We were flying the Emirates Boeing 777 to Dubai and I had vowed to seize the opportunity to watch all the newest movies before touchdown. Quite unusual this time, however, none of the movies tickled my fancy. So I thought to improve my knowledge about the world and its inhabitants; Documentaries it would be then.

I am currently battling with my thoughts as I write this, literally searching my brain with a flash light trying to remember the other two documentaries that I watched. I vaguely remember that of Bob Marley and this is because only one of the three documentaries seen in-flight struck several cords and left me repentant from a long time of, although ignorant, shallow thinking. It was Robin’s Wish – The Untold Story.

When I was much younger, I often heard about stories of suicide cases happening in foreign countries. We read them up in newspapers, heard about them on local and foreign news and the usual side commentary was – “Na only oyibo peepu fit kill demsel; Afrika man too like life!” (meaning “It’s only White Foreigners that attempt suicide; Africans love life too much to even think it!”. Myth or Truth?

Soon enough, the stories started coming to our shores. Probably, I dare say, it had already existed but never made its way to main stream media for, maybe, cultural, social or technological reasons. A university student today, a teenager tomorrow, a widower, a businessman, a husband of four who loses his job, an elite or the child of one, and the list kept topping. I tried to make sense out of the act and just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. It just didn’t make logical sense.

As I advanced as a certified Life Coach and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Practitioner, I began to consider differently what could push a person to that point of no return. My conclusions were that the person often lost all hope to see any way out of their emotionally, psychologically or physically troubled situation so opted for the only way to personal freedom – SUICIDE. So, as part of my charge when speaking to a general or focus group, I would say such things like…

  • Ensure to always keep your goal in sight…
  • Hold a mental picture of a vision despite whatever life throws at you…
  • Charge forward regardless of disruptions but with determination towards your desired outcomes…
  • Time and consistency will be your greatest game changers. Never give up until you win!

Yeah, stuff like these is what some have termed “Perspire to aspire.” Nevertheless, they have their place and surely serve a great purpose. However, the main cheese here was the righteous indignation that I expressed towards those who, despite having heard such motivational speeches from myself and other professional colleagues, still considered suicide as the only option. I concluded that it was a crime to self, an injustice to loved ones and utter selfishness. Ultimately, I considered it COWARDICE.

Now, back to my Emirate Boeing 777 flight, the documentary Robin’s Wish – The Untold Story won my interest because since the tragic news of the demise of the world’s beloved comedian and actor, Robin Williams, it’s been torturous to unravel why someone who brought so much smiles and joy to others with his stellar performances on stage and his truly sweet and humane personality off camera would take his own life, just like many others world over. The prodding question was Why would someone with such a genius mind as his, extremely talented and revered by his peers, being and having everything that many could only desire,  take his own life? WHY?!” In the typical human fashion of needing to have a resolve to any situation, the conclusion was that he must have been deeply unhappy and depressed but used comedy as a mask up until the mask could no longer hold the forte. Such an unfair conclusion that is so far from the truth. Robin became very ill with a disease known as Lewy Body Dementia which flusters its victim with a plethora of symptoms such as depression, apathy, anxiety, agitation, delusion, paranoia and suicide.

Recently, I took a short course that encompassed some aspects of mental health dilemmas and the facilitator who is a Medical Doctor turned Life Coach and Therapists expounded on some of the complexities that could lead to possible considerations of suicide some of which are a distortion to brain normalcy. This was my first level of awareness, but it really didn’t sink and seat until I watched Robin’s Wish in-flight. It totally shifted my perspective and fed me a new understanding that the act of suicide is really not a Crime, but actually, a Disease.

So, where now, do my previous “Perspire to Aspire” motivational speech come in? How will they apply to those who are not just overwhelmed by financial or emotional delays and disruptions but actually have clinical ailments that spike suicidal thoughts?

This discovery has totally changed my outlook to how I would offer my coaching and therapy services here on – to engage with more empathy, learn progressively and unlearn intelligibly.

Sincerely,

StephREDD

Read to know more about LBD

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lewy-body-dementia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352025

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-lewy-body-dementia-causes-symptoms-and-treatments

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia/types-of-dementia/dementia-with-lewy-bodies#:~:text=Dementia%20with%20Lewy%20bodies%20(DLB)%20is%20a%20type%20of%20progressive,slow%20movement%2C%20tremors%20or%20rigidity.

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