Not too long ago, someone I’ve known for years posted on Facebook that he was contemplating suicide. I haven’t talked to him in at least six years. The mere fact that he was posting at all kind of took me by surprise, because like me, he hardly posts on his personal page; therefore, he almost never put his business out. But the alarming thing was his short message that stated that he wanted to die. While I won’t go into his reasons for wanting to end his life, I can tell you that he truly felt like he was at the end of his rope.
Fortunately, after many comments on his post (and I’m sure a bunch of phone calls and texts on his end), he decided to get help. Crisis adverted, for now. Thank God, because he has a beautiful family. But even though suicide is such a drastic thing to do, I understand where he was coming from.
Unlike some people, I understand why most people become suicidal. People who don’t understand automatically place the stigma that they’re being selfish, but that’s not really the case. In fact, I’ve realized that a lot of people do so for what they perceive as selfless reasons; for example, they feel that they’re a burden to everyone and they don’t want to be that burden anymore. While I understand why people get to that point, I also understand the flip side, and indeed a suicide would not relieve the burden for other people, but add to it. Just imagine the pieces that your loved ones and close friends would have to pick up after your demise. If you have kids, imagine the damage that you will inflict on them. I’m not attempting to shame anyone by any means, because I know the feeling. You feel that after you’re gone, you won’t have to worry about these problems anymore. But I imagine a scene where you look down, and you see the mess that you left behind, but you can’t go back because it’s too late. It’s permanent.
I understand the feelings of lost hope, and that there will never be a light at the end of the tunnel. Believe me, I get it. I’ve seen it. But like I told my friend, there will always be light at the end of your darkest days, and you won’t see that light if you take yourself out.
In rare cases, people will kill themselves (or try to) without warning. But most of the time, there are warning signs. You have to be keen to these signs. According to www.mentalhealth.gov, here are some signs:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself,
- Looking for a way to kill oneself,
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live,
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain,
- Talking about being a burden to others,
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs,
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly,
- Sleeping too little or too much,
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated,
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge,
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
If you know someone who’s displaying these signs, don’t just assume that they are tripping or they are going to snap out of it. They’re reaching out for help, whether they admit it or not. Like I said, most suicides and suicide attempts are not without warning.
I really hope my long-time friend gets the help that he needs. It really hurt my soul to see him post that, and to see that he was in so much pain. But he needs the help, not only for his own sake, but for the sake of his family.
If you are feeling suicidal, or you know someone who’s suicidal, seek immediate help. Every second counts. If you feel like you have no one to talk to and you feel like there’s no one who will understand you, you can contact the follow:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (If you’re a Veteran, press 1 when prompted)
Your call will be confidential. I’ve personally never used it, but I hear that they are very helpful.
I’m not here to give cliché advice and messages. In fact, I’m not a life coach or expert, and not seeking to be. But I’m touching on something that I will talk about from time to time, as long as this site remains active. I want to put out a simple, but strong message.
You’re not alone.
Until next post.