You Don’t Want to End Your Life; You Want to Change Your Life
When I told some friends I was going to write an article about suicide, their immediate reaction was fear and shock. Some responded with audible gasps; others suggested I not speak of such a deeply sensitive subject.
Talking about suicide is a fast way to suck the air out of the room. The word alone is terrifying to many people. In my work as a life coach, I have seen so many people over the years who have been in very dark places – places so low that they have no idea how to shift their thinking and feelings.
At some point everyone is faced with life challenges that they simply do not know how to handle. It can lead to a breaking point. These overwhelming feelings start with depression, a debilitating medical illness that is far too common in our society.
What is depression? Simply put, depression can be:
- Thinking negatively about yourself or feeling like you are not enough.
- Feeling as though making a change would be too hard, and even exhausting just to try.
- Feeling stuck in a situation for so long that you feel you couldn’t change if you wanted to.
If you have ever related to any of these feelings, you are human! Most people have, at some time or another, felt depressed about something. You don’t have to shift to a more positive state immediately; just know it is possible and you can learn to direct your emotions. When you know what you do not want, what you do want becomes clearer. So dust off those dreams and let them be possible. You don’t have to know how you will achieve them – just see they are possible and start moving towards what makes you happy.
What makes someone suicidal?
This is a simple answer to complex pathology: In general, when people go into a suicidal state they are so overwhelmed with chronic negative feelings and not knowing how to navigate their lives that they decide killing themself will relieve their pain. They usually feel suicide is their only choice. Of course, it is not. But being in such a dark place, they do not see it that way.
What is causing so much anxiety and depression in our society?
People often feel that they are not measuring up in any number of ways, feeling less-than or just trying to be enough. Social media can cause many insecurities, in children especially, leading to feelings of being unloved and unwanted. For example, being excluded from a big party and then watching friends post about it is a type of situation that can magnify feelings of isolation and lack of self worth.
In this fast-paced, high-tech world, we have instant access to devastating news at all times. Rising crime rates, a pandemic, a war on the other side of the world – all piped into our living room TVs on replay or on a screen at the tip of our fingers – can cause heightened anxiety, leaving some feeling out of control, scared and unsafe.
There is a lot of pressure for children, teens and adults to be “perfect” because peers on social media or real life may be judging them. The pressure for some to be perfect – whatever their vision of perfect might be – is exhausting and and can trigger depression and suicidal thoughts.
Thankfully, we can all take a breath. The past is over, the future has not yet happened, and now is the only time there is. It’s possible to stop comparing yourself to others. We are all unique, there is only one of you! We tend to forget that we are in charge of us and we can change. We can start focusing on all the positives that are around us.
You want to change your life – and live!
If you are feeling depressed or have suicidal thoughts, don’t give up on yourself! People are sometimes embarrassed or ashamed to reach out for help. But everyone has a right to their feelings. Whatever is hurting you is temporary and CAN be changed.
The great news is that there are resources to help you if you are suffering. If you are having thoughts of ending your life, help is just a phone call away. Dial 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which provides 24/7, free and confidential support and resources for people in distress. Please do not be afraid to reach out for help from a certified life coach, therapist or other licensed mental health professional. They can help you feel like yourself again.