Suicide

  • Now, at 16, I am going through the agony of having to deal with some of the hardest things. I am dealing with deception, lies, molestation, drug addiction, alcoholism, and suicide. Though none of that pertains to me physically, it does emotionally and mentally. I know that I am not the only one who's family has been plagued with such things, nor am I here to be a victim, I just want to share my story, and let others know they're not alone. My biggest hope is that what I'm about to tell, will help someone to help themselves and that it will prevent someone from making the wrong decision. I think that is important for others to know, that what they do may not be for the best. And even if they think no one is there, and that no one cares, there is. What one does affects many people; not just themselves.

    In the past 10 months, it seems as though everything has come to the surface for me. Between that and everything that has happened in the past years, it seems as though a break is never to be found. Like everyone else, my life is full of ups and downs, and at many times, it is nothing more than an emotional roller coaster that keeps going down hill.

    When I was four years old, my father died. To this day, I can remember how hurt I was and how betrayed I felt. I was hurt because, out of anyone, my dad was the one I adored and admired the most. My parents had split up before they even knew about the pregnancy. As a little kid, vulnerable, innocent, and oblivious to the real world, it never dawned on me that there were periods when my dad wouldn't see me for months. I just knew how thrilled I was when I finally saw him and when he brought me along with him. To learn that he had died, and that I would "never see daddy again" tore me to pieces. Not only had I lost him, but it was right after Easter and three weeks to the day after my birthday. And so not only was I hurt, but I felt betrayed. My mother had kept his death from me. I didn't find out until weeks after. I know it has to be one of the hardest things to tell a child, yet still that seems like no excuse. At this moment, by biggest regret in life remains to be not attending his funeral. That, at least, would have brought me closure.

    Just recently, a few months ago, in fact, I learned what the cause of my dad's death was. Ever since I was four, I had believed that he died of a heart attack. The year before, my dad had been in the hospital and when I asked what was wrong, and he said, "my heart is broken." When I was told he died, I asked what from and my mother told me, "from the same thing as when he was in the hospital." At four years old, I had translated "broken heart" as the simple way to tell a child "heart attack." My mother never corrected me on that, and so for the past 12 years, that has been my reality. By putting 2 and 2 together, by remembering things that were said and things that were done, I had found out for myself the truth behind his death. About 10 minutes after I figured out the truth, my mom was there to variety it all with a death certificate. My dad killed himself. Those, above any, are the four hardest words for me to say.

    In talking with other people who knew the truth from the beginning, I began to learn more and more about it all; the reason behind it, people who caused i, circumstances surrounding it. What he did choked me up so bad that it turned my stomach so much, I felt like I was going to break down right there, right then. For weeks it haunted me. It still does occasionally. I couldn't help but run it all through my head over and over. I wasn't able to stop myself from picturing it all; step by step. My dad was so hurt and so depressed that he felt as though there was no other way out. It wasn't his first attempt. No one ever got him the help he needed. The reason he was in the hospital the year before he died, was because he tried to complete suicide by over dosing on pills, and consequently had to have his stomach pumped. And yet, it didn't hit him then either. When someone so close to you takes their own life, you feel useless. The thoughts that ran through my mind were things that no child should ever even have to consider."What did I do? Why couldn't I stop it? He apparently didn't love me enough, otherwise he wouldn't have done this." Those are all logical thoughts but none of them are true. There was nothing I could do. And he did love me, but he didn't know how to handle what he was going through.

    As much as someone tried to accept what happened, you can never really fully recover. Yeah, you can "go on" with your life. But there's always going to be an emptiness, a gap, a void. No matter what anyone says to you, or what you can do to help yourself, you can never fully get over it. I still unwillingly picture my dad in my head, not knowing what to do; calling his girlfriend, promising her that he won't do anything. He didn't know what he just said because he was too stoned and too drunk to know the difference. The hardest part I have dealing with it is knowing how hurt he must have felt and how alone and how empty he must have felt. I see him over and over sitting in his apartment, making a noose for himself. Knowing that that is going to be the instrument of his death and that it would be by his own hands. Whatever could have led him to slip that around his neck? For the rest of my life, I have to live knowing that the thought of me, a four year old little boy, wasn't enough to save him from hanging himself. And in my head I can see him hanging from the rafters as my uncle walks in to find him. And not only do I hurt for my dad and myself, but I hurt for my uncle. How must have he felt knowing that his little brother, the kid he looked out for for years, could no longer take it and that he couldn't protect him any longer? To this day he can not talk about it with out breaking down.

    The message I want to pass on is that, yeah, things in life are tough, and they may not be the easiest to live with. No one is satisfied with how their life is at any given moment. There are always going to be regrets, but you CAN get over that. For one to be so down that they feel suicide is the only option, it's not. It may appear to be a way out, but it isn't. Here I am, 12 years after the matter, with tears running down the side of my face because I can imagine, I can feel what my dad did. I will forever be haunted by the thought of him grasping for air and knowing that there is no way he can escape that situation. I can feel the thoughts running through his head, knowing that he made the biggest mistake and that he wanted to take that back. I can see the cord he used in my head, and I know for a fact, that there were scratch marks on them. Because he knew at that moment, what he was doing. And he wanted to stop it. But he couldn't. The only moment that he finally wanted to save himself and he was physically unable. Yeah, it may seem gory. But people need to know what happens. What happens to themselves and what happens to the people who love them with all their heart and all their might and all their power. It needs to stop.

