Suicide: It's not only about you

There is no need to cut off your leg when you stub your toe. There is also no need to end your life when things aren't going as planned. Suicide is preventable. Watch for signs of suicide and you may save someone's life.

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  • Suicide is a tragedy that has likely touched your family. My dad was a toddler when his father died. It was not until I was doing family history that I discovered his cause of death, “self-inflicted gunshot wound.” Everyone has trials and difficult times, but nothing is so difficult that it should compel someone to take his or her own life. Whatever leads our loved ones to take their own life is never worth it. They often leave behind a spouse, children, siblings, a mother and father and a myriad of others who love and care about them. There are three things that I have learned about suicide that may just help you rescue one of your loved ones.

  • Emotional injuries can be treated and healed

  • When you step on a rusty nail it not only hurts, but it could make you ill. Most of us will go to the doctor, get a shot or two and carefully treat the wound. Our loved ones rally round us in support and take care of us while we are suffering. What do you do when a rusty nail strikes your emotions? That rusty nail of emotional pain can come from of a divorce, loss of income or employment, death of a loved one or some other traumatic experience.

  • When we feel emotional pain, we need to treat it like we would physical pain. If you leave pain untreated, it will likely get worse. Be open and honest about your feelings. Talk to a trusted family member that will support you. You wouldn’t ignore a rusty nail sticking out of your foot so why would you ignore an emotional rusty nail? If you are struggling with emotional pain, visit with a family member and talk about solutions to your challenges together.

  • All problems are temporary

  • Suicide is a permanent “solution” to a temporary problem. Problems in life come and go. Our life should not end when we have a setback. Several years ago, I broke my clavicle. The accident occurred during an extremely busy time of my life and I did not have time to deal with a broken bone. After the initial shock, I realized that I could still function. Every step I took was agonizing, but I was able get my work done. I was slow, but functional, and as each day went by the pain became less severe and soon I was able to function normally again.

  • When you find yourself with an intense emotional setback, give yourself time to heal. The pain will go away. A few broken, but mended bones do not necessitate the destruction of your entire body. There is no need to cut off your leg when you stub your toe. Similarly, there is no need to end your life when things are not going as planned. Similarly, you have family and friends who want and need you in their lives. Therefore, you must not deprive them of that association with you.

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  • Your pain does not end, it's transferred

  • Suicide does not take away the pain — it transfers it. All the pain that a person feels does not go away when that last breath is drawn. The pain simply transfers to the friends and family left behind. If you are having a difficult time in your life, don't shut people out — especially family. You are not alone in your circumstances. Let family members help and support you as they would with any other illness.

  • Remember, suicide is like amputating your leg because of an ingrown toenail. The pains that you feel and the current problems you face in your life are temporary. Be patient and continue to take each day a step at a time, you will eventually look back and feel grateful for deciding to move forward in life.

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Dustin A. Wiggins, author of 180 Experiences that will Strengthen your Marriage, is passionate about discovering ways to strengthen the family. He loves to write and explore different parts of the world. You can follow him on twitter @_DustinWiggins or check out his blog Lessons of Wisdom to stay updated with helpful and inspiring ideas.

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