someone you know, to die.
Did you very personally relate to Andre’s circumstances? Do you have a feeling someone you know can? If the answer’s yes, it’s time to take action.
After gaining insight into the fact that you likely aren’t thinking and feeling clearly and self-fairly, please let someone know. Friend, partner, spouse, family member, counselor, clergy-person – someone.
But if anonymity is an issue for you, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 (TALK). Perhaps there are local hotlines available to you, as well.
How ’bout we wrap things up with the words of Golden Gate Bridge jumper and survivor, Ken Baldwin?
I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable – except for having just jumped.
Good, you read this. Please take it to heart.
Oh, Andre? He was headed for the door at the end of his shift. His gun was waiting at home. The on-call social worker just happened to be leaving at the same time. Knowing Andre, she could sense something was up. She forced Andre to sit down with her on a bench outside. And it wasn’t long before, in tears, Andre spilled his guts…
With the social worker, he went back inside.
Hey, my eBook, Feelings & Rhymes Through Treacherous Times, is a relaxing and inspiring read. Take the time to check it out.
And those hundreds of Chipur articles. At least one has your name on it.