Life is strange and stranger are the reasons for its dismissal. Death as we know it comes in many forms, all very sad. But suicide is not just that, it is the defeat of that human spirit which when we are alive defines us. It is ironic. The very being we all strive to maintain, one fine day becomes useless, worthless. And also the very reason for all our problems. When you contrast it with cancer survival cases, amputees trying to live a normal life or AIDs patient trying day in and day out for an un-discriminated life, this seems worse. They don’t have a choice and they try to create it and here some of us do and yet choose to avoid.
But often it is not easy as a comparison presented above. Help is not offered where needed, and mostly a case of neglect or lack of awareness from a loved one causes this rather catastrophic event. So those of us online have been holding hands and spreading as much is possible about this, every word, every share counts.
This day which is also heralded as the “World Suicide day” is going to make me speak the closest and darkest secret of my life.
I was about seven when my dad came home, in tears and narrated to us the sad demise of his friend. Sending his wife and kids for a vacation, my dad’s friend had drunk a bottle of Baygon (an insect repellant) to end his life. It seemed he had not spoken to anyone for days and even on the day of his death despite several attempts the regular milkman could not get him to open the door.
“If only he had spoken to someone...” my father kept repeating these words.
After that, every time I saw a Baygon bottle, my heart would beat faster. Somehow I was convinced that this is the only way a person can die. I began to imagine my parents killing each other with it. My sister adding it in my food and what not. That though was all a funny series of events inside my head. Nothing serious, just a child’s imagination.
But yes, it stuck around. The thought of suicide and through Baygon.
Then my mother died. And life took all possible bad turns. I could not speak to anyone about my pain. It was a vicious circle really. If I cried, my sister cried, if she cried my dad did. So I had assigned a time for my crying- three o clock at night. I would stay up late and once I was sure everyone had gone off to sleep, I would get up and walk to the bathroom and cry.
I missed my mother and suddenly nothing seemed right. I couldn’t talk to anyone, I could not explain how much I missed her. Because everyone was too busy understanding the practical side of her demise. “How will the kids be brought up?” “Who will cook the food?” “Who will manage the house?” and blah and blah.
And one fine day, as always in accordance with my nocturnal routine, walked to the bathroom and started crying. An hour long routine on most days was suddenly interrupted by a sight – A big green bottle of Baygon bottle. I picked it up, toyed with it and started to imagine what would happen if I drank it.
The thoughts went like this…
“Papa had told me his friend drank baygon and instantly started to feel very hot and so began to take of his clothes”– I checked I was wearing a pair of shorts and T-shirt- I will not feel very hot.
“Papa had told me he vomited a lot and so the vomit was all over his bedroom, until in the end he reached the bathroom somehow.”– That would be messy, Papa would have to clean it himself. Thank god I am already in bathroom, so that’s taken care of.
“Papa had told me the poison was so strong he could not even scream or else the neighbours would have been alerted”– Good then that means people can continue to sleep soundly, no point creating a ruckus in the middle of night.
And then for a few moments I started to toy with it, I even opened the bottle and smelled it. But somehow, I have no clue why I heard my sister speak, “Richa ee” ( ‘ee’ is what she calls me because as a child she could never pronounce ‘di’ and hence the name is ‘Richa ee’ )
I got a big jolt. I thought to myself, mumma left us and now even I am planning to do so. Am I really that selfish? I mean can I do this to someone who has perhaps got all her hopes on me now? I didn’t cry somehow this time, I quietly kept the bottle back and walked out.
I went and hugged my sister and slept.
Strength and Weakness
After that night, each night I would go off to sleep hugging her. And never again did I have to get up in the middle of a night to cry.
I had found my loved one. I had found my purpose.
Life is not always about being cared for, it is also about caring for others. Even today, if something depresses or dejects me (which is a lot), I remember my sister. I tell myself that taking care of her, making her somebody in life is worth all the problems.
Alright then, its just that on this day I cannot preach. I cannot tell you taking your own life is wrong or right. Because in those moments none of the things we present as logic can you remember. But then one thing I have learnt is to always have a sense of purpose in life. A purpose which cannot be taken away from you through force or destiny. To always cherish people whom you love. They are the people who often arrive in the worst of moments and become your strongest support. Remember them in your weakest moments and brave the emotions that haunt you.
Its a strange thing suicide. And one thing I have learnt over the years is it needs people to speak out. It needs us to scream and shout, communicate. And so us write tribers have decided to do just that. We are all going to put up posts for this initiative. You read mine. I believe it is time for you to read others at World Suicide Prevention Day at Write Tribe
“If only he had spoken to someone…” …. very true… and something I strongly believe!
At one point or the other we all fell so distressed and ending up seems to be the only option! But then the face of our loved ones just slaps us back to our senses!
Hugs to you, Girl, for going back and hugging your sister!!!
