This week I delivered a talk on suicide. It was largely geared towards addressing shame. This was my conclusion:
Suicide isn’t a ‘they’ problem – as in, the suicidal people.
It’s an ‘us’ problem.
It’s our responsibility as the adults of this society and this world to make it a kinder place to live in and be part of. To monitor how we speak to others. To make us safe people to be around and talk to. To become self-aware enough that we’re not projecting our own uncomfortable feelings unto others. To break the emotional illiteracy circle from past generation and make this world a mentally healthier place to grow up in, be part of and live in.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention’s theme for this year’s Suicide Prevent Day is 'Creating Hope Through Action' and my hope is this call to action: To be the difference you want to see in the world. To take responsibility beyond the comfort of our own homes, to challenge ourselves to judge less and try to engage and understand more, to be kinder and more accepting of ourselves and others in their otherness and speak more openly, freely and compassionately about our own ugly bits so we can make them common. Stigma isn’t a ‘they’ issue either. Stigma happens when we, as individuals, choose to silence ourselves and thus silence others by sending a signal that 'this is not OK to talk about'.
I believe in individualism as much as collectivism but I believe both have to stem from a place of kindness, not least towards ourselves so that we can project THAT onto others.
Your life, your choice!
But know no matter how much shame you feel, how alone you feel or how desperate you feel, you are NOT alone! There IS a solution! You CAN talk to someone about it and you CAN overcome your suicidal thoughts!
This is a daily, micro-blog, taking less than 2 minutes to read, offering you insights into how presumptions, beliefs and stories shape our lives and worldview, for better or worse.