Why You Should Stop Calling Suicide Selfish And Look In The Mirror

Why You Should Stop Calling Suicide Selfish And Look In The Mirror

If your first thought when someone confides in you about taking their own life is yourself, then who really is the selfish one?
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*Trigger Warning: Depression, suicide, self-harm.*

With the tragic deaths of musicians such as Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington and the release of Logic's emotional ballad 1-800 , it seems like the reoccurring topic of 2017 is a heartbreaking one; suicide. As someone who's lost good friends, and even almost herself to the same tragedy, this topic hits close to home, which is why it's taken so long for me to talk about.

It's no secret that I've been a Linkin Park fan for years now, so I kept up with the various press releases as they rolled out following Chester's passing. Unfortunately with the press releases came peoples opinions of his death as well, along with people's thoughts on suicide as a whole. Just like following the loss of Robin Williams, there were many people throwing out their thoughts that suicide is selfish or even cowardly.

"They didn't think of anyone but themselves."

"People need to toughen up."

"It's the cowards way out."

"What about their family? What about me?"

I wish these were some things I'd just heard of other people saying about suicide and it's victims, that I had never actually heard them with my own ears but I have. After missing class to attend a funeral for a high school friend who lost their battle with mental illness I heard it in whispered tones when people talked about why I had been gone. When I opened up about my own thoughts in my head when I was at an all-time low, I had it said to my face.

"I'm sorry you feel that way but I can't believe you would be that selfish to even consider that. How would we feel?"

I'm sorry, I thought I was trying to confide in you so I could get help, not feel worse? It's nearly 2018 and it's time to stop. It's time that we all stop calling suicide and those affected by suicidal thoughts selfish. If your first thought when someone confides in you about taking their own life is yourself, then who really is the selfish one?

Yes, suicide is tragic. It's heartbreaking and it's devastating to everyone involved. To feel that low to feel like ending your own life is the only answer is a pain I'd never wish upon my worst enemy. And losing someone you love by their own hand then feeling the soul-crushing guilt of forever wondering "What if?" is another unbearable pain I hope no one ever has to experience.

Yes, suicide affects more than just the one whose life is lost, it affects everyone who loved and cared about them. But that's the thing about depression, your mind plays tricks on you and tells you things that aren't true.

"You're nothing but a burden."

"They deserve better than you."

"They'll move on."

"They'll be happier when you're gone."

It's not that victims aren't thinking of others when they feel that level of low, their brain just tricks them that everyone else is doing them a favor. Suicide victims and victims are not selfish. They're lost, they're hurt, and they deserve love and support. If you can't offer them that, then maybe you're the toxic on in their life.

If you or anyone you know has ever felt like taking your life was your only option left please know you are not alone. You are powerful, you are strong, you are loved and even if I do not know you I pray for your heart and healing each and everyday. God bless, and may you all keep fighting.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line.

Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.


Cover Image Credit: Variety.com

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I Tried To Lose Weight All My Life But Couldn't Shed The Pounds Until I Turned To God

Now it's easier than ever and I'm never looking back.

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It's amazing how good it feels to get rid of something that has felt like such a tall barrier in your life for so long. For years, and years, honestly, as many years as I can remember, I have felt held back by my weight. It's something that never truly left my mind, whether it was how I looked in my school uniform skort compared to other girls, how I looked in pictures, the thoughts that raced through my head lying in bed that night, or if what I ordered off the menu would make me look fat. It was always something.

Now I have tried, or so I thought I had. I had tried giving up carbs for two weeks, doing workout videos, or eating healthy, occasionally running, or honestly, anything I thought might help a bit. But there I was after a full year of college, heavier than ever.

It was then that I found my secret ingredient, it was then that I found the ultimate weight-loss secret: Prayer.

I found myself amidst a challenge that I didn't know if I was mentally strong enough to handle, faced against temptations of my wildest food dreams. Canes, pizza, chocolate, ice cream, oh my!

I had never thought once about offering up my prayers to God when it came to my weight. I'm not sure why, honestly. It was something that I had struggled with for so long, that it almost felt normal.

Now, when I feel tempted I ask myself a lot if this is the "abundantly more" that God promises us. If it isn't, then I don't pick it. Strength is a process, just like endurance or habits.

I have learned that by offering up the comparisons I feel at the gym, listening to podcasts while running, or Jesus music while practically swimming in my sweat, I am motivated to keep going, not dragged down by the progress I haven't made. I have learned to thank God for the journey He has taken me on so far, and for giving me the capability to overcome these hurdles.

Jesus Didn't die on the cross and tell us to get our butts out there and make disciples of all the nations just for us to sit and be upset with ourselves and compare ourselves to those tiny pictures on our screens. Let's go, we don't have time for that. We have work to do.

