The topic of suicide has been on a lot of people's minds lately especially with the sudden and unexplained suicide of Stephen tWitch Boss. His death made everyone think how could this happen? What were the signs? Why didn't he tell anyone? Why did he suffer in silence? These are all questions that his fans and loved ones are left to contemplate. There is an endless parade of questions that lingers after a loved one committs suicide. We are going to go out on a limb here and make this general statement: we have all thought about suicide. The Center for Disease Control(CDC) estimates in their Facts about Suicide that in 2020, 12.2 million Americans contemplated suicide. Further to that 3.2 million Americans planned a suicide and about 1.2 million attempted it. These numbers are astounding but the reality is that suicidal thoughts are almost always hidden Behind The Smile. It makes it even more difficult to understand after someone passes. How could someone smile so hard in pictures or in Tik Tok dances or on t.v. or in our own lives and still end up killing themselves? The answer to these questions are not one dimensional but a more complex reality for someone thinking about committing suicide. Here are 5 things that someone thinking about commiting suicide MIGHT NOT tell you.
People always ask: how can someone smile all the time and still be unhappy? The answer to that is that smiling helped them get through whatever was really going on in their mind and in their hearts. In some weird contradiction, it created a temporary stay of ACTION(not going through with their suicide). It calmed the thoughts within their head and gave them a well needed reprieve. The act of smiling did not take away the pain they were feeling. Smiling is a normal human mechanism that we all secure in order to help us connect with others. Sometimes in the middle of your darkness, smiling is like the clown at the party who is there to cheer everyone up. Everyone likes a smiling person, and smiling is a way to throw everyone off. Sharing becomes this burden and smiling helps even if temporary. So here is a tip: make laughter an important part of your relationship with your loved ones. It might be temporary in the battle but if you feed it often it becomes a knight in shining armor.
No one cares
In the mind of someone thinking about committing suicide, one of the overwhelming themes is that no one cares. Whether it is true or not, they believe it to be true. Sometimes the feeling like no one cares is based on the inability to connect with others or the inability to create a deep connection with someone else. Sometimes, there is no smile or they seem sad but yet no one cares to ask why they are sad. Have you ever been crying and no one cared or bothered to ask you why? For a person contemplating suicide, this neglect fuels the narrative that no one cares and further advances they resolve. This is why it is important to check in with the ones you love. Stay on them even on those days when they tell you that they are fine. Because, your fight for them helps to increase their fight for themselves.
I am worthless
A constant voice inside of them will tell them that they are worthless. That they are worth more dead than they are alive. They convince themselves that no one will miss them or even care if they are not around anymore. Tell and show the people in your life what they mean to you. It doesn't even have to be big gestures. It could be something as simple as calling or showing up at their door to spend some time with them. Show them how valuable they are to you and show it on a regular and consistent basis. This not only helps your suicidal family member or loved one but it allows you to not have regrets just in case the worst happens.
I am a failure
Sucess is measured differently in the mind of a suicidal person, what you think is successful is not always what they think is successful. They often feel like they are not going anywhere in life or not progressing at the pace they think they should be progressing. Feeling like a failure even when everything seems to be going right is a hard burden for a suicidal person. Watch your language and tone around the people in your life. Don't compare them to others and don't make them feel bad for not achieving what you have achieved by their age for example. Celebrate them and meet them where they are in life. Even if they are driving around in an old clunker or living in a one bedroom shack. What you project will feed the battle as well and accelerate this narrative inside their head.
I don't deserve
We all feel undeserving at times. Like why us? We often forget to give ourselves grace. The idea that we should forgive ourselves and allow ourselves a moment of silence with our mistakes and move on. Suicidal people often feel like whatever they have, they don't deserve it because they equate their mistakes with a parallel spectrum of deserving vs. undeserving. In their mind, a slip up or a mistake means that suicide is their own way of correcting their mistake. Here is where unconditional love and forgiveness can bridge the gap and allow them to see that mistakes are the fuel that runs the human race. We are all undeserving but yet deserve love and understanding when we fall short. Show grace always with your loved ones, it might be the difference between life and death.
No one will miss me
A common theme inside the head of a suicidal person is that they will not be missed. It is a combination of all their negative internal dialog. They fail to see how important they are in this universe. They fail to see that without them, the earth's equilibrium is most definitely off balance. Keep telling the people in your lives how much they mean to you. Use words like "I miss you or I love having you near me" After awhile, it may help to cripple or lessen their suicidal thoughts. Especially if you tell them how needed they are.
To the Suicidal person reading this article, WE NEED YOU! WE WILL MISS YOU! YOU ARE IMPORTANT.
Confession of a blogger: a personal account.
Many people reading this might be thinking, how does the writer know what a suicidal person is thinking? I know because I too fall within the statistics mentioned in this article. Suicide at one point seemed like the answer and I would be lying if I said it doesn't still float inside of me during very difficult times. I also convinced myself I was not worthy. I convinced myself that I was a failure. I couldn't see the bigger picture of my failures. That they were all designed to help me create my future success. I couldn't see how important I was to the people around me. I couldn't see my impact or how much me killing myself would disrupt things. Things of love, things of service, things of laughter. Things of connection.
If you are suicidal, please tell someone. Accept hugs and invitations to dinner and lunch and brunch and everything in between. Reach out to the stranger in the grocery store line and ask for help, if that is the only help you can get. Bottom line, tell people you need help. AGAIN, YOU ARE NEEDED! YOU WILL BE MISSED! YOU ARE IMPORTANT. You are not a mistake! You are here for a reason and we would love to get to know you.
Important Phone numbers if you are suicidal, put them in your phone and reach out:
USA: 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255 or dial 988 to be routed