When is Enough Enough?

I just learned a dear friend of mine’s sister committed suicide. My friend is 16 years older than I; her sister is (was) my age and has suffered from depression for several years now. My friend and I have discussed her sister on our weekly walks at Cranes Roost Park. Neither one of us had any idea it would come to this. I’m sure there are many of you out there who have family and/or friends who have been diagnosed with depression.

How does life get so heavy that someone chooses to end it? I asked God that question moments ago and told him I know how because I’ve thought of it periodically throughout my life. But I always won the battle because I’ve never found a force more formidable than me when it comes to life trying to defeat me. Life IS worth living! I don’t understand. Not completely, anyway.

My heart is breaking for my friend and her family. My heart is breaking for those who would rather not be on this earth. My heart is breaking and I don’t understand.

I have people who are very close to me that suffer from depression and I’m in fear. How can we help? How can we stop someone from taking that final leap? The thought scares me and my heart is breaking. Here I sit thinking I want to write about the lighter, brighter side of life as my writer’s legacy and then I get an IM telling me my friend’s sister JUST committed suicide! Holy Jesus, where is the lighter, brighter side for those who don’t see? Why don’t they see? Can’t you help? Can’t you talk to them and carry them across the sand when they just can’t seem to take another step? Why do you allow this?

I know we all have to walk on thin ice when dealing with a soul who suffers from depression; you basically have to let them reach out if and when they need to talk. I also know you DO NOT poo-poo their depression; the reasons they have dropped into that zone are real and delicate. But how do you prevent a tragedy? How far can you reach and when do you overstep the boundaries to help someone in need? What are the signs?

I’m doing my research now. According to suicidology.org, these are the signs that depression has escalated to a dangerous stage:

BE AWARE OF THE WARNING SIGNS

A suicidal person may:

• Talk about suicide, death, and/or no reason to live.

• Be preoccupied with death and dying.

• Withdraw from friends and/or social activities.

• Have a recent severe loss (esp. relationship) or threat of a significant loss.

• Experience drastic changes in behavior.

• Lose interest in hobbies, work, school, etc.

• Prepare for death by making out a will (unexpectedly) and final arrangements.

• Give away prized possessions.

• Have attempted suicide before.

• Take unnecessary risks; be reckless, and/or impulsive.

• Lose interest in their personal appearance.

• Increase their use of alcohol or drugs.

• Express a sense of hopelessness.

• Be faced with a situation of humiliation or failure.

• Have a history of violence or hostility.

• Have been unwilling to “connect” with potential helpers.

My Plea

Please, if any of you know of someone who suffers from depression, be cognizant of changes in behavior and conversation topics. I don’t know if any of us can really stop someone from ending their life if they are so determined, but we need to be aware.

My heart is breaking for all the lost souls of the world. Always show your love. Always show your concern and never lose compassion and understanding. Let’s try to minimize the broken hearts and souls of the world.

Thanx for listening.


Peace,

Bravewarrior




Shauna L. Bowling

Copyright © May 2013

All Rights Reserved

Words of Hope from a very young person with an old soul

More by this Author


Comments 29 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Oh, how very sad, that there was no one your friend's sister who saw the signs. A terrible loss! I have known people, who really exhibit no outside signs and seem perfectly fine, but then . . . it is always such a mystery to me and devasting, obviously, to that person's family and friends they leave behind. One never really knows what is going on in another one's mind.

Thank you for this excellent advice and bringing awareness to such.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

i have known several people who have chosen to end their stay here on earth. It is when they find no joy...not necessarily what is going on in their lives. We have all had those very dark days...but choose to plunger ahead. Sorry about the loss and I know how difficult it is for those left behind..wondering if they could have helped.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Faith, my friend's sister lives in Texas, so even if she was aware of the signs, I'm afraid distance was a solution for her sister. I am completely aghast. We were just discussing her sister's mental change just last week. My heart bleeds for those who can't find some kind of strength, whether within themselves or reaching out to God for help.

Thank you, Faith. You are so aptly named. You are a Deliverer.

Carol, I have had suicidal thoughts from now and then - not in the past several years - but what stops me is the circumstances that get me so pissed, distressed and/or forlorn. I pick myself up by the bootstraps and say "fuck you, you fuckin' fuck!" And here I stand!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I have lost five friends to suicide. There are no easy answers. I can say with certainty that I never saw it coming with four of them....no signs at all. I don't have the answers, Sha! I know there is pain and suffering out there and all I can do is be receptive and compassionate to those who let me know that they need it.

I hear your words.

bill


Sheri Faye profile image

Sheri Faye 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

Bravewarrior I am so sorry to hear this and understand your distress. Life can be so very painful and we can feel so alone and hopeless at times that choosing to leave can seem like the best option...except then it never has the chance to get better. I am sorry for your friend to. I have no wise words, just a little cyber compassion.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Bill, the scary thing is those who are on the verge of suicide wear the biggest mask of all. We never see what's coming. I feel for you. I've only dealt with this a few times in my life and it's always a blow. I have to wonder if those who committed suicide ever thought about how it would affect the survivors.