    There is always someone there to talk to. Whether it be in person, on the phone, or on the Internet. If you feel like there is no option and that there is no other way out, tell someone. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed. It's not worth the cost of your life, and it's not worth the cost of the years of agony and heart ache and pain that it will cause your family and friends and everyone else who cares about you and loves you. Death is not the answer. It never was and it never will be. Know the pain it will cause yourself. Not just mental pain, but physical pain as well. You don't want that, your family doesn't want that, and I don't want that. I hope that this makes a difference. Even if it's for only one person. At least someone will be helped, and that alone is a start.

  • It feels as though no one listen to you; your best friend has moved away and you don't think anyone else cares. You are having trouble at school and with your parents. Each morning when you awaken, you feel like you just want to go back to sleep and never get up. Life seems to be moving too fast and it feels as though you may never catch up. It's feelings like these that make some of us feel as though ending our lives would be better than enduring them. After all, is there any point to living a life of pain? Usually, when we reach this point, we start out slow, maybe by using a knife or a razor to cut ourselves. For awhile, we are given relief. Did you know that when we cut ourselves there is a chemical in our brain, called endorphin, that is released to the site of the injury to provide relief? No wonder cutting is addictive! So, we cut ourselves, hoping against hope that someone will see the marks on our bodies and get us the help we not only know we need but that we WANTtoo. Eventually, though, we begin to realize that cutting offers only temporary relief and no one has talked about our silent cry for help so we move on to more drastic measures to end our lives. But we don't really want to die. If we did, if we truly wanted to die, then we wouldn't wear short sleeves so others could see the marks left by cutting, we wouldn't let others know we are on drugs, we wouldn't tell anybody or email anybody about how we really feel. Did you know that nearly everyone who completes suicide has asked for help, has given warning signs of their intentions? Why would we do that if we genuinely wanted to die? Why do something that we don't really want to do? It can be very hard - very hard to have to go through loneliness and it can be hard to feel misunderstood but take a look back on your life. When you were in the fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh grade, your first boyfriend moved to a different state and you thought you'd never heal. But you did. There have been problems in your life before that made you feel hopeless but from which you recovered. Likewise, the troubles that you're facing now are temporary; they are not permanent problems. One day, sooner than you probably think, you'll be able to leave your parents' home and make choices of your own for your life. One day you'll fall in love with someone who will love you just as much.

    Life is a mixture of blessings with strife and I know how it feels to be all alone and frightened. I myself have attempted suicide several times, until I realized that I did not really want to kill myself. YOU DON'T EITHER. Each of us have a very special and unique purpose on this earth; a purpose that when we find it, will provide us with love and joy. Wouldn't it be a terrible shame to end life just days before you find that joy? Life is unexpected and that means that we often find hope and joy when we least expect it.

    What do you do if you've decided not kill yourself but the pain still hasn't gone away? The number one thing to do is praise yourself, give yourself credit for having the courage to live, instead of die. Then realize that as much as we would like to think otherwise, people usually are not as perceptive as we would like to think they are and that means that we have to reach out and tell them how we feel, flat out and directly, instead of subtly. There are lots of people (and places) that are wanting to help you: they just need to know that you need help. Think of it as a dangerous addiction and just as people who are alcoholics have to get themselves to an AA meeting to begin to heal, suicidal people have to to say, "I want to kill myself" to someone; a school counselor, a pastor, an adult that you trust and believe in. The counseling and group support that you'll receive when you do this will open whole new doors of light to your life.

    Below, I've highlighted a few facts and statistics about suicide. Hopefully, the information will help others become more aware of hurting youths around them and will help show suicidal people that they really are not alone:

    • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people 14-18 years old. Nearly all suicidal people ask for help.
    • Suicide is 8 times more likely in gay youth than it is in heterosexual youth.
    • Girls are more likely to attempt suicide, while boys are more likely to succeed at suicide.
    • Suicide is 4 times as likely among those who have been abused.
    • Suicide tends to run in families, but it is NOT hereditary.
    • Suicide knows no economic class. It affects the poor, middle and upper classes equally.
    • It is common for suicidal people to express genuine happiness prior to the suicide. They are happy because they have found a way out of the pain: suicide.
    • It can be prevented. Some guidelines for those who need help helping a suicidal person:
      • Never leave a suicidal person alone
      • Ask anyone who is depressed whether they want to die. Contrary to many fears, speaking of suicide can actually save a life. Don't be afraid to use the words "death" "dying" and/or "suicide". It will make the suicidal person feel more comfortable in telling how they really feel.
      • Ask if they have a plan. Again, don't be afraid to say, "So, how would you do it? With a gun?" Any idea that you might suggest are ideas they have already thought about. You will not "plant" ideas in their heads.
      • If suicide is imminent - for example: if their plan includes a weapon of choice, and if they have access to the weapon of choice, call the police.
      • Because they do not want to die, suicidal people will usually keep any promise they make. So, make a suicidal person promise you they will contact you before they commit suicide. This will give you time to contact the proper help.
      • When talking with a suicidal person, use the word complete suicide instead of commit suicide. Commit implies that they are committing a crime or doing something wrong and that brings about feelings of guilt to the suicidal.
      • Encourage them to talk with an adult. If you feel that you are unable to handle their problems (which is perfectly okay as suicidal peopledo need professional help) then tell an adult and let that adult take over.
      • Pray. Pray alone for the person and in groups. The Bible says that when two or more people are gathered in his name, then He is among them. He does not want anyone to complete suicide. Pray There are a lot of people in this world who are hurting and believe me, sometimes merely feeling misunderstood is reason enough to end life. But your life is very, very important and help is just one conversation away.

