I’ve been wavering on whether or not to write a post about this subject, because there are so many strong feelings that accompany even the just the word ‘suicide.’ However, I decided it would be healthy for me to write about it, and good for others to read about it too. But before I go on, if you suffer from mental illness, and know you have specific triggers relating to suicide related issues, I caution you to either to chose to not read this or read with great care.
An old work friend of mine informed me that a mutual work colleague from years ago completed suicide last week. She, who has a very high demand job and a family at home, couldn’t give details right at that moment but wanted me to know. She was right, I would want to know. I read the message on my phone again. And again. This person, no. He was always a happy, jovial, fellow. Hard worker, persistent learner, successful business owner. At least that’s what I remember of him – it has been years since I had actually seen him in person, but I do have specific memories of his smile and infectious laugh, of visiting his office, him visiting mine.
Suicide. It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem. But in the obscurity of suffering from a mental illness, other solutions seem abstruse and out of reach. However, this is not the case. And, sadly, my friend knew this.
My friend, I’ll call him Ru, as I mentioned, I remember him to be a happy and hard worker. And then during the time I was working with him, he began to battle depression once his wife miscarried with twins. This must have been at least ten or fifteen years ago, I don’t remember exactly.
Fast forward to about six months ago where a client was playing fastball and the blame game where they were probably at fault for many of the issues that came up, but still, in the end ultimately withheld payment from Ru, and Ru ended up walking away from his business because of this undue stress. In the end, the client fired Ru’s business from the project and Ru had a nervous breakdown. Then he attempted suicide.
Luckily, Ru voluntarily checked himself into an inpatient treatment center until he sincerely felt better, and did the right thing by continuing with outpatient care. Ru kept up with the therapies, however, and his depression worsened and he voluntarily went back into a treatment center, staying for about a week, then checking himself out. My friend mentioned that Ru was seen about two days before his suicide really happy and content. I do know that is not an unusual behavior, because the person feels ‘oddly at peace with their decision.’
There is so much stigma, pain and fear attached to suicide, that people steer clear of even saying the word; and I don’t blame them for that. Personally, I blame society for instilling in us that suicide is something unspeakable, taboo. As a society, the stigma and the shaming that is so so severely steeped around mental illness and suicide so desperately needs to be removed.
“Suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it getting any better.”
“Suicide doesn’t end the pain, it just passes it to someone else.”
“The person who commits suicide dies once, those they leave behind die a thousand deaths, trying to relive those terrible moments and ask, why?”
Suicide is a very personal subject for me and has touched, entered and affected my life in more ways than I can count. I want to finish of the story for you, so, please be patient, and this post will have a part II, to be posted very soon…