Suicide After a Battle to Stay Alive

I am vastly experienced with suicide, professionally over two extremely different mental health positions coming up on a decade, and personally for thirty years. It is NOT an easy way out for people. It is NOT something a person wishes to do. It is NOT selfish. It is something a person will fight against for as long as they can. This, in my professional experience in a homeless hostel, is true with a person who does not have any family or close friends fighting this battle alongside them, and is also true with a person who has family beside them fighting with all their might to help in each and every way possible.

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(Free image from Pixabay)

This week a young man I know very well died through suicide. He was an extremely creative and talented young man. He has a warm, loving and caring family that helped him in every way possible. He has friends who cared and helped in any way possible. He fought with all his might an exceedingly bloody battle, for each and every way he could survive. He had everything, and everyone in place that could possibly help. He did not want to die. He died this week.

I have personally known young men with close friends and family who have died through suicide. If you had asked them on the day they died, if they did they want to die, I think they would have said no. Mental health is a serious issue. Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and many other ‘mental health conditions’, have their roots in something much larger. These roots can go into every fibre of a persons cognitive abilities. Counselling and any professional mental health is beneficial to the person who is struggling with suicidal thoughts.

It is imperative that you ask if a person has any suicidal ideation, or put simply, if they have planned how they would wish to die. If the person you care about answers with a plan, then it is necessity they get immediate psychological help. Some other signs of suicidal thoughts may be giving things away, or no longer interested in anything in the future, or any other number of things. I have included an information picture below. However some people may not have a plan, and it may be a spur of the moment end of their life on earth. This is very much harder, maybe impossible to predict. The information in the picture below shows some of the warning signs of suicidal thoughts.

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(Picture from www.beyondblue.org.au )
The young man I mentioned earlier was known to be having suicidal thoughts at times, although at the time of his death, he was steadily improving and much more vocal and hopeful regarding the future. This would indicate that he was ‘coming out of the woods’ usually. However things changed dramatically… with no warnings. Another lady was talking to a family member, and with no warnings whatsoever she had died through suicide within 30 minutes.

Chester Bennington from the excellent band Linkin Park, died recently through suicide, from his own mental health struggles. His brave wife has since released videos and pictures from the days leading up to his death, where most people looking at these would never expect him to be feeling suicidal. He had money, fame, talents, and a loving family and friends, everything we aspire to having in life, however at a fateful moment in time he died. This highlights that sometimes a person we love and is loved and cared for by many people, lose the battle in their minds and bodies to survive.

This leaves us with the many questions of why, and the exceedingly painful thoughts of what if I could have…. These thoughts and questions are inevitable, but with many people I know personally who have died through suicide there is nothing more could have been done. They are loved by many, cared for by many, and given everything possible to help, but still die.

I am a mental health professional, so you may think: Do I get used to people dying whether through suicide or physical illness? Do I get used to the struggles people are going through? Do I just let something as serious as precious people’s mental health just brush past? NO! I feel everything deeply. Having a soft heart in a cruel world takes courage, and is not a weakness, it is the fuel in my career. I am a biker and I may appear to be tough to people who do not know me. However with many people I walk their journey alongside them with empathy, trying to see their journey through their eyes. I see precious souls frequently who are still here on earth because, partly, of the help and support I was able to offer them, professionally or personally. Am I a hero? Maybe to them, but I think im just using the gifts I have to help people. I think of them being my heroes, to have the privilege to sit with someone who is battling so many ‘demons’, and see them fight bloody battles of mind, body and soul, and win so many times, even when they have nearly lost all hope.

I hope my stumbling words here may inspire someone to stay alive on earth, and help some family and friends to see they have done all they could. Suicide needs to be talked about everywhere as it is everywhere. If you are in a room with a lot of people in it, how many do you think are struggling with thoughts of suicide… It would surprise you. My words here are far from perfect, but neither is life.

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Kairos Has Saved Lives

Kairos Has Saved Lives

Kairos for me is a time in history which creates an opportunity for, and indeed demands, an existential decision by the human subject. A delicate, crucial MOMENT, in which you can rewrite your personal history.

How many times have you, who is reading this, had such a moment in your life, that MOMENT, when you know it is a fork in the road, but you are hurtling towards it at speed, and you need to decide in a MOMENT, which path to take?

Making that phone call, texting, or Emailing to initiate your counselling could be one such MOMENT. A time for you to rewrite your history and stop pretending you will change, life will change, patterns will change, but they haven’t and you haven’t so far. Maybe for you Kairos is now!? Maybe reading this could be your Kairos, your moment that will initiate changes? 

