This is a hard topic for many people out there and many who read this will bring their own thoughts and experiences to it, but these are my thoughts and experiences and I want to speak about them honestly and openly. I hope that it might help others speak openly too.
The biggest problem that this topic suffers from is that no one wants to talk about it. People will deliberately avoid it, and no one seems to want to be honest about it.
That topic is suicide.
Suicide touches many people’s lives and I would be surprised if there is anyone out there who doesn’t have some sort of connection or experience with this topic.
I personally believe that everyone has asked themselves at some point ‘would the world be better off without me? Would I be better off if I didn’t have to go on like this?’
I have asked this many times in my life… Even before all this pain and disability.
I have also lost loved ones and dear friends to suicide, and somehow everyone seems to have a difficult time grieving when they believe that someone should have, or could have, been able to prevent the death of a loved one.
Guilt and shame seem to override the circumstances of what has happened. Death and loss turn into deep family secrets and shame.
Suicide is not just the domain of the famous, the mentally ill or the terminally ill. It affects many people for many reasons. However, living with constant and debilitating pain plays a huge factor when some of us have considered the quality of our lives.
For example, there are many times the pain and frustration has made me want to give up and seek an end to it all. Yes, the pain and suffering is that bad. But I have never taken the steps to planning, which I am sure is a key factor. Even today as I struggled to move and wept in pain, I ask myself is this a life worth living and is it fair to ask my husband to live it with me?
Perhaps it is because I have the hope that things may improve with medications or because I love being able to be an ear for my husband and a heart for his daily struggles. And perhaps too, I am aware that he has hung in through some very difficult times, it has fueled me to keep going. I also hate thinking of giving into these diseases without doing my best to advocate and educate for sufferers.
However, I do not look down upon those who have given up the fight. Not at all. I think no one can judge the pain of another and suicide is often the result of immense pain (physical and emotional).
It is perhaps the loved ones that feel many mixed emotions, and perhaps that is why it becomes such a difficult topic.
Currently there is a growing movement towards Euthanasia for those who have terminal illnesses and painful chronic conditions, and I must say that I would like to see a compassionate response for those in these difficult situations. Perhaps more awareness and support would mean a different result for those left behind?
I once had a conversation with my Doctor where we both agreed that there are worse things than living and dying; and it is suffering.
As we move further through this millennium I would love to see some topics become less taboo and given the respect they deserve. I hope that this topic will be one of them.
Whichever way you choose to live your life and make your life choices, it must be agreed that it is the person’s individual circumstances that makes a huge impact on their decisions and the best type of love we all need in difficult times is unconditional love; with compassion, respect and understanding.
The more we are able to talk freely and openly on these topics the better support systems will be available for those who have lost loved ones or are facing painful life challenges ahead.
Perhaps due to laws and religious reasons many topics remain out of bounds, but it is a us who can choose to turn that around. By using our hearts, our minds and our voices we can change the agenda.
I am not speaking for anyone else other than me when I write my blog, the thoughts and opinions are mine. I don’t speak for the entire community of sufferers but I feel sure that there are others who may feel as I do.
Quality of life is still important when we look at our time here. It is no easy thing to have to ask yourself what can I do with the life I have and what will it mean to me?
There are many that suggest we should live for others, be grateful for everything, and remember there are worse off than ourselves but is everyone else’s opinion of our lives more important than our own? Should we need to compare our worth and our life with others?
For my loved ones and friends who may have experienced this topic or be experiencing it personally, my thoughts are for you. I don’t judge. No matter what your opinions are. Everyone deserves respect.
I hope that in time topics like these will be more easily spoken about and not so shameful or guilty.