A friend shared this weekend the obituary of someone she lost to suicide. As I read the beautiful tribute, my intuition began to buzz.
Mind you, I speak from a place where many people have yet to experience suicide in any form in their life and from a place where people who have experienced suicide aren’t speaking out for their own reasons.
I also speak from a place of self-inflicted and held on criticism, a wounded child, a wounded heart, and a healing soul. I also speak from someone who has been called “strong.”
The beautiful soul I read about suffered from an internal dialogue of:
“I’m not doing enough.”
“What I’m doing, providing, contributing… isn’t good enough.”
“I’m not making an impact.
“My life isn’t making a difference…”
My friend told me her friend had everything going for him, and he never seemed depressed. She and her friend’s circle of family and friends will dwell upon the questions suicide survivors torture themselves with:
“Did he show any signs?”
“What signs did I miss?”
“Why didn’t he say something?”
“What could I have done differently?”
And other questions and scenarios.
And to the “he had everything going for him,” that’s when you should really check in with those kinds of people. We don’t know the internal dialogue they are having with themselves as they outwardly behave with admirable strength and talk such inspiring words. They are holding everything together with fraying threads.
These are people who push themselves to a physical and/or mental and/or emotional exhaustion because they feel they aren’t doing enough, what they do isn’t good enough. They have an inner dialogue that continually lies to them, and is louder than the love being given to these beautiful souls.
These people have perfected the mask of “Everything is fine. I got this…”
Because they’ve accomplished so much, because they’ve helped and inspired so many, because they have become so accustomed to the “keeping going” lifestyle/mentality, the thought of failure is fucking scary. The thought of letting others down is unthinkable and unspeakable. They no longer give themselves permission to rest, to falter, to fail, to stop…
When all they really want is to stop. The pain they are hiding from you is pain that they no longer want to live with. It’s a pain they don’t want to be responsible for sharing with you. If they share it with you, then they are also responsible for giving you pain, which they believe they are protecting you from.
They aren’t weak. They just believe they are when they aren’t functioning at the level the inner dialogue has repeatedly them they have to be at in order to be worthy and loved.
So check in with them, and check in with them often. Do it with love, and do it with respect.