“Did you really want to die?”
“No one commits suicide because they want to die.”
“Then why do they do it?”
“Because they want to stop the pain.”
― Tiffanie DeBartolo
It may not be a well-known fact, however, a whopping 8% of adults with experience major depression at some time in their lives (source CMHA). This is not counting those undiagnosed, which includes people who do not recognize the signs, some of those on the streets, and more.
The lack of assistance (therapy, psychiatry, financial and other) in the field of mental-health is overwhelming. I know many (indirectly) who fell through the cracks due to lack of proper mental-health programs, funding in the hospitals, and disability payments to the patient to be able to live a “normal” life.
Without the help needed, many get lost in the system, and end up giving up, thus, every 40 seconds, someone commits suicide. (source CMHA)
If one does not know their way around the red tape, or refuse to admit they have a problem, which is terribly difficult to do when one is boggled down with dark thoughts and silently screaming out for help, they can end up like my ex-boyfriend : dead.
We, as a society, must recognize the signs of suicide. My boyfriend Paul gave me some signs, yet I was too young to really see them.
What about the adults around him?
We were both 16 when I befriended Paul. He was a teen lost in the 60’s although it was 1983. Tall, and overly skinny, his golden locks looking just like Robert Plant’s picture on the t-shirt he was wearing on the day he caught my eye.
He was my boyfriend’s best friend, and to me, he was the most appealing guy around. I wasn’t into the preppies. In the 80’s I wanted a guy with ‘wild’ written all over his face, thus; it didn’t take me long to dump the guy I was dating for 2 years, to hook up with Paul’s incredible allure and charm. He was Jim Morrison’s « mini me ». and I wanted to be his Pamela.
My life changed dramatically with Paul. Like a speeding car on a highway reckless, I became distant from my family, as I began myself, to embark into a world of (yes cliché) sex, drugs and rock and roll. Paul was an alcoholic, and he also loved his pot. I started experimenting myself, and found out drugs were not for me. To this day, I stick to a glass of wine now and then, and everyone knows, food, is my drug of choice.
As the years of late nights, rock shows,and drunken black outs on his part, rushed through like a speeding bullet. I ended up unhappy and living with a man who felt unheard, unloved and unseen. He wrote dark, almost demon like poetry. Reading it always made me wonder “does he really believe in all this?” Alas, I was too young at the time to really figure out that he was crying out for help.
After 2 years of turmoil, I had to put an end to our relationship. I couldn’t take coming home from the office, after an 8 hour day, to see him drinking a case of 24 on my bed. He did nothing all day and I was tired. We weren’t going to get married, or have children, and my spirit was dying by the minute.
Not long after our break up, Paul started selling his possessions. His dream : To move to L.A and start a whole new life. He wanted to be free from all ties to society, declaring himself often as a marginal. His precious record collection, his favorite turn table and his stereo system, all gone. Sold to the man in the bright red cloak. The end was near. .
But I had not clue, but did I?
“I am troubled, immeasurably
by your eyes.
I am struck by the feather
of your soft reply.
The sound of glass
speaks quick, disdain
what your eyes fight
― Jim Morrison, Wilderness: The Lost Writings, Vol. 1
It was mid December, I was wiped out after planning and executing the office Christmas party. I think I had 6 hours sleep in 3 days. 3 am my doorbell rings, and I struggle to get out of bed to answer the door. It was Paul, he looked really sad, and had a letter in his hand, he begged me to read it.
I asked : « I am exhausted, can’t this wait until the morning »
He responded : « No, I NEED an answer now! »
So I forced myself up, sat at the edge of my bed, my body right beside him and read his letter. He wanted a 2nd chance. He promised me we would get married, and I could have my dream wedding outside, with all my friends and family, in a field of daisies. He begged me to give him time to show me he loves me.
I said : « Can I give you an answer in tomorrow? I am half asleep and I can’t think straight? »
He replied : « NO! Do you or don’t you want to spend the rest of your life with me? »
I sighed and said : « Right now, I want to say “maybe» however, since it is not an option, you give me no choice: the answer has to be no »
He got up, took the letter, looked at me, said : « Have a nice life » and left out the door.
I feel right back to sleep. That is how tired I was.
The next day, he killed himself. It was a Friday. I was at work trying to get ahold of him all day because my GUT SCREAMED he was going to kill himself (my intuition on alert), yet everyone at work told me not to worry, he was over reacting. He will be fine.
I never got any work done that day. No one knew where he went. I called his parents, his sisters, and his friends. All his father knew is that he left with a radio in hand.
He was far from fine…
He was preparing his deed. He was able to convince a Dr. to give him sleeping pills, and added some Nytol from the pharmacy. He had his beer, his cigarettes, and his hash. He was at La Siesta Motel, room no 5 : drinking, smoking, and taking sleeping pills.
He died in the bathtub, just like his idol Jim Morrison.
I was devastated and heartbroken. 5 days later, I received all his poetry in my mailbox. He planned to send it to me before he decided to take his life. Opening the envelope was like a slap in the face. I fell the the ground sobbing.
I blamed myself for over 10 years or more. I thought maybe I could have done something. I could have said yes instead of no. I could… I should.. I would..
I know today, there is nothing I could have done in 1987 when this happened, however, today, a few things I would consider are well defined in the picture above, and this article from Helpguide.org.
If you feel the need to end your life, don’t. It is not your life you want ended, it is the pain, and you can heal. CALL NOW:
You are not alone.
Suicide is not cowardly it is the last cry for help.
It is a way out of the demonizing anguish.
Also read : Secret Sorrows