Every time I hear that someone has ended their life, I get so emotional. It evokes so many memories. I remember so clearly my fight with suicide. I was losing the fight. I had nothing left. I had decided that death was my only escape from the trauma and depression that I faced for years. All that remained was how I would choose to die.
Suicide is not a sign of weakness by any means. It’s a sign that someone tried everything that they knew to do and felt there were no more options. It’s what happens when one is tired — physically, mentally and emotionally.
Suicide is no one’s fault. It is a reminder that as humans we need to be more kind and more connected to one another. We expect people to hurt and suffer but eventually get over it. We expect people to handle their problems on their own. Our shoulders get tired. Our ears get tired. It’s not because we’re cruel. We are human with limited understanding. We have our own problems. We can’t carry everyone’s problems. But do we carry enough?
Suicide. Just saying the word, alone, for some, carries such a weight. We equate it with those people who gave up and “didn’t try”. But it’s not true. We call them selfish when in fact, they were desperate. We call them pathetic when they have fought battles we’ll never know about or begin to understand. Suicide is misunderstood. I’d love to see society make more of an effort to look beyond the surface perspective and see the truth.
I was extremely close to taking my life. I had tried everything that my mind knew to do. But I was not in a healthy state of mind. My resources were also limited. My family didn’t know at all. But God! He gave me an opportunity to make a change by accepting Him as the head of my life. It didn’t solve all of my issues; and I still carried the pain of depression. The difference was that I had a heart and a mind to seek His will for my life. It was a long journey but He eventually led me to a place where I had a desire to live.
I am humbled.
I am emotional.
I wish I could save the world. But instead, I’m committed to doing my part. I tell my story. I shine light (empathy, compassion and education) on places of darkness. I’m a witness that desperation doesn’t have to be one’s final destination.
If you need help and have thoughts of committing suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Please seek medical care for depression, mood disorders and thoughts of inflicting harm. No matter what you are facing, please know that you don’t have to suffer alone.
May Kate Spade always be remembered.