Helping Hands by Toby Earl Johnson
Theres a story about a man walking down a beach and seeing a kid picking starfist up off the sand and throwing htem back into the ocean. Not fully understanding, he asked the kid if he really felt like he was making a difference? Picking up anohter starfish and throwing it into the ocean, the kid responds that he made a difference tothat one.
So often when I hear the story, its hard not to wonder what its like to be one of the starfish. Imagine being stranded, feeling absolutely alone. You’re in aplace
that youre not comfortable in, and there seems to be no hope. You feel like these are unbearable conditions. Then out of nowhere, someone reaches out and helps you realize theres life, triumph, hope and a future. Can you imagine that?
There are many reasons that teens may feel that suicide is the only escape. Sometimes teens may have been bullied. Other times maybe they have had to experience an even or truama they should not have had to. Perhaps even they have family problems or feel isolated and stranded just as the starfish must have felt on the beach. The one common factor is that the teens (or anyone who commits suicide) never waits for a hand to reach out and guide them back to life, hope, comfort and happinness.
You might ask, who am I to speak on suicide, right? What could I know? Well lifes not always been perfect for me. My early childhood was filled with abuse and trauma. When I was taken away from my biological parents at the age of 6, I was filled with anger, confusion, and depression. These were issues that I battled through my teen years, and even into my 20’s. At my lowest lows, I’d pray to God to allow me to die in my sleep. Essentially, I was the starfish on that beach. Lifes pressure felt hot, and there didnt seem to be any reprieve in sight.
What I failed to realize, was there were a lot of hands reaching out to me. Thesepeople tried helping me through my depression. They tried to steer me clear of incarceration, help me deal with my past traumas, and even give me hope to a positive future. Thankfully they were persistent, as even inprison my days arent hopeless and bleak now.
The root word of suicide is latin based word sui, meaning of oneself. This is slightly misleading though. Three friends of mine have killed themselves. It didnt affect only those who could have stopped their action? Could we have shown we cared more? Theres an immense sense of guilt and pain for those of us who are left without our loved one or friend. Besides that, our loved ones who did commit suicide will never know what its like to be helped out of gloom and despair, to have families, love, and experience life in its glory and splender.
Dont hold your emotions, pains, traumas, experiences and frustrations in until you feel there are no options other than suicide. Find someone you trust to open up and share your feelings with. You may find that person is who helps get you unstuck from the beach. Remember life is’nt always easy. I had to be helped “back into the water” (onto lifes path) several times. Theres nothing wrong with that. Each time just makes me appreciate the good days now. You can have them to!!!
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