Apparently 10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day. I was alerted to this by two of my blogger friends (Christa and Clinically Clueless), who’ve been writing about their own experiences with suicide.
I’ve touched on this topic before. Many years ago I lost a friend to suicide, and it sucked. It’s never stopped sucking, really.
Something I haven’t shared with many people until right now, and certainly almost nobody at the time… (deep breath!!)… was that for many months earlier this year I was fending off the desire to end my life almost daily.
Of course, this was going on at the same time as one of my most intensely painful bouts of depression.
Ironically, I went through all of this after drop-kicking PTSD in the ass. I’d been through a great deal of therapy, and finally, finally… I was no longer suffering daily flashbacks.
Double irony – I’d started my yoga studies by this time, too. Something that’s turned into an extremely positive part of my life, as I’ve been writing about in recent times.
In other words, I was through the worst of my hard-won battles.
But I’d lost my job, and was having an extremely hard time getting another one. My family could’ve have been on the other side of the world, for all the support they offered me. Even my dear sister (actually, I suspect she deals with depression too, but has yet to admit it). Around the same time, I also lost a friendship, someone I’d relied on (perhaps a little too much).
Night after night, I’d stare down dark places that beckoned with seductive promises. I considered numerous strategies for taking my life. I thought about giving away all of my things (to make life simpler for everyone). I thought about my Guru and the many things he’s told me in the past about why suicide seems so appealing sometimes. And why many spiritual seekers end up in this place at least once in their journey. And I thought about my friend who jumped off a cliff and the heartbreak this caused everyone who knew him.
And I told no one what was I was thinking.
Because if I intended to do it, I wasn’t going to give anyone, not a single person, the chance to change my mind.
In fact, the only reason I’m writing about this now, is because I no longer wish to end my life.
Luckily, the voices in my head that egged me on were opposed by other voices. The parts of me that know life is worth living, despite the heartache and pain. That things do get better and that it is worth hanging in there.
It wasn’t an easily won battle, not by a long stretch. And what do you know? I did get another job. I was shown incredible kindness by the woman who runs my yoga school. And now, I’m gonna be a yoga teacher!!
So… I’m outing myself in this post in support of World Suicide Prevention Day.
Yet, I find I can not preach about how ‘suicide is not the answer’.
Of course, its not. But that argument doesn’t stack up when someone is trapped in a maze of depression.
In her post, Clinically Clueless writes that her mother wrote off her suicidal nature as ‘just wanting attention’. You bet your ass she did! And that’s a good thing.
Everyone on this planet needs attention, needs to feel loved, connected and as though there’s a point to being alive. Many people who are suicidal simply do not feel any of those things.
And Christa has built her blog and message in memory of her good friend’s suicide and her own near misses.
Recently, we nearly lost a blogger from this world. Someone I didn’t know before their suicide attempt, but other blogger friends did. Luckily, this person was found in time and is now on the road back. And though we’ve never met and live far apart, I’m thrilled things worked out as they did.
As Christa often says: DON’T. GIVE. UP!!
And please, take care of your loved ones. You may never get the chance to stop them taking their life. But by ensuring they know you love them, you might be one of the reasons they choose not to.
Svasti: Your post brought tears to my eyes. I had a feeling it was very dark for you earlier this year and I was very worried that you might be considering ending your life. I too understand what it is like not getting support from family – it’s hard but as I say in my post, that’s one of those tough shit-ski’s life hands to us. We can’t choose our blood relations but we can choose our friends AND our thoughts!
Suicide, for some, is an answer. A permanent answer (and shitty answer) to what I consider to be temporary problems. You and I are both examples of climbing out of the pit of despair and out of the darkness. Had we taken action to axe ourselves we would have never experienced the joy life now gives us.
Like you, I’ve found a lot of comfort and guidance from yoga and am learning how to tap into my own resources of strength – strength and courage I wasn’t sure I had. Jim’s death woke me up, stopped me from jumping off a cliff but it was yoga that aided in rebuilding my core and improving my quality of life.
You Svasti give me so much inspiration to keep going. I will continue to carry my Don’t Give Up! Giggle On! flag as high as my short little arms and legs will allow.
Life is a beautiful magical journey. Thank you for walking it with me!
Great post Svasti. I’m happy that you’ve battled past the worst of your problems. I think blogs like yours help others and who knows, at some point your words may have dissuaded someone from taking their life.
This is such an important post, Svasti–thank you for bringing awareness to suicide, which is becoming so much more prevalent, particularly among the young.
I have been that hopeless–where it seemed that my death would be the only thing that could bring me peace. I had three serious attempts (as you know I have written about) and all I can say now is *thank the Goddess* that the person upstairs from me found me before I died. I didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but my life would one day be more wonderful than I had ever imagined. But of course, when you are in the abyss of depression, it is too hard to see anything at all.
Life is a gift. I know that today–and I am so happy and grateful to be alive.
Very well done, Svasti–
This is a tough topic for me. However I would like to share that at a healthcare rally earlier this year one of the speakers said that there were more suicides than murders per year in Illinois. This deeply disturbs me. If we look to media reportage to show what’s important to us, it seems like murders are. So is it more important when people kill each other than when someone kills their self?? This is a growing problem worthy of attention.
To all, its very tough for me to write about this topic, too. In fact, I was a little surprised to find myself writing the words that I did! Actually, I had no intention of spilling this particular piece of information, but I have, like many others.
Here’s to life! Here’s to finding a way out of the darkness. May all beings find their way. Om Shanti.