Suicide is the loss of a life at the hands of the very person living it. It is raw, and it is scary.
Suicide is a sensitive subject – one that not everyone is comfortable with. People often shy away from talking about suicide because it’s not something they want to accept as relevant – they’d rather ignore it and hope it goes away.
Unfortunately this creates a vicious cycle, as it instills a fear in the suicidal – they are afraid that they will be judged and ridiculed for acknowledging their demons, and so they choose to suffer silently. If people don’t openly talk about suicide, those suffering from its hold will not feel comfortable in coming forward to ask for help. They will be much more likely to succumb to their dark thoughts if they aren’t confident someone can help in fighting them off.
The depressive suicidal don’t believe in getting better – they don’t believe it’s possible. They feel like they are stuck. Hope is a foreign concept. They don’t know what hope means anymore because they’ve forgotten what they’re being hopeful for. They’ve forgotten what it feels like to be happy, and so they feel like happiness just doesn’t exist for them. They aren’t hopeful they’ll get better because they can’t imagine a different life for themselves; they don’t remember life before depression took over.
Although society is headed in the right direction, there is still a strong stigma attached to mental health disorders and suicide. We can’t fight that stigma with silence, and so we need to get people talking.
We need to open up. We need to share our stories. Because by sharing our stories, we can open eyes.
We can save lives.
Many of those we speak to will have never experienced this sort of thing for themselves. Some might have a friend, a sibling, a parent or a child, who has. We might be speaking to some people who have never ever knowingly been touched by suicide.
However, I can guarantee that we will also be speaking to people who have. We might even unknowingly speak to someone who already has a plan.
We can be the reminder to that person that there is another way, even if they can’t see it right now.
We can be the reminder that they’re not alone, even if it feels like they are.
We can be the reminder that it’s okay to talk about it – and that they should talk about it.
We can be the reminder that they can get help; that things can change – that things can get better.
We can be the reminder that suicide doesn’t always win.