Oddly enough, last night I put a reminder in to write about suicide today. Then today, I saw this article about Karyn Washington’s suicide. Although this article is mainly about the amount of pressure that Black women put themselves under — I think this is easy for any race to relate to. The world that we currently live in has morphed into a place where the societal expectation is to “keep it moving.” While it is great to stay positive under trying circumstances, it is my belief that we do ourselves a disservice by ignoring the pain. Whether you are actively suicidal or are not suicidal at all, I have a few self care tips that I have been working on myself:
- Your pain is real: Say that to yourself until you believe it. Don’t let others take your pain away just because “life has to go on.” When we deny ourselves the luxury of being in pain, we “stuff” it and it grows like a cancer within our very beings.
- Support is great: Surround yourself with those who give you permission to dip your toes into the pool of depression without allowing you to step in and subsequently drown.
- Give exit passes: Some people are just not going to be supportive or helpful. Others may put on the face of support while they are secretly happy that you are enduring these rough times. Give those people exit passes out of your life.
- Do something fun: Get out of the house and go see a movie. Go to the store and window shop. Or stay in the house and catch up on some television episodes. Play a video game. The bottom line here is to do something that you enjoy. It may not necessarily change your circumstances but it will allow you space to introduce some new stimuli into your life.
- Sometimes your trials are not for you: It is so easy to wonder why bad things always seem to happen to us. It is hard for us to understand that sometimes we go through things just so that OTHERS will see how we deal with the pressure or learn something from it. Take some of the pressure off of your shoulders and reflect that inner positivity that you have within.
If there were one thing I would like to say to anyone considering taking their own life, it is what I have said to myself when times have gotten beyond the point of unbearable – don’t. Just don’t. There are lives that you can touch, purposes that you have yet to fulfill, and positive life experiences that are just waiting for you if you can be patient. Easier said than done, I know. But it is something that millions of people are dealing with everyday and we need to do our part to reach out and hold someone’s hand so that they know they are not alone in their sadness.
We do ourselves a severe disservice when we “put on our brave face” and portray to the world that we are okay when we really aren’t. We do our friends and family a disservice when we decide not to “deal” with their depression because it is too much work and we have our own lives to lead. Have you ever thought about committing suicide? Do you know someone who has thought about it?