After taking this course, I have more knowledge about issues concerning death and how it affects our lives. What stood out the most to me was the chapter on suicide. The discussion on suicide was well-done, but I feel that though this is a difficult subject to discuss, we should bring more awareness to this subject. For the sake of brevity, I will focus this blog on adolescent/adult suicide and awareness. I will also draw from my personal experiences. My goal for this blog is to educate others about suicide, take away some of the stigma whenever suicide is discussed, and to uplift people. Due to the nature of the subject, I will do my best to be sensitive in how I discuss this topic. I ask that you do the same with your comments.
Life is hard, especially when one is trying to find him or herself in this world. It’s even harder when you’re stressed and you have a difficult time coping. Everyone should be aware of a few of the warning signs for suicide : depression, anger, thinking about suicide, recklessness, and more. High school and college students have a lot of pressure to succeed in school, at home, and in life. That pressure to do well can overwhelm people, along with the negative feelings when they don’t succeed or feel worthy. It is important for us to notice these signs and be brave enough to ask if one has the desire to commit suicide. What I would like to emphasize the most is for people to be slow to listen and quick to help when someone shares what is hurting him or her.
I have had to deal with suicide in my own life- my own suicide attempt when I was 17. I don’t want to be arrogant and say that my experience was the same as another person’s. It is demeaning to the individual and I look ignorant. I can say that the loneliness and despair I felt was painful. When I was 17, I had a lot of events happening in my life. I didn’t fit in my school’s cliques because I didn’t act the way I was expected. I was bullied, occasionally because of my race (I am of Hispanic and African American heritage) and because I chose to have friends who looked at my character instead of my appearance and I did the same. I did have family problems as well. During an argument that my parents had between each other, I tried to stab myself with a knife. My mother took the knife away from me before I harmed myself. She held me, and I realized at that moment, how much she would miss me if I had succeeded. The police came to our house and confiscated the knives. I wasn’t baker-acted or hospitalized (as I wasn’t hurt, thank goodness) though. In the short-term, I was glad that my mother intervened. We talked somewhat about the problems I’ve had and how they bugged me. It took until college for me to better understand what I was going through. Through counseling, I discovered that I had depression. I could communicate with my counselor, who was understanding and didn’t shame me for being depressed or getting help. At around the same time, I found God. It took me a while, but I learned how special and valuable I was but how everyone else is special, unique, and valuable too. Today, I still have to manage my depression, but I’m doing better. I have a wonderful niece, a fuzzy kitty, a loving girlfriend, and others who are supportive of me.
I know that not everyone has a happy ending, so to speak. That’s why we have to be aware and open our hearts when we hear or learn about suicide. Looking back, I wish I would have had the resources that I have now when I was in high school. We can make a difference and save lives.