Trigger Warning: Extensive talk of suicide – in a sensitive, non-graphic, but still potentially triggering manner. But something I felt strongly enough about to share here nonetheless.
Suicide is an irrational thing.
When you ask that question, you are trying to find reason in the unreasonable. Rationality in the irrational. Sense in the senseless. It’s just not there.
To the individuals considering this potentially final act of their lives, it feels VERY rational.
There can be all kinds of reasons in their minds that make it desirable, or even seem as though it’s their only option – that they have no other choice.
And when confronted with rational statements – perhaps explaining why their reasons aren’t as valid and solid as they feel they are – believe it or not, that (at least in my experience) doesn’t help. In fact, it can make the individual feel even worse. . .
Making sense of it all
Suicide rarely – if ever – makes sense to those left behind.
But this is the nature of suicidal thinking. It doesn’t make sense to you because it really shouldn’t make sense.
The only way you can make sense of it is to recognize that the individual is not thinking 100% rationally (despite how they might feel). . .
When you berate someone for contemplating or even completing suicide, you are displaying a blatant misunderstanding and ignorance about the issue. Of course, this probably isn’t your fault (so please don’t take that statement personally), as there are a lot of misconceptions and stigmas out there.
I’m writing this post to help combat those misconceptions and stigmas. To bring a smidgen of understanding to an oft misunderstood act. . .
And it can go the other way, too. Sometimes I feel like such a burden on my loved ones that I think I would be doing them a favor to leave their lives. That my fiancé deserves so much more happiness than I can provide, for example. It is selfish of me to stick around when my existence causes so many problems.
That is another example of when the irrational feels rational.
So rather than think of us as selfish for wanting to do something that can cause so much anguish to others, keep in mind that often times we’re doing everything in our power to keep from being selfish. Whether it’s hanging on to spare others’ their pain or letting go to spare others’ their pain, the sentiment is still the same.
And for those who do follow through and succeed, remember: it’s not rational. It doesn’t make sense. Chances are very good they held on much longer than they wanted to, to keep from hurting anyone. And to go through with it anyway, they must have been in unimaginable pain.
Read more of Ashleigh’s story. Visit Passion for Life, Love, and Health – What it’s Like to Feel Suicidal (or, How to Make Sense of it All).
Trigger Warning: Talk of suicide (as previously mentioned)