I had a friend text me this morning, she said she didn’t like to hear about other people’s suicides. she had enough time dealing with her own humanity.
I have spent way too much thinking and stewing about suicide. Also, havau22 recently stirred some of of my thoughts. Here they are.
suicide has gained such a negative connotation. it’s as if dying of cancer is so much better than dying by taking one’s life. have you ever been at a point where the despairs of the moment are greater than the joys of today, tomorrow, and all tomorrows to follow? Someone like that feels pain far greater than the cancer patient that holds out until the bitter end. the bipolar, depression or the pain of life is how they losw their battle.
havau21 spoke of a coach of a national soccer team who interviewed one night on the national news and lost his battle to depression the next day. he masked his true sadness to a reporter, his cameraman, to a national audience, friends, family, i can only imagine his wife and himself. without the mask, the people around him would have seen his true pain and got him the help he so desperately needed. he finally took off is mask for himself and lost his battle.
there is a common thread running through the story of the coach, people who lose there battle to a mental disorder, or life in general. they all potentially face great life pain. there are plenty of people who face their intense pain and don’t lose there battle. why? those people make it through because they see hope. the hope-pain ratio for these people are good. the sum of all their hope for the rest of their life is greater than the pain they are currently experiencing. with that, they see a reason to go on.
I bet you’ve heard the saying, “why go on?” that’s just a shorthand version of “the joy i can see for the rest of my life teeters on being less than the pain of the moment.” to make it by that moment, either the pain must decreased or the hope and joy must be increased. if that happens the person can step back from the precipice and see tomorrow.
what if there were some easy test to help someone assess how close to the edge they are? there is something i wrote about called the the three i’s of depression created by kirk strosahl. the three i’s are inescapable, interminable, and intolerable. when there is a conjunction of the three i’s, a person’s hope-pain ratio gets dangerously low. without changes, the results may be devastating. The power that one or all of the three i’s holds must be reduced to find a reason for tomorrow.
those are some of my ways too many thoughts on losing the battle. most of them have come from aging but all too fresh wounds, of times I walked the ragged edge. i have a hope that next time my pain-hope ratio teeters on unhealthy, that i remember half of this, find ways to increase my joy, decrease my pain and beat back the three i’s. with that, i’ll find a reason for tomorrow.