I have often heard people refer to those who have died by suicide as selfish.
Why is that?
It truely doesn’t make sense to me.
“Don’t beat yourself over their choice. It was selfish of them.”
“Don’t get too down about it they knew that they were hurting people when they did it.”
Or the worst thing of all, to say to somebody who has just attempted.
“Why would you try to take your own life. What were you trying to do just leave me here?”
Seems awful. I know. But believe it or not these are all things that people have said to me or to those I care for greatly.
As somebody that had lost friends by suicide and somebody that has struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past I can tell you with 100% confidence that none of those words are at all helpful. And to be quite frank I struggle to see why anyone would even think that those words would be helpful in the first place.
While I struggle greatly I also reach my hand out to extend grace to those who say those words. As they may not know the power of what they are saying. Or maybe they are struggling with their own loss and that is just how they are coping.
But what if we changed the way that people viewed suicide.
You see people that take their lives don’t die from suicide. They die by suicide.
They die from depression. Anxiety. Trauma. Addiction.
Ok what’s the difference?
To say somebody died from suicide would be to say that suicide is what killed them.
Now while to some extent this is true that is not what killed them. What killed them was the months or years of torture. Whether that be from mental illness or bullying at school. Suicide is the way the handle it. And unfortunately it is a coping mechanism that once complete can’t be taken back.
And I think that is what people struggle to realize.
Now yes, I realize this is a pretty risky thing to post as I know it is something that people have very strong feelings toward, but I’m not going to hold back.
I am not trying to say that people can not have their own feelings about different topics but somebody has to speak up for those that can’t speak up for themselves.
While I pray nobody ever has to experience grieving the loss of somebody that died by suicide I also pray that if one should come across this post and then one day relate to it that they would have a new understanding of the pain filled process that those that battle everyday feel.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or plans please call the number above. There is help. You are worth it.