"I'm alone. I have a gun. And I want to kill myself."
I first heard those words from someone I loved at 2am the day after Christmas 2004, but his hollow and desperate voice will forever echo in my mind.
It was only six months later when I got the call saying he had been found dead. He committed suicide at the age of 33. The guilt and overwhelming loss I felt as a result (in addition to many other personal experiences with depression and suicide) was a great impetus for my work with Spirit and a significant lesson for my work as a healer.
What is Depression? Depression, like all physical ailments, has a spiritual cause. It is the result of disconnect from our soul truth and from the divine power that exists within us all. When we disregard our truth, when we squelch our authentic self, when we pretend to be someone we are not, when we do not love ourselves, depression (as well as a wealth of other physical ailments) can set in, physically robbing us of vitality and drive. The longer and the more thoroughly we continue the charade and live inauthentically, the more severe our depression will become. We can keep suicidal thoughts and depression at bay, by strengthening the connection with our soul and to the divine in conscious and practical ways.
Depression Can Kill The greater the perceived distance between our physical selves and our innate divinity, the more suicide can seem like the only remaining solution to a problem we cannot define. People who commit suicide often feel they have exhausted every option to no avail. The bandaids they use to bridge the gap to their soul and cover up their depression (including medication, addictions, and other superficial modalities) all fall short because they are not addressing the core issue. They don't understand the origin of their feelings and they don't even understand what it is they are feeling. Those who consider suicide often say they just want the pain to end, that they prefer the idea of nothingness to their suffering, that they no longer wish to burden those around them. On an intuitive/subconscious level, they can actually recall the peace, love, and tranquility of the afterlife, and they long to return to that place of bliss and acceptance.
What Can I Say? When someone we know experiences depression and/or thoughts of suicide, we want desperately to help, but it can be difficult to know what to say. Here are a few suggestions:
I love you, and I care about you. When a person has depression, they unknowingly shut themselves off from experiencing and recognizing love. Be overt and purposeful in letting them know you care in any way you can. State it clearly. Call them regularly. Write them notes. Send them flowers. Let them know their depression doesn't make you love them any less and that you don't judge them for it.
You are never alone. People who suffer from depression often feel isolated and alone even in the presence of people who love them. Take their hand and tell them in no uncertain terms that you are there for them and you're not going anywhere. Don't just make yourself available, but actually be present with them.
I am always here for you. Depression is a persistent condition that can't be cured in one fell swoop. Continue to offer evidence of your love and commitment to their well-being even on the good days.
I know your pain is real. You don't have to understand what they're feeling, because it's likely they don't understand it either. Instead simply recognize their pain is real, accept the way it manifests itself in their life, and be present for them without judgement.
It's okay that you're hurting. When someone is depressed, they want very much to snap out of it and to live life again. They often feel guilt and self-loathing for not being able to move past it. Forcing them to talk or be active when they aren't ready rarely works. Resist the urge to "fix" them; instead give them love and support--again, without judgement. [If you believe your loved in may be considering suicide, please get professional help right immediately.]
If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, first, please ask for help. Second, please understand you are vital to the soul experience of all of humanity; you are here because you are valuable. You matter, and you are needed. Your soul is whole, perfect, and beautiful; you are the embodiment of love, and you have come to this reality to share your inner light. You are greatly loved and supported by those in the spirit world, and they are working hard to provide love and healing to you in your times of need. Please don't give up. I love you!