~By Stefani Lord
“As anyone who has been close to someone that has committed suicide knows, there is no other pain like that felt after the incident” ~Peter Green
When the crushing waves of guilt, shame, resentment, frustration, sadness, anger, self-pity, and despair swell to frightening heights, some of us will dig a deep hole and crawl inside in hopes of escaping the heart stabbing pains of life. When we feel that no one understands us, or that no one cares if we live or die, and when all hope is lost and we are completely beaten down from the daily struggles of our miserable lives, we curl up into a tight fetal position in that cavernous black hole. Eventually, when we can no longer tolerate the painful secrets of our past, and when that bottomless hole drowns out the final glimmer of hope, the mind will ruminate on finding ways to end end the pain. Once the brain is engulfed in terrifying darkness, and when that final drop of hope bleeds from our soul, we no longer fear the end, and this my friends is when we commit the ultimate selfish act. We are relentless in our escape of the hurt and the shame. We can no longer be a burden to this world. We only think of our own pain, our own troubles, and our own hopelessness. There is no regard for the splattered emotions of those left behind or the painful tears shed over our loss.
Because I have tired so many times in my youth to kill myself, I consider myself a suicide expert. I have stood on buildings and on freeway overpasses, drunk out of my mind, trying to talk myself into jumping. I have dreamt up, thought about, and mentally detailed at least 20 different ways to end the pain. I’ve tried overdosing, but I could never seem to take enough pills. I think that partying to excess for so many years, along with being such a big girl, that this must have give me a super high tolerance for drugs. I tried slicing my wrists a few times, but I was never able to take enough pills to overcome the pain so I could cut deep enough. Twice I took a huge handful of muscle relaxers and tried to hang myself by a belt in my closet; but self -preservation took over stopping me both times. I even tried laying on the train tracks at night – but the thought of being mangled up and not dying scared me more then death itself.
I wasn’t always so obvious in my suicide attempts. I also tried a very slow, and insidious ways to end my life, and avoid the pain, by stuffing my face until I was morbidly obesity. I also tried the opposite and starved myself for years. I drank myself into constant stupors and then drove my car with reckless abandonment. I “partied” by taking large quantities of dangerous drugs, often not even knowing, or caring, what I was ingesting. And I partook in lots risky sexual behaviors with absolutely no protection. My life was filled with pain and misery, so I never cared if I died or got some horrible disease. I just wanted to escape my nightmarish thoughts at any cost.
There is another form of suicide that often just seen as a person with a bad attitude, a thug, a trouble maker. I like to call it the “fuck the world” (FTW) way of knocking yourself off. You can see the anagram of FTW tattooed on lips, faces, necks, and hands of my brethren with inner turmoil and rage. This FTW philosophy allowed me to blame everyone and everything for my rotten luck. I looked at people as someone who will hurt me, betray me, and completely un-trustable. I believed in a “take what you can from others before they take from you.” It’s a mantra of hate, anger, anarchy and an “I’ll show you what its like to be unwanted, neglected and abused.” I will steal your cars, break into hour houses, sell drugs to your kids, sleep with your husband and break into your beautiful suburban home. I purposely wanted to do something to hurt you just so you could feel my pain. There are no repercussions to getting caught, and if I die, who cares; the world would be better off without me. My FTW idolized the ultimate way to die; in a gun blazing shootout before a final high speed pursuit before driving off a cliff like Thelma and Louise. I didn’t care about you, or me, nor did I give a crap if I died tragically or took you out with me. Like Curt Corbain I would rather burn out than fade away.
This FTW mantra not only facilitated the further stripping away of my moral compass and turning me into a hardened criminal, but it also kept me from facing my pain. This was my “get out of my way before I punch you in the face” armor; my way of letting you know that I just didn’t give a shit about anything or anyone. All I cared about was getting what was mine, getting as drunk and high as possible, and getting laid by just about anyone. I’d get what I wanted by manipulation, coercion, or by theft. It didn’t matter because I had no feelings toward your loss. I just wanted what I wanted, and anything you had is what I wanted, especially if it hurt you emotionally.
I played this role of a morally bankrupt zombie into my mid 20’s; vacillating between complete numbness and lashing out in anger, especially to those who looked alive and happy. But before you write me off as some whorish, drug-dealing, crack head criminal, you should try to understand why I acted the way I did. If you just write me off as some stupid scumbag, you will never understand the magnitude of the changes I made in my own life or that it’s possible to change your own life no matter what you have been through. Or worse yet, you may not ever understand your own child, your parents, your husband, your neighbor, or yourself. In spite of all the sadness, pain, torment, and abuse, there really is a happily ever after to this story. It took me years of hard work and introspection, but I finally learned how to be a human being that is truly happy inside. I went from an emotional zombie with horrible addictions who ballooned up to over 350 lbs, to a healthy and semi- emotionally adjusted (is anyone fully balanced?) human being. My dream is that by telling my story I can offer a glimmer of hope to others out there suffering and for those watching their loved one suffer.
For the depressed please realize there is HOPE. It may not feel like it, but it can, and will get better, I promise. The first step is to seek out help. Ignoring the suicidal thoughts makes them grown stronger. You cant run away from this problem, therapy, and sometimes medication, is the key to getting healthy. Reach out, make a call, get help.
