Fair warning, this will be a different approach than I have ever taken in the time since this blog became a reality. My approach to suicide as it has been in the past changed in October. Suicide is a challenging subject to talk about, and if you are not ready for what I will write here, you may want to stop reading any further. There is nothing wrong or right with suicide. It just is something that happens. I told you it would be different.
The last thing I wanted or needed when I had a suicide plan in place was for other people to talk me out of it. I was in a dark place in October. No one in that amount of pain that comes face to face with suicide, especially when they thought that part of their life was over, wants to hear that things will “be okay.” Or worse, have people tell you what to feel at that moment and the very worst that you need to be committed. I have been in those places, and they fail to help. It frustrates that person, and if they have the willpower to reach out, it took me almost two days for me, then that is okay. The last thing someone might need is a trip to the psychiatric ward (I will explain this more in another post.) Perhaps all that person needs is to be heard. Sure psychiatric ward visits are necessary, but I am going to say something radical. They do not actually help anyone!
I have been in psychiatric wards plenty in my life, and they medicate you. Then if your “stable,” whatever the hell that even means, then they release you. In 2007 I was in for a week and a half around Thanksgiving, and before I knew it, I was back in the same place again by New Years’ Eve 2008. A handful of weeks and nothing got better. I was suicidal. I wanted to not be a part of this world and be honest when we try to stop people from suicide, does it actually work? Think about it, it never did in my case, and while I count myself lucky to be a survivor, no one could have stopped me anyway. Something I experienced in the same scenario was a game-changer. It was called a safety plan, and it meant that I HAD TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.
This will sound harsh, and I will preface it with this, I failed for years to take responsibility for my suicide attempts. It is your choice, and if you make that decision and live, you have to live with that responsibility. Taking responsibility is not about blaming the good or the bad that is going on in life or the good or bad of the suicide itself. Instead, taking responsibility is allowing yourself to be okay with that decision. As a result, if you die, it was your choice, and I know so many people have lost loved ones to suicide, and I have empathy, but you can’t take that pain on forever for another person’s choice.
There are things that you can do, like reach out to places like the ASIST Suicide Prevention Training Program, LivingWorks, which you can visit here: https://www.livingworks.net/asist. You can learn how to guide someone the right way who is suicidal. I know I am working on getting this training, and I think everyone should have this training if I am honest (no, I am not getting paid to promote this.) But, I have experienced ASSIST firsthand with the safety plan and how the person trained in it approached me telling them I wanted to end my life. It changed my view of how suicide is treaded with the people trained in this program.
The most important thing, and I will keep harping on it because it is vital that the person who is suicidal has to take responsibility. A safety plan is excellent, but it is up to that person, in this case, back in October, it was me, to take the plan and implement it. Then I had to follow through or not, the other person will not know, and that is why I say it, the person who is suicidal is the person responsible for the fallout and everything that comes with it. That is how I feel, and it lessens the pressure that suicide is this super taboo thing.
I know some of you that read this will be mad at me and say, “how could you, of all people, James.” Perhaps some will look at someone they lost and understand that they were in the worst emotional pain imaginable. Deciding to end your life is the hardest thing a person can do, in my opinion, and so trust that you will be okay. It is not about YOU. It is about the person that is suicidal.
If you want to debate this or discuss it further, I am willing to Zoom with people or come on my Podcast and share your ideas. No one opinion is right or wrong.
The worst thing I have experienced when suicidal is someone taking on my pain to “try and make it better,” because at that moment, the now, none of your feelings actually matter. Imagine if you will experience the pain that the person feels and understand that they do not want to be fixed. Helping can be more effective, and if they reach out, try and not fix, just be there for that person. Perhaps it is controversial, and I will lose people following the blog, but if you’re suicidal and see this, know that I understand the pain and the choice. It is yours, but it becomes your responsibility. My next podcast will touch on this subject further.
Always Keep Fighting.
What is the worse that can happen?
James Edgar Skye
Visit my author website at http://www.jamesedgarskye.me
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