Suicide has long been known as the easy way out of life. Life, of course, used in short form for the problems and stressors that ostensibly lead to one’s own demise. My questions toward suicide are often very basic and cliche, such as “why did they do it?”
I never quite understood how things in someone’s life could become so unsatisfactory to the point of willingly taking their own life. Maybe I’m not meant to understand? Maybe suicide is just one of those things that “work in mysterious ways.” I find myself questioning how some affluent people find it necessary to end their lives, while some of the happiest people I’ve met are destitute.
All questions aside, suicide has always been intriguing to me because I often wonder what goes on in the mind of those who do it. What exactly pushes someone to that final breaking point? It’s pretty poignant to me. Something in their minds pushes them to the proverbial edge and they do the deed.
Nothing else in their life matters; loved ones are forgotten. There is obviously a long list of reasons why people are driven to end it all; stating them all here would take me days. The fact remains that something within someone’s mind says “let’s die today!” and it’s strikingly profound. Something that beckons the self-induced end to this precious gift we all possess.
Even more profound to me is the mechanism that prevents people from killing themselves. The point at which someone realizes that they have something or someone to live for and halt it indefinitely. Even MORE profound yet are people who have much to live for, but still carry out the unfortunate act. They say experience is the best teacher, and that holds true for this inquiring soul. I found my mechanism long ago, and to this day it keeps me off of that darkened, narrow path. It has much to do with what I am doing now – writing.
Suicide became an enticing prospect to me when I was living in Texas at age 16. There I was, this young, fertile mass of potential and promise – about to foolishly end it all in a bout of depression and futility. I hadn’t exhausted every resource available to placate me, such as drugs or alcohol or actually having a life; I just wanted to end the torment I figured I couldn’t escape. One night, in a cliche internal struggle as to whether or not I should get it over with, I read some poetry on the Internet from Edgar Allen Poe. “The Raven,” to be concise (how cliche). I had read it before, but not completely in depth, and at that moment I began to see the inherent beauty of words. The way the words flowed intricately to form this proverbial river of creativity. I was infatuated.
I began to wonder if I, this young, fertile mass of potential and promise, could write something half as beautiful as that. I took to notepad and familiar solitude and began writing. I wrote for a good two hours until I had over 170 lines of free-flowing words. I read it aloud to myself, and I felt a very unfamiliar feeling – accomplishment.
I decided to show it to some friends and posted it online on my MySpace page. I felt another unfamiliar feeling – approval. I had found my mechanism to keep the fire burning within myself, and more importantly, I had something to aspire to. Every day I would jot down new poems, read other poems and study the intricacies and idiosyncrasies within each individual poem. I found the idea of suicide waning further and further into the darkest recesses of my mind, the depths of which logic overcomes certain stupidity. Logic and I shook hands and introduced ourselves. Logic showed me I had friends who cared and enjoyed my writing. Logic showed me I have many years to figure myself out.
Logic showed me that I have people who love me and would be immensely hurt if I were to complete suicide. Logic also told me he was lonely in this world, and very rarely called upon. In exchange for showing me this new path, I offered logic a place in my mind, where my thoughts of suicide once resided. And to this day logic and I are the best of friends.
Every now and then logic has to go outside and mingle with the rest of the world, but he always comes back to me when I need him the most. I don’t keep him on a leash; he’s free to roam. However, with the way this world works, he rarely ever needs a break from my mind. His job security is never in doubt – trust me.
Now, after reading this seemingly self-serving mass of reason, sadness and revelation, you may be asking: “What’s your point?” It’s simple. I’m neither a counselor nor a psychiatrist; I’m not licensed to pick apart your brain and sort it all out for you. However, a quick look at the statistics should show you why I’m beckoned to speak of this.
Every year 33,000 people complete suicide. By the usage of simple math, you’d find that every day roughly 90 people reach a point of no return and kill themselves. Ninety people filled with potential and in most cases, have many people surrounding them who truly care.
Ninety people who failed to find that mechanism to prevent such a cruel fate. My hope is if you are one of the 2,300 a day who attempt suicide or have thoughts of it; this will motivate you to find your mechanism. Not only are you full of promise, but this world is. As bleak as the world looks – there’s always promise and opportunity to avoid ending all doubt. Logic can always find its way to you as well; you just have to seek it. Finding your mechanism is a surefire way to let logic into your mind, and trust me – when all else fails you, logic surely won’t.
I feel I can empathize with those who have such thoughts because I’ve been there. I’m not some rich celebrity who talks about it to get recognition; I’m just another aspiring writer sharing his story with the world in an attempt to prevent such thoughts. As bitter as the world seemed to me, the world I created for myself mentally with writing eventually superseded that of the cruelty and pain around me. The pain was still there; but I found my way of dealing with it. You can, as well.
You just have to seek it, and trust me – the motivation can and will be there once you realize that the gift you have can still be put to good use. I also encourage you to seek help through other means if you are having thoughts of suicide.
There are people who care and who are willing to help, such as I. You can contact me through my e-mail address, but as previously stated I am no professional nor do I intend to pass myself off as one. Many people don’t like to deal with counselors and such so I offer my personal help, free of charge – just bring your mind.
However, if you are or know someone who is contemplating suicide, please go to http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or call their hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. It’s free as well, and they can definitely help you.
I want everyone to realize that there is much more beyond the realm of “I have nothing left to live for.” The darkness isn’t eternal as long as the light of life is available – you just have to let it shine.