Suicide: Selfishness or Sickness?
When I considered ending my life, I heard condemning words: “suicide is so selfish”. Indeed it may seem so, especially to those loved ones left behind. However in my mind I felt I was doing a good thing for my family and the world. They would be better off without me, I thought. I felt I was being kind, generous even. I was wrong. My feelings were real though.
Suicide is not selfish, it is the devastating result of a sickness, an illness, often left untreated. An illness. That can significantly distort our thoughts and behaviors and actions. An illness. Not ‘demons’ or a character flaw or some inherent weakness. An illness that can be treated, where hope prevails and healing is possible.
What would the world be like if having a mental illness did not have the asphyxiating stigma attached to it? What if people who battle mental illnesses felt no shame or embarrassment or fear of losing jobs or families? Would lives be saved? People made whole? Healing take place?
We need to do more about this. We need to talk more and be more open and understanding. In a country where suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, where 22 veterans die by suicide everyday, where there are 1 million suicide attempts a year, we need to have the courage to fully grasp in our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, our homes, our government, our military, that mental health conditions are ILLNESSES- diagnosable and treatable illnesses. And that those who suffer have dignity and are worthy to be treated.
My heart breaks for all 150 souls onboard Germanwings 9525. Lord, may they rest in eternal peace.
I’m with you, Beth-Sarah Wright, all the way….My heart breaks too for the 149 souls on board ..I think we’re all heart-broken. It’s awful for all the families; i do believe the world, in general is grieving..We must keep holding up these families in prayer…Pray that God gives them all the strength they need to see them through their huge losses..and pray Peace and Comfort for each..
Everyone is seeking love as appreciation, as compassion, as empathy, as understanding, not only for self, also for others. One life, anyone’s life, a microcosm of the macrocosm. Each incident of suicide (or attempt) is a spiritual messenger clamoring for our attention to pay attention to our world, our immediate environment, and our culture; awaken and strengthen the gauntlet of courage and “be the change we wish to see in the world.” Not only in this Season of Nonviolence, Jan 30 – April 4 (annually), also every day of the year. Let us release fear as judgment toward those on our path in exchange for an act of love, the only antidote. May the anguished hearts of the loved ones grieving be arrested by the love we each have to give according to the power of the Spirit of God within us. In gratitude, First Lady Beth Sarah, for drawing the best from us in contemplation with God of the baggage in the soul of humanity. Peace.
I appreciate the fact that you share your personal experiences with us. I have learned so much about this illness, and I continue to share your books and blogs. I do believe this can help others that feel hopeless and helpess ans some people have been there and aren’t aware that’s what it is. I am so proud of you for opening yourself up to us.