Years ago I took a call on a suicide hotline from a distressed male caller who started by saying, "I need to talk to someone because I am having thoughts of organizing my closet by color!" This man's story led me down a path of understanding suicidal thoughts with new curiosity and next I'll share a few of the most important things I've learned.
Whether you have ever had thoughts of not wanting to be alive and/or know somebody who has, you probably know that talking about suicide can be quite uncomfortable and even scary. These thoughts often feel like the elephant nobody wants to acknowledge. If you had answered crisis lines and sat with hundreds of people contemplating thoughts of ending their life over the years like me, you would also know that they can be an important turning point in someone's life and are even an opportunity to bridge to something better. Here are a few different ways to understand and handle suicidal thoughts:
Why do we like fireworks when they can cause so much terror in our furry friends and destructiveness to our natural habitat? Are they a reflection of our self-centeredness? Or do they bring us into an awareness of how terribly beautiful life is and how it joins us together in a giant display of celebration? Another way to say self-centered is to use the word narcissist.