I read an article today about suicide in light of Robin Williams and about how it is not a selfish act. I couldn’t agree more.
I have so many thoughts about this that play into another post I am getting ready to release about recovering from abuse (which can often be coupled with deep bouts of depression).
For the most part our society takes a pretty black and white line about the topics of abuse, depression and suicide. For me, I challenge those lines and those thoughts – realizing that for the most part the beliefs we hold on to about these topics seem to hurt us more than help with.
My take? We need to start asking ourselves really provocative questions – ones that make us squirm, kick even scream…ones that stop us dead in our tracks.
Why? Because it is those types of questions that open the mind, the body, the heart to different versions of the current story – ones that give us hope and a new direction.
Here is one such question that jumps out at me and the following process I would investigate as if this was a coaching session:
If suicide is led to by the desperate act of someone that is depressed, what really is depression anyways?
Here is one common definition that has become the societal BELEIF (commonly held acceptance that a thought/comment is true and/or exists) about this label:
Depression: (noun) severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
Wow, just reading that I feel depressed and heavy. How do you feel in your body when you read that? I invite you to take pause and FEEL the words in your body first before moving on.
Next, being the devil’s advocate I am,
I would challenge this definition that has become a societal belief.
How? By asking more questions. I would play the “what if” game and suspended this definition as a belief for a moment…allowing other questions to arise.
* Does this definition HAVE to be true?
* Is there another way to rephrase the state of depression that would FEEL lighter that I could work with, that would point me to a more hope and a clearer path?
* If so, how could I rephrase it and what would that rephrase feel like in my body?
* What if we rephrased that definition to read something like this:
Depression is nothing more than a bodily signal that there is a disconnect somewhere between us BEING OUR PURPOSE and how we are actually living our current life. This signal is not saying that we are wrong, broken nor damaged – it is simply a warning sign like in a car that is asking us to help find the disconnection and reconnect it.
How does this new definition feel as you try it on? What does this new definition do to your sense of BEING when compared to the other definition? Do you see any other possible ways of moving through depression with this new definition if you allow it to become your belief?
Often times once we have a different working definition of what is going on inside of us – then we can SEE/FEEL and Intuitively KNOW there are other choices available to us.
For me, this is how I now move through those times when I am starting to feel a bit down, hopeless, despondent. I recognize these feelings AS A GIFT THAT THEY ARE…that allow me to go in, find the disconnect and reconnect.
The same approach can be taken for the definitions and topics of suicide and abuse. On the later, I have dived deep into this topic with this approach and found many eye opening ways in which to approach this subject. Ones that are not inside any box, ones that bring renewal and compassion for all involved.
One more note I would have to say as I leave for today is this: that there is an INTIMATE link between abuse, depression and suicide. One that I hope to expand on more in coming posts.
If you or someone you know is moving through a time of depression and are ready for a new fresh approach to dealing with this very real and valid human state of being, I do pray that you will reach out to me when you are ready. See the note below.