Hardly a week goes by with out a report in the local, and sometime national press, of somebody taking their life or attempting to
It goes without saying that each of these events represents a person who felt there was no alternative and leaves behind others deeply hurt by their loss.
Those that decide to end their lives wil have many and personal reasons for doing so, and each one represents a failure of the mental health provision in this country And or society as a whole. We are all guilty in failing that person.
But what of those that do not take that final step, or are persuaded to step back from the final act, often by the police who are more and more seen as the mental health emergency service, without the requisite resources it has to he said. What of them?
Often, in my experience, it is said that either they didn’t really mean to end their life, it was “simply” a cry for help, as if that was either a bad thing. Those who follow me on twitter will age seen the meme I sometimes post about handing out sticks, if you haven’t I recommend you look for it.
But is this the case for most, or all, of those that either do not go through with the final act or delay it enough for the police to arrive? I would suggest that this isn’t the case, far from it I would suggest that that belief shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the mindset of somebody in that position.
By way of explanation let me propose a scenario imagine, if you will, that you have experienced a major event in your life. One that totally outstrips you normal resources or ability to cope. Everything you try either makes no difference or even makes the situation worse?
Eventually you see a possible way out of the situation, but it means you have to give up everything, everything you own, your job, your home, your freedom, even your family. It will leave you with nothing, nothing left of who you were nothing to plan a future with.
All you have to do is sign in the dotted line, sign away everything but the situation you find your self in will be resolved. Would you sign! Maybe maybe not but either way you would sit there first think, hesitate before putting pen to paper or getting up and walking away.
And that is why some hesitate rather than simply end their life. That is the reason why some delay long enough for the police to arrive and that is why some even get up and walk away.
But it is never a lack of courage, not having the nerve or not really wanting to go through with it. I hope you never find your self sitting there pen in hand, having to make that decision. But if you do know that there are people who have been there and know that there are always alternatives. And if you are lucky enough to never have to understand this then perhaps next time you hear or read about an “attempted suicide” remember that somebody did sit there, asking them selves the question “should I sign?”