Tis the season

There seems to be quite a few unhappy people out there these days. I would even put forward that the seasonal post Christmas suicides have made an early start.

I’m not going to make callous, unfeeling remarks about how to get it right like some jaded healthcare worker. I’m just going to note that since mid November there have been more than the average suicide attempts admitted. I can only imagine how bad it is going to get as the Christmas joy starts to increase.

Now I don’t even pretend to understand this kind os sadness and despair, but a few months ago I had a birthday, and on that birthday I got a gift. It was a glimpse, just a tiny sliver of despair, hopelessness and sadness. At the time it felt monumental, so much greater than I and a burden that could not be shaken off. Within that despair I could see, almost see, how someone could think that suicide might be a suitable way out. I could not find pleasure in the simple things like bare feet on hardwood floors or comfort in seeing the light in the attic across the alley letting me know I am home. It was horribly, horribly wrong and blank.

Rest assured, the door was not open to me, but I could see it, although faintly and it was a long long way off – a journey too difficult for me to make. And so I cried a bit, felt very sorry, very sad and tried my damnedest to get on with living.

After a good sleep and the company of those who love me I woke from the greyness to discover my feet on the floor and the light in the attic. The time spent in that wrong place, half a step in the grey dimension is not something I want to repeat, though I know that it is quite possible I will go there again. It does not seem to be a matter of choice, but rather a matter of illness without any knowledge of how to avoid the contagion. If only it were so simple as good hand washing or eating more salads.

And while I don’t know the answers, I do have a tiny bit more awareness of what life might be like for those who think a suicide will alleviate their pain. I aim to never get a good understanding, but to gain compassion for those lost in the fog.

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