I’ve had 2 acquaintances around my age commit suicide this month. The reasons why are still up for debate, but it would seem their inner turmoil was far too much to deal with and the only option was to end it all. Now the question is—Were they right? I want to state that I am not endorsing anyone to take their life. I truly believe that life is a gift. However, I am not going to lie and say that I have not thought about ending it all. I would argue that a number of you reading this have contemplated it as well.
Life is hard! Also, it does not get any easier as one gets older. When you turn forty, s**t gets real, REAL fast. Aspects of your life (good or bad) seem to magnify 10-fold and any and kick you directly in the a**. It’s as if you’re forced to evaluate what’s gone/going right and wrong within your life. It can be very overwhelming. I had plenty of issues in my 20’s and 30’s, but I thought I had time. The issues or responsibilities we ignored because we believed with time everything would be “fixed” or “work out.” Then all of a sudden, a significant amount of time has passed and nothing was “fixed” and you’re still traveling down the same path you were 5 years ago. Life is hard but in my opinion, it’s only as hard as we make it.
There are a number of reasons why people choose to end their lives, including mental illness. However, barring a serious medical condition, we as a whole ultimately decide the life we choose/want to have. When we let our lives and happiness become defined by people, places or things, we give our power over to those circumstances instead of deciding for ourselves. If we encounter the same issue(s) repeatedly and the same undesired outcome is happening, then we must look at how we are approaching said issue(s) and try a new approach.
I can blame my problems on everyone or everything else. Yet, I have brought all this pain and turmoil on myself. Even if some of the problems are not directly my fault, I have allowed them to define my self-worth and abilities. I chose not to pay attention and when we don’t pay attention, we pay with pain. Now as I enter the “second act” of my life I must choose to pay attention as we all must or we will end up back in the same place saying “What’s the point?”
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