When you first hear about a suicide, I think the first natural response is “how could someone even think about taking their life?”
However, to the person who is going through that dark moment, their thought is how could I not… You see – for in those moments of pain you just want relief…
Think about it, if you burn your hand you instantly remove it and run it under cold water, hoping the burning “pain” sensation will subside. If you stub your toe you instantly yelp and start rubbing your foot to ease the “pain”. And, if you hit that funny bone spot on your elbow or knee (you know the spot that hurts so much!), you instantly want the “pain” to go away.
When we’re talking about physical pain, most people can rationalize wanting to ease the pain. However, what is one to do when the pain is not physical, it is emotional? And not only is it emotional, but you feel like that pain will never subside, never ease, never go away? What then?
Such is the quandary some face when they are battling inner turmoil. I know this pain well, and I know it firsthand. For there were moments, I contemplated suicide…
So what stopped me? What did I do when I was alone and floundering in that very dark, dark place where suicide feels like the only option?
There were three things that saved me:
1) I remembered that although my pain was momentary, suicide is everlasting. Meaning not only is death permanent, but a completed suicide, can then serve as a risk factor for other family members. I didn’t want to leave that legacy to my future children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
2) I gave myself permission to feel again. You see when one is in the dark place, the last thing you want to do is… feel. You don’t want to feel the sadness, the despair, the restlessness, or the pain. However, I reminded myself that I was strong, that I was meant for a greater purpose, and that I was equipped to endure. Those self-encouragements gave me the strength to actually feel the pain, so that it could go away. For the only way to ease an emotional pain is to face it, not run from it.
3) I decided to go to the root and heal the discontent. I share and discuss my process of healing in my soon to be published memoir entitled “Life Left Me Better Not Bitter” (Copyright © 2014 Donna Gardner. All Rights Reserved).
Emotional pain continues to be something, as a society, we need to better understand. So that people no longer suffer in silence and shame, and lives are no longer cut short in hopes of easing the pain.
I always believe knowledge is key, so here’s information to further your understanding of suicide: https://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/key-research-findings