No, I don’t want to kill myself.
There have been times recently when I have seriously thought about suicide but life always delivers so much more than death ever could. Why would I want an endless night when I have the glorious day?
This too will pass. A tiny rule that reminds me daily that life is worth living. That love, lust, hate and anger all have a certain shelf life and it’s only a matter of time before relief is found or misery returns.
U.S. Suicide Statistics
1.3% of all deaths are from suicide.
On average, one suicide occurs every 16 minutes.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 year olds.
(1st = accidents, 2nd = homicide)
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 25-34 year olds.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.
More males die from suicide than females.
(4 male deaths by suicide for each female death by suicide.)
More people die from suicide than from homicide.
(Suicide ranks as the 11th leading cause of death; Homicide ranks 13th.)
There were over 800,000 suicide attempts in 2010
When I was a kid things were so confusing, so traumatic I made two attempts at taking my own life. Once with a knife and secondly with pills. I failed to complete my mission on both occasions. Thankfully.
When I had my breakdown during my mid twenties I met young people, at the Henderson Hospital, who seemed determined that life was not worth living and had made far more serious attempts at ending things than I had.
Sarah’s story, particularly, sticks in my mind. I may have written about her before but let me refresh your memory.
Sarah was a young, pretty blond girl who had been serially abused (sexually and physically) by both her parents, foster parents and finally by her adopted father.
By the time I met her she was a husk of what she should have been.
She trusted no one. Why would she?
Every day at the hospital we would congregate for an obligatory house meeting. Sarah was missing. I was sent (by the nursing staff) to her room to find her. When I opened the door I was met with a blood bath.
There was blood everywhere, on the sheets, the floor, sprayed on the ceiling and the walls.
Sarah saw me and said sweetly, “I’ll be down in a minute.” She was pathetically dabbing with a blood sodden rag at the mess on the walls. “I just want to clear this up.” She smiled at me. Softly. She had severed an artery in her wrist and as fast as she mopped up the blood more spurted out.
I grabbed her wrist and called out for help. Screamed for help. Eventually someone arrived. We were hustled (still holding her as a human tourniquet) into a car and to the local ER.
By the time we got to the hospital I was welded onto her and had to be surgically removed from the congealed, bloody wound.
I have no idea what happened to Sarah. Perhaps she succeeded and did indeed kill herself. I have no idea. She didn’t come back from the emergency room.
I don’t remember ever asking about her. Out of sight, out of mind.
Those who threaten suicide are frightening people. A disregard for their own life could very easily become a disregard for yours. A suicide is a murder. A murderer may kill you too.
During the past decade of sobriety I have met many men and women (mostly men) who managed to kill themselves. It always amazed me that even sobriety could not save them.
Death seems so alluring to some people. There is nothing alluring about death: a premature death is just absurd to me. We are dead all too soon and for those of us who do not believe in heaven we may as well find heaven on earth.
Anyway, I am too much of a coward to kill myself. Too much of a coward to drink or take drugs. Too much of a coward to be successful. Too much of a coward to say no…to open letters…to say goodbye.
I have learned to live with depression (without drugs) mental illness (without therapy) inertia (without fear) and love (without conclusion). Some people cannot face the power of life itself. The beauty, the grandeur, the mystery seem so threatening to them and end up dead by their own hand.
Perhaps they cannot/will not respect this extraordinary world, this abundant place.
Recently, as documented here, I have felt vulnerable and sad. I felt (falsely) as if life could only be lived in a certain way…with a lover at my side. On those occasions I am blinded to what I have and drawn to those things I do not have.
These past weeks since the great ‘closure’ my eyes are open, I am bathed in light. The night is no longer a terrible and foreign place. The day begins without yearning nor ends with tears.
God damn it…
This too will pass.
- Suicide higher among young adults (psychologytoday.com)
- Roommate of gay suicide student pleads not guilty to intimidation (pinkbananaworld.com)