Sheri, there are no words. Because my friend wasn't able or ready to talk, I 'got it out' through writing and told her I was doing so. God, I hate tragedy and I hate that people feel they have to give up. We have choices. I don't understand why some people think there is no other choice than ending their lives. God calls us, but I don't believe He calls us in that way.


Vickiw 3 years ago

Suicide has a terrible effect on those close to them. There are huge guilt feelings - people always wonder if they should have seen it coming, and why they didn't. One thing that can be a cause is prescription medications, because they are so powerful. It is really important that people on them feel they can talk about it if they have suicidal thoughts.

But for those who are left behind, it is also very important that they receive counseling, and also join a support group. This is such a worthwhile Hub, Shauna. By writing it you draw attention to the fact that we all need to reach out and communicate with those who are suffering with depression. Great writing, my friend.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Find comfort in th Lord


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Vicki, I will check with my friend later today to see how she's doing. I will be there for her. I can't imagine what she's going through right now.

Martin, you are so right. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this.


DJ Anderson 3 years ago

Inexplicably, there can be a great deal of physical pain associated

with depression. At some point, it can simply become too much to bear.

Would you fault a man whose leg was ensnared in a death trap or

silently give him permission to end his unspeakable pain?

Most will never let you know how precariously close they walk the razor's edge. They view death as the only way out of the pain when they can no longer stand the dissolution of their life.

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

God bless the family and friends of this woman who chose to end

her life.

DJ.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

DJ, I'm learning what you say is true. Situation depression, which many of us go through from time to time is easily remedied and usually goes away with the 'situation' is no longer bothersome. However, deeper depressions are often caused by chemical inbalances in the brain. The thoughts and pain often cannot be controlled and the victim feels the only way out of the pain is to cease existing in this plane. It's so sad.

I appreciate your insight. Thank you for taking the time to read this and to leave your comment and clarification of the subject.


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

Hi Bravewarrior, I really feel for your friend and her family and I hope time passing will help ease their pain.

Your hub is straight from the heart and I can feel your own pain and frustation at our powerlessness through your words. You have done a really good job of highlighting a terrible illness and the tragic circumstances it can lead to.

I know it is little comfort but by you bringing the subject out in the open like this it may encourage someone reading to seek help before it is too late. Take care, Anna.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Anna, that is my intent. I hope it helps, too.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Oh, I've been there - Completely negative in total despair. I had no desire to see the sun, or any human being. My urge to die convinced me that Death was the only way out. Life seems to be totally senseless for the person who is suffering a mental disorder like depression.

When something goes wrong in our brain, it goes terribly wrong. A leaking valve in the heart can be replaced. But the brain cannot be entered. Medical scientist are still fiddling in the dark, trying this, trying that. Apparently in vain when it comes to certain types of depression.

My heart goes out to people suffering depression. We understand the pain of Cancer - physical pain, but when it comes to the pain caused by depression - we have no idea.

My condolences to you and the family of your friend. Take care, Shauna!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Martie, I hope you never have those feelings again. I understand the pain of depression goes beyond physical pain. We can do things and take meds to alleviate physical pain, but the pain of the spirit can't be remedied because it can't be seen or studied. Please be strong and reach out when you are not. You have an entire world of people who love you.

Thank you for your thoughts, Martie. This is a very tender and difficult subject.


Bedbugabscond profile image

Bedbugabscond 3 years ago from United States

I have been suffering from depression recently. I just keep trying to take a step forward each day. Right now my online work, especially Hubpages, is a kind of therapy for me. My feeling of overwhelming loneliness doesn't help matters, but I am trying so hard to keep myself from falling in to a deep chasm. One day at a time I suppose.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Bedbug, I'm glad you're finding a positive outlet to ease your depression. Do you have friends, family and a therapist to help you through your tough times?


Kalux profile image

Kalux 3 years ago from Canada

It is a very hard thing to understand for most of us. We just lost a lovely girl here where I live by suicide a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately she didn't show many signs of it. The ones she left behind are constantly going over what, if anything, they could have done differently or paid more attention to. It's so terribly sad that people can feel so horrible that they want to escape life or themselves. It never hurts to tell someone you care or give an extra hug. xo


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Kalux, I'm so sorry to hear about the girl in your neighborhood. I don't think anyone but the ones who make that final decision to end life will ever understand. Thanx for your input.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

I suffer from situational depression and anxiety and I have high blood pressure. I have no money (or very little) and no family by blood in this world and if it were not for my cats who are my two best friends I would have gone to sleep and never woke up again. I have felt at times I've been a failure in life but the pills I take have helped me immensely and of course so many people have reached out to me in order to help and offer support. Ironic to say that I was crying too much and now I can't cry at all - the plumbing has been turned off and that's what the right pills and a good doctor who is also my friend - can do for you.

