And yet we live on

34 Comments

Written for World Suicide Prevention Day 2013 at Write Tribe.

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I still remember having that conversation with my best friend in grade eleven. It was a time when I was going through something emotional in my life. You can say up until that phase of my life, I didn’t know what it means to be really hurt by someone’s actions or words.

This friend is someone who had been with me since grade five. She knows that I never take people, their comments and their actions seriously.Β  A happy go lucky, always optimistic person I was, who made a whole lot of friends with just a smile and much silliness. But this particular person who broke my heart was more dear to me than my own parents were back then. So the hurt was deep.

I told my friend that I would like it if my life ended that day. It was my first real heartbreak and it had nothing to do with love or romance. She shouted at me that day. She made sure that I wasn’t left alone that day in school. She told me that whatever happened happened for a reason.

The lessons learnt were :

  1. Never trust anyone beyond a limit
  2. Never love anyone beyond a limit
  3. Never expect anything from anyone beyond a limit
  4. Never show your true feelings to anyone beyond a limit

This attitude is the best way to live. But it rarely works out that way. Even though we know better, we still give into the temptation of finding that perfect someone who will never hurt us in anyway. There is no one like that in this world. Everyone is going to hurt you at some point or the other. The idea is to learn to live with yourself even after that hurt.

Truth be told, I have felt like ending this life many times since then too. Every single time I have found something small, a small ray of hope that has kept me going. I have attempted to overdose on Panadol once. All it gave me was acidity!

I fear it when my kids try hard to accomplish something. They put in their 100% and I am filled with fear. What if they fail to accomplish the task? Won’t it hurt them? How can I bear that pain of theirs? I try and tell them to be prepared for the worst.

I don’t force them to do anything. I don’t let them overdo anything. I have wondered if that has made me a complacent mother, who doesn’t want her children to be very successful. But then I prefer having imperfect, healthy and some what successful children. It is better than having a confused, hurt and dejected child who tries to be perfect and ends up being miserable in life!

On this day, I want to get rid of this stigma attached to suicide. Everyone who has loved someone and got hurt has felt suicidal. Everyone who has had expectations crushed has felt suicidal. Everyone who has faced unsolvable situations has felt suicidal. It is a very common feeling. Keeping it all in and not sharing that feeling with someone can lead to depression.

It is important to have a support system around you to keep such feelings from taking shape into something drastic. If you feel someone is in a bad state, try to help out. It can bring in the small ray of hope. An opportunity to think properly about the consequences of harsh decisions like suicide.

Let’s hope that we learn to be that ray of hope in someone’s life. All it takes is a smile, a bit of warmth and few calming cliched words. If it can bring someone back to life, it is nothing short of a miracle.

Please spread the word and the awareness.

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34 thoughts on “And yet we live on

  1. To Suicide is the extreme step someone takes when he fails to cope up with life’s pressure and use it as excuses but they never get the fact that such harsh action will leave many of their near and dear ones in shocked state of mind,No matter what the situation is Suicide is in no means the solution..Life is never a happy ride and everyone comes through ups and downs,So if we love to enjoy the ups in life we must develop an attitude to flow with the downs in life…That is the way to live a life afterall we live only once.. πŸ˜€

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  2. At one level one needs gutts to end a life.. because it is ending all the expectations, all dreams, it is willfully saying no to life.. and going into a space of the unknown, at the other level, well it is running away and giving up for reasons personal, private, unmanagable..as Harsha has commented above, Suicide is an extreme step.. just yesterday or day before, there was a 10-year old kid, the son of an MLA or MP in Kerala who hung himself because his mother denied him something.. where do get they get the ideas from .. uff! for what joy, for whose attention.. the pain they inflict on a love one.. but sometimes there are traumatic times when living with it becomes painful and dying becomes an easier option. mmm.. we need to be strong to face the downs as much as ecstatic to face the ups.. what I am weary about it is the easiest solution to problems available to many..