    NOTE: the National, US number for suicide is 1-800-SUICIDE and nearly every other country has a suicide hotline.

  • WARNING: The following may have triggering material and may not be suitable for some readers. Please proceed with caution if you feel like commiting suicide at ANY point while reading this, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. You can just click on this link Home or Safe Haven (Support Groups).

    Teenage Suicide
    By Kyiotie

    I thought of dying
    gazing into the black, seductive ice water
    so glassy and so tranquil
    I thought of dying
    but in my place
    Death's bony embrace
    clutched listless children
    gnawed by hunger;
    prisoners on death row
    detritus of their own childhoods;
    poor shepherds grazing blunt-toothed animals
    on landmined hillsides

    I thought of dying,
    to throw myself away
    so much landfill
    If it's no use to me
    I could give it
    I can holler with my lungs
    at injustice
    join hands in protest
    at brutality
    I realized that I had long been dead
    but I could choose instead
    to reawake
    and be alive for them

    Suicide
    By Joy

    The pain and anger runs
    It flows and hurts throughout every day
    What can I do to make it all go away?
    How can I live with this every single fucking day!
    It hurts so bad I just can't bear it
    A prick of the knife just might solve it
    I grab up my knife shining in the light
    A single tear drips down and I shudder in fright
    But I've made up my mind its the only way out!
    It's the only way to make it all go away
    I drop to the floor, still and dead
    And suddenly I'm filled with dread
    Oh what have I done the faces the faces...
    Family. Friends old and new.
    Crying, pinning oh how I wish I knew
    Why now do they care?
    Why now do they cry?
    Oh if only I knew
    But no more sorrow no more pain it has all gone away
    With all my cares my woes and sorrows
    The all have flowed away
    I'm no longer living....
    Oh how I wish I weren't dead

    Unnamed
    By Diane2ns

    The room seems so big now
    They're pounding on the door
    They are begging to come in
    They want to know more
    But I can't let them in
    They can't see my pain
    But they wont go away now
    Though there's nothing to gain
    My life is a wreck
    There's no point live
    I sit on the floor
    I've got no more to give
    They won't go away now
    They beg and they plead
    They try to climb through the window
    They say it's me they need
    I hear the pain in their voice
    As they ask once again
    I do not respond
    As goes the trend
    With frustration and pain
    They give up the fight
    And stroll back to their rooms
    To hope I survive the night
    I ponder their actions
    While I sit there in tears
    They don't need me, I say
    They'll forget in a few years
    The phone starts to ring
    The machine picks it up
    My friend says, "I love you
    And I won't give up"
    She's lying, I say
    As I cry on the floor
    She'll be alright in the end
    She doesn't need me anymore
    But the message wasn't over
    She collected thoughts
    And in between her own tears
    Used the time she had bought
    She told me how much my life meant
    How much I had helped
    How my being there assisted
    In what she had been dealt
    I couldn't take it any longer
    I pulled out the plug
    The pain in her voice
    Because of the hole I had dug
    The room was quiet now
    It was only me
    Nothing they could do
    Why couldn't they see
    How terrible I was
    With my messed up life
    The pain I was in
    No more meaning to life
    I looked out the window
    And into their room
    They couldn't see me
    They were so filled with gloom
    Then suddenly I snapped
    The pain on their face
    I'd seen it before
    In a different place
    A place filled with death
    A place with despair
    They were thinking the worst
    That I had gone elsewhere
    How could I hurt them
    They were my friends
    They had been there for me
    Around every bend
    I'll live for my friends
    For even when they don't show it
    They care for me deeply
    And now I know it

    Days
    By DP

    Days of life
    Days of death
    Days of happiness can't beat this stress
    That I feel
    When I live
    Can't do much but take these pills
    To kill the pain
    So i won't half to hurt no more
    I took a few
    It changed my point of view
    On how I look
    At everyone
    I went depressed
    When I saw colors
    I can't live with all this sorrow

    The days were grim
    When I thought
    I could never be to thin
    Never think i'll think that again
    Its not enough when its to hard to swallow
    Except for you when you half to borrow
    Then it seems
    Like ya got tons of friends
    Til it's over then it ends
    Then begins
    The world where you pretend
    Everything will be ok
    When everything is not ok

    Days I punched
    Days I hit
    Days I'd much rather just forget
    Cause things
    Can't get much worse
    Sometimes depression creeps up
    And I want to burst
    Yeah it hurts
    Although it won't stop
    Feels like I should, but I'm not
    Cause i'm not goin out like that.
    Its not the way I wanna go.

