Have you ever thought about ending it all?
Updated: Jun 21, 2018
Have you ever thought about ending it all?
This question can shock some and bring some to their knees depending on the answer.
Just like the rest of the world, I have been distraught by the news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both incredibly shocking.
I wanted to reach out to the world right after the news about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide broke and share my thoughts, however, I decided to wait a few days because I had so much to say and really wanted to think about what I’d share with the world.
Before we go further, let’s make it abundantly clear that anyone who attempts or completes suicide is not “attention seeking”, is not being “dramatic”, and is most certainly not “acting.” These labels that are often given to a person in absolute despair only makes them isolate more.
To discount the individuals mental pain, horror of their personal negative inner narrative, and dissociation tells the person that we don’t care and what they are experiencing isn’t real pain.
An individual contemplating suicide is often ready to explain him or herself in order to get relief from a terrible state of mind. He/she just needs someone to truly listen, and to provide a safe, non-judgmental, and caring environment.
The conversation about suicide has increased in the last week. Many of the comments and questions I have encountered have been “I just feel so bad, how can someone feel like killing themselves is the only option?” or “why didn’t they ask for help?” and many more. All of these questions are valid for someone who has never encountered anyone in that state of mind.
An individual with suicidal ideations sees suicide as a possible solution to a seemingly unbearable situation when the goals and achievements of which are essential to the individuals emotional integrity, seem impossible.
It is important to understand that an individual who is depressed, with suicidal ideations, suffers from a state of mental pain and anguish, and a total loss of self-respect. These individuals are extremely vunerable and have a tendency to withdraw because they fear being judged by others. Remember his/her inner narrative is already extremely judgmental.
There is no single reason for suicide. The list is long. However, one thing is consistent; and that’s the inner narrative that all of us participate in daily.
However, for someone with suicidal ideations their inner dialogue sounds destructive and dangerous.
“I am a bad person.
No one will care if I die.
My family and friends will be better off once I am gone because I am a burden to them. Nobody is ever going to love me.
I will forever be alone.
My life is never going to change.”
In working with suicidal teenagers, and adults, I have heard a lot of crippling and devastating thoughts and feelings from each person; all of whom couldn’t possibly think about anything else but ending it all.
However, every single one was able to eventually see the value in their own lives by identifying the destructive inner narrative, which was creating the hopelessness, and eventually learning how to change their inner narrative.
By now you have read many articles, blog posts, and have listened to many experts speak on how you can help an individual who is contemplating ending his or her life.
So I want to share a human perspective with you…
All of us have experienced moments in our lives that we were so extremely upset and discouraged, we didn’t think the situation, the feelings, and thoughts attached to it would ever go away… but they did after a while, because we were able to recognize that there are other options, and that nothing is permanent.
So now imagine holding on to those feelings for a very long time… how desperate will you become? Will you do anything in your power to get rid of them? Will you tell others that after all this time you haven’t been able to get rid of those thoughts and that they had dramatically increased and gotten more destructive as time had passed? Will you fear being judged? Not heard? Not cared for?
A person contemplating suicide fears all of that and more.
So now I wonder, would you rather be around a culture where people say “we want to fight for you, we want to advocate for you, that even thought you feel unwanted and you are in incredible pain, your life has meaning, and that we will help you get through this.”
Or would you rather be in a culture that people don’t address sadness, depression, or despair in another individual because they just don’t know how to approach it or they think it’s not their problem?
I am guessing you too want to be in a culture that offers a lending hand, a caring heart, and a safe environment where someone can express themselves freely and know that someone else cares. And more importantly, that they are not alone.
That’s what all of us human beings desire, whether we are in state of desperations and despair, or just needing a loving soul to hear our concerns and allow us to recognize our own power to overcome our challenges.
So my advice after several years of working with individuals who didn’t see another way out is to simply show up.
Tell them you care.
Here’s a good question to ask which allows the person to know that you care:
“What would be helpful for you in order to feel loved, supported, heard ,and seen?”
You are love!