September 22, 2016
Suicide kills. Suicide kills dreams, hope, aspirations. Suicide kills relationships, warmth, connectedness. Suicide kills pain, despair, depression. Suicide kills the inability to live one more day. Suicide kills hopelessness.
The point is that on a fundamental level suicide works. Suicide functions for those who see no other way; by providing a way. Suicide provides a way to end suffering that is understandable only to the individual experiencing it.
This understanding appears bleak perhaps even nihilistic. Yet, it is this understanding, an attempt to profoundly come alongside the sufferer, to truly attempt to see through their lens, their own suffering, that can allow us as modern day healers, to save a life and walk on a journey with someone as they discover a life worth living.
Suicide is a topic that is taboo in our society and culture. Along with it come myriad forms of baggage that contribute to barriers in open communication with persons that experience suicidality. As such, we must find out for ourselves what barriers contribute to our own views on suicide so that when called we can attempt to reduce the barriers and provide the sense of safety and understanding that allows another to share one of the most baffling forms of ambivalence; the consideration to continue or end living.
If achieved, this level of acceptance of the potential role of suicide in one’s life, almost paradoxically, places us in position to invite hope. It is the very invitation of hope, experienced affectively, that can lighten the burden just enough to allow one to continue, change to occur, and ultimately a life be saved.
– Christopher Betsworth, LMSW, Crisis Manager, Washington County