I love the idea of a suicide hotline. It’s a great place to go when there is no other. But it is sad that it even has to exist as it is sad that therapists have to exist. Real friendship is, for the most part, dead. While some of us have pure intentions to help by giving out hotline numbers, we only need a suicide hotline because we live in a fairweather-friend world. It’s because too many of us don’t know how to listen, how to love, how to validate and relate to others and let people be who they are without trying to “fix” them that we need a hotline, that we need to pay therapists 100 dollars a 50 minute session. Has anyone ever thought about that?
People who are suicidal or who are dealing with their own inner demons are not broken. They don’t need to be fixed. They are responding normally to an insane world. So, if we really want to help the suicidal, forgo the hotline and be a friend to your friends. Be a parent and listen to your children. If they are going through a rough patch, let them vent, scream, rant, cry, rage, and feel sad so they get those disease-causing emotions out of their system. Give your friends and children ***YOUR*** phone number and tell them to call YOU if they need help.
So, instead of a Suicide Hotline Celebration Day, we ought to have a “Here’s My Phone Number Day”.
The above is idealism, however. In reality, we can only help people as far as we have been helped. We cannot give what we haven’t received. We cannot listen unless we have been heard. We cannot validate if we’ve not been validated. We cannot love unless we’ve been loved. We cannot leave ourselves to empathize another unless someone has stretched that far for us. To help someone in a selfless manner, we have to leave ourselves and enter the world of others. We need to listen to them, feel their feelings, and be completely present inside their own world. Many therapists even cannot do this as it means setting themselves and their interests aside. If we had been forced to give ourselves up, as children, losing our sense of autonomy, self-power and sense of self, we will remember how our personal boundaries were violated and resist giving ourselves away — even if this time it is with good intention. Unhealed trauma keeps us controlled by the past to the point where we cannot consciously see the difference between the past and present. This means in order to be completely present for another, we have to heal ourselves to some degree. Therapists, family and friends CAN help but are limited and a bit of a klutz as to understand what others need to heal. The unhealed won’t know what to do other than what “works” for them and usually this means to dissociate from the problem instead of facing it and being present with the emotions that arise.
Some help is better than no help and so I can appreciate the importance of helplines and therapists. Ideally, if we can learn how to help ourselves and learn to reach out to our spiritual team in Spirit, we won’t have to depend on others, spend lots of money or face the limitations that come with human dependence.
I would like to introduce a website for those who have no money and need non-immediate or non-urgent help. It’s called “7 Cups”. While there are therapists on that site that do charge fees, you can get help from non-therapists for free. For those who want to help, however, you can sign up to become a listener. I am a listener on that site and I love it.