Originally, I was going to write a piece about suicide. I realized, as I've been trying to figure out exactly what to say, that I am ill-equipped. I've never seriously contemplated suicide and don't have that much experience with the topic. Don't get me wrong - I've engaged in numerous self-destructive habits in my life, but suicide attempts aren't one.
In fact, until a few years ago, I'd never known anyone who had committed suicide. That's not to say I was clueless about the subject. I've known a number of people who've tried and even more, including myself, who've self-harmed at one time or another.
About three and a half years ago, though, an acquaintance, A, killed herself. When a friend called and told me, I was shocked. I knew the woman had been in a bad place, and knew that she had recently relapsed, but I didn't realize how much despair she was feeling. My friend, understandably upset, told me that she had talked to A only a couple days before and A had told her she felt that after relapsing yet again, there was no hope.
I struggled to put my mind around this. Like I said, I'd known plenty of people who felt desperate, who'd done desperate things, and so on, and even knew a few folks who'd tried to kill themselves on multiple occasions, but this was the first time that anyone I knew had succeeded.
While I was shocked about her committing suicide, what upset me almost as much was that she felt that she didn't have any hope. I thought, What would it be like to think you don't have any hope? I couldn't comprehend it. I felt distraught for her distress. I mean, I had felt desperate and downtrodden and other feelings myself, but never - never - had I felt that there wasn't any hope.
So, as I mentioned above, I feel unqualified to thoroughly recommend a solution for this topic. I neither have experienced it from a clinical nor a personal standpoint. The last time I spoke to A was maybe a week or two before she committed suicide and we didn't discuss her feelings of hopelessness, so I have no clue what she was really experiencing before she chose to end her life. All I know is why, despite my lowest moments, I always feel hope. While I do not want to compartmentalize parts of myself, that is more of an issue of God and faith than psychology, so I'll not get much into it here. I don't feel like I can instruct others on how to move past their utter hopelessness from a psychological standpoint because I don't have the answers. I can point you to a lot of really good books on the subject, but I can't share what I did to move past suicide.
With the three-part piece "The Glad and the Sad of Depression and Suicide", I wanted to finish this piece focusing on solutions for suicide. While I have much experience with depression, I think that I would be doing a disservice if I tried to recommend something for suicide when I am not an expert nor have I experienced it first-hand.
My next piece will once again be about eating disorders. That is a topic I know!