Second Chance to Live

Sharing Hope in the Face of Adversity — One Piece at a Time

Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide Part 1

Posted by Second Chance to Live on November 3, 2007

Hi, and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. You are always welcome at my table my friend. I have been thinking about a particular experience that I had when I was in graduate school. During a conversation with one of my classmates, she disclosed a personal tragedy. She told me that her former husband had committed suicide. I was sad to hear of her loss and the circumstances surrounding the suicide. Apparently he had been unemployed for an extended period of time after being laid off from the Railroad. She told me that he had become despondent and in that despondency he committed suicide.

Interestingly enough, one week after he committed suicide his wife told me that she received a call from the Railroad wanting her husband to come back to work.

In the man’s despondency he used a permanent solution for a temporary problem. He lost hope and thought nothing could or would change for the better. He bought into the lie that his life no longer had meaning or purpose. Although I do not know all of the extenuating circumstances, I do know that when he died the hope of finding a solution died with him. Sadly, he left his wife and family members in a world of confusion and hurt. In the decision of taking his own life, he chose to give up on hope. He chose to believe the lie that his creative uniqueness no longer mattered to anyone much less to himself. Please read my post, Flight of the Butterfly.

You may have a set of circumstances in your life that has left you in the depths of despair and despondency. You may believe that no good can come out of your traumatic brain injury my friend. Consequently, you may be considering a permanent solution for a temporary problem because you believe your creative uniqueness no longer has value. Please read my post, Traumatic Brain Injury — Following your Bliss…Regardless. In the midst of our storm we may believe that the dark clouds of despair will never leave us. Our ability to see the forest for the trees is sometimes blinded by an overcast fog of negativity and pessimism. Like a deer caught in the headlights, we may find ourselves fixated on the circumstance rather than on the potential of a positive solution.

I have found myself in these dark places too my friend. I have good news for you, the dark places do not last. Although you may feel frozen by fear and doubt, rest assured because you will get through these difficult times. Despair and despondency are like dark clouds that roll in and roll out of our lives. Be encouraged my friend, because you will learn to live and thrive because of the dark places of the soul. As I have found in my own experience, night does turn into morning. Dark clouds shall pass and the sun will shine upon your life. Be encouraged my friend. You will gain a fresh perspective and a new zest for living.

Please read Part 2 of this article and please and don’t give up on yourself or your process. More will be revealed to you in time.

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4 Responses to “Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide Part 1”

  1. lydia2007. said

    This wonderful post has reminded me of some encouraging words written to me by a friend – now it is time to thrive rather than just survive. I think I’ll give it a try.

  2. Ron Graham said

    Your recollection of your friend’s husband highlights an important facet of depression, the feeling of being helpless and without hope, which are strong signals that suicide may be something the person is considering. These are red flags that professional counselors are looking for when working with clients who are managing depression.
    That is good work in comparing the permanence of suicide to the temporary nature of depression. Even in those cases where somebody is dealing with Major Depressive Disorder, the melancholy state is transient. The trick is to get the depressed person to hang onto a life line long enough to let that phase subside.

  3. Pete said

    Depression, or a “dark place” isn’t always the trigger for suicide in tbi survivors. I’m about to take the big step because after years of scraping through work to come home sit on the sofa and stare at the wall I’ve decided that’s not how I want to live, yet years of trying has shown i’m unlikely to have an alternative. Old, lonely, and no energy to do anything about it.

    If I don’t like a movie I walk out.

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