WARNING: The following post is for National Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2016. It deals with suicide, suicidal ideation and other people’s responses to suicide. If you cannot read further, I understand. See you soon.
Suicide, as some would say, is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Like life.
I would apologize for that, except it’s all too accurate for me and some people that I love. Whether they are still alive on earth or not, I love them.
The first time I heard of the suicide of somebody I knew, I was in elementary school. The younger sister of a close friend/classmate committed suicide. I think she was…8? 9? I had no idea why. I was in 6th grade at the time. It was also one of the last times I saw my friend. Their family were rumored to have serious problems, but I had no idea at the time as our family had our own issues.
The second time was when I was in high school. I had just moved to a new school over 1000 miles away from the place I considered home. She was in my biology class. She took a big fistful of pills, was sent by ambulance to the hospital, and had her stomach pumped. She lived, but she didn’t stay at school for too long after that.
Two of Dad Goth’s cousins committed suicide. One we knew well; a sweet, shy metal-head several years younger than us (he was 12 when we were married and first met), he shot himself in the head. He left behind a girlfriend and two small children. The other was one of his uncle’s stepsons, who jumped off a bridge into traffic.
I have tried several times myself. I don’t know of any adults that haven’t at least thought about it once, if they were being honest.
Suicide is considered by some to be a selfish act. It is, in a way. When I tried, I remember being in agony. I wanted the agony to stop. If suicide would make the pain go away, well, that was the answer. When I thought of other people, I thought that they didn’t want me around. That they would be better off if I was just gone. I wouldn’t be miserable, they would be relieved of me – a win for everyone. That was in my head, anyway.
Suicide is preventable. If you know someone who you suspect may be considering suicide, listen to them. Lecturing does absolutely nothing, bullying and sarcasm does even less and can in fact encourage the potential suicide to go through with their plan. There are a number of suicide prevention hotlines: 1-800-273-TALK(8255)+1 (Veteran Crisis Line), 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) (National Suicide Hotline), 1-866-4UTREVOR (The Trevor Project for LGBTQ teenagers). There are also hotlines for each state, but these are US national, toll-free numbers.