It’s hard to explain suicide to anyone, including yourself. It’s not really about ending your life. It’s about putting a stop to the torrent of sadness, despair, trauma and self-hate. All of that and more, or maybe less. But you don’t need a grab-bag of feelings to justify it in your head. Just one of them needs to be the thing that flips the switch. That convinces you that your family and friends are better off without you. That this awful world is better off without your presence.
Surviving an attempt is a different matter.
You have the nearly unbearable weight of shame and the anger and fear from your loved ones to deal with, on top of trying to process the trauma you just inflicted on yourself and all of them. Then you have to figure how to move on, or if you really can move on.
If you survive, hour by hour, then week by week- the wounds are still very present- it’s incredibly difficult not to be triggered by the suicides you hear about in the news. Each one is deeply painful because you know that moment. That decisive moment that so many people thankfully never reach: the moment where you decide to try to kill yourself. For each of us that lives through it, the ones that don’t break you into pieces, whether you knew them or not. Because you know the desperation they felt. You know the immense grief and the hopelessness.
So maybe you do know them, after all.
In a crisis? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text “NAMI” to 741741
© 2022 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.