What Suicide Says About Us

by Neseret on May 17, 2013

The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling. ~ David Foster Wallace ~

“Why do people commit suicide?”

I get asked this question often. I also have spent time with countless individuals who have expressed intense desire or even planned their way out of this place we call home. I’ve seen many leave.

At some point in their life most people will have had a suicidal thought cross their minds, albeit passively. Then there are others who think about it frequently, looking for relief every moment of everyday.

These souls tell me they can no longer tolerate the pain and heartache of living. They’re likely battling a host of demons – mainly mental illness, addiction or both. Others are simply carrying the burden of past or future. Still others face untold internal pressure of some sort.

At the root of these pressures is often the inability to be one’s self. This is the most painful thing anyone can face. It is part of what kills people a little everyday until they’re a mere shadows of who they truly are.

This is the story of the living dead.

It can be quiet the predicament being here. You can stay here and try to measure up against society’s insane standards. What e.e cummings eloquently described as a world working day and night to make you in to someone you’re not. You can stay and fight the good fight or you can throw in the towel and leave.

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~ e. e. cummings ~

Sometimes I think, who can blame those who want to “get the fuck out of this bloody mess?”

We can all sit back and think those who kill themselves are “crazy” or that they did this only because they were suffering from a severe mental illness. However, suicide in a larger context has something to say about all of us.

When you hear someone has left in such untimely manner and often under traumatic conditions, you sense something is seriously wrong. It is. It is like hearing an ambulance or a fire siren passing through. Suicide is one of the most tragic warning bells.

Ultimately, what does suicide say about us (Yes, you, me, and everyone else!)

A whole lot. Each and every one of us individually contribute and determine the emotional tone of planet earth. Just like every member of the family determines the emotional tone of a home.

The emotional tone of planet earth for thousands of years has been dominated by the vibrations of fear, greed, and hatred. A sort of volatile volcanic inferno. Some of us can tolerate and endure the pain of living at this place more than others.

Humanity as a whole has come a long way, but we still have an immense amount of healing work to do. We need to put the fire out in this house and clean out the wreckage and debris.

If we each commit to doing the inner work necessary for healing it will be reflected in the outer world. This is the message that all the prophets, masters, and teachers have told us.

Imagine a world where there is peace, love, and harmony.

A world where people with mental illness received the same type of understanding, compassion, and support as someone who suffers from cancer or any other illness for that matter.

Imagine a world where there is no stigma about mental illness and addiction. People were educated about mental health and mental illness from primary grade school. There was no shame about mental illness, so that if people needed help they would feel safe to seek it.

Imagine a world where each and every human being received the basics of life – acceptance, understanding, appreciation, unconditional love.

Imagine a world where we had a healthy, functional relationship with death. People would be allowed to die in peace and with dignity.

Imagine a world where we were nurtured as spiritual beings without shaming religious doctrines and ideologies.

Under these conditions suicide would be unheard of….

Because people would know they’re not alone. People would know they have inherent value as a human being regardless of the status of their mental health and well being.

People would know they are accepted, understood, loved, and cherished just for being human and for being here.

Ultimately that is what we all want most out of life – to be significant and to be connected.

To love and be loved…

If you are someone thinking about suicide right now please seek help. If you’re someone who has lost someone close to you by suicide, my sincerest and deepest sympathy.

Please take time to share your thoughts and experiences here below. Share this on Facebook and Twitter.

Peace, Love & Gratitude,



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

laurel June 16, 2013 at 9:19 am

so true …. it is the wanting to end the enduring of so many years of pain and anguish of the mind that causes one to consider and partake in suicide… to end the madness they believe to be the truth …and it is as they are in the midst of “drowning” in the negativity and darkness , the isolation, or numb to feeling … and uncomfortable bleak existence that those who have never dealt with or experienced depression dont understand…


Neseret June 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Dear Laurel,

You’re absolutely right. “Enduring so many years of pain and anguish” and not getting any significant relief makes people lose hope. After a while living with unrelenting turmoil within and without becomes intolerable. But who is responsible for creating the negative vibrations on planet earth – “the negativity, and the darkness”? Each and every one of us! We all contribute to the spreading of light, love, and truth or darkness, fear, and lies. Suicide is a symptom of greater dysfunction in the human family. We’ve got some serious work to do.


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