Let’s talk about suicide

April 11, 2012

When I was Internet hopping the other day I came across this. It really struck a chord with me. As most of you know I have tried to kill myself several times in the past and on one occasion was very nearly successful. After each attempt most of my family and friends with a few notable and much appreciated exceptions pretended it hadn’t happened. People avoided asking how I was doing or what I was up to. They must have had questions, I know I would. Why? What was it like? Even did you see a bright light if they were so inclined? In some ways I can understand their reticence. They must have been worried about upsetting me or even making it worse however by refusing to acknowledge it all they succeeded in doing was reinforcing the stereotype that suicide is in some way shameful or even wrong. It became a giant elephant in the room, always there but never discussed. Not being able to talk about what happened led to me bottling it up to the degree that it still causes me problems.

I tried to find some statistics on what proportion of people attempt suicide but failed. Whatever the figures, that’s a lot of stories that are going untold. The taboo around suicide makes people less likely to seek help if they are feeling suicidal for fear of being judged or even laughed at. Until we break it down more people will die or suffer for the lack of a conversation. So please, tell your story if you want to, ask questions if you have then, you never know who you may help.