Fight to break free of burden of despair that leads to edge

IT'S A hell of a thing to consider taking your own life. The despair, the hopelessness, the helplessness which just starts to grab a person by the throat and drag them down into the gutter.

The suffering that people go through at that point is immense.

I can remember one fella who I was working with, roar up in his ute, leap out, come in and sit down.

His eyes were on fire, his muscles taut, his breathing fast and shallow.

He said "I had a choice to make. I could either kill myself or come here."

I was glad that he came to find some support instead of driving into a wall like he had planned.

I am also pleased to say he is still alive today. It was a good choice.

The question is, what happens when people don't make that kind of choice?

What happens when people do choose to kill themselves? What is it that leads to that much despair?

The answer is this: a belief.

Perhaps the belief is that "things ain't ever going to change", or "it ain't ever going to get any better".

If you believe this, then this overwhelming crushing despair not only becomes inevitable, but the only friend you can truly relate to.

But this belief alone requires some examination. Where would such a belief come from?

The answer is that it so often comes from a place located in a person's identity; that who they are is not good enough to deal with the challenges of the moment; that their very wellbeing is dependent on life being kind and fair to them.

The truth is that life is not always kind or fair, and there are times where we all must face the dark night of the soul.

The answer is that it so often comes from a place located in a person's identity; that who they are is not good enough to deal with the challenges of the moment; that their very wellbeing is dependent on life being kind and fair to them.

There is a time for soul-searching, of exploring the limitations of who we are and what we are capable of. It is often a time for the deepest and most soulful of grieving.

There is something that happens in this deep, dark place. When the question gets asked: "Am I good enough?" the psyche is sure to give an answer.

If it is "yes", then there is hope, and people can often see the bigger picture of their lives, see their pain is for a reason or a season and move through it.

For people who say "no" then one of two things is likely to happen.

They can fight: fight to find themselves, to reclaim themselves, to defy their own negative self belief and to take the hard but necessary steps towards change.

To fight their way through the darkness towards the light.

For those that simply accept the "no", some will make peace with this, make a pact with the victim inside them, and give up. This is when a light of hope goes out of the world.

As I write this I want to send out a message to all of those close to or in this state of despair.

Maybe you know someone carrying a burden so heavy they feel like they will break.

Maybe you are the one feeling such powerful aloneness that taking your own life feels like the most logical thing to do.

As hard as it might be, reach out. Reach out from the edge of the cliff on which you stand.

Reach out towards someone, anyone who may be able to provide you some support.

There are many strong shoulders around who may be able to assist you with your burdens. You will probably find that most people want to help, if only you can allow them to hear you.

And fight. Fight the fight of your life. The prize is worth it.

Paul Stewart is a Life Coach with Compassion Coaching: www.compassioncoaching.com.au and also supports the inSight Men's Circle, run through Hopelink: 07 4979 3626.

Contacts

If people are concerned about or touched by suicide then contact:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
  • Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800