I won’t be able to recover from this awful experience
It may be a relationship break-up, the loss of someone close, a severe financial collapse, significant legal troubles, or an adverse childhood experience, the impact of which is bought into adulthood.
Whatever the cause, the core false assumption anchoring the above false belief is the same: “This experience now and forever will define who I am in the world”.
Who we are, what we do, and the experiences we have are all separate and distinct life components, and the boundaries between these components can become overwhelmingly and irrationally blurred in the mind and heart of someone experiencing suicidal ideation.
Each of the very challenging situations above have at their epicentre the loss of something defined as valuable, or the gain of something defined as unwelcome.
Navigating this emotional roller-coaster, and developing a resilience and acceptance of the natural and normal life experiences of loss, change, grief, injustice, betrayal, accountability, and powerlessness is the way through these experiences.
Worryingly, it seems that over the years some proponent advocates in education, law, parenting, and social services assistance have come to believe that no-one should have to ever experience any negative emotions whatsoever.
This has led to an emotional ‘dumbing down’ of people not being able to bounce back from negative experiences, and an end-of-life choice is then considered because an exam was failed, a partner left, a bankruptcy was made, or the person affected by the negative experience was ‘coached’ into believing that they were a victim, and would always be one.
None of these examples are legitimate life-ending triggers, however they have tragically resulted in life-ending decisions.
Recovery from an awful experience takes some time (but not forever), realism, truth, mentoring, acceptance, learning, and alternative options going forward.
Negative experiences (like positive ones) form the tapestry of our life journey, and most often in retrospect bring their own value and wisdom to future decisions we make.
Like all journeys, negative experiences are to be travelled through, not opted out of, if they are to have any true meaning at all, and with help if it is needed.
Steve is the Director of Relationship Matters Ltd. He holds two applied Bachelor's degrees (Counselling & Addiction) and a P.G. Dip. in Applied Social Practice. Steve is married with two children and lives in West Auckland.