You Don’t Have to Die to Find Peace
Have you ever asked yourself, what would drive someone to kill themselves?
I’m sorry, what an awful way to start an article.
I lost a friend this past week. A vibrant, smart soul with teenage children and a wife. I struggle to understand.
My friend Ted was such a high achiever. He had his doctorate in geo-something or other and was one of the smartest men I know. Whenever we spoke, I was in awe of his knowledge, and his ability to analyze data and ask really good questions. He had a knack of cutting through the rhetoric and was one of the best critical thinkers I’ve ever known.
We could discuss politics, climate change, even COVID-19 policy, and he would have data at his fingertips. He never settled for what was in the media… or even what people said… he was a masterful researcher.
So what prompted him to take his life? My friends and I struggle with this. I mean, couldn’t he “think” himself out of his mindset? Couldn’t he use his skills as a thinker to quash the illogical and hurtful thoughts?
Was it because he was such a smart high-achiever that he thought people might see him as weak?
But what of his logical, smart disposition? How did he reconcile the decision?
I won’t lie, there have been times when I wondered why we do what we do. Seeded in unrealized dreams and aspirations and the struggles of driving my business, clashing with the needs of my family and the attention they desire, I’ve had those, “What’s it all for?” conversations with myself.
I know, that when I am feeling that way, I should be reaching out to somebody. But perhaps like Ted, people come to me with their problems, and I don’t go to them. Maybe that is the downsized to being a service provider.
I know I have to think differently. I know I should reach out to someone to discuss how I am feeling.
But the mere thought of whining and belly-aching to someone about my feelings and playing the “woe-is me card” just seems so trite and self-indulgent. There are so many much bigger problems in the world… who the frig do I think I am?
Besides, like Ted, I am the jovial sort. I have high energy, and if you were to ask me how I am, I’ll tell you I have nothing to complain about… That I am great…. But the truth is, I am not.
Ted’s dead at 51. I need to still learn from Ted. I need to have the fortitude and courage to reach out when I’m feeling awful.
And so do you.
The consequence of not doing so is so damn final–at it hurts so many.
If anything I’ve written today resonates. Please reach out to someone. Admit you are not perfect and you are not OK.
In Canada, you can get more info here, or you can text 45645 or call 1-833-456-4566.
In the US, get more info here, or call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
If you promise to reach out when you are suffering, I promise to do the same. Deal?
Rest in Peace Ted.