The weight of the world has felt heavier to me lately. I believe this to be true for many others in light of what has been going viral as a result of two back to back suicides of high profile people who appeared to have the world in the palm of their hands. I have never presumed that because one is high profile, successful, financially abundant or is a household name that this equates to inner happiness and joy or somehow makes them less human when it comes to the spectrum of emotion or being a part of the human condition. There have been many reported incidents of highly successful individuals taking their own lives. Mental health as we all know affects everyone regardless of class, status, notoriety, fame, and fortune. Would these individuals have been inclined to make the same decision regarding their fate had they not had the daily pressures of living up to their public personas is an answer we will never know. Yes, depression is depression and there is no disputing that, however, I often wonder if the perceivable blessing of ones own life – ones magnified strengths, skills, talents and public presence somehow morphs into a perceivable curse on the part of the individual who feels compelled to escape/take their own life.
Being on different ends of the spectrum of external life circumstance whether it be the globally unknown person who lives in extreme poverty and personal devastation as compared to the well-publicized individual who leads a life of financial and personal freedom and prosperity brings about differing challenges, and obstacles which some people can relate to and others who cannot. Anyone on the outside of someone else’s mindset and state of well-being can speculate at nauseam as to the underlying reasons for why anyone famous or non-famous would choose to willingly cut their own life short and at their own hands but the truth remains – no one ever really truly knows what the catalyst was that led up to that specific moment of definitive finality of tragically choosing to depart this sphere of existence. Is suicide ever solely depression based or depression-triggered? If this were the case every single person who has ever experienced deep, dark depression (clinical or not) whether on psychotropic medication or not or who was under the care or supervision of a psychiatrist/psychologist/therapist or not would not only seriously contemplate suicide, (and perhaps they have) I believe the ratio/percentage of suicidal attempts to suicide fatalities would be more highly proportionate – if depression was the only causal factor alone.
I am immensely relieved that many suicidal attempts are in fact, ‘unsuccessful.’ I am even more over-joyed with relief when the individual who made the attempt, states this themselves at a later time in their lives when they are eventually in a healthier place. I feel deep heartache for those whose pain, circumstances, and internal anguish becomes too overwhelming for them to see any other possible alternative outside of taking their own lives. Knowing enough to know that anyone who finds themselves in that place of isolated desperation, and the depths to which they have plummeted… is truly heart-wrenching at best. Compassionate people, which I am one of, can never comfortably digest the witnessing, hearing or knowing of others pain without feeling a vicarious, residual, soul-ache themselves. One loss is everyone’s loss no differently than ones win is everyone’s win. I do not profess to know or have any of the more profound, bigger-picture answers or permanent solutions to mitigate the epidemic of suicide for if I did – my cousin would still be here. One of my closest and dearest soul-sisters would still be amongst us, and many others I have directly or in-directly known both personally and/or professionally would not have died at their own hands.
Although it may appear futile or insignificant at times to encourage people who are deeply depressed to ‘simply’ reach out – to pick up that phone and dial a crisis hotline number or a trusted loved one or to break their silence and initiate the deeper discussion of what is truly going on for them even based on our knowing that the mindset of one who is in the throes of suicidal ideation is not a rational one – the consistent message of encouragement and imploring people to do just that – needs to be emphatic and needs to diligently be forthcoming. If nothing else, perhaps the lesson to be learned here by us all is to hear what people are not able to say – to see what people are trying to hide – to recognize the warning signs – the change in ones characteristics, routines, habits and patterns when they are seemingly in a good place within themselves. Perhaps we initiate the discussion ourselves if anything appears out of the ordinary for those we know, love and care about. Perhaps the question, “How are you?” needs to be expanded to “How are you…really?” Perhaps we open up the circle of concern by letting other people mutually known to the depressive person to be accessible, to reach out, to connect, to check-in, to be astute and plugged in to the fact that your mutual friend, neighbour, or community member may be currently struggling and may not know how to elicit the support they require and would benefit from on their own accord. When fragile, raw and vulnerable… peoples usual default for tools, and healthy coping mechanisms are operating at a deficit and often at an all-time low if even existent to begin with. Thought-processes are skewed – overwhelm, duress, and internal stress and anxiety is often through the roof. The perception of self-control has dwindled and when all the wrong criteria aligns…this is when people tend to feel heightened within their sense of desperation. This is when situations and outcomes go completely awry. This is when we unfortunately learn of yet another loss to humanity.
For anyone reading this who is feeling as though they are in the depths of despair, I know my words may sound trite. I know that my words alone may not be enough to penetrate your pain. I know that my words do not necessarily change your current state of reality. I am under no false sense of disillusionment that they would. We may not know one another. We may never come to tangibly know one another, however, let me please remind you that there are people in your life who do know you, who do love you, who do care about you and whose lives would be immeasurably altered if you were no longer here. You may not be in the space to matter to yourself, however, you do in fact matter, and you matter to many whether you can fully comprehend this truth or not. You want the pain to end and the suffering to go away, and in time, and with the appropriate resources, I assure you – how you feel today will eventually not feel so excruciatingly heavy or endless to you. I promise you, the severity of the darkness you now feel will begin to lift and will in time become more lessened for you. You may not believe this, and please do not feel obligated to take my word alone for it. There have been many, many people who have tried to take their own lives and who were fortunately not successful in doing so, and who eventually got to a place and space in their lives and within themselves whereby they were incredibly grateful and relieved that they survived that once-upon-a-time deep darkness because of what their future lives and future selves have become. This too is beyond more than possible for you. Think of your future healing self being in a position to help anchor others who are where you are now knowing that where you are now is not where you are always going to be. how you feel now is not always how you are going to feel. You owe it to your future self to see and feel that come to fruition. You deserve to one day wholeheartedly believe and be convinced within yourself of how deserving and worthy a human being you truly are and the ways in which you and you alone have something uniquely special to share with the rest of the world. It does not have to necessarily make sense to you now. You do not have to have things figured out for yourself in this exact or precise moment in time, however, a clearer path of clarity will eventually emerge for you. There will come a time for you where hindsight 20/20 will arise for you. You will then be able to connect the necessary dots to better understand why you perhaps had to be exactly where you are right now. Perhaps this becomes part of your bigger picture reality, your mission, your purpose, your calling and all unbeknownst to you right now. If we could all connect the dots looking ahead to the future much pain and sacrifice would be alleviated. Might seem like a tall order for you to conceive of this in the here and now, however, I am imploring you at the soul level to please believe…to please hold on…to please seek/accept help…to please turn your focus and attention toward anything that propels you out of the darkness you currently find yourself in. I do not have to know you to love you. I do not have to know you to treasure you. I do not have to know you to value you. We are universally connected and belong to the same global family. YOU MATTER! YOU ARE LOVED! IT WILL GET BETTER!
Originally published at livingfearlesslywithlisa.com