The conversation is out there now. People are talking, raising questions and exploring reasons why others are committing
suicide. The epidemic that is around us is now being noticed, but what do we do about it? We know about suicide prevention hotlines and organizations that help to reach out and raise money for help with those struggling with suicidal thoughts, but are they enough?
The human mind is complicated and we are all different, but there are topics I would like to define that are connected to suicide. I believe the discussion of these themes will bring some clarity to the puzzlement or helplessness we feel around hearing someone else has taken their life. The first being resistance.
Resistance is the power to oppose, to refrain from something, but is also a psychological defense mechanism. The person feels consciously or unconsciously that they are protecting themselves from what they may find if they really took a look inside.
There are many past experiences that people keep locked inside that they resist. Past traumas for a loss of a loved one, an abusive childhood or relationship, a painful divorce or another deeply imbedded experience. They may feel if the pain is revealed they will lose themselves, their sense of self. They feel their personality will be so altered that it will not be recognizable. There is a fear of losing their fragile grip on life if they go down that slippery path.
Those of us who have traversed that tricky route build up ‘houses’ of protection around so strong that we do not know what those past traumas were, much less their impact on us. We float around in a kind of confused detachment. We mask ourselves with addictions hiding our insecurities and the profound judgmental thoughts we pour upon ourselves. We hold on relentlessly to the inner control critic taking hold like a python strangling our true selves.
Why do we do it?
In my life the unknown was scarier than the known. My suicidal thoughts started in my teen years. I planned my suicide and replayed it in my head everyday. I was depressed, lost and unconscious. At that time I resisted help. I knew it was available, but I was full of shame and a frozen inability to open myself up to the unknown. It was not until a divorce crisis brought me to my knees and I prayed to God for peace that I reached out for help. I was scared, as I began my process of transformation in that psychiatrist’s office.
I believe each of experiences some kind of crisis. That crisis is the fire, the coming out of the ashes, the opportunity. Crisis is our teacher. She is there to open us up to what we are not seeing. She is the cataclysmal free fall that shakes us to our core and says pay attention. She gives us a chance to have the lesson we are meant to learn and the gifts we are meant to share
For those who are suffering from suicidal thoughts, I encourage you to find that courage inside of yourself even if it seems to be as small as an ant, even if it feels infinitesimally small. It is there. Tap into it. Think of a time when you were courageous. Connect with that courage, Take your step one, one second at a time, reach out or receive what is given to you even though you do not want to, even though you resist it. Find your inner truth on this journey that is life.