Posted in #EndViolence, Betrayals, Uncategorized

I beg you, Ma, I never wanted to die

depressed-woman
Picture Credit: punjabnewsline.com

As she peered down from heaven, she saw her kith and kin weeping. She could not bear the pain inside her heart. Death was supposed to ease all pain – why then did she still feel it? She had chosen this – she had chosen to end it all. Why then, did it still hurt as if she was very much alive?

She had to take the weight off her heart. She found a way. 

This was originally what I had started off for the post I was to write for Corinne’s, to spread the word for ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’ on 10th September.

I could not complete it. I wrote. Deleted. Wrote. Deleted. Cried.

And I decided I could not. I can tell you about her though.

Her name is Nisha. A close friend. The sweetest person I had ever met. She had seen the ups and downs of a lifetime in 5 years of her small life. For the kind of life she had led, she did not deserve to face the tribulations that life had hurled across at her. Yet, she persisted and I know how she struggled – for dignity, for a life that was no one else’s but hers. Unfortunately, she could not heal enough and life threw another big blow in her arms. She just could not take it this time.

She tried – an attempt to end it all. But she had a lot of incomplete things and her sense of responsibility did not leave her even when she was doing such an irresponsible thing. An email to me, which I happened to read on time, made me rush to her home.

I am now looking at her – pale and disheveled, lying in hospital clothes in the ward, and I wonder how she had taken such a step. My first reaction was anger. Anger that she had done this, and then disgust – I thought she was a coward.

But then, I tried to understand what she had gone through. She was in delirium. The sedatives given to calm her would put her to sleep – she needed a lot of it. But when she regained consciousness, she would see me, and reach out for my hand. She felt warm against the skin of my palm.

“I never wanted to die, Ma. Please don’t be upset with me. Please don’t be. I could not bear it. That moment was bad, ma. That one moment was very bad. It was the lowest I had ever felt in my life.” She lost consciousness again. I think she was mistaking me for her mother in that state of mind.

Coward? That was a strong word for someone who had been through hell and surviving for so long. Her mention of “that moment” chilled me to the bone. How would that moment have been, I wonder. I felt guilty of thinking that she was a coward. She is not.

All I know is that I will never ever criticize a person because they tried to end their lives. Those who survive are very lucky, as life gives them another chance. I know I will stand by Nisha. Now that she has done this, I can not leave her alone. She has seen an unfair life, but all is not lost. She hasn’t experienced true unconditional love. I will give it to her.

I will take her under my wing and help her out – address each of her problems and find a solution. Maybe take her to a psychiatrist if need be. But one by one, I will try to peel the layers off – to reveal the beautiful person that she is. One by one. I may or may not succeed. She might try this again. I somehow believe that she won’t. And I will make her believe that she is a special one, for she survived. She is destined to fight back.

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I am writing this post for Write Tribe.

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Some facts by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) that I want to highlight here are related to the way we treat people with depression.

  • Lack of access to appropriate care is one of the many factors that magnify the stigma associated with mental illness and with suicidal ideation and behaviour.
  • Negative attitudes about individuals with mental illnesses and/or suicidal ideation or impulses – prejudice – is common in many communities. These negative attitudes often do not change with education about mental illnesses and suicidal behaviour.
  • Stigma is also the underlying motive for discrimination – inappropriate or unlawful restrictions on the freedoms of individuals with mental illnesses or suicidal behaviour. One extreme example is the criminalization of suicidal behaviour, which still occurs in many countries.
  • Discrimination can prevent or discourage people affected by mental illnesses and/or suicidal ideation or behaviour from seeking professional help or from returning to their normal social roles after receiving treatment for an episode of illness or crisis.
  • World Suicide Prevention Day is an ideal time to inspire people to work towards the goal of developing creative new methods for eradicating stigma.

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I do not have any solutions to offer. I do believe though, that awareness is the first step – which is why I narrated the story of Nisha.

In many cases, perfectly normal people might feel the deep pull of void, losing their sense and orientation of right and wrong. We have to be understanding and sympathetic, provide support and just be there. It is always better to have tried to be there, than to hear a sad person and ignore him/her as trying to gain attention.

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Author:

As within, so without

42 thoughts on “I beg you, Ma, I never wanted to die

    1. I know!! I can understand… a whole lot of negative emotions do come when we hear about someone having tried a suicide attempt, but we need to be more compassionate towards them because in many cases, it is a cry for help. Thanks CL, do visit again.

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    1. Thanks Tony. Welcome to my space. The subject is so very sensitive; unfortunately, most people deal with it in the most insensitive manner – which is what we need to address. 🙂 Will visit your blog soon. Take care!!