Whatever you hope to change, or do differently, or whatever your wish is for this year, it takes work bringing it to fruition. In my experience this will not happen without a MOMENT of enlightenment, or a moment of fear, or a moment of deep melancholy. It will take Kairos to enable you to start making changes. 

In counselling with me Kairos happens frequently. The right words, at the opportune time, can, and have changed a life. Without courage, intelligence and passion, from counsellor and client, the present kairos may pass. I do not always get the words in that precious MOMENT, but I am constantly aware of Kairos in a counselling session. It has saved lives.

I previously worked in a homeless hostel with very vulnerable adults, dealing with suicide on a daily basis, sometimes for many hours with someone during a night-shift. It was Kairos that enabled a person to survive the night. A few words in the right time, said in the right way, saved the person from dying. I never take it for granted, and it is an exceedingly important part of my development as a counsellor, noticing and being aware of Kairos, and using it to help precious souls. 

Kairos could be described as a moment when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action, an opportune and decisive moment. It will appear and disappear quickly.

My prayer is that you and I will use Kairos for positivity. Kairos could be used for spreading a ripple of kindness, something small but the ripple spreads as people spread the kindness. That moment you walk past a homeless person, will you or won’t you give them something to eat? That moment you see a mother struggling with groceries and a small child or baby, will you help her? That moment you think about a relative or friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, will you use Kairos to call them? 

Stephen.

I Am Not I 

I am not I

I am this one

walking beside me whom I do not see

whom at times I manage to visit,

and whom at other times I forget,

The one who remains silent, when I talk.

The one who forgives, sweet, when I hate.

The one who takes a walk when I am indoors.

The one who will still remain when I die.

Juan Ramón Jiménez

A reminder to check in with my Soul regularly.

I am a Soul surrounded by a rental of skin and bones. I use Prayer, reading the Bible, mindfulness, nature, my Bride and my Sons to connect with my Soul and its Creator. My Soul is the only part of me that will last. What ripples I leave behind in helping others in a safe way is my goal. It feels good to check in to the real me, inside, which I wish to shine out. No matter what others may TRY to ‘do to me or make me feel’, my Soul is the part they do not get to easily, I will protect my peace by any means. Stephen.

Kill Yourself or Other Things? 

A few thoughts just after World Suicide Prevention Day. In Northern Ireland more people have ended their life on Earth through suicide this week. 

It is vitally important if your thoughts get to the point of resignation that you seek professional help. You can live on. You can change so much else in life if it has become so hard for you to hang on living. You cannot come back to life after you have killed yourself, only Jesus accomplished coming back to life after dying. Life can be very good after overcoming this dark period of suicidal thoughts. Hang on. Get help. Believe in what you can still accomplish in life. 

I would like all precious people to consider who they put their trust in regarding suicide. I as a Christian put my trust in God, but not every Church has a trained professional to help you through depression, anxiety, ptsd, suicide… I am a man of Faith and believe in the healing of the Holy Spirit. A Pastor or Minister is an excellent person to go to for guidance and counsel for your precious Soul, and I highly recommend it, as you will be taking your Soul wherever you go after here… I just wish you to consider if you are putting your trust in a person in a Church or Chapel, as a few wrong words from someone could be the tipping point in activating your suicidal thoughts, into actions… It is similar with some other places in towns which profess to have ‘professionals’ to help you with your suicidal thoughts, they may not be trained. 

Try anywhere you wish for help, but if it is not helping, do not stay there, go somewhere else, and get help from somewhere else. Do not allow yourself to stop fighting, do not allow yourself to sink further into the darkness and lies of depression and suicide. If you do not want to see me that is perfectly fine, I just wish you to get help, with someone who can help you. I wish to see you tomorrow, next week, month, year… I wish to look into your eyes and say you made it, well done, what a fight you had. Survive. Pray. Believe. Ask God to help. Psalm 91.

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The Weight of Grief 

The Weight of Grief 

​The WEIGHT of grief is not talked about much. The thoughts, feelings, emotions are known and expected. Some moments you may be fine, then just overcome with grief. It is like waves… However the weight of grief can be overwhelming. Getting out of bed. Getting up from a chair to get a drink. Going to lift something off the floor and ending up just sitting on the floor beside it wondering why you cannot get up. 

Do not underestimate the weight of grief. It will ease in time, your time, however long you need.

Stephen.  
“Rising Cairn” a 4,000 lb stone sculpture is the work of artist Celeste Roberge. Roberge says that she didn’t necessarily intend to depict anguish in the piece but doesn’t mind the alternative reading of her work. “I imagine her in the process of rising up from her crouching position…when she is ready,” she explains. “I am not disturbed by individual interpretations of the sculpture because I think it is really wonderful for people to connect with works of art in whatever way is meaningful to them.”

www.inspiredcounsellingservices.co.uk