MAKING IT BETTER: Talking About Suicides

Reading about the recent spate of suicides of celebrities in the UK and US has really struck a chord with me. It was only a few weeks ago I was writing about the increase in death of our younger generation. Hearing about the suicide of a very successful fashion designer, Kate Spade at 55 who hung herself in their home where her young daughter slept in another room just sent chills up my spine. This is the third fashion designer who hung themselves recently. Then there was the suicide of another very successful chef and food journalist Anthony Bourdain 61. They both appeared to have everything at their disposal and the world at their feet, at the top of their game; but not only did they take their own lives but they hung themselves! In the scheme of things I guess it doesn’t matter the manner in which you take your own life, it’s still the end of a life. However there is something about hanging that feels particularly dramatic and almost theatrical. For one thing women very rarely hang themselves, it tends to be something men do, but the effort and construct involved in the act of hanging just seems even more macabre than taking poison or using a gun.
Several years ago I was woken up at the crack of dawn by a neighbour a few houses down to mine in the UK. This young twenty something woman was beside herself as she was banging on doors along the street and no one was responding. I had two young children sleeping in their beds so I was a little apprehensive but I also was woman who was very gender conscious and immediately thought she might be fleeing from abuse. I spoke to her through my door and asked her what was going on and to my horror and complete shock she said her boyfriend was hanging on the stair banister in their flat. My first thought was that I had heard wrong but I also knew they had a small child and I immediately panicked on her behalf. I called an ambulance and the police and asked where the child was and when she said she hadn’t thought about it, I asked her to go back and get her child. It turns out she and her boyfriend had argued the night before and she had gone to sleep in the living room and when she got up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night she found him hanging. I remember thinking their young child who was six could also have easily got up in the night to been confronted with a devastating scene. It would have traumatised her for life! I remember feeling very angry towards my friend’s boyfriend who I thought I knew as a perfectly nice quiet young man. I remember thinking how selfish could he be to be so consumed with his own feelings that he didn’t have a thought for the small child. As the years have passed and the more I have learnt, read and understood about the act of suicide, one thing that has become very clear is that for most people who make that decision, in their mind there is no other way out. It usually would have been something they have thought about for a while and are simply overcome with such despair and agonising pain it is the only solution. When you explore a bit you usually will unearth they have been suffering from bouts of depression that were either not adequately addressed or completely over looked.
What is driving people to this ultimate act! We are beginning to get more stories in our own country Nigeria of people taking their own lives. There is something quite acute about the level of desperation and sense of bleakness that makes a person feel there is no other solution to the emotional and psychological pain they feel, than to end their lives to make it stop.  This is a very sad and lonely place to find yourself. Suicide is a final solution to what could be a temporary problem.
It is so important that we pay attention to our brothers and sisters around us. We cannot be afraid to ask loved ones and friends about their mental health. There are so many different ways to approach it if it may be an awkward subject to address directly. Even subtle changes in behaviour and countenance that you may observe in someone you know that continues for a prolonged time may be signs of something brewing. Just asking how people are feeling or if they are troubled with anything could open up a dialogue that could be beneficial to them. We all know these are tough times we are going through and people are really struggling in so many ways. Let’s take a moment out of our day to minister to just one person by genuinely inquiring about their welfare. You just might save a life.
This is a time that fosters great anxiety and stress in people and our access to community the way e knew it has changed. People have become very materialistic, individualistic, selfish and desensitised to others and to their surroundings. Our priorities are all over the place and we live in an environment that fosters things that are not conducive to our mental, physical and emotional welfare. It is up to the individual to take stock, stop and think about what we are doing, what we are saying and how we are living. Are we part of the problem or part of the solution?
Below are a few thoughts and prayers against suicide
In the end one needs more courage to live than to kill oneself
When it is darkest, we can see the stars – Christian Larson
Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any suicide – Christian Larson
We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same – Carlos Casteneda
Grit your teeth and let it hurt. Don’t deny it, don’t be overwhelmed by it. It will not last forever – Harold Kushner
Never never give up – Winston Churchill
If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen – Loretta Girzartis
Suicide does not end the chances of life getting better, it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better
We ask that no matter how deep we may sink or feel despair that we hold on to our faith and trust in God. May the almighty give us the strength to walk the difficult walk to fight those battles that may come our way. We ask that you shine light in our path where it may be dark so we find our way out of peril and decay.
Let God use you: ask Him who you can bless. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Pray for someone tonight. James 5:16

Dear God,
Enlighten what’s dark in me,
Strengthen what’s weak in me
Mend what’s broken in me,
Bind what’s bruised in me,
Heal what sick in me,
Please revive whatever peace and love had died in me
AMEN

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DEAR FRIEND AND SISTER BISI ADELEYE-FAYEMI
                        OMOLUABI (A GOOD AND HONOURABLE WOMAN)

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2 Responses to MAKING IT BETTER: Talking About Suicides

  1. Olakunle Olajide June 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Amen to the prayers..
    May God help us all from depression. Whatever our worries may be, it will never heat us up to the extent of thinking or committing suicide.

    Reply
  2. Femi Diipo June 16, 2018 at 1:12 am

    Amen! Depression can be a very terrible thing. That point where it seems like there’s really nothing one can do and no possible way to make things better. We all have to learn to remain positive and constantly help others as much as we can

    Reply

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