Or, first…

Sugar. You have tried to limit it in your diet as much as possible. But then there’s this drink sitting in the refrigerator you just opened winking seductively at you and you are seriously trying to rationalize taking it. You’d rather have water but—
‘Just drink me already,’ it says impishly. One time would do no harm. You know you haven’t taken any in a long while. Your body is fit enough to withstand a gulp or two. There are many people who drink this everyday and there is yet to be a thing wrong with their health. Oh, stop it; you are not even diabetic or anything, how can a bottle of soft drink hurt?

Grrrrrhhh, you grab this bottle with a nice, sleek shape and carefully rinse your throat with it!

And then…

Suicide. We all know what it is. The dictionary describes it as the “intentional killing of oneself.”

And by intentional, it means suicide is “intended or planned; done deliberately or voluntarily”.

We agree.

But one thing I also want us to agree on is that not all who committed suicide truly wanted to die. They just got to a point where there was nothing else…than to die.

…not all who committed suicide truly wanted to die

You took that drink deliberately. Right? No one forced it down your throat, right? Right! It drew you… The pull was strong. It felt like the thing to do. To just do!…

You drank it yourself, and it definitely wasn’t at gun point.

It was intentional.

You didn’t want to, but you DID.

The minutes that lapsed between the time you saw that bottle and took that decision may have been small but what matters here is that you took something against your better judgement for a healthier diet/lifestyle (like we all do, everyday—and excuse it one way or the other)

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is observed each year on September 10. It is a time to give good focus and solemn attention to the dark menace of suicide that’s gradually and alarmingly rampaging our world and seek to hinder it.

Suicide is clearly becoming a serious problem worldwide and the numbers sure tell a very shocking story. According to the World Health Organization, someone takes their own life every 40 seconds. Really?! That’s about 800,000 people globally every year (P.S Some estimates the number to be about a million.)

Suicide is said to be the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 29years and for every suicide that results in death, there could be as many as 40 attempted suicides! That tells us something.

People don’t die the day they commit suicide. They died long before. They died the day they lost hope and saw no way out aside death. They died the day death seemed a better option.

From there onward, it is only a matter of time before the eventual happens…

And even though it can take a while before the actual act occurs, sometimes it is still very much like standing before an open refrigerator trying to rationalize taking a drink or not.

Some win. Some lose.

Those who lose are those statistics count as having committed suicide.

Now, the question is: how intentional was the ‘intention’? How deliberate was it?

Life can be difficult but there’s still a lot to live for. This quiet truth, however, is hidden from many by virtue of the blinding effect of despair.

What really is the gift of life and how well do we value it? The gift of life should be so cherished we should all strive to help others to be alive.

The theme of WSPD 2021 is Creating hope through action. There is a strong need for collective action to address the issue of suicide and all the things that lead to it. There is an urgent need to snatch many away from the front of the ‘refrigerator’ that holds the act of suicide before they make the not-so-intentional decision to ‘deliberately’ take their own lives…

Family, friends, spouses/partners, colleagues/co-workers, community members, trainers/educators, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, and governments should be deliberate in their actions to prevent suicide in their various domains.

Many are screaming: Help! Help!

Who will hear them? Who will rush to them before it is too late?

I bet some of the last thoughts on the minds of those in their dying moments, from an act of suicide, may have been:

“Could there have been an alternative to this? Could there have been hope for me in life? Did I really have to die…? This way?”

And maybe lastly, “Help…”

But it would have been too late!

Let’s observe this day by thinking of how we can bring hope to many who have lost it. That in itself is suicide prevention.

Cheers to life!

Pamela.

…help someone have hope today!

Photo credits: Google images

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