    Days I laughed
    Days I whelped
    Days I slept, but it still don't help.
    Maybe I was meant to leave
    That's what it points to
    But still I can't believe,
    That I was here,
    To committee suicide
    Cause I know right now,
    That I really don't want to die
    I really wanna stay alive
    Why must people die
    It just doesn't seem to right.

    Some days just seem to be same
    Most days are always pretty lame
    Why am I always filled with so much shame
    No one but myself to blame cause I
    Can chose my days just like anyone of you!
    One day I can laugh
    Then the next day i can be threw
    Sometimes life seems to pass by
    I just don't now why
    I keep catchin up with it
    Everything and all this shit
    Sucks
    I hate to think about things
    Things that make hurt inside
    I don't want to kill myself, but really i wanna die
    Is there some way I can escape this LIFE.
    Will you trade me lives,
    So no one will half to die.

  • Taken From: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide. Poem written by: Joy

    if you are thinking about

    suicide... read this first

    If you are feeling suicidal now, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes. I do not want to talk you out of your bad feelings. I am not a therapist or other mental health professional - only someone who knows what it is like to be in pain.

    I don't know who you are, or why you are reading this page. I only know that for the moment, you're reading it, and that is good. I can assume that you are here because you are troubled and considering ending your life. If it were possible, I would prefer to be there with you at this moment, to sit with you and talk, face to face and heart to heart. But since that is not possible, we will have to make do with this.

    I have known a lot of people who have wanted to kill themselves, so I have some small idea of what you might be feeling. I know that you might not be up to reading a long book, so I am going to keep this short. While we are together here for the next five minutes, I have five simple, practical things I would like to share with you. I won't argue with you about whether you should kill yourself. But I assume that if you are thinking about it, you feel pretty bad.

    Well, you're still reading, and that's very good. I'd like to ask you to stay with me for the rest of this page. I hope it means that you're at least a tiny bit unsure, somewhere deep inside, about whether or not you really will end your life. Often people feel that, even in the deepest darkness of despair. Being unsure about dying is okay and normal. The fact that you are still alive at this minute means you are still a little bit unsure. It means that even while you want to die, at the same time some part of you still wants to live. So let's hang on to that, and keep going for a few more minutes.

    Start by considering this statement:

    "Suicide is not chosen; it happens

    when pain exceeds

    resources for coping with pain."

    That's all it's about. You are not a bad person, or crazy, or weak, or flawed, because you feel suicidal. It doesn't even mean that you really want to die - it only means that you have more pain than you can cope with right now. If I start piling weights on your shoulders, you will eventually collapse if I add enough weights... no matter how much you want to remain standing. Willpower has nothing to do with it. Of course you would cheer yourself up, if you could.

    Don't accept it if someone tells you, "that's not enough to be suicidal about." There are many kinds of pain that may lead to suicide. Whether or not the pain is bearable may differ from person to person. What might be bearable to someone else, may not be bearable to you. The point at which the pain becomes unbearable depends on what kinds of coping resources you have. Individuals vary greatly in their capacity to withstand pain.

    When pain exceeds pain-coping resources, suicidal feelings are the result. Suicide is neither wrong nor right; it is not a defect of character; it is morally neutral. It is simply an imbalance of pain versus coping resources.

    You can survive suicidal feelings if you do either of two things: (1) find a way to reduce your pain, or (2) find a way to increase your coping resources. Both are possible.

     

    Now I want to tell you five things to think about.

    1

    You need to hear that people do get through this -- even people who feel as badly as you are feeling now. Statistically, there is a very good chance that you are going to live. I hope that this information gives you some sense of hope.

    2

    Give yourself some distance. Say to yourself, "I will wait 24 hours before I do anything." Or a week. Remember that feelings and actions are two different things - just because you feel like killing yourself, doesn't mean that you have to actually do it right this minute. Put some distance between your suicidal feelings and suicidal action. Even if it's just 24 hours. You have already done it for 5 minutes, just by reading this page. You can do it for another 5 minutes by continuing to read this page. Keep going, and realize that while you still feel suicidal, you are not, at this moment, acting on it. That is very encouraging to me, and I hope it is to you.

    3

    People often turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain. Remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it. You will not feel the relief you so desperately seek, if you are dead.

    4

    Some people will react badly to your suicidal feelings, either because they are frightened, or angry; they may actually increase your pain instead of helping you, despite their intentions, by saying or doing thoughtless things. You have to understand that their bad reactions are about their fears, not about you.

    But there are people out there who can be with you in this horrible time, and will not judge you, or argue with you, or send you to a hospital, or try to talk you out of how badly you feel. They will simply care for you. Find one of them. Now. Use your 24 hours, or your week, and tell someone what's going on with you. It is okay to ask for help. Try:

    • Send an anonymous e-mail to The Samaritans
    • Call 1-800-SUICIDE in the U.S.
    • Teenagers, call Covenant House NineLine, 1-800-999-9999
    • Look in the front of your phone book for a crisis line
    • Call a psychotherapist
    • Carefully choose a friend or a minister or rabbi, someone who is likely to listen

    But don't give yourself the additional burden of trying to deal with this alone. Just talking about how you got to where you are, releases an awful lot of the pressure, and it might be just the additional coping resource you need to regain your balance.

