One-hundred-thirty-two, is not a big number in some instances, like the number of steps it takes to get to the school bus, how many stairs it is up to the office, or the number of classmates in your school. But. 132 is a number we should not even be able to imagine when it comes to how many people in the United States alone die by suicide in one 24-hour period.
I have attempted it myself 4 times, I know the pain that drives a person to even imagine taking their own life. That pain is debilitating, paralyzing, demoralizing and it is more than the human condition should ever have to endure.
Most doctors, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, even clinicians say suicidal ideations are driven by a deep sense of hopelessness. I know that to be true. These same people say it is due to a chemical imbalance. I also believe that to be true. It is believed that the right ‘cocktail’ of medications will heal it. I believe the right medications are needed, but I also believe they cannot heal it if they are all the patient does for their own healing.
The medications will do as they are meant to do; balance our brain chemistry. But. To find peace of mind I must do a thorough investigation of my thoughts and uncover the ones that trip me up and take me down that darkened pathway.
I have learned that there is a pattern of thought that begins the downward spiral. There are certain words that are flashing red lights for me now, I can’t, never, forever, and always each can be the start of my demise. I have had to become determined to see life differently than the way I used to believe. I have to dig deep too find a glimmer of hope even when I can see no evidence for it. I can’t listen to the stigma-based statements that make me feel alone, cause me to isolate and recoil from those that love me.
I have to seek out the ones that have been there, and done that to find connection and understanding. Becoming a part of something bigger than myself and trying as I may to help others navigate these turbulent times, helps me to find and trust the help that is available.
As I said above, hopelessness is the root of it all, and what lies at the foundation of hopelessness can only be fear. Fear, we can overcome. Through connection with others that have been down this same path, affords us hope and once the door to hope has been opened, the way to trust is revealed.
The only real antidote for fear… is love. We judge the things we don’t understand and usually we are also frightened by them. If we are frightened by what the ones, we love are going through then we try to help them from our own fear. We will never be able to heal fear with fear.
We must educate ourselves so we can learn to understand and then to love what we do not understand. To help we must have an open mind so we can move past the judgments and into the love.
No one can truly understand the pain and the darkness of suicidal ideations without having been there, and no one that has been there can successfully explain the pain, the loneliness or the rage that is felt, or the hopelessness that follows.
It takes a lot of honesty to look someone you love in the eyes and say, “I do no know what you need or how to help you. But, together we can find that help.”