No, I'm not saying that if you pray for Jesus to make you lose 15 pounds, the weight will fall off, but I am saying that through Christ, all things are possible, and with Him by my side, the running doesn't feel as difficult.

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As A Chronically Suicidal Person, Seeing People Advertise A Suicide Victim's Story Is Infuriating

From anger, to mourning, and right back to anger I go.

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Trigger Warning

The first time I tried to kill myself, I was 11-years-old. I have very few memories of pre-suicidality. Most of my life after 8-years-old consists of this constant wish to die.

When I tell you that suicidal thoughts are normal for me, I'm not exaggerating.

Until I started getting more treatment, I thought everyone else also wanted to die all the time. I didn't understand until recently that "I want to die" is considered a SEVERE statement for most people.

The longest period of time I've gone without suicidal thoughts was two months.

Every time I see a new mental health clinician, I have to explain this phenomenon to them for two reasons:

1. So I don't get involuntarily hospitalized. (As mentioned before, telling someone you have thoughts of killing yourself is rightfully considered severe behavior.)
2. So they understand how I operate "normally." (This way they can understand my everyday behavior is not the same as someone else's behavior.)


I've had a few attempts and many, many close calls throughout my life. In fact, 70% of people with one of my mental illnesses will attempt suicide, and up to 50% of people with another one of my mental illnesses will attempt suicide.

When someone around me attempts or commits suicide, it impacts me in several ways that are hard to explain to people who…simply haven't been there. Or, have only been there once or twice.

Most of the initial emotion is anger. I am angry towards the people who call the victim selfish. And yes, they are a victim.

I am angry towards the people who spread stigma. Even people who try to help can spread stigma by perpetuating myths of suicide and linking resources known to alienate chronically suicidal and mentally ill people. (Hint, the suicide hotline told me I was seeking attention when I called them at 14-years-old.)

I am angry towards the people who post on Facebook with certain friends in mind to "reach out to me" and yet make no effort to reach out to these friends.

I am angry that we live in a world that makes someone else's death into a self-centered Facebook post mourning for likes.

And then my emotion shifts.

I mourn. Even if I hardly knew or knew of these people.

I don't mourn for their friends or their family.

I mourn because they've lost the chance to get better. I mourn because they will no longer get to feel happy again. They will no longer be able to pursue any more hopes, or dreams. They will no longer be able to be here.

I wish I could somehow bring these people back to see what their loved ones say about them. I wish I could somehow just have shown them their wonderful influence on the world. I wish they could have gotten the help they needed.

Sometimes people can't afford the help they need. Sometimes people cannot access the help they need. My anger returns because I know if you cannot receive mental health treatment, you will most likely worsen and America's healthcare system is part of this problem.

Friends of mine were recently grieving on Facebook over the loss of a close friend. Many of these posts were focused on great memories with the person. However, one of my friends' posts stood out to me; she posted about how our mental health system needs to be more affordable, especially long-term treatment. She also linked affordable mental health resources.

This is the only post that has soothed me thus far.

Because unexpectedly, seeing all these people pour out love for their passed loved ones doesn't make me feel any better. There is no comfort in knowing people will miss me when I'm gone – only guilt.

Yes, it's nice to know that people would care about me too if I was gone. But that doesn't eliminate the unbearable pain I go through every day. Knowing that someone will cry over me if I leave doesn't take away the pain. If anything, it makes it worse.

So many of these people still don't understand how deep this pain is; not just mine, but anyone who is suffering from suicidal thoughts. It's not comparable to any other pain that I've experienced, not even trauma or loss.

Suicide happens to people with mental illness. Suicide happens to people without mental illness. Depression is not the only mental illness to cause suicide. Post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, substance use disorders, schizophrenia, and MANY other disorders cause suicide as well.

As time passes, I feel more lost and invalid for my suicidal thoughts. I don't want to go to my friends because they've consistently been unhelpful. Is it their fault? Not necessarily. But if I tell you I have wanted to die for over 10 years, do not tell me that "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." My problems stem from chronic and severe illnesses.

The general takeaway from this is that so many people are not equipped to deal with suicidal people. There are so many people who are uninformed about the effects and symptoms of mental illness. Even trained professionals still struggle to handle the topic.

Please listen to your friends when they are hurting. Even the ones that have been hurting for years and their pain is "regular" now. If you are not mentally ill, please research on your friends' illnesses. (Here's a great website for this purpose.) It is a lot easier to discuss your friends' experiences when you can at least understand their background.

At the end of the day, I am glad we are beginning conversations about suicide. But it needs to be more. And suicidal and mentally ill people can't be spoken over or spoken for any longer. If you want to change, you have to be a part of it.

If you're struggling with suicidal thoughts, please click here to find a plethora of resources.

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