The Ultimate Agony

What takes someone to want to commit suicide? Many of us have had hard times in life, and have felt at the end of the rope. But it is human nature to want to believe, to have hope and trust that tomorrow, or even, the day after DSCN0109smtomorrow, will be a better day. We spend our lives hoping that a better time arrives and that we will be rid of all our problems, well, at least a few of them. And we strive and work at making it better.

A few choose to end it all, to take action and end the pain.

Is the pain too much to handle? Are there any other factors that influence the decision?

Nobody ends their life willingly when they are happy and fulfilled. In most instances, the pain has been felt and endured for a long time, too long. There has been despair and depression, whether their loved ones can see it or not. At times the depression goes undetected and the suicide attempt, whether successful or not, comes as a surprise to those that surround the victim.

I call it victim, as I think that anybody that attempts against his or her own life is a victim. Victim of the circumstances, problems or even themselves; suffering so deeply that they feel their only hope is to end their life, and therefore the pain. Some find the attempt futile, as in this society suicide has been stigmatized to the point that those that end their life, or attempt to, are chastised and shun. If successful, they are believed to end up suffering eternally at the mercy of a God that condemns attempting against one’s life. People that attempt suicide are condemned by society and, many think, will be condemned by their God. No way out, really. By leaving the stage, your pain and condemnation will be further still.

In order to make the decision to take their own lives, they have to suffer enough that nothing, not even eternal damnation is enough to stop them. That sounds like a very deep pain if you ask me.

What happens when one commits suicide? We don’t know what happens to them if they succeed, as we have not a clue of what goes on in the other life. Why are we so quick to judge them then? And what happens to those that attempt it and fail? Staying alive can be considered a failure in this case as not only the person is not able to fulfill their wishes; they have a whole society to let them know what a terrible kind of person they are. So many contradictions and pain, so much fear; punishing those in pain, beating the fallen.

We are so afraid of sadness and more so of loosing our own lives that we loose respect for other’s pain, for their decisions and privacy.

And after all, what are we discussing when we discuss suicide? Are we talking about the consequences or the problem? The problem is depression and despair, that disease that nobody talks about, almost as stigmatized as suicide itself. Nobody wants to admit that it is a real sickness, so much so that we joke about it all the time, we use the term lightly and we ignore those that are going through it: “Cheer up! Would you?”

At the end depressed people have lost a will to live, a reputation and, are faced with a dead end.

To help us understand what can drive an human being to suicide, and what are the challenges of the survivors, I have invited Michelle, a suicide survivor, that takes life lightly in her concern for others. Please Join us Tuesday September 9th at 8 PM PST for a night of insights and awareness


Healing Oneself by Healing Others

Denise was a treat; open, candid, caring; with great respect and compassion she gave us a picture of denisechildwhat happens in to the life of those who suffer; she was able to transmit to us a reality that could hardly be ignored, a past that doesn’t go away till it is looked at it in the face, till it is accepted and embraced, out in the open so we are able to let go, to let be. The kind of past that needs to be acknowledged and embraced, talked about and brought to light so it can heal, blending with today’s safe memories.

Having been molested, Denise went through very hard times, detached from reality, denying her pain, she went trough life with a tremendous secret, sorrow and shame that was eating her inside. During all those years of silence, the abuse that had happened was still a negative force inside of Denise, burning, breaking, hurting, as coals stay lit and hot, her memories, her secret, were still living inside of her, bringing shame and confusion, depression and destructive patterns.

Denise new she had to do something, so she set herself up to help others. Volunteering for charities and support organizations was a great beginning for Denise, giving her a sense of accomplishment, community, healing; but mostly opening up in her the desire to talk, bringing the strength from inside to start sharing her story with a few of the victims she helped, giving them hope and courage with her experiences, with her lead and example.  Denise realized she needed to tell her story to others, if a story going to heal others has to be told; and as an unexpected bonus, Denise started her own healing by sharing, by trusting again, but opening up here heart and allowing for redemption, for understanding and compassion; for a new life, really, full of dreams and goals, feeling safe and secure, and feeling useful, helping other teens in trouble overcome their problems and bring light in to their own lives. Isn’t that a something? When we set out to help others we end up helping ourselves the most. So this way Denise realized that the best way to help herself and help others was to keep on coming forward, to be open and supportive; to be strong for herself and others, but mostly for that brave little girl, Denise, that endured all that pain and suffering, all that shame and isolation out of love for her mother and the promise of a “normal” family.

Denise started writing and a has a great blog, you can read some of her work here

She has also produced an amazing video of her experience and healing process

This project is allowed Denise to admit to her pain, remove the shame opening a whole new avenue of possibilities, compassion, love, understanding, support and hope. Denise has been able to free herself from her chains, gathering the strength and courage to help others.

Today Denise, although has a long way to go, a whole life time of healing, is a much happier woman, that stands up for herself, not ashamed to be a victim, but proud to be a survivor.

You can listen to the archive of her interview