Thank you for listening to me my friend and esteemed colleague and thank for coming back into my life here and supporting me as well.

Sending to you my warmest wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 2:35pm


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Epi, I am here any time you need me. I have people close to me who also suffer from depression. From what I've been told, situational depression is easier to deal with because it's just that - situational. I've also been told that St. John's Wort helps. I've been considering taking it myself because I'm finding myself in an emotional and motivational slump.

I don't forsake my friends, Colin. I consider you a friend. And as a fellow cat lover, I can totally relate.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

I've known of 3 people who have committed suicide. The first, a grade school student when I was in elementary school. He ran on to the train tracks. Second, a friend's dad. He jumped off of a bridge. Third, someone I had met only one time. She took pills.

What drives someone to do this? It must surely be a lonely, longing place for someone to do this. They must question their existence every moment until they finally give up. It's just awful. It leaves such a hurtful trail behind for the ones that are living without them.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Crafty, I'm so sorry you had to experience those suicides. From what I understand, people who actually carry it out think that is their only relief. I can't imagine being so despondent. It's so sad, that there are people in this world who would actually rather be dead.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

I just had this conversation with a girl's mother that took her life. The mother has been very depressed herself since her daughter's death. She started talking to me and I just listened. She told me there were warning signs. Her daughter never thought she was good enough. She said that as a young child, she hated school. She got D grades, while her siblings got straight As. She always compared herself to her siblings.

Then when she got older, she married a man who had an affair. She had several children with him, and one died in a car crash. After that, she spiraled out-of-control and no amount of financial help or emotional support seemed to cure her. She was admitted to a hospital and stayed there for months. Her other child came down with a terminal disease.

Unfortunately, it was too much for her to bear. She took pills and passed away. Leaving behind her children, one who is suffering so badly from a disease.

It's so sad that she couldn't see her daughter needed her. Instead, she focused on her inabilities in life. She focused on the daughter that died. She couldn't see how much she was loved and needed. She took her life to get away from her own pain.

But it brings me to a thought. Starting as a young child, it was torment for her to be a D student and no matter what she did she couldn't get her grades up. Our school system just started a new program for testing. It doesn't go by grades, so it's not a competitive system. The child takes a test on the computer. It goes by the child's knowledge. If the child finds the questions too hard, it backs down on the questions. If the questions are too easy, the questions get harder. At the end of the test, the computer generates a report to show how well the student did compared to other students in their age group. So far it's worked out great for my children. While my son has special needs, he's actually above grade level for his intellectual abilities. So that's a really good step forward I think for helping solve a stigma with young people today that they are not good enough or not as smart as the next kid in their class.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Crafty, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Your school system sounds like it's on the right track. When I was in school it wasn't uncommon for kids to skip a grade or be held back a year if they weren't ready to move on. Sometimes that created emotional problems; being the youngest or oldest in a class can often be troublesome for young kids.

It's a shame the woman left behind a child who really needs her. What will happen to the child now that mom's gone?


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

The older we get, the more exposure we have to this sad tragedy. I can name several people who acted on their impulses and took that irreversible step - a former boss, an ex boyfriend, a coworker's son. What a terrible loss for both your friend and her daughter who succumbed to her depression. I'm so sorry for your loss, for her family and for the daughter of your friend.

Through your sharing the story here, you may never know how many lives you've touched, how much you have helped someone, who might just need a dose of compassion and understanding at a critical time.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Peg, I hope I have helped someone. However, I've been told by people who suffer from deep depression that I don't know what I'm talking about and I'm wasting words. That when a suicidal person carries through, there's nothing anyone could have done. I'd like to think otherwise.

We need to be cognizant of the signs and not take depression lightly. People who suffer from this disorder learn to hide it. It's when they start withdrawing and don't want to talk to anyone - including family - that we need to do our damnedest to see if there's anything we can do to help them see that life is worth living.

Unfortunately, if life has become so hard, it may be too late.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas

I believe that we may never know the positive influence that one word, smile or gesture may have on someone who is so depressed they are considering suicide. I read several stories in the early "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books which indicated had it not been for that one act of kindness, they might have gone through with their intentions at that moment. Reflecting on it later, they attribute their choice to remain on this earth to the influence of specific actions by one or more people.

From personal experience at an all-time low in my life, I know that one visit to a professional counselor made me see things in a new light and sent me on a brand new path (thankfully) following a close call.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 13 months ago from Central Florida Author

Peg, thank you for sharing your story. People don't realize how powerful kind words and gestures can be. Too many don't want to get involved or don't feel it's their place. I think I'd rather risk someone thinking I spoke out of turn rather than not reach out to someone I felt was in trouble. You never know until you try, right?

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