This summer has been very hard on me. The woman who first hired me to teach her yoga tried to end her life. She survived but she’s got a long road ahead to her towards recovery both mentally and physically.
The events leading up to her decision were terrible to watch. I could see that something was off with her. She stopped taking care of herself, she stop taking classes from me, she pushed people out of her life, and she withdrew into herself. I knew that she suffered from a mental illness and that she was likely being affected by that but I had no idea how bad it had gotten until after she made her choice to end her life.
In the wake of what’s happened to her, I have pulled back even more from teaching yoga. I know that it’s not my fault what she chose to do but I can’t help but feel like I had some part to play in it. I should have been more open with her, more understanding, or more willing to just spend time with her. She had hurt me earlier this year by rejecting me from her life and asking for me to return the money she had paid for yoga lessons with. I had no idea she was falling into the symptoms of her illness and was acting in accordance to them.
The thing is, it is not my fault. It’s not anyone’s fault what has happened to her. She fell through some of the holes in our medical mental health program and her descent was so slow, that it is likely that they didn’t even know she was falling apart. So when it came time for her to try to end her life, we were all shocked.
She isn’t the only one to try to end her life, the son of my mother’s old friend also tried. He was doing it for totally different reasons, life had just reached a point where it was just too hard. Then there’s the famous case of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, who ended his life last week as a result of a life-long battle with depression and PTSD. I will never forget my one and only concert with Linkin Park, he was so passionate to see sing. He just poured his heart out into every word.
There is a real crisis happening here. We cannot ignore the numbers anymore. Our generation is unhappy and they are tired of fighting. I come from a family history of suicide and I know that it is hard on everyone even years after the death has occurred. I have never been so sad and depressed that I felt like suicide was my only option. Even when I was bullied so bad in school, I never thought of suicide, to me that would mean that they won and I would not allow that to happen. I guess, I feel the same way about depression, if I committed suicide, then that would just give the pain to someone else and I could not allow that.
Suicide needs to be discussed, talked about, and listened to. I don’t think we will stop it from happening but bring up awareness about the issues that lead to it are important. If you are thinking about suicide or you think you know someone who might be, please look at and share this link to suicideprevention.ca. Reaching out could save your life or someone you love.