These past few weeks I have been thinking a lot. It started off with a Facebook friend of mine posting about the tragic loss of her brother who took his own life.
Then a week or so later another friend posted about his brother trying to end his life, and ending up on life support. Sadly he lost his fight, and has moved on to heaven.
During all of this I heard on the news that approximately 30 people end up in the ER every day after an attempted suicide in Flanders, that is the Flemish speaking part of Belgium. I was shocked to think about that statistic. This is a real problem, something that affects so many people, and seems to get such little attention.
It seems to be, as with most problems, if it doesn’t in some way affect you personally, you probably don’t really stop to think about it.
I have been affected by this, as readers of my blog will know. And after almost 20 years, I can still relate, and still understand the pain, the suffering, and the heartache that is causes.
But more than focusing on the consequences of suicide, I want to focus on the why someone would feel that they need to resort to such drastic measures.
I read an interesting comment on one of the posts of my friend, that said something to the effect that the last thing a person in such a situation needs to hear is: “Well, have you thought about how it would affect us?”
And I have also given that a lot of thought. I can only assume, as I myself have never been in such a dark place to contemplate suicide, that that would probably not be the best motivation. I guess when all seems lost, and with no solution at hand, the guilt and the consequences for the ones left behind would not be enough to pull someone out of that dark and horrible place. Don’t get me wrong the consequences are real, and they sting like hell.
I have been going over in my mind how precious life is. And with most thing that are amazing, to get to that high, you need to climb that really tall mountain ahead of you. And it never goes smoothly, not for anyone.
I think one of the huge mistakes we make in life, is comparing ourselves to others, or assuming others have it so much easier. I read some inspiring words of this woman who has the most perfect body I have ever seen. She talks about finally excepting herself and starting to love herself. Knowing her on a bit more of a personal level, I know that although she may look like she has the perfect body, other aspects in her life are not as perfect. It just goes to show that we all struggle.
When we compare, or focus on what others have, we forget to see all the greatness that lies within ourselves. We each have this amazing potential to do something. And if we keep on focusing on others, we will never have the chance to achieve our own amazingness. And I am preaching to the choir here, I need to remind myself this every day.
Another thing that makes it hard to keep perspective, is not realizing the full picture. In the wise words of Micheal J Fox “Our challenges don’t define us, our actions do!” Just because life has dealt you a rough hand right now, doesn’t mean you have to be defined by that. You can rise above them, and be defined by your actions. And today you might do that with a tremendous amount of grace and poise, tomorrow you might need to wallow with a tub of ice cream and a Netflix binge. It’s all about balance. No judgment here. But I have found it is important to move forward, even ever so slowly, so you don’t let the darkness get ahold of you.
I hope someone out there, who reads this post, will understand that they are truly amazing, and that they really count. Everyone is important, and everyone matters. No darkness is as dark as the light within each and every one of us. We just have to reach really deep sometimes and find it. But we can, and when we do, amazing things can happen. And you aren’t alone. There is always someone there to help you along the way.