Have you had thoughts of suicide?
I want to have an honest conversation about suicide.
I know there’s many people who work in suicide prevention that say you have to be careful about this kind of thing. I get that. But I think sometimes we’re a little too careful… so careful that little ends up being said. People feel like they can’t talk about suicide… or can only do so behind closed doors.
Unfortunately, I think suicide – even now in this day and age – is a taboo topic.
We have to talk about this. How else are we going to help reduce the suicide rates if we don’t have real, honest conversations about suicide?
If you’ve thought about suicide, if you’ve attempted suicide know that you’re not alone.
What if all of us – from the student to the doctor to the artist to the stockbroker to the tech worker to the teacher and on and on – shared our story? Because we do all have a story.
I know for myself and from speaking to clients, people are relieved to know they are not alone.
The fact is anyone can have suicidal thoughts. Anyone. Even the so-called “best of us” or “strongest of us.”
What if being open about suicide could make us stronger?
What if by talking about it we made suicide one of those things that years from now we’ll look back and wonder why we ever whispered about it?
So it’s in that spirit that I want to share my own story with you…
Key Points Re: Thoughts of Suicide
- You are not alone
- Sometimes we can’t possibly imagine the amount of pain that the people around us are in. It’s why we can’t possibly overestimate the importance of kindness and empathy.
- Listening with our hearts matters. Advice rarely matters. Listening to the story that perhaps the individual themselves isn’t even able to tell – that’s what matters.
- The thing with suicide is that even though it seems so personal (and of course it is), it is also part of our collective. Even if it seemingly manifests through one person, it’s carried by our entire community.
- I want you to know that if you feel suicidal it doesn’t mean you are a bad person or weak or flawed in any way. It doesn’t even mean that you really want to die. It only means that in this moment you have more pain than you can cope with right now.
- People turn to suicide because they seek relief from pain. That’s why I did… but I want you to remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it. You can feel relief, but only if you’re alive.
- My experience with suicide has taught me that our greatest needs can also be our greatest strengths… we learn to give that which we need.
Resources to Reach Out To
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) – National Hopeline Network
1-800-273-TALK (8255) – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
To find a crisis centre nearest you…
United States: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/our-network/
You can download the transcript of this episode by clicking here.
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