NOBODY would want to be awake twenty-four hours. Our bodies deserve to rest and feel a moment of silence, with eyes closed and the mind unloaded of thoughts of miseries. But for some, they sleep without actually sleeping at all, just closing their eyes in darkness with the disturbed soul crying inside.
Their body lies flat on bed but runs so fast, while the mind travels without direction and the soul continues to hear unhealed voices. This is what I call fake sleeping and when it persists, can eventually lead to the desire to forever sleep.
What is then “forever sleep”? Of course, a comatose patient appears to be sleeping all the time, but at least the heart is beating. But for a person who appears sleeping in a coffin not breathing is totally different. I guess to die due to natural death or accidents would elicit fewer questions on the exact cause of death, as compared to successful suicide. Now, I think you know what I mean…
To be human is to experience ups and downs, like a wheel, sometimes one is on top and sometimes one is at the bottom. There is no guarantee that a person can live without imperfections. While to be human is to accept vulnerability. People will experience betrayal, failures, abandonment and vast challenges in life inevitably - no one is exempted from misfortunes.
Hence, Suicide, in my opinion is the hopeless desire to sleep forever, it is a permanent form of mind, body, and soul deactivation to be numb and feel no pain by ending one’s life with no intention to re-experience how it is to be human and vulnerable. And for reasons people don't fully understand, it is just that sometimes people just reach such depths of hopelessness and terrible pain, making them believe that they would better sleep forever.
So, how do we prevent suicide?
Recognize the warning signs and take them seriously. Commonly, people who would want to end his life are those who are pre-occupied with thoughts of death. They also talk much about wishing not to have been born, saying goodbye with extreme feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, and self-hatred. Others engage in self-destructive behaviours. It is important to take the clues as a serious emergency, for it can save many lives. Further, one should give special attention to a person who has attempted suicide in the past, because it is a strong indicator that he or she might do it once more.
Give the person the opportunity to express his or her feelings. Listen without bias, with the intent to understand and not to reply. Respond with empathy and the person’s hesitancy to open up can’t service. This is one way of relieving a person’s pent-up negative emotions and may prevent the risk of suicide attempts.
Talk openly about suicidal thoughts. When a person thinks of committing suicide, it surely an indication of a cry for help. One should take the initiative to ask the person what he or she is planning. But never attempt to argue him or her out of committing suicide. Allow the person to feel that he or she is not alone and that hurting experience may pass. It is therapeutic for the person to know that you care and is available to listen.
Be persistent that the person should not be alone. When a person feels hopeless, they think that nobody can help them and so, it is essential that he or she should never be left isolated. Somebody should watch over suicidal people and anything that can be used to harm themselves should be removed. Most importantly, finding out other services or professional help where to refer the suicidal person can greatly help.
Respond quickly. Offer fast and proactive assistance. Do not tell the person to contact you, when they need you. Instead, try to reach out to the person, there is no need to further wait or observe. Time is very important to save a suicidal person.
Even after the immediate suicidal crisis has ended, continue to get in touch with the person. Your support is vital to ensure person remains on the recovery track.
Do not allow experiences of injustices to cause further injustice unto you. If you die, you still can no longer feel relief from pain. But you will actually cause devastating pain to the people you will leave behind.
Remember that to be human is to be vulnerable, making us the most vulnerable… But vulnerability will always be the birthplace of our courage leading us to explore darkness until we discover the infinite power of our strengths.
Ahh... Sometimes we are trapped into a dark place and that everybody seems to hate us, and we feel like we can’t just live with the pain on a minute longer, please never sleep forever because of that rain, tomorrow, when you wake up, will be another day with rainbows after the pain. So, please do not sleep forever.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on November 14, 2017.
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