Some people consider suicide weakness but I say that unless you have experienced suffering on that level it’s hard to pass judgment. Suicide to me is someone in great pain deciding that they don’t want to be in pain anymore. Whether they know it or not that tomorrow is another day does not matter if they can’t see hope in the moment they are in.
I remember it like yesterday. My coworker walked into work like she normally did but this day she was not her spruced self, which was not all that odd but what happened next was. She stopped at my desk, and dropped off all her work belongings, she said thank you, and looked at me like that day would be the last day she would ever see me. I thought to myself this was odd so I followed her out of the building, and up the street where she stopped at an overpass. I saw her look over the side of the overpass, and begin to cry. Immediately, my worse fears came rushing to my mind as I walked over to her. Now because we worked in the mental health setting we both had some background on this topic so I asked her outright. “Hey I’m sorry to be so blunt but for the sake of getting help you’re not thinking of committing suicide are you?”
Unfortunately, my worries were true. My coworker was minutes away from ending her life. I sparked up a conversation with her, and we spoke about life. We spoke about everything, and nothing. She mainly kept saying she wanted the pain to end, and I didn’t blame her. The little bit of time I got to spend with her until help arrived taught me a lot about my own struggle with depression. I learned mainly that hopelessness is voided of anything good, and if hell had a feeling it would be hopelessness.
I meant every word of my quoted text. You cannot judge. We all handle pain differently, and while some of us can tolerate it better than others, there are still others who seek an escape. In all honesty, if we are truly honest with ourselves we all seek an escape from our pain. Whether it is through pride or drinking or drugs or lying, each and every one of us has a place we hide our pain.
A little side note:
In the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania we have a lot of murals. All over the city you can go and take a tour and see these magnificent murals. I’ve seen many of them. The murals tell different stories of people, cultures, events, and etcetera. I’m sure other cities all over the U.S. do the same thing.
Out of all the murals my favorite mural is the suicide prevention mural. In this mural there’s a faceless person on a small boat alone on the shore. The water is choppy, and it seems like the boat is going to hit the face of huge rocks. Then you see a friend throwing a life saver. Around the mural there are various people holding a blanket. From right to left the blanket is unfolding, and it opens up on the left side of the blanket. On the left side where it opens up there are large squares with faces on them. These faces are real individuals that have committed suicide, and some of their stories you know.
I was present for the dedication of this mural. I got to hear some of the stories. I got to share in some of the pain. One of the things that truly bothered me at my core then was my own struggle with the topic of suicide. I looked at the faces on the squares, and thought to myself that I could have easily been one of them.
Just to be clear I’m on the topic of depression. There are many other reasons why people take their own lives but depressed people often times do not give any warning signs. One day out of nowhere they are gone. You can’t get that back. All the blame, anger, pain, and etcetera will never bring that individual back. I know it hurts but how do you heal a person when their pain is on a soul level?
What I like most about the mural is the many people working together to unfold the blanket. I can relate to the faceless person on the boat but I rather be one of the soldiers bringing light to the issue. The Dr. asked me recently, after my last bout with a suicidal thought, why didn’t you do it? I told him I grew up without a father, and it hurt me not to have a dad in my life, and I can’t do that to my son. It is really hard to see the pain of others when you’re battling through depression but I recommend you try because deep down in ending our pain our goal should not be to cause more pain. Hopelessness is painful but let’s prevent that hopelessness from spreading to others.
Please share this with someone in need thank you.