It was August 22,2009, a Saturday. I had been home for hours from yet another terrible day at my job. I had been at this job for nine months at that point. The previous year I had a great position at a great job before leaving for another job at another store (a decision I have since regretted). I would be let go from it 53 days later. To this day, I don’t know why I was let go. Some time elasped after that before I found a temporary job and then that job,which I hated (and still do) because it was not the job I once had.
I had fallen pretty far, I wasn’t making enough money and I was losing friends left and right, nobody wanted anything to do with me. I didn’t blame them for feeling how they did, during that time, even I didn’t want to be around me. Nonetheless, I was feeling pretty rotten and life was spiraling downward so fast that I couldn’t figure out why or how to make things better. I needed a solution and suicide seemed to be the best one I could find at the time. After a heated discussion with my father, I left the house and went on a walk. I had my shoes on,without socks, and my glasses resting in my right hand as I walked through the neighborhood tearfully. I stopped and sat in front of the elementary school I had attended for four years (from third to sixth grade) and pondered how my 27 years of existence would end. After thinking about it and crying it out for 20 minutes or so, I stared and shouted out loud to whoever was up in the sky, “Why don’t you just take me now?”, “It just doesn’t matter anymore,things aren’t going to get any better!”, and “If you’re going to take everything away from me,then just take me away from this world,it’s not worth it anymore”.
I was angry, alone,sad,scared, empty, and full of unrest about how things came to be. I never made an attempt to end my own life that night. I realized that I’m too much of a chicken to even try and do something like that. After wiping my eyes, I placed my glasses on my face and walked home. While walking the eight minutes or so back to where I live, I thought about what would have happened had I followed through on ending my own life, who I would’ve upset, who would have attended my wake, and who might’ve been upset enough to do to the same to themselves in reaction to me having killed myself. There were people I told about what had happened. Some were respectful in listening to what I had to say, some were angry with me that I would ever think of doing that and I understood. One friend of mine wished I had told her how I was feeling when I was feeling that way that way she could have been there to possibly do something, but to this very day I don’t know what she could have done even though I appreciate her wanting that chance to help make a difference. I’d love to say that she and I are still close friends, but we aren’t very close anymore. I’m sorry that it is this way, I hope one day that changes but unfortunately that ball is not in my court for that to happen.
I will say this, in the time since the events of that night, I’ve been embarassed to talk about it, but at the same time, doing so is brave at the risk of being real. We’ve all been there, to the point where you don’t know where to turn to or where to go from the difficult spot you’re in. I’m sure a few of you have probably thought about suicide like I did. You may know someone who did kill themselves and feel the immense guilt of not being able to help them in their time of crisis (If I’ve reopened any wounds, please forgive me as that’s not my intent with this piece). It’s not the answer at all. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and in reality,a majority of those who contemplate it don’t want to die, they just want whatever hurt they’re feeling to disappear, much like the hurt I was feeling that lonely night in front of my old elementary school.
The best thing anyone can do for anybody when they’re feeling hopeless is to be there for them and talk with them. Tell the people in your life how much they mean to you and how much you love them and do it often because you never know if there will be a next time one gets to do that. Remind them also of the ones that love them just like you do.
Remind them of what they would be missing out on should they not choose to be alive. I know I’m reminded of that all the time. I would have missed out on meeting new friends who I am blessed to have in my life now. I wouldn’t have experienced my favorite baseball team winning the World Series (and wouldn’t have seen them play in person that season,either). I wouldn’t have seen some of my friends getting married and starting new chapters of their own lives. I wouldn’t have even gotten over my fear of driving over bridges (of which I credit two people, Jennifer and Christina, for helping me get through that). I wouldn’t have seen my 30th birthday and had so many wonderful friends and family be there for the party. I would’ve missed a lot and so many would’ve missed me.
Remind them that they’re not alone, that there is hope, there is help, and that there’s a chance to overcome how they’re feeling. They can either talk with you or call a number where there’s someone to help them talk their feelings through or to talk to someone who has had similar experiences.
As for me, I don’t have those uneasy feelings anymore, that I don’t want to end my life on my own terms and that if I ever do again (which I hope I don’t), I know I have a ton of people I can talk to that can help me get through it. I’m nowhere near where I want to be yet in my own life and that’s up to me to change in order for things to pan out how I wish, but what helps me as I go through the good times and the bad is that each day is a chance for me to make it the best I know how. Sure,sometimes we go through a patch of bad days to get to the good ones, but you never know what life has in store for you and who wouldn’t want to be around to find out? I know I do!