What would make someone want to die- after all, we are dead for an awfully long time. 

From time to time, we all have a passing thought about killing ourselves. But for the vast majority of people it’s a flippant thought, one that’s it’s swept away as quickly as it appeared. Yet despite us all thinking of suicide, it’s something very few people are able to understand. 
Through out life we are constantly told to make the most of everyday. We have it repeatedly drilled Into us that life is short and we never know what’s round the corner. We are told to appreciate what we have, because there are always others worse off. And after all, death is certain and last for an awfully long time. But it often doesn’t matter. When feeling suicide, we are blind to what we once accepted as fact.
For an alarmingly high, but statistically negligible, number of people, suicide isn’t just a fleeting thought. It’s a thought which lingers, that screams, that becomes an obsession. It’s a thought which can’t be silenced by the fact we are lucky to be alive of that we will eventually die. When a person is in such a place where suicide becomes a realistic option, they could have everything or nothing and it wouldn’t make a difference. 
Suicidal thoughts don’t discriminate. They don’t only plague a specific type of person. A business man, a celebrity, a homeless person, a parent, an addict, a hair dresser….. It doesn’t matter. No one is immune to thoughts or even acts of suicide. 
So what would make someone attempt, or complete suicide? Well simply, there is no one right answer. Trauma, stress, financial worries, relationship breakdowns, mental illness, addiction, employment, physical illness, natural disaster, guilt, beliefs……anything which negatively impacts an individual’s social, mental, physical, spiritual or emotional health may lead to suicide, or thoughts of suicide. 
For many, the thoughts just stay thoughts, but for approximately 8,000 people around the world, thoughts turn into fatal actions and for many more, thoughts turn into attempts to end their own lives. 
When a person is well, they are able to think rationally. They can see that the pain won’t last, they can problem solve, or they can move forwards. But for a suicidal person, even if they have previously managed well, sometimes there seems to be no hope, their thinking is impaired and they are unable to see a way out. They stop seeing all that anchors them to life, and instead believing they are a burden or someone replaceable (the individual not the anchors) and that death is the only solution. 
It’s not easy to kill ones self. Not only because no method is 100% reliable, but because the body instinctively fights to survive, even if the mind wants to be dead. But when the world feels so dark and when each breath is exhausting, it doesn’t matter about the risk, the danger of what could go ‘wrong’, that the body will fight back, they just need to stop, escape, leave. 
We all die eventually and we are lucky to be alive when so many loose their lives so early. But a suicidal person is ill. And just because they choose death, it doesn’t make it any different to someone who lose their life to a physical illness. They are still killed by a condition, we just have no tests that can show us it’s there. And those who attempt suicide and survive, they need help, no matter what. Because they are poorly and with the right treatment they have an opportunity to be made better and have an improved quality of life. 
But we should be waiting until someone has killed themselves, or attempted to in order to ask what we could have done to help. We need to step in before. Just because a person is suicidal at some point, it doesn’t meant they always will be. They can be helped, they just need to be given help, before it’s too late. Tell a person you are there if they want to talk. Tell a person that it gets better. Take a person to see a doctor. Give a person hope. Sit down and help a person find a potential solution to their worries…. Be a friend, a parent, a sibling. Be yourself, but allow a person to feel they can lean on you and that you won’t run away. There are many reasons why a person may feel suicidal, attempt suicide or complete suicide, but it doesn’t have to get to that point. We can’t predict who will seriously consider suicide as an option or when it may become an option- but we can be there for them, before, during and after. We can prevent suicide. 


And when suicide goes wrong- suicide prevention week 2016

I was there, I was no longer scared. I was sure. It wasn’t want I had planned, but it was the only option I had. I sat for what felt like a life time, but was a matter of seconds- I heard my mum come. It was now or never. I jumped. 

Flash: a tube been inserted down my air way.

Flash: screaming for my mum as the ceiling moved past me.

Flash: ‘it’s going to get a bit noisy’ as head phones were placed on my head. 

Flash: ‘I don’t know who he is, but I like him’ a statement I was told I kept making every time the nurse did anything. 

It wasn’t until 2 days later that my memories become more constant. Until my vision returned and I could finally process what happened. 

My back, broken, now held together by metal rods. My ankle in a heavy cast. My chin help together by glue that I desperately wanted gone. 

I still don’t know all that happened. Most of my memories are still flashes. Flashes of sound, before fading out again. And I don’t regret it, it was a vital part of my journey. But I survived and I have never managed to make peace with that. 

Survive is always a risk when it comes to a suicide attempt. For every successful suicide, there are 40 failed attempts: the odds really aren’t in a suicidal persons favour. But when suicide becomes an option, life is so unbearable, that the risk is worth taking. That doesn’t mean survival is easy though. 

For those close to a person who attempts suicide, a successful suicide creates a painful grief. However when a person attempts suicide and survives to tell the tale, the situation isn’t only about emotionally distressing and worrying for family and friends, it also brings a heavy disappointment for the individual. A disappointment which lingers and increases the negative and driving thoughts behind the attempt. 
I have never felt relief after surviving a suicide attempt. I often am left feeling angry and disrespected. I made a decision to die. A careful and weighed up decision and that was ignored and overrode by another. I will argue at that time that if someone cared for me they would respect my decision and let me die. Unfortunently, it doesn’t work like that. 

Human nature is to save people. Although it feels others are acting out of selfish intentions, the reality is, is that they are doing it out of, not only instinct, but also care. People in your life want you to be alive and are willing to make you temporarily angry, in order to give you a chance at life. 

Surviving a suicide attempt, for whatever reason, it’s distressing in its self. The consequence of surviving can be life changing: chronic pain, disfigurement, paralysis, liver failure, brain damage….but emotionally the consequences are equally as difficult. The worry and distress around causes guilt. The judgments and stigma cause shame. No only because you are ill, but because you acted in such a way can cause you to loosing out on a job or a dream. 

But sieving isn’t all bad. Yes initially it is hell. You are instantly dumbed back into the hell you wanted to leave. But this is your second chance, theirs chance, *insert number* chance and it’s up to you what happens. You can mop and continue to let your mind steal your life, or you can fight back harder than ever. Change is possible, but it has to come from you, not anyone else. It will take time. It will take steps backwards as well as forwards. It will involve meltdowns and moments of elation. But it’s possible for you to recover, move forwards and life you life, whilst achieving all you ever wanted.  

Death is permanent. We can’t bring you back to life. Death ends everything, not only the bad, but also the good. Death cuts your life short, but causes drastic and emotional changes to all those in your life. 

Yes, sometimes suicide feels the only option, but it never is. Stop, slow it down and problem solve… Seek support. Express yourself in a safe way. Give yourself patience and kindness. And it gets better, one day at a time. Getting through the day might not feel great, but it feels better than the feeling of a failed suicide attempt.