How important is Compassion for Suicide Survivors

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SUICIDE.

Say it out loud.

Say it slowly. 

Close your eyes.

Say it again.

Do you feel anger? Disgust? Sadness? Disappointment? Guilt?

These are the emotions that usually emerge when we hear about suicide or read about it in the paper. 

“Somebody died by suicide. What a pity! They were so young! They had so much to live for. Didn’t anybody tell them suicide is for cowards?!”

Most religions consider it a sin. Is that why we look so harshly at suicide survivors?

On February 13th 2020. I tried to kill myself. 

I remember feeling heavy. I remember feeling dazed. I looked at messages from my family WhatsApp group and thought they would be better off without me. What a burden I was to everyone around me. Nothing but a black hole, not satisfied till I destroyed everyone I cared about.

I didn’t leave a letter. I didn’t think about it for weeks before. I remember calling up a suicide hotline but the call didn’t go through. I didn’t want to die. Who really does? Ending it all means losing everything good as well, forever. But I felt so lonely like nobody would ever understand the weight on my heart and the darkness in my mind. 

Does this draw a picture that you can maybe understand? SUICIDE cannot be the easy way out, because there’s nothing easy about it! 

So to have reached that point where you can’t go on; where you feel tired just from being alive ; where the pain envelopes you so completely and perfectly that you can’t see past it , is what drives people to make that reality-shattering decision.

Imagine every part of your being aching. Imagine utmost distress infusing your brain till all you see is darkness. 

So what do we do?

Suicide is one of the major causes of death but unlike cancer it is PREVENTABLE.

Compassion for suicide survivors is the first step. 

It is not easy to empathize with someone going through such heavy emotions, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Having compassion means acknowledging that their pain is real. We “save space for them in our hearts” as a friend of mine puts it.

How much does it cost us to spare a kind word or a smile to our neighbours? How much does it cost us to express to someone how much we appreciate them existing?

Months after my attempt, a new friend told me he was happy that I survived. He told me he was grateful that he got to meet me. 

Do you know the world of difference it made to realize that somebody wanted me to be alive? To feel like the protagonist in a story that someone was rooting for?

I told him I was sorry to cry in front of him and I didn’t mean to burden him with my sadness and depression. He told me I was the opposite of a burden.

It’s hard to reach out. It’s impossibly difficult to share your dark thoughts and pain with another human being and trust them to listen without judgement. 

So many people misunderstand depression and try to solve other people’s problems.

Forget finding the right words to say! Just taking a moment to listen to someone, voicing out their feelings, makes all the difference. Open your mind, by assuming you know nothing about their personal pain. Then just listen.

That’s all we need; a short respite from our loneliness. The real compassion is showing a suicide survivor that someone cares, and they don’t have to go it alone.

Every decision we make is a culmination of our life experiences. Sometimes we make the wrong decision. That doesn’t mean we deserve hatred. It’s just part of being human.

Compassion towards suicide survivors helps us link our experiences and grow together. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Growing together

If someone reading this right now is considering suicide, you are not alone. I can feel your pain in every breath. I can feel it as my own. Please don’t deny someone out there the joy of knowing you. I know that right now it feels unbearable but it will get better

It does help reaching out to a mental health professional. Reaching out isn’t easy but I know deep down inside you don’t want to die. You want something to live for. I promise you will find it.

 Some days I still feel like giving up. But the more I rely on my therapist and family and friends, the more I realize it’s okay to seek help. I feel less alone. You may not be able to trust the people around you, but there are many mental health professionals available online.

https://www.verywellmind.com/depression-chat-rooms-1067331, https://allianceofhope.org/find-support/community-forum/

Trust me it gets better. Let us here at MHT help you get there.

Feel like talking to a professional? MHT Directory has you covered. Click on this link to see the profiles of different mental health professionals who can help you in different ways.

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