    5

    Suicidal feelings are, in and of themselves, traumatic. After they subside, you need to continue caring for yourself. Therapy is a really good idea. So are the various self-help groups available both in your community and on the Internet.

    Well, it's been a few minutes and you're still with me. I'm really glad.

    Since you have made it this far, you deserve a reward. I think you should reward yourself by giving yourself a gift. The gift you will give yourself is a coping resource. Remember, back up near the top of the page, I said that the idea is to make sure you have more coping resources than you have pain. So let's give you another coping resource, or two, or ten...! until they outnumber your sources of pain.

    Now, while this page may have given you some small relief, the best coping resource we can give you is another human being to talk with. If you find someone who wants to listen, and tell them how you are feeling and how you got to this point, you will have increased your coping resources by one. Hopefully the first person you choose won't be the last. There are a lot of people out there who really want to hear from you. It's time to start looking around for one of them.

    Now: I'd like you to call someone.

    And while you're at it, you can still stay with me for a bit. Check out these sources of online help.

    Additional things to read at this site:

    • How serious is our condition? ..."he only took 15 pills, he wasn't really serious..." if others are making you feel like you're just trying to get attention... read this.
    • Why is it so hard for us to recover from being suicidal? ...while most suicidal people recover and go on, others struggle with suicidal thoughts and feelings for months or even years. Suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
    • Recovery from grief and loss ...has anyone significant in your life recently died? You would be in good company... many suicidal people have recently suffered a loss.
    • The stigma of suicide that prevents suicidal people from recovering: we are not only fighting our own pain, but the pain that others inflict on us... and that we ourselves add to. Stigma is a huge complicating factor in suicidal feelings.
    • Resources about depression ...if you are suicidal, you are most likely experiencing some form of depression. This is good news, because depression can be treated, helping you feel better.

    Do you know someone who is suicidal... or would you like to be able to help, if the situation arises? Learn what to do, so that you can make the situation better, not worse.

    • Handling a call from a suicidal person...a very helpful ten-point list that you can print out and keep near your phone or computer.
    • What can I do to help someone who may be suicidal?...a helpful guide, includes Suicide Warning Signs.

    Other online sources of help:

    • The Samaritans - trained volunteers are available 24 hours a day to listen and provide emotional support. You can call a volunteer on the phone, or e-mail them. Confidential and non-judgmental. Short of writing to a psychotherapist, the best source of online help.
    • Talk to a therapist online - this is a list of over 200 psychotherapists and other professionally trained counselors who will interact with you via the Internet. Some can respond within 24-36 hours. Most charge a small fee but can be worth it. Be sure to read the background information.
    • Depression support group online: Walkers in Darkness - Please note: this is a very big group, but amidst all the chatter (and occasional bickering), it is possible to find someone who will hear you and offer support.
    • Newsgroup: alt.support.depression is a good source of peer support.
    • Psych Central has a good listing of online resources for suicide - and other mental health challenges.
    • Still feel bad? Jokes might relieve the pressure for a minute or two.
    • If you want help finding a human being to talk with in person, who can help you live through this, try reading this article about how to Choose a Competent Counselor.

    Sometimes people need additional private help before they are ready to talk with someone in person. Here are three books you could read on your own in private. I know from personal experience that each one has helped someone like you.

    • Suicide: The Forever Decision by Paul G. Quinnett, PhD (Continuum, 1989, $8.95, ISBN 0-8264-0391-3). Frank and helpful conversation with a therapist who cares. Order the book
    • Choosing to Live: how to defeat suicide through cognitive therapy by Thomas E. Ellis PsyD and Cory F. Newman PhD (New Harbinger Publications, 1996, $12.95, ISBN 1-57224-056-3). Another conversational book with practical help for suicidal persons. Order the book
    • How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person's Guide to Suicide Prevention by Susan Rose Blauner (William Morrow, 2002, $17.47, ISBN 0066211212). A very practical survival guide by an actual survivor. Order the book
    Suicide: The Forever Decision, Paul G. Quinnett, PhD Choosing to Live, Thomas E. Ellis PsyD How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me
    • Out of the Nightmare: Recovery From Depression And Suicidal Pain, by David L. Conroy, PhD (New Liberty Press, 1991, ISBN 1-879204-00-2). Unfortunately out of print; sometimes used copies become available. As if suicidal persons weren't feeling bad enough already, our thoughtless attitudes can cause them to feel guilt and shame, and keep them from getting help in time. Dr. Conroy blasts apart the myths of suicide, and looks at suicidal feelings from the inside, in a down to earth, non-judgmental way. This is a book that will save lives by washing away the stigma of suicide and opening the door to a real way out of the nightmare. More info and reviews

    Out of the Nightmare, David L. Conroy, PhD

    LET ME SUGGEST SOME HELP:

    Call 1-800-394-HOPE if in the US & Canada. People are waiting to help you. You can also visit: http://www.teenhopeline.com/ and chat with someone right now!

