“It is a far better thing to make someone smile than to make them cry, only to later kiss their tears.” -Bre Kennedy
I sat in the window overlooking the busy street below the fire escape of my hostel window. I pondered, ” What happens if I hit the ground?” “Will I die?” “Will I simply hurt myself and break a few bones only to keep on living?” Tragic!
For a brief moment I allowed myself to have the thoughts of those troubled by suicide. These thoughts were not and are not MY thoughts of suicide yet the thoughts of others that have jumped into the pool of the abyss, never to return the same again. The thoughts of the Alexander McQueens, a young man that I went to school with that left behind a child, Robin Williams, and countless others who have fallen into the abyss.
Trust that if you fall into that pool and happen to swim out, you are never the same.
I love my life and I have no desire to welcome death but I recall a time when I wouldn’t mind death. I was young and hated my life due to my circumstances of being an orphan. We will not digress as I would like to save that experience for my upcoming book (which I know you will purchase and read 🙂 ), however, there was a time when I did not enjoy life.
As an “orphan” I battled the feelings of not belonging to my environment. I hated not being able to see my mother but, over time that feeling went away and I can truly say that I am loving the life that I have the PRIVILEGE to live, but what about the others? What about the child who grabs his parents gun and blows his brains to pieces or the 15 year old cutter that cuts too deep spilling a pool of blood onto the bathroom floor? What about your friends, family, spouses? Are they enjoying life or are they one step away from the pavement beneath my fire escape?
I feel a certain sense of responsibility for the well being of those entrusted to my care however, I do NOT believe one should be “burdened” with the responsibility of the emotions of others. I CAN NOT MAKE someone HAPPY. I can only CONTRIBUTE to their happiness. If someone is not happy with who they are one will NEVER be HAPPY with the LIFE they are living. You can not LIVE while you are DYING. The KEY is learning to be HAPPY despite OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.
NOTE: Many people live in a constant state of pain. You are not the only one. Some are simply at different levels of managing that pain.
I have lost people to suicide. I also have loved ones who have endured the suicide of a best friend and can vouch to the magnitude that suicide leaves upon those left behind by the troubled individual. It is a state of confusion, anger, sorrow, and despair. So many spiral into this self inflicted agony wondering how they “did not see it coming.” If you are battling what is left behind after a loved one takes their life please know that to move forward it is wise to accept the past for what it is. Dwelling (though this may seem insensitive now) will not CHANGE or ALTER the circumstances that you are faced with in any way shape or form. Personally I find that it is best to make peace within yourself by meditating on how you could have been more aware while the person was in despair and look forward to relationships that provide the opportunity to apply what has been learned.
If you or anyone that you know wants to commit suicide it is not too late to get help.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
I encourage you to reach out to someone. Trusting may not be easy but sometimes the risk of putting oneself out there in the end supersedes the current circumstances.
I dated a man a few months back that had a best friend commit suicide within the past year. He often reminisced saying, “He was the person people went to for ‘guidance’.” The friend that took his life was a fellow black man on the police force in NY and no one left behind can seem to get justice. I held my ex in my arms on two occasions as he wept in a way that most men don’t in fear that the tears will leave them exposed and less of a man. I feel the opposite. This man’s tears almost stole my heart…but more importantly they captured the essence of what it is like for someone to be lost without their “light.” A man took his life and this was someone’s “best friend.” He relied on him emotionally and as a result of the lost can not seem to gain his balance. Can you imagine the devastation that leaves one in?
I felt as though my ex, as a result of the suicide, was in a constant state of anger, helplessness, and confusion. The anger stems from not knowing “why” and the delayed realization that it was the stressors from being a black man on the police force that led to his friend shooting himself. He was allegedly ridiculed and harassed at work by his colleagues.
People go through all types of things on a daily basis whether it is at home, school, work, etcetera. You never know what state of mind the person sitting next to you is in. I get so frustrated when I see others treating people disrespectfully as I learned that what you see on the outside is only your lack of perception to what may be inside of someone. There are times when I forget this awareness as I become entangled with my own daily stressors but it is important for me to remember to “Remain Calm and Carry On.”
Please, remember that we have a responsibility to ensure our own well beings and in order to do so effectively it means acknowledging the well being of others in our life. Somethings are not simple opportunities for a random act of kindness. Sometimes those actions really save peoples lives. Think about that next time you are sitting on the train huffing and puffing because someone next to you is sitting too close. Perhaps the closeness is an opportunity to heal and not kill.
Photo Credit: B.Kennedy
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