Suicide – what is it?

That word is the word I couldn’t say for months after my son was found dead in his apartment. I physically couldn’t say it. My mouth could not get the sounds out. Eventually, I was able to say it but it was still such a bad, horrible, scary word to me. Ryan would not have done “that”!!! It was an unbelievable thought.

Over the past ten years since his death, I have read a lot, talked to a lot of people and learned a lot about suicide. I still don’t know anything. Suicide seems to mean different things to people. I have come to live with it as a part of my life.

We are trying to decrease the stigma of suicide. We now use different vocabulary and it is always changing as well. People do not commit suicide, they die by suicide. I like that. It takes the crime out of it. I really do not think of my son as having committed a crime but as having tried to end the pain he was in at that time.

People think about suicide for so many different reasons that there should be different words for different reasons. (I think). There are some who are depressed or have had somethings happen in their lives that have made a change and don’t want to live anymore and plan their deaths; some who are angry or sad in the moment, most often under the influence of drugs or alcohol and end their lives and there are those who are ill and want doctor’s help to end their lives.

I truly believe that if my son had told someone about his thoughts, his drug use that he would have lived; that he wanted to live. That is why I believe in talking about suicide in the hopes of others talking about it as well. I don’t have answers but I am always open to talking and sharing my story as a mom who has been left behind by suicide. I have also had suicidal thoughts due to the trauma, so I know what that is like as well. It is scary when thoughts come into your head without your control.

There has been much discussion on the new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. I cannot comment on that because I have not watched the series and I won’t be watching it. There are still some things I can’t watch. But I am happy that it has brought a lot of discussion on suicide to the media. I have learned that talking about suicide doesn’t cause suicide.

 

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3 thoughts on “Suicide – what is it?

  1. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I think of suicide as a space a person gets their head into and they do it almost on impulse after a long period of contemplating it but if they could actually understand how much it hurts those left behind they would never do it. A school mate of my daughter had a brother who died of suicide and his mother became an obsessed suicide prevention activist going everywhere trying to educate the world. I think her obsessing the way she did drove her into a bad head space and she eventually died the same way her son did, leaving her husband and younger son behind. I think you are doing the right thing by not watching “Reasons Why.” I enjoy your blogs a lot and I for one would be sad if you got your head into the wrong place and I hardly know you. You must be much more valuable to those around you. I am glad you are being kind to yourself and taking care of yourself instead.

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