    From The Religious Perspective

    "I sometimes have thoughts of suicide. What does the Bible say about it?"

    Let me share some information that might help you with your thoughts of suicide. The Bible is very clear that we don't have the right to take our own lives. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." Jesus also said in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." There is hope for your life, and your life is worth living, even if things seem really bad right now. Everyone feels lonely, depressed, or hopeless at times in their life. But instead of focusing on the negative, turn your eyes and mind up to Christ. In your relationship with him you will discover your exciting purpose and destiny. Don't throw away your future!

    Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44) and he will use everything in this world to make you believe that you are ugly, unloved, unworthy, not valued, not wanted or anything except the truth. What is the truth? For you "to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses all knowledge." (Ephesians 3:18-19) Satan does not want you to know this love, but it is there for you and it is unconditional. Another lie that Satan will try to get you to believe is that you have to be perfect on the outside to have worth. The truth is that "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment... Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight" (1Peter 3:3-4). God Loves You. God loves everyone and he desires us to have eternal life. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." And, John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (NIV)

    Suicide
    The pain and anger runs
    It flows and hurts throughout every day
    What can I do to make it all go away?
    How can I live with this every single fucking day!
    It hurts so bad I just can't bear it
    A prick of the knife just might solve it
    I grab up my knife shining in the light
    A single tear drips down and I shudder in fright
    But I've made up my mind its the only way out!
    It's the only way to make it all go away
    I drop to the floor, still and dead
    And suddenly I'm filled with dread
    Oh what have I done the faces the faces...
    Family. Friends old and new.
    Crying, pinning oh how I wish I knew
    Why now do they care?
    Why now do they cry?
    Oh if only I knew
    But no more sorrow no more pain it has all gone away
    With all my cares my woes and sorrows
    The all have flowed away
    I'm no longer living....
    Oh how I wish I weren't dead

  • December 17, 1999. This day will stand out in my memory forever and ever. It was the day my whole family would change forever. Why, you may ask. Was some new family-member born? No. Did someone die? No. It was on this day that the whole meaning of family would become clear - to me, at least.

    Maniac. I have grown used to that word. My brother "is a maniac", everyone says. But nobody knows him. Nobody wants to. On December 17, 1999 my brother tried to take his life by jumping off a bridge. Sometimes failure is better than success - this was one of those times. He hardly got hurt, and my whole family was thankful that he escaped with nothing more serious than a bruised back or so that's what everyone thought. Little did they know that this incident would mean one and a half years of serious treatment and a lifelong sentence to antidepressants. My brother would have to be treated for depression.

    It was hard to tell who was really depressed during the next few months - my brother, my parents or me. This had come as a real shock to me, and I was shaken out of my school routine completely. I knew I had begun to do badly at school, but I didn't know why. I tried to smile and laugh as much as I always did, but this incident had left me shocked and scared. I was extremely angry, afraid and jealous inside (sometimes now I still am) - everyone had begun paying a lot more attention to my depressed brother, and I was pushed into the background. The psychologist would say "family counseling" and it would mean only my parents and brother. I'm sure the doctor had no idea that my brother even HAD a sister, and, ironically, this made me loathe everyone, most of all my family.

    I needed somebody to confide in. I confided in a good friend, and that helped me a little. I tried ignoring the angry feelings, but they made me want to burst. I couldn't tell my parents, of course, not when they themselves were struggling to come to terms with the near-tragedy. I did the worst thing I possibly could have - I kept it bottled up inside me. This, in fact, is the first time I decided to tell everybody about my "family problem."

    For a year the atmosphere in my house was miserable. Not even Satan would have wanted to come within 20 feet of the door. Even my cat seemed to sense that something was wrong, and she would cuddle up against my brother and purr. She too ignored me, and I retaliated by ignoring her. The year that followed was a tense one. Everyone was always on the brink of a tantrum. It became impossible to smile, because everyone around me was always glowering and glaring. Living in my house was hell.

    Now it's almost two years since the day that changed my family. My family has stopped talking about it, and has decided to let bygones be bygones. Things are almost back to normal, and I couldn't be more happy.

    A lot of my school friends refuse to come home because they think that my brother is a "maniac." I don't really care. Nobody knows what he had to go through that one year. Nobody realizes that it wasn't anyones fault, it just happened; nobody except my family.

    As I listen to him strumming his guitar softly, I am overwhelmed with happiness. Nobody deserves to be more happy than he does. Nobody, not even me. And if it makes him happy  to sit in a corner, strumming his guitar and asking me to sing along, then it makes me happy too. After all, I AM his sister, and I DO love him very much.

    And no matter what anyone else says, I always will be his sister.

    (December 2001)

  • No matter how bad your life is, you still have a purpose for life. Actually, unfortunate people have more of a purpose then rich people.

    A blurb about the suicide of the founder of Kodak:

    George Eastman, founder of Kodak, the film company, committed suicide. In a suicide note, he wrote "I have no more purpose left in life." He couldn't have been more wrong. We see how much people use cameras today. Even if he didn't feel as if he'd made any good contribution, he didn't realize how important his contribution actually was.

