by - October 05, 2012

There are many things in life you don't want to experience. There are so many situations you don't even consider, thinking "That could never happen to me." But then it does, and you're forced to change your way of seeing.

I've never given much thought to suicide, other than to think it a cowardly, selfish way out. But I've never actually been personally affected by someone's decision to end it all, and I've learned that changes everything.

This week, one of my family members tried to kill themselves. They were unsuccessful, but that doesn't change the impact.

Suicide, whether it's successful or just an attempt, is incomprehensible to me. How can life be so bad, so negative that you feel like there's no place for you in it? When does death become the only option? What causes that dark place you can't escape from?

Maybe I've just been lucky. All my life I've been surrounded by caring, loving, supportive people who've done nothing but lift me up. But I don't think luck has too much to do with it. You see, I choose to only invite those types of people into my life. Sure I have to deal with negativity and pessimistic, doom-and-gloom people, but they aren't the people I choose to be with. In fact, I only deal with them on an as-needed basis.

And try though I might, I cannot bring myself to feel pity or sympathy for someone who commits or attempts to commit suicide. I'm saddened by the situation in that someone reaches the point where they feel they have no other choice. Furthermore, I hurt for the family and friends who have no idea what they should say or do or where to go from here.

But mostly I am disturbed, and I don't know that I will ever truly get over it. Out of the many life-changing experiences I've gone through, this has been the most thought-provoking and reality checking of them all.

It's that phone call you never expect, that text message that causes your jaw to literally drop in disbelief. You spend hours just contemplating why. And you're never satisfied with the answers you come up with. There is no rationalization that makes the situation better, and if you're like me and can't wrap your head around the concept that things can be so dark or so terrible that suicide is even considered in the first place, you end up feeling slightly guilty about the way you feel.

In the end, all you can do is hope for brighter days. For the victim, for their families, for their friends.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or displaying suicidal behavior, there is help out there. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Don't wait until it's too late. Call today. 1-800-273-8255

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  1. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I've had the same situation with two people in my life. One was successful and one was not. It is hard to understand, and as many times as I try to, there is never an answer. Just like you, I would never even think of going that route, so in that matter we are blessed. All we can do is offer support. Hang in there, and sending thoughts to you and your family.