I post this today, because a friend of a friend is having to deal with the idea of suicide.
I want to help if I can.
I wrote most of this a while back and I did not recall where the following quote is from. So I Googled it and it looks like I was reading:
“Until you’ve stared down that level of depression, until you’ve lost your soul to a sea of emptiness and darkness… you don’t get to make those judgments.”
In my considered opinion NO ONE, _EVER_ gets to make those judgments. I cannot see any possible way that any person can TRULY understand what is going on in someone else’s head. I don’t always understand what’s going on in MY head. But maybe that’s just me.
I appreciate that suicide is a terrible thing to do under some religions. I personally disagree with that idea, but I respect that it is an important idea to many. I’m not trying to upset any of those people. Just to say what is going on in my head, and why.
The land of religious freedom, America. I let you think what you want, but I expect to be allowed to think what I want. If I’m wrong, God and I will work it out. You don’t need to blow a gasket. Or convert me. If you are foolish enough to try, I will convert you and THEN where will you be. Truce! OK?
I’m pretty old. Born in 1943, and in my lifetime I have had several important conversations about suicide.
When I was in my mid-20s, I was having a conversation with the village Sage. The small town I lived in at the time had a very wise man who ran a hardware store. I frequently would go over there just to talk to him about things. He was our guru.
At the time, there was a headline in the news about a famous person committing suicide. With my vast, Encyclopedic Knowledge, accumulated over my massive 25 years of life, I said, “I cannot conceive of a situation, that is so bad, that killing myself would make it better. I can imagine all sorts of reasons that one might want to disappear and start a new life, with a new identity somewhere else. But not to die.”
To which the Sage replied, “That is because you have never suffered enough, either physically or mentally.”
I’m now older and quite aware that I’m still only just getting started on this accumulating knowledge project. But, I have had some first hand experience and met people that told me that they considered suicide. We had long conversations about it.
In each case, it was exactly as the Sage had said. They were in such incredible pain, either mentally or physically or both, that they decided that the only solution available was to pass over to the next level.
And two of those people were me. Both within about 6 months of talking to the Sage.
The first time, I guess I had the flu. I was home alone and it was terrible. After an hour or more of projetile vomiting, which became dry heaves, so srong that I could not breath, I thought that I could reach over to a pistol that I had, and solve this whole problem.
But, I did not. I was pretty bad for a while, BUT I got better. Just fine in fact.
Until, a few months later I was in a long and terrible emotional ordeal that I will just leave at that. Over and over again, I thought about guns, tall buildings and various ways that sounded very atractive, due to the terrible mental/emotional pain that I knew was just going to get worse.
But, I did not attempt any suicide. I was pretty bad for a while, BUT I got better. Just fine in fact.
I decided to TOTALLY forgive and understand people that were in even worse pain than I had been, and if I can, I encourage them to do their very best to hang in there. Without a doubt, my very best years came after these two and only two crises. I have a glimpse of what others might be going through.
I have had friends that were not so lucky.
Newsflash! No matter what YOU may think, I’m pretty sure that you cannot read a person like a book. None of us have much idea what’s going on inside another person.
My heart goes out to Katie Hurley, and all of the families that have lost someone to suicide. And, I have known several people who chose to commit suicide. Whether it was the correct thing for them to do or not, I cannot imagine how any of us left behind can tell. My only hope is that they did due diligence. But, I know that they did the VERY BEST that they knew how at the time.
However, what I think I did learn from the conversations with people who chose not to, is that, EVERY SINGLE ONE of them said that they were very glad that they did not. Especially me. The best years of their lives came after the day that they very seriously considered suicide. They, and I, strongly encouraged everyone, to give it a little bit longer. You can always do it tomorrow. You can never undo it.
Try really hard to solve the problem today. Which often means getting some help from a professional. However you want to go after it, figure out a way to solve the problem. You are not trapped in whatever hell you think you are. You can always do it tomorrow. You can never undo it.
Every one of them emphasized how happy they were that they chose not to. BUT, that they respect the decision of those who did. Those people were doing the best they knew how, under unimaginably difficult conditions. We cannot fault them.
And I saw a quote the other day that I really like in general, but it seems particularly important here.
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”