This month is Suicide Prevention Month. September 10th was world suicide awareness day and I made my usual post about suicide. This time around, however, I noticed something different. I was basically telling people to not give up and that yes things are hard and I get how it is that you want to give up on life because I had those same thoughts as well. Well since that post, I’ve had several people check on me to make sure I was okay. Which okay that’s super sweet of them (honestly it was) but also like I made the post to give others hope! Like did they totally overlook that aspect?!
Again, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that they care enough to ask how I’m doing, which is really important when it comes to our mental-health when someone suffers from anxiety and depression. It’s no secret I have had my ups and downs and it’s an on going struggle with my mental health. I am in therapy (which I suggest to everyone by the way. Go even if you don’t feel that you need it) and I love my therapist. Which is pretty important. When you’re going to therapy, you may have to shop around to find one that your insurance will cover and one that fits more with what you’re looking for.
I don’t want to take medication and my therapist doesn’t suggest that we rely on it which, if you need it by all means take it. I used to take medication but I hated how I felt plus I personally felt like it was a band-aid on my mental wounds. I wasn’t dealing with the problems head on. For some medications help. Some need both counseling and medication. Others, just rely on counseling and behavioral therapy. I do cognitive behavioral therapy and so far, it’s the best method for me. Dealing with our mental health is not a one size fits all kind of thing.
I know for me, at the beginning of the year, I made a plan to kill myself once my lease was up for my old place (I didn’t wanna traumatize my friend and have her pay fully for the rent). I legit was looking at all my options for my death, how to dispose of my body, what to do with my cat (initially I wanted to take him with me but later decided that wasn’t fair to him and wanted my bestie to take care of him instead). I put on a facade that everything was fine. Actually, not true. I said some disturbing things which prompted a few people to check on me. I was not in a great place mentally. Per usual, the last few months of the 2019 was rough and I was dealing with a death in the family and my career (at the time) was falling apart. I kept praying and praying and I just felt like a complete failure at life, so what was the point of living? Obviously, I didn’t follow through with those plans but it was a rough time!
Now, if you know someone who is struggling or dealing with thoughts or feelings with suicide, there are some things that you just shouldn’t say.
- You’re being selfish. This is not helpful at all! If you’ve never dealt with your mind telling you that you’re a burden and that you’ll help others out by killing yourself or that people will be better off without you, you have no room to judge. Again, it is a mental thing. It’s a reason why it’s called mental health, because its all in the mind, which is really dangerous. Again, when you’re in a dark place, your mind will tell you that you’re better off dead and that people are lying to you or don’t care about you.
- You have a lot to live for. This goes hand in hand with the whole “you’re selfish” comment. What you’re basically saying when you make this comment is that how you’re feeling doesn’t really matter because you have people and things that depends on you. Some say “think of your children” or “loved-ones” what have you, but again, you’re not living for yourself. You’re living for other people which is counterintuitive. This is your life. You have to live life for you, not for other people. God forbid something happens to your job or your loved on and they’re gone, then what will you have to live for then? Your life should not depend on others. You have to take care of yourself first. It sounds selfish but its actually not. You can’t pour from an empty cup!
- It’s not that bad. Don’t compare their situation to yours or someone else’s. What may seem like is not a big deal to you, may be a big deal to others. You don’t know what it took for that person to get out of bed or even to try something. If they experience a set back, their feelings aren’t invalid. Again, everyone deals with situations differently. Your mental health journey is your own journey. Don’t compare your life or situation to the person’s. This happens a lot and people get labeled a drama queen (king) or attention-seeking or making a big deal out of nothing. It may not be a big deal to you, but it may be something major to the person struggling with their mental-health.
- You’ll go to hell. First of, this depends on your beliefs. To me, why would someone say this to someone? Life here on earth (at the time) isn’t all that great and you threatening them with the prospect of going to hell does not help at all. Second, show me in the Bible where it says that if you kill yourself you will go to hell. Jehovah is a happy and loving God and sending someone to hell is not something that he does. 2 Corinthians 1: 3,4 points out that he is “the God of all comfort…in all our trials”.
- You’re doing this for attention. This one right here is just one that I hate with a passion. My cousin used to say this to me and like no I did not do this for attention. You think I want everyone to know that I hate my life? I was just venting and she took it as me being attention seeking when that was not the case at all! No one is doing it for attention. They’re living in a mental hell. This is not something to be all “look at me, look at me” about at all! No is doing this for attention.
Did you know that someone commits suicide; 1 out of every 4 seconds. That’s really alarming. A lot of people suffer in silence. Some tell others but it’s not taken seriously. Some still reach out but still in the end will take his or her life. It’s a very touchy subject. A nurse I used to work with recently had a son (her baby boy) who took his own life. I can only imagine the hurt and pain that she is experiencing. I can only imagine the hurt and pain he felt before he ultimately took his life. If someone is reaching out to you, listen and not judge. If you don’t know what to say, say that and be honest and just listen to them.
If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org