Love, Loss and Living Again

A few days back, I went to the hospital for my regular winter cold and fever check up. While the doctor was attending to me, a resident medical officer rushed in to inform him that someone had been brought to the hospital after drinking half a bottle of a phenyl. I don’t know anything about the identity of the person who consumed it.

It just got me thinking. What prompts a person to attempt to take their own life? What could they have faced in life that prompted them to take such a drastic step? Earlier, I had a very harsh attitude towards people who attempted to take their own life. I saw them as cowards and incapable of facing life. Though I still don’t approve of suicide, my attitude has changed a little. I now feel that maybe they were left with no choice or saw no other way out of the situation they were in.

There are many signs that you will see in a loved one who is on the brink of suicide – small signs that can easily be missed. If someone you know suddenly starts avoiding people, withdraws into themselves and keep to themselves for a long duration, there is something to worry about. They will not share it easily with you. In fact a person who is suicidal will first completely deny it. Don’t force them. Just be there for them, care for them, let them know that they are loved and be patient. They will eventually melt and share their thoughts with you.

Don’t ever lose your temper or your patience with them. You never know what they may have gone through to feel that way. Try to bring happiness back into their life. Take them out to movies, shopping or just introduce them to your friends circle. When they see strangers warming upto them, they will automatically feel a little more confident about themselves. Don’t ever make the mistake of leaving them completely alone, yet don’t let them feel like you are crowding them – a very delicate balance to maintain.

Now, this is for people who are going through a tough time and finding It difficult to cope. First and foremost, trust and believe that this difficult time will pass, however impossible it may seem right now. Some small tips that will help you cope with trying times:

  • Never make one person or one situation the centre of your life.
  • Maintain a healthy balance between all your relationships, never making one person the be all and end all of your existence. It is harmful for you and very difficult for the other person, how much ever they may care for you.
  • When you have been through a very difficult time emotionally like a breakup with someone you loved a lot or the death of a loved one or any emotionally trying situation, it does change you completely as a person. You feel like you don’t know yourself anymore and feel completely lost. Take small steps in rediscovering yourself.
  • Give yourself time to heal. Take the time to feel the pain and the loss of the loved one. Don’t block out your feelings. They will only hit you later and with an even greater intensity.
  • Decide for yourself when you are ready to put it behind you and don’t let people force you into that decision.
  • At such times, it is ok to be selfish and think about your peace and happiness. If you find being with someone depressing, someone who keeps belittling you about the mistakes you made – especially in a relationship that didn’t survive- stay away from them. Whatever happened had to happen. There are always two sides and you are never completely at fault. You shouldn’t be beating yourself up about it.
  • Be around people who make you happy, make you feel good about yourself.
  • At such times especially, keep away from the whiners, cribbers as it can affect your mind a lot when you are emotionally weak.
  • Share your feelings with people you can trust, but don’t whine or crib yourself too.
  • If you want to analyse what went wrong, do it but not everyday and every time.
  • If there were mistakes you made in the relationship, be honest with yourself. Accept the fact that you are a human being and you can make mistakes. Be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up over it.
  • Try to learn from the mistakes you made but don’t think of it as judgment of your character and don’t let anyone else convince you of that too.
  • Make a list of the things you loved to do before the loss of the loved one.
  • Start doing those things, take one step at a time and you will fall in love with life again.
  • At the end, remember life is very precious and you get only one life. Don’t think of suicide as an option. If you still experience such feelings, confide in a loved one, ask for help.
  •  If there is no one you can turn into, take the help of a professional. Don’t be ashamed of doing that. Going to a psychiatrist is not a sign of being crazy. They are trained in helping people with emotional problems.

Love yourself, believe in yourself, respect life and trust that there is sunshine behind the clouds.

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