Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay
Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay
D. S. Mitchell
Just The Facts
If you are between 15-35, suicide is the second leading cause of death for your age group. For all age groups, suicide is responsible for more deaths than murder and natural disasters, combined. Men take their own lives four times as often as women. Many men sadly would rather be dead than seem ‘weak.’
Those Left Behind
As you can see, suicide is not a rare, or isolated event. It is very real and definitely permanent, and it leaves those who are left behind, in utter despair. For them the suicide event is plagued by stigma, guilt and self-recrimination. The most common question from those left behind is, “what could I have done differently?”
A Societal Contract
Suicide is like the tentacles of an octopus wrapping itself around all of us, casting doubt on hope, and future. It tears at our social fabric and brings into question society’s compact with the individual. Whether spoken or unspoken, we as people, are part of a greater society. As a society, we have agreed to a collective future, a means to provide for our children, to continue our culture, to sustain our existence at all cost. Jennifer Michael Hecht wrote, Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against it. And in her words, “Either the universe is a cold dead place with solitary sentient beings, or we are all alive together, committed to persevere.”
I was a Registered Nurse for many years and worked in Crisis Psychiatry for a large part of that time. In that role I saw the face of depression and suicide, day after day. I have held the hand of a man who could not see beyond his own pain. I have sat next to a vet who couldn’t stop shaking from the night terror of PTSD. Mental illness and various addictions are often part and parcel with the depression and the overwhelming inner pain.
Pain Is Subjective
Emotional pain is very subjective. To someone other than the psychologically challenged individual, the person’s feelings may seem to be completely disproportionate to the person’s life. That dichotomy of ‘reality’ and ‘feelings’ often creates guilt within the person because of their inability to cope with life’s challenges.
If you are one of the many millions who have contemplated suicide, but sought help and are still here, I am so glad you decided to stay and I hope you are satisfied with that decision. To stay, to live every day allotted to you, is to honor your future self, to give that future self a chance at happiness. For what ever reasons you chose to stay; for your family, for your faith, I understand it takes great courage to stay and continue to face your daily pain. The world can bring extraordinary joy and incredible sadness but I believe sticking it out is the right one.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms please seek help.
- Talking about self harm, wanting to die, or kill oneself
- Describing life as “hopeless” without purpose, being “trapped”
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Noticeably agitated, anxious or reckless
- Expressing feelings of unbearable pain
- Extreme mood swings
- Displays of rage
- Plans to “get revenge.”
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing from normal relationships, isolation
Please, if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, or are showing any of the listed signals, tell someone. Call the suicide lifeline @Lines for Life: 1-800-273-8255 for young people call: 1-877-968-8491
Please stay. Tomorrow is worth living, and every day after that, too.