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.
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.
Shauna L. Bowling
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