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The Powerlessness of Suicide

Before I get into this one, I want to pause and tell those who are going through it, don’t give up. I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t lose hope. To anyone who has ever attempted suicide, in solidarity. You are not alone. Keep pushing, no matter how powerless or hopeless it feels. I know that sometimes dying feels like the soundest option when in all factual honesty, it is not. There is help out there. People do care. It may get better, so stick around to find out.

I am.

To those who have lost loved ones to death by suicide, I understand it’s a loss that is profound and deep. I’m sorry for your loss. I understand there is a level of powerlessness that comes with being a bystander. A level of hopelessness that you also feel while the people were alive. Death, grief, and loss are all murky difficult waters to tread.

I also hold a lot of bitterness and frustration sometimes, because people are not always honest. There are some who really abandon, discard, mistreat, abuse, and force us to fend for ourselves. I’m not even talking financially, but emotionally. No phone calls. No check-ins. No cooked meals when we can’t do it for ourselves. Nothing.

Then when the person dies, suddenly, they come out of the woodworks proclaiming how much they cared. Saying how they did everything they could. Stop lying. I really hate that. Where were you when the person was alive? Also tell people how you met them with nothing but resistance, insensitivity, lack of empathy, blame, projection, and misery. Tell the full and entire truth. The whole spectrum.

I’m not saying that everyone who dies by suicide didn’t have the support they need. A lot of people did. They were loved. People showed up for them. They got the help they needed. And it still wasn’t enough. That is also true. But for those of you who have lost people to suicide, and you didn’t care when they were alive, shame on you.

I had to get that off my chest before I start.

This is a heavy topic. This is not scientific evidence of suicide. I’m not sharing evidence-based anything in this piece. That will come in the next blog. I am not a mental health professional. These views are mine, and mine alone. Please seek professional help if you are struggling with suicide ideations. If the topic is too much for you, I implore you to step away and return when you are ready. Or don’t return at all. That is totally fine too.

According to CAMH, “Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death and is often related to complex stressors and health issues. Suicide occurs across all ages, incomes, ethnicities, and social factors. Most often, people experience suicidal thoughts when they have lost hope and feel helpless. They want their pain to end, and they may see no other way out. Suicide can also be an impulsive act that follows the use of substances. In some cases, people with psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia may hear voices that tell them to harm themselves.”


I’m a highly sensitive person, so painful reoccurring themes, feelings of disappointment and letdown, and other PSTD triggers can send me into suicidal ideations. When I say ideations, I mean suicidal thoughts. For me, it’s not so much seeing myself killing myself, more so painful sensations that I want to escape. It’s not wanting to be here on earth in that particular moment of pain, rather than wanting to die overall. It will be a flash, a sensation, and then pass. I might write it out and be on with it afterward. Sometimes, it can linger for hours, sometimes, days.

For me, I actually don’t want to die at all, I just want to not hurt. It’s wanting to be pain-free. To feel relief. Normal if you will, whatever that actually means. “I just want it all to stop,” is more so the vibe. Rather than, "I want to jump off a building or drink Lysol," as came up in the previous blog.

In this blog, I want to discuss some reasons why I have ideations. I’ll start first with contagion/contagious affect/, or copycat phenomenon

I saw online recently this person talking about a near-death experience. The way they were describing it felt so soothing. Like, "Ah, I knew I’d like the feeling of dying." It was uncomfortable to watch. Other people commented that the story can be dangerous, especially for those who struggle with suicide ideation. I agreed.

Like emotions, suicide ideations can be contagious in that way.

I also feel a lot of things that are not mine. I catch feelings easily. Things jump off others and onto me. I’m a sponge for feeling sensations. People call it being an empath. I’m just highly sensitive. Extra-sensory if you will. I learned in my adult life that I have sensory processing issues. So in moments of overwhelm, when I’m over-stimulated, I can sometimes want everything to just mute, pause, stop.

Vicarious trauma is real. So simply being around or tapping into certain people or having conversations with others who are in hopeless situations can trigger it. Something that recently happened to me after a difficult conversation with someone. I took on energy that wasn’t mine and have been struggling to shake it off ever since.

More than anything, it was how the conversation left me feeling powerless and hopeless. Like I can’t escape certain things I’m in now. Hopelessness is one reason I think some people die by suicide. Feeling powerless will really do it to you. Feeling trapped is excruciating.

It comes and goes. It typically passes, as most ideations do.

In my experience, pain is the intensity that amplifies ideation. This can be physical, emotional, mental, or psychological pain. This is usually a result of feeling stuck in toxic, violent, or oppressive situations and environments.

The socio-political and economic climate can really impact ideation. No one is to blame for suicide, though I also believe we all as a collective, including the systems that be, are accountable for creating a world that makes people desire death over living. There is help. All suicides are 100% preventable. Everyone should have access to basic needs, including food, shelter, housing, emotional support, financial resources, living wages, access to health care, etc. Not providing this is inhumane. It will fuel suicides to not ensure everyone has these things. Not having them will leave people feeling powerless and hopeless.

Until next time, in solidarity

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