Let’s Talk ‘How are you?’

Hello Wild Ones ✨✨✨

I hope you are well and that great things are happening for you. My prayer is that you know how awesome you are. I am currently really proud of how awesome I am and the dope things I continue to do.

Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention day and a lot of people posted about it. Most people kept posting about it and adding captions like ‘ I would rather listen to you than listen to your eulogy.’ I don’t mean to put these people down but I wondered if they understood what they were offering. People often say they are ready to listen to you but they don’t take time to learn how they are going to respond when someone comes telling them that they are suicidal.

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I started feeling suicidal right after my move to Rwanda approximately two months in. There had been certain events that had led to that. I figured that once I figured out how to live with whole situation, I would be fine. Well, three months later and I still struggled with those ideas alone. I spent a lot of time romanticizing death and hoping that I would die. When I finally opened up to someone, I remember them probing for explanations like ‘Why do you want to die?, Why would you say that?’ literally probing for a reason for being suicidal. I didn’t have a specific reason, I just felt tired of living. I remember feeling really guilty for feeling suicidal and choosing not to tell anyone because I always left feeling worse every time I told someone. I know that their response came from a right place but it did nothing but gaslight me. I started to question if I was creating these suicidal thoughts for attention. Even after my first attempt to commit suicide in January 2019, I still didn’t want to admit I felt like that and that I wasn’t making it up. It took me many months up to May 2020 to accept that I couldn’t control that deep desire to want to die and went to therapy. In therapy for the first time in a very long time, I found someone who understood what I meant when I said that I felt suicidal and validated those feelings. I will forever be grateful to my therapist for this.

My point this, suicide is a very sensitive subject and most people approach it with a lot of ignorance. I hated every time that someone told me that I shouldn’t feel suicidal because I have people who love me. This only made me feel guilty for feeling like that. Others who said that if I hadn’t already done it then I probably wasn’t feeling like that just invalidated my feelings. They led me to gaslight myself and delayed my process to get help. I acknowledge that these comments came from a good place and a lot of ignorance. I would like to appeal if you are going to parade yourself as the friend that people can go to when they feel suicidal or depressed then make sure you have the empathy and knowledge to help. Make your ‘How are you? ‘ Genuine! I also feel obligated to add that as much as you show up like that, always make sure you are in the mental space to handle someone else’s pain and it’s okay to take care of you first. Other wise keep being awesome friends and showing up for your friends.

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Today’s Tip

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With loooove and hope.

Jackie

29 Comments Add yours

  1. Quite an eye opener. We should understand that we all take different approaches to life and learn that there are things beyond us we don’t understand. Definitely learnt something here .

    1. jackie says:

      True!! Thank you for reading.

  2. Awesome! With a lot of pieces of advice!

    1. jackie says:

      Thank you for reading

  3. Finally someone understands the phrase” i’am feeling bad but I don’t know why”, people will always ask you why you are wallowing in self pity when you know there’s nothing but just a pile of emotions, thanks Jackie

    1. jackie says:

      True! People tend to dismiss what they don’t understand. Thank you for reading.

  4. People are ignorant to things they don’t understand. That’s why I advocate for meditation to practice getting outside your ego and feel the collective energy that is the universe.

    1. jackie says:

      I have never tried meditation, may be I should. Thank you for reading.

  5. Kinya says:

    I am feeling bad but I don’t know why😔

    Thanks for the advice

    1. jackie says:

      It’s a valid feeling. Sit with that feeling and allow you to feel. Try writing or doing something you really like. Take care of yourself. I hope you feel better.

      1. Kinya says:

        Thank you for this post😊

  6. Maryanna K says:

    This has changed my perspective on offering help. Thank you for opening my mind and changing my outlook.

    1. jackie says:

      I am glad you could learn something. Thank you for reading.

  7. Joana says:

    “Others who said that if I hadn’t already done it then I probably wasn’t feeling like that just invalidated my feelings.”

    That is the worst response to someone opening up about their mental state. I hate it when people see it as just a “dramatic” phase of a person’s life.

    1. jackie says:

      I know right. People are really ignorant about these things and the bad thing is that they are very confident when they deal with you.

      1. Joana says:

        True ☹️

  8. Very true, informative and educative. The world we live in today has alot of smiles on sad faces. While many say they rather listen, they aren’t really ready to listen. Very few do it without any judgement. There’s alot I could say but let’s leave it here… I’m touched.

    1. jackie says:

      True. People need to learn empathy.Thank you for reading.

  9. uniqueeblogs says:

    I feel this is a really important topic people dont talk about! Really glad you presented it in the right way!😊

    1. jackie says:

      True, It’s an important topic. Thank you for reading.

  10. So many times I’ve been asked the same question and there’s no one answer to it and people just didn’t get it. Sometimes I spiral thinking maybe I made it all up in my head I genuinely hate those conversations as a lot of the time people come in ignorant. I agree, your intentions could be genuine but more people need to educate themselves first.

    1. Also, what you’re doing with sharing these opportunities is so great!!

      1. jackie says:

        Thank you for the saying this. I have been getting no feedback. I thought no one was seeing it.

    2. jackie says:

      It can feel like you made it up in your head and it’s a really bad feeling because for me it leads me to think there is something wrong with me as human being and then I start to embrace the idea that I am broken which is not the case.

  11. Absolutely fantastic. Something new to learn; each passing day.

    1. jackie says:

      I am glad you learnt something. Thank you for reading.❣❣

  12. Really moved by the choice of topic. Most people out there are too judgemental when they come across those who are suicidal! Happy to see you got the right person who helped you amidst the plenty ignorant ones who failed to help you. But in a way their ignorance motivated you to write this wonderful article.

    1. jackie says:

      It was a blessing to find a therapist who understood me. Thank you for reading💖💖

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