The death of Robin Williams has struck a chord and raised an issue that has, up to now, been mainly hidden. Middle aged suicides in both males and females has remained largely unaddressed.
This week Ed and I decided to dedicate the podcast to the sad loss of Robin who, apparently suffered depression, the onset of Parkinson’s Disease and had financial worries. Whatever it was that took him to the edge I guess there came a point where he could no longer see or feel the desire to carry on. I was both saddened and ashamed by my fellow human beings who felt the need to put him down via Tweets and Facebook. The idea that suicide is cowardice is held by those with little understanding or empathy and they can be forgiven for their ignorance, actually killing yourself is quite difficult and, in most cases requires determination and indeed courage.
What value do you give your life?
Have you ever considered ending it? I know from my work as a psychotherapist that people do seriously consider it. If you are reading this then you didn’t follow through with the idea, what happened? The decision to stay alive means that you had a reason, what was it, or is it?
Whatever the reason you have it represents the value that you give to your life. It is the meaning that you give to living and I guess it would follow that it is the value that you might give to the lives of others. So, as you read this perhaps you might consider that if life does have a value what are we/you doing to help other people value their’s? There is enough food on the planet to feed everyone yet everyday people die of hunger. There is enough food, enough water, enough love, enough ideas, there is an abundance of everything if we have the will to share it. We could have heaven on earth right now.
There is so much that we can do to help and support each other everyday in every way, it is in us choosing not to that we have suffering in the world. I do not know the individual circumstances of. Robin but I do know that their are many people around us right now that would benefit from a kind act, word or deed that may keep them from falling into the black pit of suicide.
I have stood on the edge of the black pit in life and each time I have made the choice to move back into the light. In doing the podcast with Ed and considering why this was I came to the conclusion that I am too nosey to kill myself. Imagine going to a library or a bookshop and buying a book only to find that someone had ripped out the last few pages so that you will never know how the story ends? For me life is like that. It has, sometimes, been tough, and sometimes very hard to keep going, but it has also been amazing, it has been a blast and the one thing that it has taught me is that by staying positive, being grateful for all that I have and, by being consistent and persistent in all my endeavours and my attempt to ‘get it right’ my life and my happiness grows. I want to know how my story ends.
I guess the other good lesson is this. If you really don’t like the story line of your life, if it is boring, depressing, anxiety provoking, meaningless or just not what you want, then, pick up your pen and write a story line that does meet your needs. And, if you have trouble finding your pen or thinking up a story line go and see someone like me. Talk it through play with ideas and then with persistence and consistence live a life you can love.
For me a successful life is simply waking with a smile on your face feeling good about the day you are about to live and, at the end of the day having a smile on your face feeling good about the day you have just lived. At that point your life has a value way beyond money and yet you will be the richest person alive.
Keep smiling be happy and enjoy the gift of life.