On the event of World Suicide Prevention Day, here is looking at the cost of killing the self and the price of forgiveness from a survivor.
Days are a jumbled mix of looking for moonlight in the polluted darkness of your city horizon. They are about looking for poetry behind the lens of your camera. They are about reading resistance poetry written by black lesbians. They are about closing your eyes and finding the darkness you were trying to escape. These days usually come in autumn. Riding on the whisper of leaves, on the soft touch of ruby sunsets.
Some days are also about giving up. About standing on the edge of a cliff and watching the mist envelop your senses and get under your skin. Feeling the disappointment no longer be a void in your gut but become a gaping hole that consumes you from within gradually until – jumping off the ledge seems the only viable option. The seduction of the void is alluring. One imagines the fall before us, the wind rushing past our ears during the fall, the time taken during the fall – until the void just ceases to exist altogether.
People talk about what happens when one is forced to take the plunge. To take the way out. We disappoint our family members. We break the hearts of our friends and peers. We make them think that they did not do enough. On the occasion of world suicide prevention day, there will be a million posts outlining the impact of what shall happen after we take the plunge. There will be a million more outlining the need to reach and how to reach out. A few will also provide links to resources – some verified and some unverified. But no one tells us how to forgive your own self.
Sometimes the plunges we take don’t plan out the way we want them to. They end abruptly and we are forced to come back on the cliff again. But this time around we are filled with guilt and shame, we are filled with remorse because how do we reconcile with our own selves – the self we tried to lose once and for all? The stoppage of the plunge is a reminder for us – to pause, to give it another chance. But how do we forgive ourselves for failing to stop being? To start over, to rewind, to reconcile, and to begin again?
As a survivor myself who has taken the plunge on more than one occasion, it is not easy. It is not easy to forgive, especially when the one to be forgiven is your own self. But with time one learns to live with it. One learns that the scars on our skin are as much a part of ourselves, as our moles, as our warts. They make us who we are and perhaps forgiveness is not a commodity required for us to hand out to our own selves. It is a quieter feeling of reconciliation that just walks into your own self only when you realize that this is nothing to hide or shy away from. It is a part of the new you. It is a part of a choice you made, perhaps not your best, but a choice you made nonetheless and a choice you need to stand by till the end of time.
Unless we forgive ourselves for all the things we did not become, how will we ever come to terms with the things we have done for ourselves. Sometimes the blankness of our papers are not enough to write out stories. Sometimes there are urges to carve stories of survival and resistance on our bodies, till the poetry and stories we tell and share, become our own very selves
Featured Image Credits: UNC Health Tak