    Pins πŸ™‚

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    • Oh yes, one really does need guts to end their own life. It is power they get from that moment of extreme grief. Once that moment passes, the person is back to normal. But sometimes that moment doesn’t pass and the life ends. God should send a saviour to every person who reaches that moment in life. Feeling sad hearing about the kid. It is unexplainable. Human mind works in weird ways. Some might not survive without professional help.

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  3. Live and let live. Listen to everyone but follow your heart. If everyone understood this and accepted, things would have been much better.

    I liked your way of handling kids. They already have enough and more pressures, so we shouldn’t burden them with our expectations. We should also let them taste what defeat is. It helps them become stronger mentally and emotionally.

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  4. That’s my mantra too…Live and let live. Guess we tend to really expect too much out of ourselves and start measuring ourselves on others’ yardsticks.

    Stronger mental balance is required. Thanks!

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  5. They say we are our own worst enemy. If we can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in ourselves and others, we may find the happiness that has always eluded us. It would be better to be pleasantly surprised than fatally disappointed!!

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  6. Jyothi this is the reason why I myself keep telling myself that as a parent I must be very careful. Always remember things that made me sad or stressed. But you know I feel its going to be difficult. I know I will also make mistakes I just hope I can correct them at right time..

    Richa

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    • The problem with parenting these days Richa is that these kids know too much! I have two teenagers and I sometimes feel completely lost. There is no right way or wrong way. Every child and parent is different. I guess the best way is to have communications open at all times. Even if the volume is high at times. πŸ˜€

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  7. That really should be the way to treat children, Never let them feel the weight of expectation. Of course in life one has to try, and fail, in order to learn something. But it is our job to tell the kids that failure happens, and at times it is essential. Good post πŸ™‚

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    • Exactly Vaisakh! In a class there can be only one topper. I have seen parents fight with teachers over even 1 mark in exams when my kids were smaller. I mean , getting 100/100 is not going to mean anything in life! Not many people understand this.

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  8. Loved the post, Jyothi. When I hear about kids committing suicide, I always wonder what makes them feel so desolate at such a young age that they don’t see hope in anything. Is it that the expectation from parents is too high or are the parents too busy even to notice?
    I guess there is no perfect answer as there is no perfect way to bring them up. Be open, don’t put unnecessary pressure and pass on the feeling that you will be there for them, no matter what. Even then, that feeling of ‘what if’ refuses to leave at times…..

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    • When it is time for the rebellious teens, there is no logic in them. I fear this the most now Bindu. But I guess it is better to have arguments than have silence in a relationship. I have seen kids who are so calm and nice to their parents at home but are brats to everyone else around. I used to teach teenagers, so I have seen this quite often.

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  9. I don’t like pressuring my kids either. I figure they get enough pressure in life as it is. So tragic when young people feel they have no choice but to take such a drastic step. I read the saddest news story about a girl in England recently who committed suicide after sending out 200 resumes and still didn’t a job. It’s so tough for them these days.

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    • The competition is too tough these days Cate. So many sad cases being reported. I just wish everyone learnt to communicate with their kids at all times. Being a parent to two teenagers, I know how difficult this is.

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  10. You so right and many of us have been thought the stage. I’ve been tough it several times and makes no sense to avoid it. C’mon lets face it and accept that we wanted to put n end to our lives. Very well said.

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  11. When my son puts in 100% and if he does not get the desired results , not only he but I too feel bad. Its tough for a mother.But I feel like everyone else he too will have to undergo his share of hurt and its inevitable. A mom cannot always act as a shield .

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    • The pain and hurt and failure, the child has to go through in life. No matter how much a mother tries to protect. But preparing them to accept failures can be helpful in the keeping the kids from getting frustrated. There is a difference between encouraging a child and pushing it. We understand this quite late I guess.

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  12. Glad your friend shouted at you, Jyothi. Suicide is a painful outcome to all concerned, no matter how it happens. The important thing is communication so that those suicidal feelings can be dispersed. (Fourth time I am trying to comment – hope it goes through now). 😦

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