Recently, I wrote about suicide. Over a couple of days, I touched on some of the experiences I had gone through, and have experienced in recent weeks. I thought I would come right out with the issue rather than dance around it, the latter seems to be the preference of most rather than face the demon directly. I figure if I can say sweet words around an absolutely debilitating aspect of life, well then I can make it to the end of a sentence, a paragraph, moreover the end of a commentary. Suicide just isn’t that easy to talk about, whether you are in the middle experiencing it or have felt the tragedy it lays upon everyone around us.
A week ago I spoke of favorite places to play out my solution. When I speak of plans or calculated moves, they are real and not made up, but there is always a fortunate circumstance that prevents my follow-through. Mostly that person can be you or those people close to me that hold me unconditionally accountable for who I am in my own life and their own. It is being conscious always of the over-reaching nature of hurting one another that we all hope to find ourselves thinking before taking action upon such a destructive outcome in our own lives.
When I speak of taboo it is the very dialogue of the issue of suicide. not simply the act but the discussion, the dialogue. God help us that it will always happen, always occur when we least anticipate, and yet, we still find a way to recognize that people are really hurting most of the time in their lives. Or do we really think about that? Perhaps instead we take it for granted until that one day we realize, ‘damn, and she and I talked about getting coffee in the next couple of weeks.’ And then …
There are a couple of people in my life that I am comfortable speaking to about my inner pain, but only two or three. I am so afraid to tell anyone else and then bring them into my own web of ‘woe is me’ which is the last place I want to be in someone’s life. I am guilty of suggesting the ultimate decision to someone in a very dramatic manner, but always when I did reveal such an intention it was real in my mind. I think it is important to recognize the person you share such privacy with is someone that will understand whether they agree or not. They will be that person that reaches out to someone closer to you than themselves to make sure the suicidal person is not left completely alone. What I mean in that last sentence is geographical means.
I had an experience I will share with you that happened during a very dark period of my winter. I had practiced with a running car in my garage until in my research. I realized today, cars are less likely to contribute to tragic outcomes because of the catalytic convertor. Who would have ever thought? Anyway, the night went on and I reached out to a friend who listens well but chooses distance. I was crying, despondent and dramatic, and really scared. I live in a gated community, a facade that means you have to punch in a code to open access gates to the village. The strange part of my story is shortly after my communication with my friend, my phone rang and I could not recognize the number and so I picked it up – it was after midnight – and there was no one on the other end. Strangely I realized it was someone at the gate punching in my code for access. I thought after what I had revealed to my friend she might have called the local police, I never did figure out who it was, and the mystery is that in order to get to my name you have to do quite a scroll unless you have been told the code directly. The point is I will never know who was responsible for calling my code but somehow it took me off the track of my self-destructive state of mind.
In closing, I think it is really important to pay attention to the signals in your own life rather than those around you. We read all the time about the ‘almost’ suicides and the reason they are presented most of the time is because the potential reached out to someone or someone was quite aware of their state of mind. So be aware not only of your loved ones but also of yourself. When you do receive that moment when your code goes off without explanation, take a breath and realize there is a far bigger world out there than our own and it is important to embrace it for as long as it is humanly possible.
Put on some good music, find a movie, have some ice cream and imagine the beauty of the stars above or the sun rise in the morning, and hug someone.
© Scott F Savage 6/2021