Thanks a lot and yes I myself believe there is much to be said about loved ones in such cases…
The best and immediate relief (and not solution, I would say) is to talk your heart out to a close friend. when a close one pours his/her heart out do not interrupt and do not judge or sermonize . They do not need it at that time. A patient ear and a tight hug to make the person people loved and wanted are the main ingredients for suicide prevention. Richa, its very brave on your part to share a piece of your life.
Thanks Kalpana and the key is to speak to someone whom you believe will understand..
I admire your courage Richa and all I want is the best for you, my friend.
Virtual dost but can always lend an ear!
TC & hugs!
Awww Ruchira hugs back to you 🙂 🙂
It takes courage to accept things and then move on with them. Its really brave of you to have shared a slice of your life. Stay happy!
Thanks Kajal and I do hope a part of me shared has helped someone….
Hugs Richie Rich!!! You are my brave girl..have been and always will be … A purpose and some courage..that is all that it takes to keep on going… To all those who are in distress I wish them that extra ounce of strength in that very moment ..which will make them think what their life means for the people around .. I wish all have a sound of “Richa ee in the background” and it will not let them go
I know what you are saying is so heartfelt and that perhaps my words can dilute them. I have found wonderful friends like you too who have helped me move on in many ways…
Wow Richa, I know you are generally brave but what you’ve done here is just a million times more courageous. I know for a fact that this takes exceptional courage to come to terms with, The idea of taking your own life and much more to put it on paper. My adoration for you just went through the roof. 🙂
*Tight big bear hugs*
*tight hug* I know I have found a better medium to express. I could never talk about such things but perhaps writing makes me a more relax human being over all…..
Richa, that was such a touching post! You shared your story lady and your vulnerability and how you triumphed. Most importantly you conveyed how in such weak moments, logic just does not work. It is a loved one who pulls us back, something anything that gives us hope. Thanks for sharing!
Yes Rachna, logic never works and also sometimes emotions don’t but a sense of purpose might…
This made me sad and happy at the same time…am so sorry about your mother but so glad that a call from a loved one helped you to snap out of those depressing thoughts. Stay strong always! Hugs!
Thanks Shilpa 🙂 *hugs* to you too 🙂 🙂
Richa, you’ve sent a very strong signal through this post where we are reminded f our loved ones. It’s been very honest of you to share this post and let me tell you, I often thought f suicide and it happened like two months back. It’s just a passing thought.
Dont say like that…. it should not even be a passing thought for you….
Very touching post Richa. Sorry to learn about your mother though. Nice to know that your darling sister means a world to you. May your love for each other grow with each passing day.
thanks Jini 🙂 🙂
Although each of us has a very different journey in life and no two scenarios are same, I would still like to share something from my experience.
During my college first years I got way too much distressed over ragging issues and tried to do something similar, though was saved by seniors in time. The news of this spread across the college and everyone wanted to avoid me or ask me stupid things like if I am crazy or something. Those were bad times. No one understands that one weak moment does not define who you are. Its how you come out of it. I took it upon myself to change things, one person at a time. And it did happen, and that was my journey. That’s why now I don’t give up hoping things would change and keep carrying on for better days. I could not be thankful enough of the handful of friends that stood by me that time.
Thanks a lot for writing the post on such a topic.
Anshul I honestly feel things like these make us a different person, I am not saying better but yes different. They alter our ways of life. And can I congratulate you too for bringing out your own story our here. I am deeply touched by your words and it makes me realise how my own story is making others confident enough to speak out. Thank you 🙂
Bravo Richa! Your post delivered the message, but I loved your thought… that one should have some purpose to live……
your writing style is capturing….:)
thanks a lot 🙂 and I hope it continues to capture you in future as well 🙂 🙂
Very touching post Richa ! Such a pain loosing your mother at such a tender age . You have done a great job as an elder sister . I have a younger sister too 🙂
Thanks and I believe younger siblings bring out our best 🙂 🙂
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Beautiful Richa…I wish anybody who gets even bits of suicidal thought,should read your post and take strength from it.Kudos to you…:)
When I wrote it that was my purpose…
Amazing richa every word is very touching and inspiring… loved it.
and yes hats off to you!
Thanks ramya 🙂 long time no see 🙂 glad to have you here 🙂 🙂
So sorry to learn about your mother Richa. I cannot imagine how painful that must have been and must be for you. I am glad you found a purpose in life in being an anchor to your sister and family.
Thanks Reema, they anchor many of us… family is what keeps us going..
Aaaaawww hugs sweetheary!
Hugs Meena 🙂
Very touching. I really don’t know what to say. Appreciate your courage in coming up with this sensitive part of your past. Thanks for sharing, Richa.
Thanks a lot I hope my words can provide courage to someone else…
I am sure what you went through was so hard and painful but good that you heard your sister’s voice. It’s not easy to write about a memory like this one and all the more when you were so young. Growing up I too have heard of such sad stories that have left a scar. Many painful ones and how people ended their lives.
Thanks for sharing, Richa!