Thursday, December 20 2012

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suicide prevention, support is available

Image credit: mjsoline | Flickr

A piece of rope seems simple enough. When there are more strands that are woven together in the rope, the greater its strength. A piece of string on its own cannot lift much weight because of its weak composition. On the other hand, a rope can lift hundreds of pounds, being composed of several strands. When there is a weight on a rope, it stretches; each individual strand is being pulled closer together. When this pressure is on the rope, the strands work together in order to lift the load. If it were an individual string to do it on its own, it would snap. A rope’s strength is derived from those strands working together.

Now, imagine this as life. When there is so much stress put on the rope, it gradually stretches and tears until it is just a frayed rope, hanging by a thread. The question is: Should you cut this thread or not? Is suicide ever the answer? It’s not a concern of whether the act is moral or if it is necessary. Nor is it who you’re doing it for. The concern is can you fix it?

Suicide is a topic that is often avoided due to its relatively taboo status. Suicide is defined as the act of intentionally killing oneself. It is often committed due to despair and mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and more. Why does this despair lead to such a preventable conclusion? I asked a few to express their opinion on suicide in a sentence. The variety in the responses shows how differently people may react to the idea of suicide and if it is necessary.

  • It stops the pain for the person enduring it but this pain is passed on to those who love them.
  • Suicide is not the answer to problems; it’s the coward’s way out.
  • Suicide is not a big deal and life is arbitrary.
  • For some, it is the easy way out but to most, it’s something they’ve been pushed to do because there’s no one that supports them.

My personal stance is based on situations I’ve encountered. I’ve had friends come up and talk to me, asking why they should bother to exist. They felt that no one could understand them and that they lacked support. Hearing this, I immediately thought that I’ve failed the criteria of a friend. Worriedly and panicked, I thought of all reasons I could possibly think of for them not to do it. In the end, it wasn’t about what I said but instead, what I did for them. It was such an awe-inspiring feeling being told that you’ve saved someone or that you’ve helped prolong their life. Just showing them how much I cared about them and telling them I’ll always be there for them to talk to, no matter what happens. 3 years later and we still talk.

My point is: you can fix it.
A frayed rope hanging by a thread doesn’t need to be cut.

Don’t bother grabbing those scissors and end everything. A rope will often have tangles during its use. There will be knots and such obstacles can be overcome. Some knots are easier to untangle and others, more complicated. You can’t force yourself to fix this knot on your own. You have to admit to yourself that you’ll need help because with others, you know it will be better and easier.

During life, there are times where we feel like we have so much weight on your shoulders and that there’s so much pressure. There are situations that we’re not sure if we can handle it. It’s as if you’re being tested and checks the strengths of your abilities. A rope bridge with so much weight on it from time to time, begins to fray. Similar to life, when we feel stressed and pressured, it’s as if we’re falling apart. Various people deal with situations differently. Some seek help, some seek reason to get help (thinking that they can handle it themselves) and some fail to seek both, leaving them with lack of hope with the conclusion of a cut thread. However, think about it again. A single strand cannot lift weight on its own but by bonding with other strands in order to make a rope, it makes a big difference. Those people around you as individual strands will help you lift that weight off your shoulders. Don’t cut the thread.

My advice is to remember these four letters: L I V E

L – Look for help

Don’t be afraid to admit that you need help. There have been many who’ve claimed to be able to handle it themselves but in the end, they realise that they’ve overlooked people. There are people out there who care about you; just ask them. There are many networks out there whose sole purpose is to assist those experiencing a hardship and feel the need for support. Some of these include:

www.tuneinnotout.com

www.beyondblue.org.au

www.blackdoginstitute.com.au

I – Identify your problem

To provide a solution, one must have a problem. Once this problem has been identified, you will be able to solve it. Time after time, you will be able to overcome this hurdle. You will get better and you will thank yourself as well as the people who helped you for even attempting to look for a solution.

V – Visualise a new life

Now you’ve resolved the issue, just think of all the things that you can do. Just think of all those opportunities you’ve missed out on because you were dwelling on all the bad things you were experiencing. You can turn over a new leaf and begin to look at the glass half-full.

E – Embark on this new journey

Put your foot out and begin on this journey you’re about to begin; this journey as the ‘new’ you. A person who is now able to notice the brighter side of life. A person who now convinces others that life has several things in store for them and that cutting the thread is not the answer.

Remember these four letters and you will live.

Noelle

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Comments

One Response to “A Frayed Rope Hanging by a Thread”

  1. Xin says:

    One of the quotes I find most powerful when contemplating hopeless despair and the temptation of suicide which can accompany it comes from J. R. R. Tolkien. He said something along the lines of “No person can ever predict the future. Therefore it is foolish to imagine that life cannot change or get any better.”

    I always find it very encouraging that life is never like how we imagine it will be. Personally, I’m very grateful for that because it allows life to be so much more than we could have imagined.

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