Suicide is in the news again. It's hard for me to think of a friend or family member who has not been directly affected by suicide in one way or another. I am no exception. Working on the suicide hotline was one of my first jobs in mental health. I still remember getting to the cold hotline office in the middle of the night and answering the calls. I remember the pain on the other end of the line, the wishes people had to just end the suffering they were enduring. It was hard to give them hope that it would get better.
It would be hard to find a human being who has not considered suicide at some point in their life. It is truly the ultimate freedom we have. We can choose to be here... or not. Every day that we wake up and live our lives, we are choosing to be here. We are choosing this wild ride that isn't always easy and can be quite painful.
People who choose to end their lives most likely are in a tremendous amount of pain and see no way out. Their view is distorted. In many ways, our society creates conditions that make it difficult for people to see a light at the end of the tunnel. We are bombarded by a news cycle that feeds on fear, hate, and panic. Our social media is filled with negativity and judgment. It is very hard to be a human today. We are losing the most sensitive among us. Many people are walking around with deep painful wounds from their childhood and these wounds keep them from creating and maintaining healthy relationships and lives that nourish them. People fall into addictions and other destructive patterns that dig them deeper and deeper into a hole of despair and misery.
It is hard for our society to offer a solution to distraught people when our society creates many of the conditions that cause them to feel hopeless in the first place. Perhaps we can stop rolling our eyes and saying that children are resilient. Children are incredible little people but they are not resilient, they require an incredible amount of sensitive caregiving.
Our world needs healing. We need to take better care of each other. We must heal this issue at the root. There is hope. I truly believe there is hope. #988lifeline