Suicide Is Not The Answer

Step six of G.R.O.W.’s 12 Steps to Recovery is We Endured Until Cured.

In their Readings For Mental Health the question is asked ‘Thinking of Killing Yourself?’  If you are seriously considering this step, it is safe to say that right now you are feeling angry, helpless, full of self-loathing and a sense of permanent defeat.

You may be telling yourself that suicide, the permanent removal of yourself from the world and your problems, is the only possible course of action…THIS IS ABSOLUTE NONSENSE!  Suicide is completely unnecessary despite your terrible feelings.

They go on to say that even though you are now at a dead end where death or outright insanity seem the most likely ways in which your life may be changed, you have a third alternative, which is to change yourself. If you are feeling this bad, there is something in the way you are living, or in the way you think about yourself, your values or goals, which is very much mistaken. You will have to change, as it is beyond anyone’s power, however, to change the people around them.  It is in your power, however, to change your relationships with others and to modify your life so as to be more in tune to reality, the reality of ordinary living.

Why Do You Feel So Bad About Yourself?

Do you feel yourself to be unlovable?  Are you involved in a deteriorating relationship?  Does someone you love fail to love you?  Are you someone’s doormat?  Or are you always doing things that you feel bad about?  Are you trying to live up to some impossible standards?  Do you think to yourself, ‘If I can’t be the person I ought to be, then I have no right to exist at all.’?  Or perhaps you have cut yourself off from people until your life has become a desert and your insides are full of madness – whatever your problems, the change that leads toward life and eventually good feelings and actions, will not be easy or without a price.  The change will entail the sacrifice of some of your most dearly held hang-ups. You will probably need a humbler idea of what you can and should do and you need friendship, someone with whom you can share your burden, a close friend, a group, a professional counsellor or all of these.

Is Changing Worth The Effort?  Is Life Worth Living?

Of course it is.  If you are living under a self-imposed death sentence, you are only existing; your most basic self is telling you that life, as you are living now, is intolerable and you must do something about it.  YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE, you have a right to be healed of your hurt and to learn to become whole.  Whatever your view of afterlife, if you kill yourself, the game is over and you have lost.  You have lost the sunshine coming through the trees, children laughing, the healing caress of a friend and you have lost your chance to understand yourself realistically without fear or hate.  Though you may not have any extraordinary talent or power, you still have positive value to others, your place is unique, there never has been and never again will be another just like you.

Even if your life seems meaningless to you, you are in no position to understand the meaning of your life and it may be far different from what you believe.  You have been given the gift of life…bitter or sweet, it is precious. Don’t squander it in anger or self-pity.   If you will accept the blackness you now feel as a challenge to grow, and endure it while you re-evaluate yourself and your life, you will find your future far better than anything you have ever known.

Maureen McKenna 2010

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