Last month, on May 11, was the anniversary of my best friends suicide. He had 3 beautiful children, a great job, was surrounded by so many people who loved him including a beautiful girlfriend; the woman of his dreams. Yet something pushed him to his breaking point.
Just a few short years prior, his little brother Tim committed suicide. That devastated Todd. He was so hurt and angry. He vowed never to do to anyone what his brother did, leave us all behind, torn, picking up the pieces, wondering what we could have done to stop him, help him in some way, make it better.
The truth is, there is nothing anyone can do. When people hit that wall, reach their breaking point, there is nothing anyone can say or do to make it better. No amount of love and support can change it.
People who have never reached that point will never understand this.They see it as weakness, as selfish. They turn their sorrow to anger and hate. Its not something they can or are willing to comprehend.
Some of us on the other hand, completely understand this. The feeling that everything you’ve tried has failed. You are no good and everyone around you will be better off when you’re gone. Some wont even notice the difference. Some of the most important people in your life will see you as a blip on the radar, and move one like you never even existed.
Suicide impacts everyone differently, and no reaction or feeling towards it is wrong. We all deal with things in our own way. Feelings are not wrong; not even the feeling of not being able to continue to go on, emotions compounded by more emotions until they can no longer take it.
Often times, reaching out for help is paralyzing. The very thought of rejection, the minimization of their feelings is terrifying. And the worst, reaching out to the one person who was supposed to be there like a boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse, parent, etc. only to find out they aren’t there for you or for them to be dismissive is enough to solidify the decision to end t all.
Sometimes people just can’t go on hurting the way they do. Every breath feels like they are drowning. Every movement feels like wading through quicksand. And every thought is a painful, confusing mess. People who have never felt this will never understand it and will laugh at it. They have no idea. Its not some poor me victim mentality.
When someone reaches that breaking point, try not to hate them. Yes there are people in the world with what we may see as worse problems, but none of us knows what the other people are dealing with, how much pain they are in. No one ever knows whats really below the surface, we only know what they let us see, how far they let us in. There is far more to each of us that what we let on.
So if you can, try to find it in your hearts to forgive those who choose to leave us. We may never know the extent of why, but maybe it isn’t for us to know. Or maybe if we had taken the time to try and understand, care a little more about others than we do ourselves, we would have the answers to the questions we are left with.
Everything we do has an effect on those around us. Suicide has a rippling effect on the world, but so does the feeling of loneliness, detachment, and rejection. Maybe if we took the time to hear what people are trying to tell us, maybe if we cared just enough to be there before it got to that point, maybe if we stopped being wrapped up in our own lives for a moment, we could save another’s life.
A quick off the cuff response doesn’t absolve us from our part in this. You can say you gave them a compliment, but did you take the time to really listen, to ask questions, to open your heart and genuinely care enough to make sure they were alright?
There are a few sayings that ring true during times like these. One is about how some will give their time when they can spare it while others make time to give even when they have no time to spare.
The other is people will show you how they feel about you, words aside. When they show you they really don’t care, believe them.
Unfortunately sometimes these are the very people who are being reached out to. I wonder how many people would have avoided that wall, avoided their breaking point if someone would have just taken the time to listen.
This was deleted and updated on December 31, 2017 for spelling/punctuation errors. There are probably still some in there. I’m tired. 🙂