I want to talk about suicide. It seems so current that I really feel like I need to voice some thoughts about it. I also suspect I’m saying something controversial that may not be well received. But I know those who are suicidal will relate to this, and I hope they will be grateful to be recognised, so this is for them.
There’s a comment I’ve heard SO many times around suicide that I find so deeply misguided and misunderstanding of what it means to suicidal that it feels important to correct it.
‘Suicide is SO selfish’.
No. Just no.
Suicide is not selfish; in the mind of the victim it is selfLESS.
People with suicidal thoughts and feelings often feel like they are a burden on everyone around them. Not just bothering people, but a millstone around the neck of every single person they’re in contact with, and an obelisk for those who love them.
When someone famous (or not) dies by suicide, we often hear how those around them had no idea how low they were. Sure, they had been fighting depression, but she/he had seemed so positive recently. How they were happy and smiling merely hours before. That they never complained and no one would ever have known they were suicidal.
That’s possibly because they didn’t want to increase the burden they perceived themselves to be. Or sometimes when the decision is made to complete suicide the person finds relief and is relieved of their own burden and so is at peace knowing their own suffering and the perceived suffering of others around them will be over soon.
It is never ever a selfless act. It is never done because you weren’t good enough. It is more likely they thought you were TOO good for them. Too good to be imposed upon by them in any way shape or form.
You and I both know they’re wrong, but for them it’s an absolute truth. Suicide is not selfish. It hurts those around them. It causes untold damage on those who love them, but my experience shows me that it is an act of horribly misguided kindness on those they wish to free from the burden of their own pain.
I’m not advocating suicide. Merely suggesting that we have to stop and look at the people around us. There are constant messages that someone who is suicidal should reach out and ask for help. How can they possibly? How can someone who feels like a huge 50 ton weight on people ask to add more weight?
We have to look up and really see those around us. Check in with people. Ask ‘how are you feeling?’ Because when you ask ‘are you ok?’ There’s an unintended agenda for the response to be yes. Leave space for someone to share their true thoughts.
You may have notice I have not said ‘commit suicide’. That’s intentional. Suicide is no longer a crime and for families where suicide exists there’s a stigma attached to the word ‘commit’, so therapeutic parlance excludes that word. We now either say ‘killed themselves’, ‘completed suicide’, or ‘died by suicide’. It both removes the dismissiveness and criminal element attached to suicidal actions.
All this being said. If you’re feeling suicidal here are some contact details for various areas. Please feel free to message me and I will do what I can to find you help nearby. You will NOT be a burden on me. Suicide is often very present in my therapy room. And I welcome it in and sit with it comfortably. You are not alone. Please share this post. Without being overly dramatic; it may save a life.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: 080 05 03 05
Canada: 5147234000 (Montreal); 18662773553 (outside Montreal)
Finland: 010 195 202
Hong Kong: +852 2382 0000
New Zealand: 045861048
South Africa: 0514445691
United Kingdom: 08457909090
#suicide #suicideawareness #suicideprevention #itsokaynottobeokay #therapy #counselling