Grateful to be alive
“I wish I could have opened my eyes before I tried to take my life. I have a son. What would have happened to him, if I took my life? My son is the main reason why I am alive today. I do not want to take my life again. I do not want my son to grow up without a mother, as I did without a father. I really regret and feel bad about my suicide attempt.”
“I feel at peace and hopeful as everything is in the past now, even when the suicidal thoughts recur sometimes, I have learned to pray about it and fully focus on changing, by ignoring unpleasant situations.”
“I feel very good, because the suicide attempt was unsuccessful. Currently, my siblings and parents are very supportive, and they are grateful that the suicide attempt did not succeed. I feel very happy now and will never again try to commit suicide. The relationship with my wife and family is back to normal”.
“I feel better than before. I feel guilty, because I tried to take my life. But, it really feels good to be alive. It is because of the social workers that I am alive today”
“My family was very supportive. They asked a lot of questions about my attempt to end my life. They encouraged and advised me to seek professional support. My wife provided emotional support and care; we discussed our problems in a more civilised manner. This led to the realisation that suicide is not the answer and that people cared”.
“I only shared my thoughts with my sister, preacher and psychologist. I tried to speak to other people, but no one wanted to help because I was labelled a thief. My sister trained me or motivated me spiritually. I read the Bible, studied the Word of God, which helped me through this. Many people I approached were educated and self-proclaimed Christians, yet they turned their backs on me, because I was a thief. The psychologist helped me with my depression as well.”
“My family never knew about my pain as I was not open with them. I received counselling services from social workers. I was given a month of counselling and I am doing fine now. I am now thinking positively, although I still have those thoughts of my mother lying in blood after my father shot her with the gun. I continuously tell myself that life goes on and just to enjoy what life can offer. Talking to a social worker has opened my mind to think of other opportunities.”
“I only received support from family members and friends, but not from community members. I also received counselling from social workers. Later I was part of a group with other people who have attempted to take their lives. The small group was used to share ideas. The group was facilitated by social workers. This helped me so much in many ways. I have learned a lot. It helped me gain knowledge on things that I did not know before. I will be able to help someone else in a similar situation. It also gave me an opportunity to go on radio and talk about suicide. I also give counselling to those that wants to take their lives.”
“I think the best strategy to use against suicides is the church, because most people believe in God. If the pastors preach about the importance of life, it can prevent more people from ending their lives.”
Often times as humans we are not aware of each other’s personal struggles and also not of each other’s mental state. Therefore, we do not necessarily foresee how our actions or words may affect the next person. But when we are conscious and have self-awareness and awareness of others we are likely to be considerate towards each other’s feelings. And the outcome could be different.
Let us be mindful and supportive of each other.
· As part of continuous suicide awareness, this week’s edition features personal experiences of people that have participated in a local suicide study. The information was collected from the Ministry of Health report - National Study on the Prevalence of and Interventions in Relation to Suicide in Namibia. Therefore, it is not the work of the author.