Suicide Ain’t Painless

Posted by jael on Feb 21, 2011 in Education, Spiritual Journey

Hey, my name is jael, and it’s been 3 days since my last post.

Hi, jael.

Hello friends.

I am glad you’re here.

As you know, I’ve been in treatment for over six months now for a broken hallelujah, but since I got the phone call, I’ve been playing hide-and-go seek.

Or maybe dodgeball.

It used to be that what I thought about most, I wrote about least.

brokenhallelujah reframed that for me.  bh carved a space for me to record my process _regardless how raw_ with reverence. It is a place that calls my obedience and lifts my voice in Praise.

Recent events entice recidivism.

I don’t really feel like writing about my process or lifting my voice in hallelujah.

I’ve hidden behind sick kids and dodged the pink elephant in the room.

And that five-toed, pastel pachyderm is suicide.

Suicide tops the long list of things we are socialized not to talk about in mixed company. Suicide is about as taboo as any topic I know. For example, our local paper will not report incidents of suicide as a matter of public policy. Obituaries don’t publish that someone quit their life at the end of a rope or tried to fill the hole in his broken heart with a gun. Often, people fear suicide like a contagion more horrible than the awful flu that’s been going around, and even though most understand that suicidal ideation is neither airborne nor transmittable, fear clings to the topic like static electricity. People worry its very discussion might jump start the idea in another like two evil cables connecting batteries.  As such, suicide is shrouded in myths, misconceptions and shame. Shame is the naughty mistress of all things we are taught not to discuss. What is even more unfortunate is that shame is like the black widow of mistresses. She lures her mate into the shadows and eats it.  Shame shackles Hope.

It is only natural, then, that since I got the phone call about G’s suicide I’ve battled grief and shame. This shame pours bitter dregs from two cups.  The first splashes my own history on today’s canvas as the second makes me feel selfish. The second cup distills more guilt than Worship.

But for the Grace of God, go I.

Shame and myths aside, there are warning signs for suicide.  There are reasons people commit suicide. It’s not only helpful to talk about these warning signs and reasons, it’s preventative.  Talking to a person you fear might be considering suicide does not compel him to take his life, it offers him the relief of being able to be honest about his experience. People who have survived suicide attempts often report that it was not so much that they wanted to die, but that they no longer wanted to continue living their life as it was.  In other words, talking to a person who may be considering suicide invites him to reflect on how he might be able to live his life differently.  And that’s it in a nutshell, if there were an in-between place, a I-don’t-want-to-suffer-like-this-anymore-but-I’m-not-dead-space, I think people would choose it.

That’s the space we need to create in discussions, healthcare, families, treatment, and ideology.  We need to hold that space for people to pause, breathe and heal enough that they can bear their circumstance without lethal measures.

I know it’s not a feel good topic, friends.

But I plan to write a series of posts about suicide.

The focus will be on education, treatment and prevention.

My face will look up to my Portion Deliverer as I research and type.

While I consider hopelessness deep enough to prompt good people to quit life, I will cling unto my Rock.

I will be still, and know that He is God, and His plans are to prosper and not to harm.

There is nothing too big or scary for my God.

I reject the outgrown chains of my history and shame.

Darkness will have no victory in this circumstance or over G’s community.

Nothing will turn me away from the Face of Love.

Well it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

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