It pains me to say that I’ve known numerous people during my short 33 years that have taken their own lives. First my uncle when I was just 8 years old. Years later my boyfriend’s best friend. And then as an adult a co-worker and just last week, a classmate from high school.
When I was 8 I just didn’t understand it at all. I barely had a grasp on the idea of death, let alone the idea of someone killing themselves. I always saw my uncle as a happy guy. A great guy. So I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to be around his family and friends anymore. How could he not want to be around his kids? It wasn’t until years later that I learned other things about my uncle that played into it. Things that you don’t notice at 8 years old. Things that your parents don’t tell you at 8 years old. But even with that information I still didn’t understand.
In high school when my boyfriend’s best friend killed himself I was even more confused. I knew he’d had problems with depression, but he was so young. He wasn’t even a grown up yet. He hadn’t even begun to live his life, so how could he hate it so much that he wanted to end it?
As an adult, when the last two people I knew took their own lives, I was even MORE confused. I had been around enough that I couldn’t imagine leaving your family, your kids, your friends. Even through the worst times of my life I’d never felt like I’d hit a place where ending it felt like the answer. I guess I’m lucky.
I will honestly admit that there were times that I felt like I understood WHY someone could feel like death was the only option. Being in so much pain that you would do anything to stop it. I actually wrote a blog post about that once that I never posted… knowing that I’d scare the crap out of my friends and family. I have NEVER ever seriously considered doing something like that, but being at what I considered rock bottom and constantly feeling so horrible and hurt, I did think about why someone might see suicide as the only option. But at the same time I realize that taking my own life would be selfish. The people I would hurt in the process… that is just unforgivable. But if you get to a place where suicide is seriously an option, I’d think that the only thoughts running through your head would be that people would be better off without you. I mean, thinking clearly isn’t on the top of the list of things you are doing at the end.
It breaks my heart to think of someone I know being in so much pain that death was the only answer for them. Wondering why they didn’t talk to someone, or why they felt they couldn’t. I thank God everyday that even during the worst times I’ve always felt like I had at least one person I could talk to. I feel so blessed that I have a wonderful family and close friends that I can count on.
So today, on this Thoughtful Thursday, take a minute to be thankful for what you have. Take a minute to remind those close to you that you love them and are there for them. Because you never know when someone to really going to need to hear it.
*Please note that I do not claim to have even the slightest clue about suicide and those who do it. I’ve experienced enough (with regards to suicide) in my life to have my own views. And they are just that, my own views. Regardless of the reason for suicide, I always feel for the person and their families. No matter how death occurs it sucks. Plain and simple.