“The mistake we make as humans is to think that our beauty is ordinary and our pain is unique”
– Vanessa Davey –
Eternal emptiness, endless loneliness , where nothing makes sense and everything is meaningless. A place where sugar loses its taste in tea or favorite food no longer moves . When “I love you” has no meaning. Moments where all you want is to wish your very existence away and to the extent one even countlessly fantasizes of ways to exit this earthly plane. One may want to share these thoughts but they can’t , there is this person that people see, and then there is you in your room or office they don’t know, they can’t know because if they do, there is a perceived possibility they might freak out. To see , to open up to the endless pain that is buried beneath sleeky smiles and nice instagram posts(not all the time or in all cases), vulnerability takes strength.
Photo Source: Unsplash.com
If you are wondering what you have just read. It is an example of what goes on in the mind of
someone experiencing suicidal thoughts. I know it because I have witnessed someone go through it and I have gone through it. And for those who can relate, bear with me as I embark on this dialogue. The worst part of it is where you are trying to open up and you share , notwithstanding how it’s hard to be vulnerable. Then what comforters usually say, “don’t you know you are blessed” ,“suicide doesn’t help anyone, it only transefers the pain” “God loves you”, “I love you” , “It’s worth to be alive” , “we would miss you” “a lot of people love you” “God made you for a reason” , “you are perfect” , “there’s always a reason to live” , “you won’t hear your favorite music if you die” . To be fair all these are beautiful messages to share, I acknowledge the intentions. And they may work in some contexts, however, sometimes someone doesn’t need to hear this. At this moment, someone is on the precipice of just giving up on everything, including those amazing people that love them. The amazing taste of coffee, that sweet music, because at this moment they no longer have meaning. And it’s very painful, no fun place to be. For someone to get there , it means they might have really thought long and hard and come to that conclusion.
As we commemorate suicide prevention month, it is critical that we know how to guide people we love and love them when experiencing such trying moment of their lives. Depression isn’t just about the many dark thoughts bringing prolonged sadness and melancholy, it’s also about chemical imbalance(this word convinced me that I was okay, it was just chemical imbalance and it actually worked) in the brain such that at that moment someone sees only one outcome for their lives.
How do you help?
When you encounter someone experiencing suicidal thoughts , here is what you do. Do not impose your saviour mindset, you can’t save anyone but you can direct, guide and aid someone to save themselves from it. Be there, if they are ready to share, listen (without imposing your own experiences or wisdom), acknowledge what they feel. The key word here is empathy, place yourself in their shoes and don’t judge. Remember this is a disease like any other, treat them like you would a regular patient with care and love. Secondly, if you can comprehend the root of the problem, ask how you can be able to help and sometimes you may not be able to help but you may always offer suggestions or direct them to someone who can help. Thirdly, what are small steps you can take with them to aid them in coping in the difficult times? And if someone doesn’t want to share, please don’t force them just be there for them, find ways to express love without freaking them out. Love is the answer, but please follow through with it rightly. Listen, comprehend, ask and actually help.
Kindly don’t forget to subscribe to our youtube channel
VICTORIA NKATHA – RESPONDING TO LIFE
From us, with love,
Responding To Life.