It’s really hard for me to explain to people, “Yes. I have, in fact, been suicidal.”
I think it’s because I may have told only five people tops, and it’s also such a taboo topic. There are the people who will break down and panic until a point where you simply don’t want to talk to them. There are also people who just simply do not know what to say. Then there are the complete and total assholes who will mumble from their greasy, hairy faces, “Oh, he’s just saying it for show. He won’t do it.”
Assholes. All of those guys. Each and every single one. I say that in the most Christian way possible. I love them, but they are still utter assholes.
That said, my battles with the concept of suicide have always been a little odd. I don’t mean to be morbid, but I do intend to be fully transparent and completely honest. What you get from me is typically unfiltered unless otherwise specified.
No, I’ve never set a date to do the deed. Yes, I’ve had repeated thoughts of how great it would be if I would just be dead.
No, I don’t think everyone else’s world would be better if I was dead – I’m a great guy, damn it. Yes, I think I would be a bit more relieved.
No, I’ve never made an attempt. Yes, I’ve thought of numerous methods and ways I could do it with items around my house.
No, I’ve never planned out my suicide. Yes, I’ve made the beginnings of a suicide note.
No, I’ve never created a Buscemi-styled hit-list to take people out before I go out in a blaze of glory. Yes, I’ve hated myself.
No, I’ve never started the beginning stages of suicide. Yes, I’ve wrestled with myself all night about whether or not it would finally give me some relief.
No, I’ve never called a friend and told them I was going to do it. Yes, I’ve called the National Suicide Prevention Hotline – a few times, in fact.
Tonight even, I spoke with a couple of people, and that’s because I called twice. I spoke with Wanda first, a woman who I can only imagine to be a rather large black lady with a southern sweet tea, front porch kind of charm and a heart of gold. Then I spoke to John, who I imagine is a volunteer fireman – when he’s not doing social work – and has a passion for weekend fishing trips.
Wanda let me sob and speak through stuttered words, only occasionally murmuring various mhmmm’s that made me feel like I finally was in the presence of the black grandmother that I never had. John (bear in mind that I was in a more intense state of mind at the time of this call) took action and set me up with an appointment at a local mental health center. Like immediately. Lightning fast. Like sh-bang. John Power. Boom. Pow. Bang.
What I’m trying to say here is that there’s this common interpretation of suicide being something we see on TV. Where you write some dramatic letter and then tie a noose and hang yourself. Then everyone cries and talks about how they wish they had known and that they miss you. Funeral happens. The lab finds out it’s actually a homicide. An investigation happens. Then NCIS takes the bad guys down.
It’s always that, though.
I view being suicidal as being on a spectrum, where you can be on any part of it and still be in as serious trouble as the guy about to kick the chair out from under his feet. With that said, if you speculate you are suicidal, but you don’t quite fit the criteria of listening to My Chemical Romance and wearing eyeliner, then don’t doubt yourself. Get help. Please.
This may be a premature post. No, I don’t have the whole, “Back in 2014 when I was 22, my life changed after I saw the light and finally saw a psychiatrist,” kind of story going on. I’m not telling this story from a mountain looking down at the dark valley I was in. I am in that valley right now. It’s terrifying. I’m honest-to-God scared. I hate it.
But at the same time, I think strength is greater in numbers, and if we’re in the same valley, then we might as well trudge through it together. Get help now if you haven’t.
Regarding the photograph attached to this article? Groundhog Day. Dark humor, I know.
Image: Twentyfour Students