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I have a few hundred ideas on my list that need to be written, but Robin Williams’ suicide is taking over the media, and it’s affecting so many people in so many ways. It got me to thinking about how many people are hurting in the world today, how many people are, in this very moment, considering ending it all to stop the pain they feel. My heart aches for them all.
I know some of you may be thinking that if Robin Williams, with all that he had, couldn’t handle life, then how can you? I can’t say that I have any idea why he did what he did, but I can say that you can handle this life. You can keep going. It can get better. It may be a constant struggle, but it is one worth going through. Life is so precious and beautiful, even when we’re surrounded by darkness.
As I mentioned in my article about Robin Williams, and in other places, I have been suicidal. There are still days when that blackness creeps back into me and I feel like giving up. But I don’t. I can’t. I won’t. Not only would I end my chances of ever being truly happy, I would hurt others. Suicide is not painless. It is not a victimless act. It rips into the hearts of those who care for us and leaves a scar forever. You may think no one loves you, but you’re wrong. There is always someone who cares for us, even if we can’t see who they are. Even if they don’t realize how much we mean to them, we are all loved by someone, and we would be missed and grieved for.
If you’re experiencing depression, and especially if you’re thinking of suicide, ask for help. Talk to someone. If you don’t feel you can talk to family or friends, try a therapist or religious official or a hotline. Go online and talk to people anonymously. Do something. You can find help. The world is a lot more open than it was in my dark time, and that’s a good thing when you need to find someone to talk to.
Someone asked me today how I did it alone. I’m going to write about that next. My approach may not work for everyone, but maybe it will help. I believe that there are far more resources now for people in need than there used to be, but for anyone feeling that they are truly alone, I want to repeat the things that I have mentioned in past pieces. If I can save even one of you out there from taking your own life, I will feel blessed. I wish I could hug you all, save you all, but I can’t. I will, however, do all that I can.
I have found that often those who feel pain most deeply, those who suffer the most, can be the best of people. They deserve saving, and their presence in the world is most needed. The fact that your heart can ache, that you can see and feel all that’s wrong in the world, that can be part of your beauty and your reason for living. It’s also often true that those who can come back from being suicidal are among the strongest people, and become more compassionate because of it.
There’s a pain in my heart right now, so I’m finding it hard to wrap this piece up. Just hang in there, and I’ll write the other part, about how I did it.