    A local newspaper wrote:

    A homeless man lives in our town. He lives in the woods, and he roams around, sometimes going from town to town. He has barely enough money to survive. The importance of people like this is that they teach the rest of the people what a bad life really is, and they try to make it so that other people don't end up as bad off as they are.

    PROMISES TO KEEP

    Readers Digest - February 2004

    Of all my patients during my four years of training, Sarah Berenson was the girl I swore I'd never forget. I met her during my rotation in orthopedic oncology. Eighteen years old and beautiful, Sarah would die if we didn't help her. She had osteogenic sarcoma on the left side of her pelvis - a "growth," as her family doctor in Los Angeles had told her - and it might be bad. Bill Kramer, the lead doctor, and I were left to tell her that her only hope was a radical operation called a hemipelvectomy, in which we'd remove not only the leg but part of the pelvis as well.

    Sarah radiated innocence and trust. This is the Mayo Clinic, her eyes said. You will cure me. Before we'd done a thing, she was already thanking us. Part of me liked this, liked being thanked by her. It was an acknowledgement of our power, our skill as surgeons. But I was uncomfortable too. Her trust placed a burden on us I wasn't sure we could shoulder. I knew the stats. Since Sarah's cancer was quite advanced, the best guess was that her five-year survival rate was less then 5 percent.

    But I preferred envisioning her arms around me, her wet tears on my neck, as she thanked me for saving her life. I wanted to cure her. Cancer was the big bully forcing itself on this beautiful creature, and I was the guy who was going to stop it. "You want Sarah?" I imagined myself saying. "Well, you'll have to come through me first."

    The night before surgery, I stopped by her room. She was lying in bed, her blond hair on the pillow. Her eyes lit up when she saw me. I asked how she was feeling. "OK," she replied. I went through the usual pre-op instructions. I told her she shouldn't drink or eat anything after midnight. Then, noticing a little card in front of her, I asked what it was. She showed me. In a neat, feminine scrips she had written hemispheric I remembered she'd asked earlier what the name of her operation was, and I saw her copying it down. "Can you tell me what this means?" she said. I tried to act casual, as if I were always asked about hemipelvectomies. "Hemi," I said, "is from the Greek. It means half. Ectomy means to remove something. So hemipelvectomy means to remove half the pelvis." Sarah frowned. "But I thought you were going to remove... my leg." "Well, we are, Sarah. Half of your pelvis, and your leg." "Oh." She was silent for a while. Then she asked me, "Will it hurt much?" "You won't feel a thing during the operation, since you'll be asleep," I said. "But most patients do have some pain afterward." Shut up you idiot! I screamed at myself. You're not an expert. You've never seen a hemipelvectomy yet. "Sarah," I said finally. "I... well, I'll do everything I can for you." She smiled kindly. "I know you will. Thank you." This was the Mayo Clinic. We would save her. The next day, the orderly came for her at 6 a.m.

    SWEATING IT OUT

    At the door to the holding area, Sarah's father leaned forwards and kissed her on the cheek. Her mother stepped forward, her eyes filled with tears. They tried to embrace each other around the IV. "I love you Sarah," her mother said. "I love you too mom."

    The orderly pushed Sarah through the double doors. I helped wheel her into a corner, where I introduced her to Luella, who was going to do the prep. While the pre-op nurse was attaching the antibiotic solution to the IV, Luella explained how she would scrub and prepare Sarah's leg and pelvis. The curtain was pulled, and they were behind it for several moments. Finally, Luella said, "There, now. All done." She tucked a warm blanket under Sarah's chin and tore back the curtain.

    An anesthesiologist came in and talked to Sarah about the surgery. He said that once she was asleep, he was going to put a breathing tube in her mouth. He also said she might be given some blood. Sarah lay quietly, watching the nurses scurry back and forth among other patients. "Have you had anything to eat or drink since midnight?" I asked her. She shook her head. "No," she whispered. "Okay, then, it's time to go." As we entered the OR, I pulled up the mask that had been dangling beneath my chin. I docked Sarah's cart next to the narrow black operating table, and asked Sarah to "scoot over." The nurses and I helped her onto the table. Sarah gasped briefly at the cold surface.

    Two boards were swung out from the side, and Sarah lay with her arms on them. The anesthesiologist wrapped a blood pressure cuff around her right arm while one of the nurses adjusted the IV in her left. Another nurse returned with more blankets. Soon I could see Sarah's eyes begin to glaze over. "I've just given you a little something in your IV to relax you," the anesthesiologist said. "Are you cold, Sarah?" I asked as I tucked the blanket under her chin. "Please," she said, her voice raspy and small. Her eyes welled up with tears. She struggled to sit up. "Please don't..." As the anesthesia began to take effect, she sank back down and closed her eyes. "Don't worry, Sarah," I said. "We'll take good care of you." The anesthesiologist told Sarah to take some big, deep breaths. Bill Kramer, the head surgeon, and I turned her on her right side and prepped her from the back to the knee. We covered everything with sterile drapes except her left leg. Bill took the marking pen and outlined his incision. Then he put the pen down and help out his hand. "Scalpel."

