In 2 years, two wonderful people that I cared for ended their lives. Both were very depressed, hopeless and tired of living life in so much pain. On the news last evening, there was a report of 2 high school teens that also ended their lives within 30 days of each other, attended the same school and were victims of bullying. When I heard the story, I felt for them, for their loved ones, it broke my heart. I know what it's like to feel so hopeless as if I was constantly surrounded by darkness with no sunshine nor light in sight. I also know what it's like to simply want to go to sleep and never wake up. The two teens that ended their lives did so because of others actions but also because the were suffering in silence. Adults are bullied as well and it is so hurtful when one feels like one deserves the maltreatment or is not worthy of being treated with a little dignity and respect. Although, I know how if feels to want to give up, everytime I hear that someone ended their lives it is a sobering reality that living with an illness can be very debilitating, especially, if a person is not receiving good treatment, has not seeked treatment and/or the treatment does not appear to be making a difference.
Suicide is permanent. When one of my dear friends ended her life I was in total disbelief. She was such a special woman, who had so many talents, a huge heart, had a great sense of humor, was great with everyone but when the love of her life divorced her because living with her and her illness became a burden, she became lost, withdrawn and so heart broken. To this day, I love and miss her. Although she felt so alone in this big world, she had so many people who respected and loved her but she could not see this because she was so ill. I often feel guilty because we spent a great deal of time together just as I do with my other friend who took his own life 3 months ago. He was the kindest person who would do anything for anyone and was ever so gentle.
Suicide is such a severe and profound act as the result of relentless pain and suffering. After losing two wonderful people and witnessing how devasted friends and family were as a result I have still contemplated wanting to sleep forever. However, I am constantly reminded of the impact it will have on loved ones and I guess this is why I decided to fight with conviction because today I am hopeful that life has to get better for me.
When we don't feel good about ourselves, we are often blinded to all the good things and good people that surround us. We question our own worth and we feel like we would be doing others and ourselves a favor if we simply vanished.
The truth is that life is not perfect for anyone. Living takes hard work but the hard work is worth it. It may not all feel this way but living and giving ourselves a chance is worth it. Our illnesses can compound the imperfections of living but we have to believe in ourselves so much more than we do and constantly remind ourselves that we have to begin with loving ourselves even if we look in the mirror and don't like the person looking back.
Suicide is not the solution. We have so much living to do. We have people to love and inspire with our strengths. We have illnesses that are treatable but we have to be an active partner in the success of our recovery. Recovery is possible. I see it everyday, we all do. Just look at the vets coming back to US soil with missing limbs and PTSD who fight just as hard as they have done in war to continue living and making a difference.
I genuinely believe we are all special and unique despite our challenges. Just think of how much you have to offer others if you participate, actively and with consistent conviction, wholeheartedly and with a purpose in your own recovery.
For a few months now, I have questioned my own mortality and I am so thankful, today, that I have so many reasons to stick around. I saw a 1 minute video on youtube yesterday and it's title was "If I had one minute to live I would". The message was brief but the impact will last forever because the person simply focused on the simple pleasures of life; flowers, the blue sky, mountains, sunsets, accepting love etc. It was a powerful illustration and helped me come to the realization that I need to appreciate so many things in my life that perhaps I lost focus on or became so entrenched in the materialistic part of living that I someone forgot how beautiful life is.
Please continue to hang in there, love yourself, explore what makes you feel good, be proud of who you are at all times and dedicate yourself to living a good life. You are worthy, you are special, you have a lot to offer (just think of all the knowledge you have in such an important healthcare field) and give back even if it is listening to someone who simply needs a non-judgemental ear.
Happy Holidays & To a Much Brighter New Year,