I spend a lot of time on the internet and the number of people who talk about suicide or threaten to attempt it is staggering. Many of these people will be successful. Just in America, nearly 30, 000 people commit suicide every year. Worldwide, more than 800, 000 people die from suicide every year; this roughly corresponds to one death every 40 seconds.
Suicide is an important subject for me, because even I have tried to end my life. I have attempted four times, the last being May 29th, 2014. Much of my adult life has been spent glorifying suicide as the answer to the pain I feel from my mental illness. If I am not thinking about suicide, I am hoping I get struck down by some horrible disease so I can die and end this existence.
But even I know, a person who experiences extreme suicidal ideation, that killing myself is never the answer. Sure when I am spiraling down into the rabbit hole of depression and psychosis, suicide seems like the best solution to the problem. After all, the medications the medical community provides for us don’t work, and therapy seems to be a short-term solution at best. But, even in my worst moments, I know that suicide is not the way out of my problems. It only creates more difficulties for those we leave behind.
Ever since my last suicide attempt, I have been working on a list of reasons why suicide is the worst possible attempt to stop my pain:
- People care about me. Even though it may seem like I am alone when I am “in the shit”, there are always people around who would be devastated if I ended my life. My parents, my children, my wife and all the people on the internet whose lives I have touched. Even people who don’t know me are affected by my decisions.
- I would leave behind a legacy of suicide. I have four children. I know that children of people who commit suicide are more likely to attempt it themselves at some time in their lives. After my last attempt, my children all told me the day I tried to kill myself was one of the worst days of their lives. Do I really want to emotionally harm my children and family in this way?
- More than likely, I would fail. It’s not easy to kill yourself. I know this from experience. And, what if I failed and was left disabled in some way because of it? What if I had just taken enough pills to damage my brain? What if I cut my wrists, and instead of dying, I was left without the use of my hands? What if I tried to use a firearm, and ended up a vegetable?
- I truly believe that I have more to offer the world. I believe I have more to do in this life. I haven’t completed everything I dreamed about as a child. What about traveling the world? Who would write that book I have planned to write ever since I could hold a pencil? I think I still have people to touch in this life, and in turn, make their lives better.
- I really do love my life. I have a wonderful, beautiful wife and an infant daughter who needs a father who loves her. I have three great boys, a professional, a rebel and a musician, who want me in their lives. My parents are magnificent and a constant source of support and inspiration for me. I have friends who care for me and whose lives would not be the same if I was not here to share it with them. I am an intelligent, caring person who has so many plans to help people and change the world. I have a great life, if I just stop to realize it.
If I sat here for a while, I could probably come up with a list of a hundred more reasons why I should never end my life, but this is a good start, and enough to make me think twice before I try to kill myself.
I suggest everyone who may be suicidal make a list of reasons why life is great and you should continue living it. If you are ever way down in the dumps, and don’t see a way out of a situation, pick up your list and remind yourself why you are here.
We are all awesome people in our own way, and it would be a shame if we weren’t alive in this world anymore.
Fight the despair. Choose life.