September 22, 2016

The Reason Why I Considered Suicide May Surprise You 

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What is the issue?
 Benjamin Combs
Benjamin Combs

I’d like to propose a conversation around suicide. I recently went through something that is making me reconsider the way I’ve previously looked at suicide. I’m currently wondering about the thoughts individuals who execute this perplexing act may have bouncing around in their head. I’m even wondering if they commit this act for a different reason than we think.

I wonder if there’s a possibility it’s not because they’re depressed and hopeless. Could there be a possibility they’re hopeFUL? Could there be a possibility they feel close to God? Could there be a possibility they feel BLESSED and COURAGEOUS? Could it possibly be because they feel AWESOME and they’re READY to meet their maker?

I realize this sounds “out there.”  Please let me explain.

Recently, I had a strange, yet beautiful moment of clarity in my life. In that moment (while somewhat fleeting), I felt as if the 20 years of depression, darkness, and emptiness that plagued me was washed away and replaced by an integration of all my previous lifetimes, experiences and teachings. It was as though I was a completely new being, free of any prior longings, ineptitudes, shortcomings or self-imposed and imagined limitations.

At the time, I had a sense that I had been in this place and time before. It was a feeling of coming “full circle.”  In that precious moment, I felt completely comfortable leaving; as if my work here was done. I was completely confident and comfortable in leaving my place on earth because I was certain I had mastered the obstacles I came here to overcome. I had confidence in knowing I’d left my mark on this earth, and a certainty that my son is grown and doing well on his own.

There was not one bit of sadness, desperation or depression in my thought process—not in the slightest. I did consider the sizeable life insurance policy that would benefit my son, so there was a future consideration made on his behalf. However, there was no anguish, distress, sorrow, pain, grief, torment or suffering. I was quite simply content and confident in my contemplation.

I know that sounds odd—beyond odd. As odd as it was, it was also beautiful at the same time.

I’ve stared down a bottle of pills. In fact, more than 20 years ago, I swallowed a bottle of pills in an attempt to end my life.

My recent consideration was nothing like my prior suicide attempt. I’m currently happier than I’ve ever been in my life. In fact, it’s my mission to help other people be happy in their lives. I’ve had a Brilliant Transformation in my life and I desire to help others do the same.

During this moment of clarity, however fleeting it may have been I knew no one would understand the place I was in. I had the rationality to know that if I actually took my life, my friends and family would assume I was depressed again and my Brilliant Transformation was a façade. As more time went by, I understood I had more work to do. I looked forward to spreading more kindness in this world, spending time with my friends and family and meeting my grandchildren someday. As a result, my thoughts of suicide quickly passed.

I’ve had a dear friend and lover commit suicide. I’ve also had close friends lose loved ones to suicide. I was personally impacted by the death of Robin Williams. Now, through my recent experience, I’m re-evaluating these deaths and wondering if the people I know were in a different place than everyone assumed.

Maybe, like I was during my moment of clarity, they were fearless at the moment they took their life.

Maybe, they were genuinely courageous, feeling full of life and as if they’d come full circle. Maybe, during their moment of clarity, they simply didn’t take the time (as I did) to consider the rationality of their decision and unassumingly executed the act based the fleeting thoughts they had at that moment in time.

As such, maybe, in that moment—they felt as if they had done their job on earth and were ready to meet their maker.

Looking at their deaths with this perspective gives me hope. It opens me up to the possibility that their lives—and more importantly, their deaths—weren’t in vain. For me, their deaths are now a promise of a possibility that is so much more than the despair that we all assumed.

After my experience, I am now choosing to believe that they were in a state like I was. One that was hopeFUL, courageous, and blessed. I pray that at the very least we can consider the possibility that individuals who commit suicide may have had a more positive outlook than is automatically assumed. Can we open a conversation and consider something other than a depressed and hopeless outlook?  TC mark

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