Saturday, November 11, 2017

M*A*S*H Has It Wrong: Suicide Is Not Painless

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

I'm dating myself a bit, but I remember watching M*A*S*H back in the day.  If you've ever watched the TV show you may recall the theme song, Suicide is Painless.  I'm here to call BS.

This post may be long but hang on for the ride.  I'm angry. I'm upset.  I'm sad.  I'm heartbroken.  I know suicide isn't anything new but, darn it all to hell, I've been hearing more and more about it lately.

I've worked as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher for over 13 years and have been on the other end of the line of a suicidal call my fair share of times.  But this year seems like it's been out of control - almost an epidemic.  Just this last week we had two people found in the woods from hanging themselves.  (Imagine being the people who walked upon that!)  We also had a gal who set her car on fire as a means of suicide.  She decided it was too hot and tried to get out.  But not before over 90% of her body was burned.  She's now going through a whole new level of hell, all while her father who has terminal cancer has to sit by and watch.

my ugly crying face

There have been a couple points in my life where the world tumbled down on me and I was positive there was nothing or no one that could help me. Not only was I not sure that I wanted to live, my body wasn't sure either. I became a real life robot, with nothing but a blank hole inside. I lost weight and would stop breathing for short periods of time. My mind hated myself and so did my body.
Acute clinical depression became my diagnosis.  The first time was sixteen years ago and the most recent was just one year ago.

I was at war with myself for a long time. God took over and brought a series of events into my life to show that things would be okay. It wasn't an overnight change but I soon came to realize that there is a light at the end of the darkened tunnel. I am a better person today and am no longer plagued with those thoughts or actions.

My line of work has also brought upon coming in contact with those who call for help or those who call to inform that a life has ended. These calls, at times, affect me personally because I want to scream and shake that person who calls for help and make them honestly believe that it really will be okay. And to hear the screams and hysterical cries of those who've found a loved hits at the core.

PLEASE, PLEASE .....if you ever feel that the world is okay without you, know that you are horribly wrong. Know that there are resources and people who will and want to help. And know that you're not the only one who's been through this profound pain. But most of all, know that God will see you through and it really will get better. Sometimes bad things happen to open the door for even better and greater things.

Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

Don't use suicide as a tool to call attention to yourself.

I'm not being flippant when I say this, but some people make suicidal threats to use as a power tool against someone else.  (i.e. If you dump me, I will kill myself)  There are people who really are suicidal, and those who use the threat of it as a way to draw attention are ignorant.

You can and do matter to others.

I've been lucky enough to have a great support team during my times of depression and suicidal tendencies.  Not everyone is as lucky.  I don't care who you are or what you've done, you matter to someone.  You are someone's father, child, brother, sister, mother, a Child of God.

Friends and family will be left with guilt and grief.

It's easy to think that your friends and family would be better off without you.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  A wave of tremendous guilt and grief will come towering over your family and friends.  Your death will be final, but their sorrow will not be.

There is one who has your back - Jesus.

I'm going to get all religious here and say that Jesus made you, and He made you for a reason.  God don't make no junk.  If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you can draw comfort and strength from Him.  Being a Christian will not make life any easier, but it will make it worth living.

As a side note, I know that Christians also commit suicide.  They're not an exclusive group.  But I know that there are people who have had their lives transformed for the better by seeking out God.

Seek help.  It's not a stigma.

As more and more suicides happen, people are becoming more and more aware.  Depression and other mental illnesses are not something to be ashamed of.  Life events happen.  The wires of our brain become crossed.  Seek professional help and find medicines, therapies, counseling, and other means to get back on track.

Your life is worth living.

Point. Blank. Period.


Samantha said...

I love this. I’ve lost some people to suicide. It’s so horribly tragic for everyone who loved them.

Renee said...

Seems like the world is a very sad, angry place right now, doesn't it? But there's still hope, and things worth living for, thank God.

An Apel a Day said...

I had a student take his life, another student this year - her brother that's only in high school took his life because he was bullied so much. Suicide is so hard! I've gotten that low once. I was in college, it was right after my sister had a baby then the baby died shortly after. She was only 15. I had to go back to college right away after seeing someone born, then die both for the first time. It was just a lot at once. I was super into my work, barely slept, and cried all the time.

MichelleCat said...

First, thank you for doing this. It is truly not a stigma nor something to be ashamed of. Having been in the military and still working alongside them, I hear a lot of bad rap about suicide being an easy way out etc, etc. and how they are selfish. It is a tough subject to talk, write, listen to, think about but, it needs to be said, read, talked about. Thank you.

SueZH said...

Suicide may or may not be painless to the one who has decided this is their way out but it does leave heartbroken people behind. My next door neighbor's son recently died in a suicide pact. I can't imagine what his parents are going through. I know I have vision s of the cute little boy wanting to play in my pond. All the lost potential in this nice kid. Sad.

jjmon2012 said...

Some say they are trying to get peace but it leaves so many people with out their peace. If one person is saved by reading your post then it was worth writing it.