SUICIDE: 13 Reasons Why Not! (& Tips for Happiness) Part I
Life is beautiful, precious, valuable and worthwhile – right? How can suicide seem like the best or only choice? If you’ve never been there yourself, it can be hard to believe anyone could get that down.
I know what it’s like because I have been in that dark of a place. At nineteen all I wanted was to end the misery I felt because of bad choices I was making and childhood pain I had no skills to deal with.
Recently, Chester Bennington, age 41 of hard rock band, Linkin Park, was found dead in his L.A. home and initial reports state it was suicide. Chester had recently lost his friend, singer (of the band Soundgarden) Chris Cornell to suicide. Chester was hugely successful, but still carried the pain of an unhappy childhood including parents divorcing and long-term molestation.
The New York Times reports that suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years. On average, according to Wikipedia, in America about 120 people die of suicide a day. Women attempt suicide 3x more often than men – but the guys are more successful. White males made up 7 out of 10 deaths in 2015.
The Netflix Series “13 Reasons Why” about a young girl who records a series of videos leading up to her decision to end her life has received a lot of attention, a series renewal and now a Warning about viewing and Prevention Tips. Suicide rates for teen girls between ages 10-14 have tripled although they are still low in comparison to other groups.
Though “suicide contagion” is a real thing, especially for vulnerable young people, as I was, the good news is that the series is creating discussions among teens, school and families. If I had a teenager I’d want to watch it with them and have a chance to talk about their thoughts and feelings. I know for myself, if I’d had someone safe to talk with about what was going on I doubt I would have made the attempt.
The rest of my story? Obviously, I survived. Though it wasn’t immediate, life got better. I went back to college, found love, and dealt with my demons. What most “attempters” realize once we get past that attempt is that suicide doesn’t solve problems and it can create great pain for those we leave behind.
The 13 Reasons and Tips in Part II are all skills and strategies I’ve learned and used over the 40+ years since my attempt. Am I always happy, peaceful and joyful? Get real. I work every day to stay as balanced as I can because life and it’s challenges & joys are on-going. Feel free to email me at email@example.com with questions or comments.
For Warning Signs and What to Do See following blog, click here
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Lynn is the author of Intentional JOY: How to Turn Stress, Fear & Addiction into Freedom. Check out www.addictionmodesto.com for resources and blogs