I really loved this post on the Huffington Post this morning. It’s written by Katie Hurley, a psychotherapist who is also a survivor of suicide.
I, too, am a survivor of suicide.
Am I proud of this? No. But I have found it to be true that sometimes, you have to hit the very bottom before anything gets better.
Am I glad that I did not succeed? Absolutely.
But, do I consider this act selfish? Hell no. Why is that? I can’t say it better than Katie says it herself.
People who say that suicide is selfish always reference the survivors. It’s selfish to leave children, spouses and other family members behind, so they say. They’re not thinking about the survivors, or so they would have us believe. What they don’t know is that those very loved ones are the reason many people hang on for just one more day. They do think about the survivors, probably up until the very last moment in many cases. But the soul-crushing depression that envelops them leaves them feeling like there is no alternative. Like the only way to get out is to opt out. And that is a devastating thought to endure.
Until you’ve stared down that level of depression, until you’ve lost your soul to a sea of emptiness and darkness… you don’t get to make those judgments. You might not understand it, and you are certainly entitled to your own feelings, but making those judgments and spreading that kind of negativity won’t help the next person. In fact, it will only hurt others.
All I can add is a big amen. I know that people will disagree with this–especially people who have lost friends and loved ones to suicide. I think that there’s a lot of communicating that needs to be done between suicide survivors, and those who live every day with the pain of having lost someone to suicide. I think its very common–and even necessary–to be angry at someone who has attempted suicide.
All I’m saying is that, even in anger, it isn’t fair to make a judgement call that probably isn’t true.
Read Katie’s full post here.