A week ago, a friend of mine asked me if I could write a post that addresses the topic of suicide. I realise this is a very sensitive and somewhat heavy topic to tackle but I believe it’s worth discussing.
Some of you might be asking, what credentials do I have to be talking about this issue? Well, I’m no psychologist or psychiatrist and I don’t claim to be, although I do have experience and years of human behaviour education that relates to this topic that I am sure most of you, if not some of you, will connect with.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post that discussed some of my challenges when I was growing up, being bullied, not fitting in and feeling like an outsider. I also touched on my most recent challenges – being separated from an incredible human being that touched my life. These experiences were extremely confronting to deal with at the time and there were moments of absolute despair and hopelessness that I wasn’t able to so easily overlook. In those dark and grim moments my mind, despite all logic and reason, was having suicidal thoughts. Thankfully, I was and am self-aware enough to realise the gravity of such a situation and was able to work my way out of that deep and empty place I was in, using the tools I have at my disposal. The question is, what was it that got me there?
In my case, my intentions to end my life were not as serious or definite like other people who choose to actually follow through with an action but the feelings, thoughts and desires were very real. I would even go as far as to say, it was frightening. So, what leads a person to consider ending their life?
When I look at what I went through, I felt lost, full of despair, trying desperately to change a situation I had no control over and I was holding onto an ‘idea’ or ‘fantasy’ of what I thought I wanted or needed. I wanted to hold onto it so badly, that the thought of living without my life going down a path that I once chose didn’t feel worthwhile. In other words, I was addicted, infatuated and/or living in an illusion of the way I wanted my life to be. It was very unrealistic! Whether that was related to my challenges with bullying or my most recent experiences with my separation.
Being bullied as a kid was an extremely difficult period of my life and I wanted my life to be free of bullying altogether, for people to accept me as I was and to feel like I fit in. That’s what I thought or perceived would be better for me. What I failed to realise was that the universe, g-d, life or my brain didn’t want that for me. I wasn’t born to ‘fit in’ or be ‘normal’. I was born to stand out. I had big ears for a reason but, instead of embracing and appreciating who I was or am, I condemned my uniqueness and hated the world around me for doing exactly what I was doing to myself. The experience felt so hard to deal with, I contemplated suicide many times and planned it once when I was a teenager but never followed through. I have never shared this with anyone before but, in the interest of educating, I am doing it today.
I understand why a person would go to those lengths to end their life. When life is throwing you one challenge after another and all it seems you’re dealing with is a massive nightmare you can’t wake up from; the brain, with it’s limited understanding of the situation, will only see one way out. Human beings get addicted, infatuated and deluded quite easily. We all have some form of addiction or infatuation to something or someone in our lives. To deny that, would be foolish.
Our neocortex has a very limited view of a situation we’re faced with, considering it only processes about 1,400 bits of information per second. The subconscious mind, in comparison, sees the bigger picture. It’s process somewhere around 200 million bits of information per second. What we’re unable to see, using our logical mind, is the opportunity or blessing in these ‘perceived’ nightmares. All we see is the darkness, the emptiness, the loneliness and the fantasy, addiction or illusion not manifesting the way we wish, hope for or dream about.
Suicide for most people, which includes young people, is an attempt or action to escape a ‘perceived’ extreme nightmare in their lives. It’s a way for them to eliminate the pain of challenge, rejection, persecution or prejudice for something that is perceived to feel painless, supportive, accepting, joyful and approving. The problem is, we don’t live in a world of one-sidedness. We live in a world of duality, where there exists a balance of opposites. One of the greatest obstacles we face in being able to recognise this duality and this synchronicity of opposites, that exists simultaneously, is a lack of education. We are mostly taught what is good and what is bad. We are taught, in large part, to separate and divide what is universally impossible to separate. We see a situation of bullying, like I experienced, as a negative thing without it being equally as positive – at the exact same time. Some would even consider my situation of separation or divorce as a black mark against my name. I could have done that too but with every crisis, I know, lies a beautiful blessing.
For those that choose to end their lives, they are unable to see the blessings within their crises. All they see is a situation with no way out and suicide is the best way to fulfil the fantasy and escape the nightmare.
To break the cycle of suicide in young people and even adults too, it is necessary to educate people about real life, not the projected version of it. In real life, according to the laws of nature, challenges aren’t only bad. They’re good too but you’ve got to look for the richness within them otherwise you’ll get trapped in a nightmare that you’re creating. On the other end of the spectrum, receiving support isn’t only good either. There are many downsides to wanting too much support, attention, recognition and appreciation. The list could go on. You may just land up getting stuck in your own fantasy or infatuated idea of life. The wisest way to approach life is to look at it with the view that nothing is good or bad, positive or negative, right or wrong. What we experience are lessons that are delivered to us, in such a way, to help us grow, evolve and fulfil what’s most inspiring and meaningful to us.
The action of suicide will never be eliminated but it can be transformed. We can suicide our fantasies, infatuations and illusions instead of ourselves by beginning to understand and learn the balance that exists within our own lives, in nature and within the universe.