Fashion heathen that I am, I had not heard of Alexander McQueen until news of his death broke out.
Yes, I should get out more. However, the papers have told me so much, it feels incredible that his name was unknown to me 16 hours ago.
You know who else is unknown?
The 3000 people around the world who will commit suicide TODAY.
According to the World Health Organisation, an average of almost 3000 people commit suicide every day. That’s one every 30 seconds. And for every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt suicide.
In fact it’s very probable that you yourself know someone or have a friend of a friend who’s taken this route.
There’s always the helplessness afterwards: “If only she’d got help” or “It was only an argument, he seemed fine” or “I had no idea he was depressed.”
As individuals we are STRONG. Incredibly, beautifully, jaw-droppingly strong.
Yet, despite this strength:
- Yes, we need help finding a solution to a problem sometimes
- Yes, it’s damn hard to ask for the help we need
- Yes, we feel alone, helpless and bound by our situation
This is a NORMAL part of our personal development. If you think about it, you already know that not a single baby born today will make it to old age without experiencing these feelings to some degree at some point.
Our ability to develop skills that deal with life is what lies at the heart of our strength – even if we don’t know it yet.
Fear, confusion, grief, anger, pain…. these are horrid feelings that do however serve a purpose. At the very least they give us the opportunity to recognise what is important to us.
Yet when the depression sets in, it combines with these feelings to somehow mock our inability to achieve what we value. Self-esteem goes out of the window and we’re left with this shell that used to be us but now is just so… empty.
The paradox is that when you get to the point where you feel you have no choices left, you actually have all the choices in the world. And they’ve been there all along.
If you suspect that someone you love is struggling with an emotional crisis such as depression or having difficulties making choices and decisions, be their eyes and encouragement for a while and guide them into getting the help they need.
In this situation, people often can’t see their options because they’ve reached a personal development opportunity that’s frozen them in fear. The emotional safety of confidential professional coaching and therapy provides the tools and resources to move forward freely without the guilt that they’re burdening you.
The same applies of course if it’s you that’s struggling.
How do you recognise the personal development opportunities in your life? How do you maximise what you can learn from them?