Suicide is a significant topic and it can happen to anyone. It does not discriminate against age, gender, race, economic status, etc. Currently, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide each day. That is a large number of people in my book. In addition, depression is a cause of suicide. Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. As one can see, suicide and depression have some type of correlation. I personally experienced a suicidal episode back in 2016 and that changed my outlook on life. Here are 3 things that I did to overcome the beast called suicide.
October 4, 2020
By: Darius Malbon
1. Remembering a significant event that showed me how important I was to someone
When I was having my episode, it felt like I was drowning in life. I could see nothing but dark clouds over my life and it felt like there was no way out. It didn’t feel like your typical sad day but something much worse. An episode can cause someone to feel deep hopelessness instead which can be detrimental to the individual. The only way in order for me to have hope again was to remember a time where I felt loved by someone or felt some type of presence of God. When I was younger, I would go to church and continuously see other people worshiping with a unique connection that I didn’t have nor understand. This frustrated me because I wasn’t able to experience what others were indulging in at church. I was frustrated for years because I could not experience this and it definitely affected my spiritual life without realizing it. However, the Spring of 2014, I was able to go to a Christian camp called Rockbridge in Virginia where there were over 400 students at camp. Anyways, the first night of worship a song called “Oceans” by Hillsong was played (everyone should listen to that song). When that song was played, literally the whole atmosphere shifted and every individual broke down in tears because of God’s presence. They even had to stop worship early because everyone was in his or her own zone with the Lord. That was the first time I had ever experienced such joy in my life during worship. He showed how much he loved me. I cannot even explain the extravagant emotions that I felt at this moment in time. When I was having my suicidal episode, the only reason why I even had the motivation to not complete the terrible act was because I remembered my experience at that camp and it gave me just enough hope to not give up on my life.
Reflection 1: You can think of anything that gives you hope again whether it is an experience, a relationship, a song, a memory, or anything you deemed worthy to give you hope.
2. Acknowledging my emotions
Depression and suicide can come from multiple factors. However, there are emotions involved in both. There are many people out there who hold their emotions inside bottled up never allowing anyone to see their true feelings. This sometimes can initiate emotional overload and cause people to have a mental break down if they are not careful. At the time of my episode, I did not express emotions to anyone. This caused me to feel trapped inside my own emotions. I had an interesting thought come up which required me to write a poem. It was weird to even think about writing since that was one of my least favorite things to do in school (Ironically, I do blogs now). My poem contained all my emotions at that moment in time and was compared to the depths of the ocean. The ocean depths were signifying how deep I felt I was drowning. After writing the poem, I felt much better than I had before. It was for the first time ever acknowledging how hopeless I felt which gave me the courage to try to fight my negative thoughts.
Reflection 2: Acknowledging how you feel might be the initial push you need to find those positive thoughts again.
3. Getting out of the house and isolation
The battle of suicide can make one feel extremely isolated. Being in a dark, lonely environment can affect an individual’s psyche tremendously. During the battle, I was stuck in my room the whole night. I didn’t come down stairs nor talk to anyone on my social media nor on my phone. I was completely isolated and felt lost. After experiencing the moment from Rockbridge and expressing my emotions, things started to get easier for me; however, I wasn’t completely healed just yet. When I woke up the following day, I was still feeling down emotionally, but life started to lighten up just a tad. I had to go back to college that day. When I got back to campus, I felt refreshed because I saw a beautiful scenery along with people. Getting out of the house and seeing people again gave me immense hope. Humans desire relationships and being able to finally talk to my peers allowed me to overcome my episode. That need for human interaction and connecting with one another was met and the void of emptiness was gone.
Reflection 3: You don’t have to interact with millions of individuals. Whether it is one person or a whole arena full of people, interacting with someone allows you to nurture the desire for human relationship. That can be the catalyst for overcoming the thoughts of loneliness. In addition, getting outside of an isolated place can open your mind back up again.
Psalm 31:24 – Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
Disclaimer: This is solely my personal experience. I am not a therapist nor professional in this area. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
Wooly Mommoth Design, “Suicide Facts” Save, accessed October 4, 2020 https://save.org/about-suicide/suicide-facts/