Jul 11, 2012 / 5:00 am
“I sat here and contemplated suicide” was scribbled in red on a bench by a bus stop. The despair in those words stopped me in my tracks.
I was on my way to my office early one morning when I saw those sad words, and they pulled at my heart. It doesn't matter if they were legitimate or not, or if they were the scribblings of a youth who thought it may be amusing. The message is still the same. Notice me. Care about me. I'm here.
There are many reasons that send someone to the brink of self destruction. Loss of any kind can add to the burden of an already challenged life (death, job, financial, health, friendship, etc). Unresolved emotional baggage from the past can present itself with the right trigger.
When we feel unbalanced emotionally, it can feel like we live with thought-chaos. This leads to fragmented thinking and behaving. Routines change and we start to fill our own mind with toxic thoughts. We can become fatigued to the point of chronic exhaustion with any predilection to addictive behaviours worsening.
If we started the journey with low self esteem, depression will likely follow bringing along with it, its partner, anxiety. So, depending on the problem, we may start our own personal journey of hell.
I wondered about this when I read the words on the bench. For many years I used to wonder why some people managed to get through a crisis and others didn’t. I now think I know. I say “think” because there are no hard and fast rules.
The pile of angst can become so overwhelming as it gets higher and deeper that you don’t know where to turn. But if you have someone in your life that cares enough about you to notice when things start to go south, you will likely be okay. You will also be surprised to learn that more people do care about you than you realized.
Then again, if your survival technique is to pretend that “everything is alright” and you are not being honest with yourself or anyone else, it may prevent friends or family from reaching out to help, because nobody can read your mind.
Sometimes we worry that if we give voice to our emotions, we will fall apart. Releasing emotion and feelings is cathartic and allows a cleansing of the mind to begin. Besides, it is such a relief to be able to tell someone.
I believe we intuitively know when we are on the slide downwards, but, generally speaking, our society does not encourage us to acknowledge and deal with mental health issues. Unlike feeling unwell physically and making a doctor’s appointment, with mental health we seem to wait until we are feeling so bad that we are almost paralyzed with depression.
Sadly, there is still fear attached to issues around mental health. Despite the best efforts of the Canadian Mental Health Association and various other agencies, the stigma still hangs around. Please check out their website and educate yourself.
If you notice that a friend, relative or colleague is behaving differently, is withdrawing, is giving belongings away, has had a major loss in their lives, or has been downsized at work, take them for coffee and ask how you can help.
If you are a person who is feeling sad most of the time, or if you are contemplating suicide, or have a friend who is, please reach out to the Crisis Line at 250-545-2339 (Vernon). All calls are confidential and they are caring listeners.
You are not alone. Allow yourself to ask for help. We promise to notice and we do care.
Read more A Mindful Connection articles
- Are you enough? Apr 2
- Our interesting journey Sep 26
- Just Google it Aug 11
- Bench words Jul 11
- Pain: our body's warning system May 20
- Dancing neurons Apr 21
- Mother Nature Jan 27
- The gift of friendship Dec 23
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