I walked in your shoes for a moment. I traveled along the road of crippling sadness, ate with negativity often, and entertained thoughts of ending it all.
I don’t live your life, and you’re right, I don’t know what it’s like being you. But I know depression. More than anything else, I know all too well what it’s like to want to escape reality.
Different, though our challenges may be, our encounter with a mental disorder connects us.
Depression and thoughts of suicide are connected. Suicide says you should end it all, life isn’t worth living, and depression is the ladder leading to that path.
Lawyer suicide is on the rise. You may think there is a reason to die, but have you ever considered that you have more reasons to live? Here are 4 reasons to keep going.
You are Loved and Cared for
Suicide doesn’t zap away your problems; it simply conveys them to someone else. Your family and close friends suffer most if you should do the unthinkable.
Life might not be panning out according to your expectations; however, that doesn’t give you the right to put your family through unbearable pain and loss. Know that your family loves you dearly.
They are rooting for you.
Knowing that your family loves and cares about you is enough reason for you to live.
But, what if your family is a contributing factor to the thoughts you’re having?
There’s no perfect family. Things happen, but working to solve issues with your family is a better solution to dealing with what’s causing your depression and suicidal thoughts. Also, all your family and friends can’t be against you. Sometimes these things only exist in the mind.
It’s natural to believe that your family or friends won’t understand your disquieting thoughts. Forget about casting judgments. Suicidal thoughts are serious. You may be surprised at the love and support you’ll be met with by being vulnerable with trustworthy, close family members.
What can you do now?
It’s time to have a heart-to-heart with your family. Give vent to your emotions. Now is the time to lay bare how you feel. Are you facing trouble at work and could use a break at home? Let your family know. The job description of a lawyer is tedious, demanding at best. Talk with them about the problems you face. When many people consult, it’s better to come to a reasonable solution. Communicating your problems won’t zap them out of existence, but talk therapy is beautiful.
Divulge what’s eating at you. Lay bare your soul to family and friends you can trust. With so many things happening with you, wearing it around your neck is suffocating. Remove the veil. Your family and friends love you. Confide in them with these things, and you may get some practical, helpful suggestions.
Although heavy, your problems may be transient. Like the wind that changes direction and temperament, your problems may lighten with time. Don’t despair thinking you’re paralyzed or crippled beyond repair.
If you’re going through chronic stress, that can change. Do you feel stuck in your career as a lawyer, as if your goals are unattainable? They aren’t. Opportunities come when least expected. Prepare for these opportunities, rather than worry about their timing. When they do catch up to you, you’ll be ready.
What if you’re dealing with grief, the loss of a loved one? A stream of tears can never revive your loved one; however, can you heal beyond the pain? Can you learn to live each day, while cherishing fond memories of the person? You can.
What about sickness? Are you living with an incurable, dehumanizing illness? You may not be able to fix the problem and change the illness, but you can change your outlook on the situation.
The sun goes down as often as it comes up. Don’t allow your problems to become so overwhelming that you rob your family and friends of the joys of having you around. Lawyer suicide isn’t the answer.
What can you do now?
Cultivate endurance and resilience. Recognize that life is a tough world, and you’ll need to stretch yourself to survive. I know you don’t want to die; you simply want the pain to stop. Things don’t get better unless you do. Unless you go to work on yourself and change your map of the world, you’ll always have lingering thoughts of suicide.
Navigating this world under extreme stress and depression is rough, but there’s no better feeling than digging yourself from a pit and crawling out.
You Have Help
You don’t have to face the cold, stern face of depression without help; and, you don’t have to bear the brunt of the world without comfort. Death sure does feel like the next best thing when problems mount with the tick of a clock, but don’t give into that ideation.
Your journey isn’t finished yet. There’s more awesome work for you to do, both in your professional life as a lawyer, and on a personal level. You may not see a way out of your predicament, but there is help.
In addition to friends and family members who are ready to rally around you, there are things you can do to feel better.
Have you ever tried seeking professional help in lieu of committing lawyer suicide?
Don’t be apologetic or red-faced to solicit the help you need. Your life is meaningful. You have a lot to give. Be willing to face humiliation and mockery, if that’s what it takes to get help.
So what if your colleagues find out you’re seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist? So what if you have to take time off from the firm to recover and get well?
Worrying about what others think about your situation isn’t your problem but there’s. The only concern you should have at the moment is to get well and regain mental fortitude.
A person who is physically ill seeks the help of a doctor, do they not? Likewise, recognize that suicidal thoughts stem from a mental disease that needs treatment. Get the help you need today, please.
What can you do now?
Reach out to a qualified physician to talk about treatment options based on your situation. You may also reach out to me. As a mental health coach, I work with lawyers struggling with chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. If you want someone to talk to and blow off some steam, please don’t hesitate. Reach out for a free 30-minute coaching session, and let’s have you feeling better about your situation and life.
You may also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or visit Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website.
Keep your feelings in check.
Oftentimes suicidal thoughts creep in when you’re alone and deep in thought. At the slightest hint of negative emotion, spring into action. Don’t entertain it.
While you rely on others to provide solace in your weakest moments, know that you can help yourself. Even if you feel paralyzed, cramped without a way out, you can cultivate the desire to live.
Think about your dependents. Think about the impact it’ll have on your family and those who love you if you should commit suicide.
There is hope. There are things you can do on your time and strength to pummel your thoughts into submission. It all starts in the mind; learn to work your way from there.
Does it not infuse you with joy to see the trees dance on a windy day and birds sing enchantingly as they fly by?
You’re not done yet, there is hope knocking at the door. Get up and let it in. Live!
What can you do now?
Find coping mechanisms to deal with the situation you’re going through. Here are some wonderful suggestions:
- Control negative thoughts. Don’t entertain them when they arise
- Write your emotions down.
- Make a list of things you can do when you’re feeling down. Call this your suicide defense toolkit.
- Communicate with others. Confide in others about the problem, those who can offer help, or at least distract you.
- Create a support list. This contains the names and contact information of people you can run to when you feel like giving up.
- Have the suicide prevention line contact number on hand.
- Keep your environment safe. It’s easy to commit suicide when you have a loaded gun sitting around the home.
Remember, you don’t need a million reasons to live, just one. I’ve given you 4. Go to work on yourself. This is a tough world but so are you. You are needed, and regardless of how you feel today, you are loved beyond your wildest dreams. Don’t add to the statistics of lawyer suicide committed each year.