Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Suicide

How many people do you know who have committed suicide? I know quite a few who have throughout my life. There are more again whose names I have heard of but have never met who have done so as well. There is one thing some of them have in common; it isn't always the ones you think have a problem with depression. It is often the ones who appear strong, confident and full of life who actually do it and that's why it comes as such a shock and with no warning at all.

There are the ones who are obviously depressed, have problems and are known to be people we need to keep an eye on, but with a lot of them it isn't at all obvious and that is scary. How can we help those who cry behind closed doors, who have no confidence, who feel life is too much of a struggle to bother continuing with if they bottle it up and hide it from the world? They have to appear strong and cannot be seen to be weak and in need of help; these are the ones who often need the most help. They are the ones who one day go away without a word and end their lives with no warning whatsoever.

I remember one man in particular coming into my office many years ago and asking if he could talk to me. He wanted to meet with me after work for a talk as he said he felt he could talk to me and that I'd listen. I said no to him. The reason I said no, is because he was married and I thought he was coming on to me. How many of us have heard the old saying, 'My wife doesn't understand me.' and ignored it? The next morning I heard he had committed suicide the night before. I have never forgotten him and often wonder if me listening could have helped.

None of us knows what goes on behind closed doors in anyone's lives and sometimes, we need to stop and think about people and their behaviour. Ask ourselves why some act the way they do and what has caused it. Everything might appear to be rosy and well on the outside, but behind their own closed door it might be a different matter altogether. Next time you see someone who seems to over re-act to a simple thing it might  be because they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. A man or woman who seems to be dismissive of their lovely, partner who everyone thinks is wonderful, could well be being abused by them in private. If you think about it, you'll realise if someone is acting nastily to another person seemingly without reason, it usually means there is a reason and you just don't know what that reason is.

The truth is, none of us knows the truth about anyone unless we live with them and even then sometimes it is hard to know what goes through their minds. So next time someone 's behaviour seems a little strange to you, ask yourself why it might be. Is a husband or wife as pleasant to their other half as they are to other people or is it an act to make you think they're nice people? Is the charmed life seen in public really as charmed as someone makes it out to be? Is the cock-sure 'flash Harry' really as cock-sure as he's making out or is it all an act? Before we judge others, let's try to ask what their life might be like and not make rash judgements as I did with Brian that day - after all, you might one day have many years ahead of you to regret those thoughts and wonder if you could have helped the way I now wonder if I could have helped Brian.

4 comments:

  1. So true Lorraine: I wish I could write as you do, but I see you post on subjects that are as close to my heart as they are yous. Walk in someones shoes before you judge and then think how you would like to be judged before you go ahead..we do condemn without understanding.
    A cry for help comes in many forms, it would be fantastic if we could understand all of them. Thank you for your depth of feeling on this oh! so emotional subject.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're so right. Everybody has their own struggles even when everything appears 'perfect' on the outside. The old saying "never judge a book by its cover" springs to mind. As AMRose said, if only we could hear every cry for help, but we're just human and we don't understand everything everybody's trying to say to us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My youngest son took an overdose, thankfully he was found in time. I asked him why he did it and he said he didn't know he just felt he couldn't go on. He was going through a really tough patch with his partner. I told him then there was nothing so bad that was worth ending your life for and I am always there for him, always. He was so sorry he'd tried to end his life and promised he would never, ever do anything like that again. I'm praying he meant it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You poor woman. How dreadful that must be for you-so worrying. I pray too that he finds peace and contentment in his life so he never feels like that again and that you will one day be able to have that worry taken from you. xxx

    ReplyDelete