TRIGGER WARNING: this article talks about suicide.
Honestly, we or someone we know has been affected by suicide. It’s a heavy topic, yes, but IT MUST BE TALKED ABOUT. It’s never the time to sweep it under the rug. If we want to be honest, I am sure it’s crept into your mind at least once before. I wish we would create a safe environment as a culture to let people feel the freedom to talk about this issue and their feelings without rushing them off into a psych ward. Sometimes it’s just feeling like we can’t talk to anyone or nobody wants us. Our goal should be to cultivate a breeding ground for deep conversations with our circles. Your words will never be received if they come from a shallow end relationship. If you want access to the depths you must be willing to commit and actually do life with people. Let me approach this in the most blunt and real way I know how.
- Suicide does not guarantee hell
- Mental agony causes physical pain
- You do not know how it feels unless you have lived it
The few times I have struggled with those thoughts, it wasn’t about ending my pain, but sparing my family and friends from having to deal with my issues. While some people say it is a selfish act, I can promise you, in my head it wasn’t about me… it was more an act of compassion towards my loved ones. I was able to reason that the damage I would be inflicting upon them from my death would probably far outweigh the grief of a very emotional unstable young adult.
In the years since, I have found that most empaths have this issue. We feel so much. Not just our pain, but others as well. If you have a friend who is your rock, the one who is the nurturer, the one who ask how you are doing… be sure to ask them once in a while and make sure they are taking care of themselves. It’s easy to let your own pain and emotions stock up while you process other people’s.
Below, Erica Hales talks about her experience with losing a loved one in high school. Although it has been several years, and Erica is married with two children and a career, she still talks about Aaron. We never get over losing people in our lives, we just learn to continue without them.
Light at the End of the Tunnel by Erica Hales
I remember it like it was yesterday. The feeling of disbelief, it couldn’t be true. There is no way that Aaron was gone. It didn’t feel real, but it was. My best friend had committed suicide. I felt like I had failed him. Maybe I didn’t love him enough, support him enough, listen enough. It has been over 11 years since I lost Aaron and his pain was over. When I go back to that day, I remember how happy he was in the parking lot after school. He wedged his lanky body between the car antenna and the windshield and made faces and laughed. I remember thinking how glad I was to see him improving and smile again. Later, we ate Mexican together and he had spilled salsa on his shirt. He said he would run home, change shirts, and assured us he would meet us back at church. That would be the last time I saw Aaron alive. I honestly don’t know if Aaron was pretending to be happy or if he was finally at peace knowing that his struggles would soon be over. If I could go back, rewind time, I would tell him a few things. I would share with him that his depression and anxiety were real and valid and that it was nothing to be ashamed of. Our society stigmatizes mental health so much that people suffer in silence and it amplifies their loneliness. I would tell him that I loved him and was always there when he needed to talk or just sit in silence. I would tell him that he was worth fighting for and to not give up looking for solutions and treatments. Depression and anxiety don’t discriminate. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade were wildly successful people with money and fame. They appeared to have it all. Yet, they suffered behind the scenes and ultimately took their own lives. So, if you are suffering, know that you are loved and you are worth it. If you need someone to talk to, reach out. I’m here. You have value and it will get better. I know you may not can see the light at the end of the tunnel but it’s there and it’s beautiful.
With that being said, this blog is a safe place for people to be themselves and express their feelings freely. If you need to talk, reach out. We will be here.
Song of the Blog: Held – Natalie Grant