Suicide and Mental Health

I was asked a very important question about suicide and people wanting to take their life so I thought I would expand on that here. I was asked “What would you say to a person if they were considering suicide, now that you know how it hurts? ”

In all honesty my perspective about suicide has remained pretty much the same. People believe that if someone is talking about suicide then its a cry for help and they dont really want to die. Well, in reality no one really wants to die. They just want the pain to stop. Rehtaeh talked about suicide often. Was it a cry for help? Absolutely! She always stated that she would never go through with the thoughts because she knew her family would be devastated and she wanted to be there for her little sisters and even said “what would they think of me if I did that?” She just wanted to feel herself again, to partake in life, to look forward to goals and dreams. Now she can do none of the things she dreamed of doing/becoming and there were many. I do not condone suicide but I do believe that people in their darkest moments can not see past their pain. There were times that I was very worried about Rehtaeh because of all the suffering she was forced to endure. She attempted to get help on many occasions. As a teen I think that the traditional talk therapy may not be the most effective way to help. While therapy is a process Rehtaeh felt like she had to keep reliving her experiences by talking about her trauma. She got fed up with the talking aspect of it. Works for some but not everyone.There are so many ways to process trauma and each is individual as the person.

I truly believed that Rehtaeh would get through this because I knew the strength and fortitude she carried within her. Although there were times that I worried I never thought I would lose my child, not me, not my girl. Rehtaeh told me she just wanted to die and that we would all be better off without her. My response was that I loved her, that I would be absolutely devastated and I would get her all the help she needed but I can not stop her and that her journey is her journey.All I can do is be there for her. Thats the truth! We do the best we can in this struggle called life. We are all on our own journey. I went through a guilt phase, “what if this”, “what if that”! I could not stay there because I knew I loved my daughter with all my heart and did all I could for her. Staying in guilt would destroy me emotionally and that is not what she would want.

The sad part about thoughts of suicide and the taboo of discussing it is that so many people especially teenagers go through times where they have these thoughts. Instead of acknowledging that these thoughts are more common than we know…we make people feel like there is something “wrong” with them. That somehow they are “weak” and can not handle life’s pressures. Schools need more talk of mental health- not less. Not talking about mental health does not equal less suicides. Actually, talking with supports in place is the answer to helping peoples -especially teens dealing with their emotional struggles.
So what would I say to someone who is wanting to leave this beautiful world?

I would say:

• You are not alone
• This too shall pass….what seems like the darkest of days can lead you to the brightest light.
• When we come out of darkness we have a better lense in which to view the world.
• Find the smallest of things to look forward to everyday. It can be the feeling of crawling under your comfy blankets at night. Embrace comfort!
• Ask for guidance to something bigger than yourself…even if you dont believe in God, ask the will get an answer but you have to be present. Listen,be present for that opportunity!
• Look around you for beauty….its there and inside of you too.
• Find one person you trust…find “YOUR” therapy whatever that may be…explore that
• Look around you at the people who love you…you matter to them even if it feels like your a burden…thats not true, that is something you are feeding yourself to confirm your negative feelings. Its a trick your mind plays with you when you are down.
• Life is hard and again YOU ARE NOT ALONE
• What seems like desperation and sadness today is not permanent….it will not always be that way.
• Dont compare your journey to another.
• Someone else may seem strong and have everything going for them, but they too will struggle or are struggling.
• You are loved…find the love in you and feed yourself the way you would a friend that is down.
• Listen to your thoughts, is that how you would talk to a friend? Be that friend to yourself!
• Please Stay there will never be another YOU!