If you’d like to read about why my life was filled with misery, check out my life story at: http://www.stefanilord.com/2015/12/why-a-blog/
Instead of reinventing the wheel, I am going to share information from suicide(.)org
How to Help a Suicidal Person
by Kevin Caruso
If the suicidal person needs to be hopitalized (or is hospitalized),
please click on the following:
•Always take suicidal comments very seriously. When a person says that he or she is thinking about suicide, you must always take the comments seriously. Assuming that the person is only seeking attention is a very serious, and potentially disastrous, error. Get help immediately.
•Follow the information that is on the home page of Suicide.org. Feel free to view the home page of this site and to use it to help you. Dealing with a person who is suicidal is not easy, so following what is on the home page of Suicide.org can help you. And always remember that you need to call 911 or your local emergency number immediately for anyone who is at a high risk for suicide. Do not hesitate.
•Try not to act shocked. The person is already highly distressed, and if you are shocked by what is said, the person will become more distressed. Stay calm, and talk with him or her in a matter-of-fact manner, but get help immediately. If the person is at a high risk for suicide, call 911 immediately.
•Get help immediately. Call 911, 1-800-SUICIDE, or 1-800-273-TALK. This point cannot be overemphasized; a person who is suicidal needs immediate professional help.
•Do not handle the situation by yourself. A suicidal person needs immediate assistance from qualified mental health professionals. Again, call 911, 1-800-SUICIDE, or 1-800-273-TALK. And do not allow untrained individuals to act as the only couselors to the individual.
While you are waiting for help to arrive (or if there is no emergency):
•Listen attentively to everything that the person has to say. Let the person talk as much as he or she wants to. Listen closely so that you can be as supportive as possible, and learn as much as possible about what is causing the suicidal feelings.
•Comfort the person with words of encouragement. Use common sense to offer words of support. Remember that intense emotional pain can be overwhelming, so be as gentle and caring as possible. There is no script to use in situations like these, because each person and each situation is different. Listen carefully, and offer encouraging words when appropriate.
•Let the person know that you are deeply concerned. Tell the person that you are concerned, and show them that you are concerned. A suicidal person is highly vulnerable and needs to feel that concern.
•If the person is at a high risk of suicide, do not leave him or her alone. Do not leave a critically suicidal person alone for even a second. Only after you get professional help for the person can you consider leaving him or her.
•Talk openly about suicide. Ask the person, “Are you feeling so bad that you are thinking about suicide?”
If the answer is yes, ask, “Have you thought about how you would do it?”
If the answer is yes, ask, “Do you have what you need to do it?”
If the answer is yes, ask, “Have you thought about when you would do it?”
Here are those four important questions in abbreviated form:
3Have what you need?
•You need to know as much as possible about what is going on in the person’s mind. The more planning that someone has put into a suicide, the greater the risk. If the person has a method and a time in mind, the risk is extremely high and you cannot hesitate to call 911 and ensure that professional treatment is given.
•If the person talks about using a firearm that he or she owns for suicide, call the police so they may remove the firearm(s). Firearms are used in the majority of suicides, and those who use a firearm usually do not survive. It is thus an emergency that needs to be handled by the police immediately.
•Don’t be judgmental. Do not invalidate anything that the person says or feels. The person is probably suffering from a chemical imbalance in the brain, and thus could not possibly think clearly. Be supportive and caring, not judgmental, but get help immediately.
•Be careful of the statements that you make. You do not want to make the person feel any worse than he or she already does. Again, the person is probably suffering from a chemical imbalance in the brain and is thus extremely sensitive.
•Listen, listen, listen. Be gentle, kind, and understanding. Again, allow the person to talk as much as he or she wants. Always listen very attentively, and encourage him or her to talk more. Be as gentle, kind, and understanding as possible.
•Let the person express emotion in the way that he or she wants. Allow the person to cry, yell, swear and do what is necessary to release the emotion. However, do not allow the person to become violent or harm himself or herself.
•Again, use the home page of Suicide.org to help the person. Make a copy of it and give it to him or her. This will not only help the person now, but also in the future when he or she needs help. You can also make copies of any of the pages of the Suicide.org site that you think will help the person, and give them to him or her. (There is no charge for distributing copies of pages of this site in print media, not on the Internet, for noncommercial, nonprofit use.)
•After the person has received help and is no longer critically suicidal, help the person make an appointment with a medical doctor and a therapist. If the person has not yet seen a medical doctor or a therapist, help him or her make the appointments. Suicidal feelings need to be dealt with on a professional level. Only trained professions should assume the care for the person. This is very important. Do not try to help the person by yourself. Make sure that the person is seen by a medical doctor and a therapist.
•Before you leave the person, make sure that he or she has received professional help from qualified mental health professionals or that the risk of suicide has dissipated. You cannot leave the person until the risk of suicide is gone or he or she is in treatment. A person who is suicidal is at risk of suicide at any juncture. Ensure that all appropriate actions are taken to help the person before you leave.
•When in doubt about what to do, call 911 immediately. Be safe. A suicidal person needs professional help. Period. If you are not sure what to do, it is certainly better to err on the side of caution and get professional assistance immediately. Again, if you are not sure what to do, call 911.
•If someone tells you that you need to keep his or her suicidal intentions a secret, then you never can keep that “secret.” Under no circumstances can you keep a “secret” that could cause someone’s death. You are not violating a privileged communication; you are taking the steps necessary to prevent a suicide. That is an expression of love, caring, and deep concern, and is the only ethical choice in a situation as serious as this.
•Follow up with the person on a regular basis to make sure that he or she is doing okay. Suicidal feelings can come and go, so follow up to see how the person is. It is very important to show continued support. If the person becomes suicidal again, take immediate action to help him or her.