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  1. Sadly most people make the mistake of assuming someone who attempts suicide is a coward or is selfish. The fact is, they are at a stage where they see no hope whatsoever and hence make an attempt. We need more services across the world to end the stigma and create awareness. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. True, Psych Babbler.. I agree we need more services and help groups to end the stigma. But the biggest support comes from the immediate circle of the person, and in many cases, it’s the immediate circle that ridicules, and demeans such people. Also, the attitude is to “not get involved in matters of others, especially if they are not mentally sound.”

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  2. A very touching story of Nisha. I’m glad that she’s in a better place now. It’s true that many still have negative attitude towards the people carrying the illness. Hope that changes soon.

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  3. I dislike heavily those folks who call people ‘coward’ to have gone for the extreme step. Nobody tries to think of the reason that led them that way, nobody wants to help them, to console them when there was still time. And when they’re gone, we call them ‘cowards’. 😦

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    1. Exactly.. and statements such as, “Didn’t you think of your parents? Didn’t you think of your kids/husband?” come up so spontaneously, aggravating the grief of an already fragile person – saying such things adds to the guilt.. but very few understand this.

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  4. Its so tragic that people call them cowards who attempt to end their own lives. We never think what could have driven them to take such extreme measures so as to think of giving up on life altogether…..

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    1. Yes, Bhavya.. it is a call for help. Sometimes a call for attention perhaps.. but an underlying struggle is how it wells up in the form of suicide. The struggles usually have been there for years together. Only a compassionate heart can understand or try to comprehend what kind of grief or despair the person would have gone through.

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  5. Beautiful piece of writing!
    When someone takes the easy yet the hard way out, instead of criticizing if we could understand their situation and pain, we might be able to help someone else who’s suffering from the same.

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    1. Thanks Sheethal for your visit and comment. I want tell you that its is definitely not the easy way out. 😦 It might seem so to the world who witnessed someone “escaping” life’s difficult journey by ending their lives, but in reality, their struggle to even take that step – would have been a ride through hell – a tug of war between the desire to live and the temptation to end it all.

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  6. Young Lady,

    Well told. It is not only those who are mentally unsound but persons who are sane under normal circumstances too commit this act. I firmly believe that almost all of us have some time or the other in our life did think of suicide. Majority overcomes this urge after some logical thinking or with some rationale support by close one, relatives or friends, if they do open up and share with them what is weighing heavily on mind. One who goes ahead with this act is under sever depression for some reason or the other and loses sense of logic and if he or she does not share this burden with someone close then this seems to be the only way out. It is not difficult for us to make out one under such severe depression and we should always make efforts to make that person speak out. Such persons are neither coward or brave as what they do is under abnormal mental pressure. Ones who survive should be given all support without making them feel guilty.

    Take care

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    1. Sir, I so agree with you when you say that point about abnormal mental pressure. Someone who hasn’t been through it can never comprehend the kind of lows such pressure can pull one into. Hence, it is very important to be compassionate. And guilt is yet another problem. It is so easy to plant the burden of guilt on an already sad person… 🙂
      Thanks for your visit and comment.

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  7. You touched my heart with this post. You spoke your heart and it is very easy to condemn but very tough to walk the path. We must first try to understand what the person is going through and then judge.

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  8. The subtle balance of life – when it becomes tipped, everything can seem out of control. Someone to talk to, someone who will listen, is a great treasure in such times. Which is why family and friends are so important. It is our duty to understand and offer the support when needed. Nice post.

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    1. Yes, Vaisakh. It does. Family and friends are important but sometimes, people are capable of hiding their suffering to such an extent that something like this comes as a shock to the family members.
      And yes, offering support is our duty. Do we? How many of us cringe thinking, “mujhe jhamele mein nahin padna”?

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  9. I’m sorry that you had to experience this with Nisha, but am glad that it opened your eyes to the other side of suicide. You’ve already visited my blog on the topic of suicide, so you know that I shared thoughts on what NOT to do when speaking with people who have lost someone in this manner. Harsh judgments do seem to be the immediate reaction for many, and from what I can decipher, those harsh judgments rise up out of fear and confusion. Respect, compassion, support and kindness are what is needed and appreciated by those who are still reeling from the shock and loss of their loved one. I am happy that you are giving voice to the suggestion of a different address to suicide. We need more voices on this topic and this approach.

    Namaste’,

    Dawn
    http://healingmorning.blogspot.com

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    1. Dear Dawn, Thanks for those honest thoughts. Harsh judgments are present everywhere and even after the person does survive an attempt, there will be so many dear and near ones who will make them feel guiltier with looks of contempt. A complete overhaul in the value system is needed.
      TC!!

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  10. you have conveyed your emotions so beautifully in such simple words. am at a loss for words after reading your post. Empathy and support and love of course will go a long way in healing scars.

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    1. 🙂 Glad to see you on one of my old posts!!
      Exactly.. and how many of us understand this? Whenever someone talks about ending lives, there are two reactions, either ppl believe and move away ki jhanjhat kyu paalna, or they just make fun.

      Like

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