One of my favorite quotes from Dante Alighieri, the author of Inferno, is also perhaps the simplest: “The path to paradise begins in hell”. It is my strong belief that without going through hardships one cannot attain true happiness or peace. Having said that, there would be situations in one’s life when one feels like one cannot get back up and that there is no escape, but it is in these very situations that one needs to show strength because there is always a way out.
According to a 2013 study in the Official Journal of the American Association of Suicidology, the two leading causes of suicide were said to be Hopelessness and Psychache. Psychache, a term coined by Edwin Shneidman, refers to unbearable psychological pain. What this means is that the major driving force behind the very thought of suicide is a sense of losing all hope and being in unimaginable pain, mentally. As a result, the person feels disconnected from the people around him/her and feels they will be “better off” without him/her. This, however, could not be any further from the truth.
No matter how bad a situation is, there are always people who care about you, sheerly out of love. It is these very people whose life will become a living hell if something were to ever happen to you. Whatever it is that you are going through, always remember, nothing is impossible to get out of. There are people who love you and will do anything to make sure that no situation in your life is bad enough to drive you to do something that would leave everyone distraught.
Talking about possible preventive measures, there is a lot one can do to make sure that one is never driven to such an extreme mental place. The most important practice, according to me, would be to simply not keep things bottled up inside you. Human beings are social creatures. We thrive on social contact, love and trust. The “trust no one” approach to life is simply the most flawed way to live it. There should always be at least one person in your life who you can talk to about anything. This can be anyone: your parents, a sibling, a close friend or even a psychologist. Another important point is to not be hesitant in reaching out for help. There are tons of free counselling services online to help you in situations when you do not have anyone to talk to.
Another related question is how you can help someone who is in a bad place. This is not rocket science; it is rather simple and effective. If you ever feel someone is low or just not being their normal self, you need to tell them two simple things: I am here for you, I want you to talk to me. Just talking to someone and hearing him/her out can save not only their lives but also save a lifetime of heartache for all those who love him/her.
In conclusion, my message to you is simple; do not give up, not on yourself and not on anyone else. Each and every life is precious. The most horrific thing one can do in a bad situation is give up on life. There is so much to life, and there is always much more to explore. It is easy to give up when you are down but getting back up and fighting for what your unique mind believes in is what makes life worth it.
Written by - Akshaan Garg