Thursday, May 15, 2014

Is Life Really That Hard?

Is it? I mean, we all have our ups and downs, days that seem bi-polar and days we just really want to chuck it all and move to the beach. But we don't give in, we don't give up. What makes a person give up?


We all have different childhoods, different home lives, different parents. That is one of the things that makes us unique. Our backgrounds help to shape who we will become as adults. Sometimes it is out of our hands what our backgrounds are but it is up to us to shape who we will become; not let the negative drag us down, but use it as a lesson and rise above it. There are those who consciously make decisions that are not positive, productive, or helpful. These decisions are negative and destructive. And yet they make the decision, whether on their own or through guidance, to turn that life around and save themselves.

But what makes a person take their own life? What makes life so horrific and painful that you would want to end it?

I am sitting here pondering this thought because I received a phone call last night. A gut wrenching, horrible call…a former student had committed suicide.

There was no tears at this point. I went straight to anger. I was and still am angry at this person. How could you do this? How could you overcome all the crap in your past to give it all up now? Why did you not get help for your pain?

Is suicide the answer? Yeah, you have ended your pain on Earth, but then what? Where do you go and what would that be like? You may have ended your pain, but you have double and tripled the pain of those you left behind. Your beautiful young daughter will never know you and what have you taught her? If you thought your childhood was bad, what have you done to hers? What have you denied her with your actions? Did you not think through how your actions will affect others?

This post may seem dark and angry, and it is. But I must say, this is the second death of a former student I am facing this school year. Both of these students were ages 21-27. Both had daughters. Both had families that loved them. Both had decisions they overcame, survived and flourished. Obviously both had inner pain. Both chose to escape their lives permenantly.

I still can not wrap my mind around this. I just can not fathom a life so horrible and painful that I would want to leave my family and love ones. Yes, I understand the mind can be a big ol' wacky place and make you believe things that are not true. I also totally believe in mental health issues that influence our thoughts and actions. It is just sad to see a life purposefully ended so young.

I don't want to sound like a hypocrite. I have had pain and issues (oh so many issues) in my past that are affecting my present and future. But, honestly, I am getting help working through them so they do not continue to affect my life or influence my decisions.  I am not a goody-goody who has all the answers, or thinks their way is the right way (although sometimes it is…yes it is an issue I am dealing with). I just want to say that we all have different levels of pain and issues that affect are life, but hopefully do not control our life.

All of the good I thought I might have been doing from my last post now seems silly. I mean, do I really make an impact. Trust me, I know I am a blimp in my student's life. But somehow I wonder, was there anything I could have done? I know the answer is no, but it doesn't ease my pain.

I guess the lesson I should take from all of this is that life is truly short. We will make mistakes but we do not need to let them weigh us down and drown us. We do not need to be too prideful and not ask for help. We will have pain in life and we need to learn to either manage it or get help. We need to reach out and make contact with another person, even a hello to someone whether you know them or not. You do not know what demons may have a hold on them and you could be the one who encourages them that day with your smile or hello.

We all make decisions, right or wrong. We only get one life to live. Please live yours.

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