Religion, Spirit and Self Empowerment

I want to end it all!

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Life can be a beautiful experience at times. But there are times when it does not feel at all like a walk in the park. In fact, for some of us, life can feel so painful and hopeless, that we allow our mind to ponder on thoughts of suicide as the only way out of our problems or deep emotional suffering.

Yet, is suicide ever a viable option? Suicide is so final. There is no coming back from it. There is no possibility to have another go at things afterwards.

A recent discussion on the tragedy of suicide that befalls the African Diaspora led us to wonder why members of the diaspora do not seek help before they commit the final act of suicide.
How can some of us feel so desperate in the face of problems that we do not even think of reaching out for help, and instead want to destroy our own lives as a solution to these problems? It may well be that asking for help does not come naturally to us because it is not part of our culture. Or we feel that our problems or emotional issues will not be really understood, or might even be laughed at. Maybe we do not even know where to go for help.

When someone is reaching a place of such despair that suicide looks like an attractive option, it is time to recognise a red flag, in ourselves or in someone else close to us, and take steps to get back in place where choosing life is our better option.

We should never ignore clues that make us think someone is suicidal, or if we feel suicidal ourselves.  If we feel powerless to help, we can always turn to someone close and share our concern, our burdens, our worries, and be honest enough to say we cannot face life anymore on such difficult terms. A shared burden becomes instantly lighter.

We also have excellent organisations that are there to help people who are close to ending it all. A simple phone call to The Samaritans and chatting to someone who truly understands our despair is sometimes all it takes to revive our desire to carry on, to garner a little more courage to face our burdens, knowing they are always temporary and that time will bring us a resolution, that will not require for us to end our life.

There is no shame in asking for help when we simply cannot carry on our own. I personally went through such an episode in my life when I felt there was no hope anymore, and I was close to wishing I was not alive anymore. But a phone call to a friend made all the difference. My pain did not disappear overnight, but it became slightly more bearable, and life did not look so hopeless anymore.

Life may dish out some very tough lessons to us, and I believe none of us is exempt of such episodes. But tough does not mean we have to carry the load alone. If you, dear reader, ever feel such despair in your life, reach out for help.  Or if you know of someone in such a desperate situation, do not ignore them, but extend your helping hand to them.  It may save their lives, literally.  Remember that you are not alone in facing life, and you are never alone in facing your life.

Isabelle Gravenstein
Feature Editor of the Promota Africa magazine

For immediate support, 24 hours a day, all year round, The Samaritans offer a compassionate listening service that may make all the difference.   

Call them on 08457 909090

If you suffer from depression, visit  They have a wealth of information on depression and how you can seek support and advice.

The Alliance also initiated Friends in Need, where you can meet or chat with people who are going through the same life challenges as you.

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