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overcoming my fear of the word ‘suicide’

Suicide. It has always been such a sensitive topic to be discussed and may be uncomfortable for some. There are many individuals facing the detrimental effects of their struggles that may lead to them to this thought of suicide.

As society grows to become more understanding, the topic of suicide becomes more welcomed to be spoken about which is beneficial for those who are struggling in silence to feel less alone. Undoubtedly, as a society we all should always care about our language and keep in mind to care for victims of attempted suicide as they might have not resolved their pain just yet. However, it is to be reminded that we should as well never forget about our well-being and to care for the people who are giving the support to the victims as well since their emotional health is on the line too.

My first-hand experience was not the best. As a young girl, I have been verbally and emotionally bullied which had deeply affected my self-esteem and changed my perspective on several ideas growing up. It was painful, to hear such words coming out from a person, but it burns more when that individual is a family member. One that you looked up to and one that you idolised entirely so you attempt to tolerate their actions thinking that it would help to withdraw all the nasty comments they have said about who you are.

From instilling the feeling that I don’t belong, to throwing away cards that I had handcrafted into the bin or my face or even ordering me to do tasks that I didn’t want to conduct. Tears rolled down my face all the time which made my eyes sore whenever I felt obliged to carry out any acts that I despised.

Though, what happens when the person who is having suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide is the person who had scarred you growing up? What happens when the person who seeks help from you because they are struggling, is also the person who tormented you as a child and stole your childhood? What happens when the person who engraved numerous traumas in your life up to this day, is the exact person who pushed you to have your own set of mental health issues?

When this occurred to me some time ago, I was still barely a teenager, so the wounds from all the bullying and other trauma were still fresh and raw. In that period of time, I dealt with a very negative environment and constantly felt uneasy and uncomfortable in the setting of my own home. Usually, if this were a case with someone who cared for me affectionately and sincerely, I wouldn’t be placed in such a dilemma. Nevertheless, I still aided her in whatever was her needs as I knew that if I were to ignore anyone who required help from me, I would know that that is not who I would want to be and, in the end, would regret my actions with a heavy heart.

It is expected that while I aided one’s emotional well-being, mine deteriorated on a whole new level. Knowing that this would occur beforehand, I never expected it to feel this immense and that it would affect me long term. It started uncomfortable from the very beginning but all I had imagined it was just purely me feeling uneasy, but I didn’t anticipate for the negativity to spin my mind round and tangle it all up while feeling the pressure that anything I said could cost someone’s life. Not forgetting the constant reminder that this is the person who made me feel like I was worthless and meaningless, but in a turn of events I am the one person who is lifting her worries when she instilled mine.

In the end, she got better as years passed and she is becoming healthier whilst enjoying an outgoing sociable life at the moment. As I am glad that she is having a positive growth, I can’t help but feel some sense of frustration and disappointment as when I went through a similar difficult phase due to suffering from an ongoing sickness and disability, the same exact person did not support me but that didn’t bother me as I always preferred handling problems on my own if there were any, nevertheless the most hurtful occurrence was when she used my problems against me and invalidated how I feel.

Eventually, I realised that I should not focus on the people who had caused me to feel meaningless but instead, shift my focus on the people who truly cared for me or even myself to try and care for myself more often. It is undoubtedly easier said than done but it is definitely a start by having that idea in your head to remind you that the most important person you can count on when times are tough is yourself. With that, I always try to keep in mind that I should not lose myself because if I do it may put my soul in jeopardy, and I would be merely surviving and never living.

Image was taken by the author.

We can be like a bunch of flowers at a flower garden where some are wilted or about to wilt completely and some are still freshly growing beautifully. The ones that are growing healthily and beautifully could shed some light and glee towards the neighbouring flower friends or family by just being there, by their side, even when times are not the best for them. Sometimes, even when you don’t know what to say to the specific individual who is struggling, the presence of knowing that someone is around you and their warmth, might just be enough to lift them up a little and create a comfortable environment for them to struggle in. Where they can be completely and authentically themselves.

All in all, it is important to not lose yourself when you’re busy helping others. It’s alright to have your own feelings and opinions and it is not a problem to prioritise it at times. Other individuals have no control over your thoughts and feelings except you yourself. It took me a long time to realise that and in full honesty, I still do struggle and feel guilty about it as I feel like I should be caring for others before myself. However, I do believe that in order to care for others with our full abilities, we would need to ensure we are in our best state both physically and mentally.

Nonetheless, remember to always reach out to anyone who you know is struggling. You may not know the intensity of their struggles and what they are precisely experiencing, but it always doesn’t hurt to be open to be a good listener by taking the first step and asking how they are doing. In doing so, you might thankfully be able to alleviate their pain for a little while, making them feel understood and less lonely. With that, we might be able to save a life and maybe countless more by a simple act of kindness.

Submitted by: Anonymous


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