Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Struggling With Inner Darkness: An Ongoing Battle

We tell people to reach out when they need help, that we are willing to listen to them. How many people would or would they just dismiss the call, the cry as being not important.

After a suicide is attempted, whether it results in the ceasing of life or not, we tell ourselves that these people could have asked for help, that we were there and willing to listen. Of course, these words offer us comfort, but inadvertently shame survivors by putting to them how they should have acted, how they could have acted if they truly wanted to live. We shame them for their inability to ask for help. We try to dictate how they are supposed to feel or respond. Without meaning to, we harm. We guilt them about not reaching out before they got to a point where they greeted death with more energy than life.

To a suicidal mind, sometimes it is impossible to vocalise what's exactly going through their minds. Feeling nothing but pain, they can't express just how much it hurts because they feel like no one is listening anymore. There is a complete numbness, making them wonder if they would feel a thing us a knife were to slice open their wrists.

That's the breaking point. It's the point where you make a choice: life or death. To see if you can survive another day of pain, of numbness because there may be light somewhere unexpected along the way. Maybe, just maybe those people will tell you after your attempt how much they care, maybe they will see the pain in your eyes and listen to you when you choose to open up.

That's life. It's full of maybes, of possibilities that something better coming along. You just have to want to live through the pain of today. You have to want to see another tomorrow, more than you want it to end. You have to be willing to feel everything: the good, the bad, the sweet and the unbearably bitter. You just have to pretend to be okay for just another day, even though you know it's just a mask, a facade to get you through.

To a perceptive mind, this is more than just a release, an outpouring of dark emotions.
What if it is reaching out to the wider world, hoping for someone to see the pain that lies within, to say before it's too late, that they genuinely care about this one life?
Of course, by then it might be just too late. Then there will just be the guilt trips, the questions of 'why', and the need for justification that the soul is broken from within. A survivor cannot heal through guilt or shaming about what they should have done.

Written 23.1.16