    LIKE A MILLIONARE

    I was constantly clamping, cauterizing, and placing reactors. As the operation progressed, Bill and the anesthesiologist talked often, deciding when to give the next unit of blood or plasma. Slowly, over several hours, we began to separate the leg from the rest of Sarah's body. Even then, Bill and I had more work to do. There was a question of how many sacral nerves we could spare. We had to decide how best to close the skin. Should we tuck this, excise that? By the time wa placed the last drain and put in the last suture, it was early afternoon. Sarah's blood pressure was stable. She'd been given 18 units of blood. Despite the long operation, she had come through everything well. But the truth, which we'd tried to hide under the layers of sterile blue surgical drapes, was right in front of my eyes. I tried not to look, but I just couldn't help it. As the nurses removed the drapes and I peeled away the sheets, I saw it clearly. Sarah had no leg. There was a long line of sutures across the left side of her abdomen, and below that - nothing.

    Bill went to talk to the family while I applied the dressings. Soon after, we moved Sarah from the operating table to the cart. Her skin was pale and cold. The nurses covered her with blankets, and I wheeled her to recovery. Sarah's post-op course was stormy. She ran a fever for four days and had to be seen by a urologist. But sarah was a marvel. She kept thanking us for all we were doing. She was as bright and engaging as ever. I couldn't understand it. I thought, if I lost my leg, I would be inconsolable. I would never laugh again. I wanted to take the advice of Job's wife - to curse god and die.

    I longed to ask Sarah about it, but didn't know how. What would I say: "Sarah, shouldn't you be more upset about having your leg chopped off?" So I approached Annie Cheevers, Sarah's nurse, who had become like a big sister to her. "Sure, we talk about it," Annie told me. "And of course she's sad about losing her leg. But she says it's made her realize how many things she hasn't lost. She says it's like a millionaire who loses a thousand dollars - he's sad, but he's still not that bad off." I was thrilled when, three days after the surgery, Sarah stood and took a few tentative steps on her crutches. She was pale and trembling an she looked at us for encouragement. But she was up. She was moving. Seven days after the surgery, I knocked on her door and heard Annie Cheevers's voice say, "Just a minute." I stood there, looking at the curtain drawn around the bed. Sarah would go home soon. She'd return for a post-op visit two weeks after that, and then she would begin chemotherapy. No matter what happened to her in her life, I knew she would find a way to stay happy. That much this young girl had taught me.

    Finally Annie pulled back the curtain, gestured at Sarah, and said, "Ta-da!" Sarah sat on the edge of the bed, smiling. Annie had helped her wash and set her hair and apply makeup. She looked stunning. "Sarah," I said, "you look... nice." It was my turn to blush. Annie was outraged. "'Nice'? That's all you can say? She looks 'nice'?" "I, uh, well you look really nice. I mean-" And they both laughed. Sarah went home a few days later. She hugged me and thanked me for saving her. Now that the actual moment was here, the one I'd dreamed of, I didn't know what to say. I knew we surgeons had removed her leg. But I was also beginning to understand that there are some thing - hope, optimism, and unfailing trust - scalpels can never take away.

    The End.

    So if you have trouble, suicide is not the way out.

    Be glad of the hard times. Take advantage of them. Let the tough stuff make you better. And remember, if you have a lot of problems, you're better then a rich man who just sits around. Everyone has trouble... and the unfortunate people are the most gifted people around. You all have a purpose for living, the most beautiful part of that not knowing what it is.

    Better Than Before

    I came a child
    A little kid
    Childish ways
    Full of fun

    I went many years
    I never had problems
    Changes occur
    My life is soon to change

    Tons of mistakes
    Learning from everyone
    Better thinking
    Smarter

    Many people have come and gone
    True friends
    Left many footprints on the heart
    I'll love you always

    So much has changed
    The old days are gone
    There's been so much trouble
    Loss after loss

    But we won't be sad
    We'll be glad
    For all the good life we had
    We know that turbulence kept us together in love

    We lost
    Because of that
    We gained
    We're stronger then before

    So I'm leaving here a better man
    And I can't stand to go
    But it's not what you take that matters
    It's what you leave behind when you go.

    I'm different
    Transformed
    A kid.
    A man.
    A better man.

    The ground is now firm
    We're glad for what we had
    We gained because we lost
    And we left good there

    There's people out there
    Who'd rather have my problems then theirs
    I'm glad I had a tough time
    Because I'm a better man

    I'm different
    Transformed
    A kid.
    A man.
    A better man.

    I'm glad
    Because I'm a better man.
    Better person.
    Better friend.
    Better lover.
    Better me.
    Better man.
    Better one.
    Better earthling.
    Better being.
    Better clown.
    And still a better me, yeah!!!!!

    ==============

    If you have no reason.. really.. no reason at all to go on, then you are free to pick any reason in the world, and it's better than nothing at all.

    Hope this helps.

  • (From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL) - The Wall Street Journal Online.

    A new study about mental health in teenagers suggests that physical activity may help decrease feelings of sadness and contemplation of suicide.

    The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, directed questions about physical activity and mental health to about 1,400 adolescents, white and Hispanic, ages 14-18 at Texas high schools. Students attending more physical-education sessions per week were less likely to report feelings of sadness, the study found. Participation in a greater number of sessions of physical activity was significantly associated with a lower risk of considering suicide.

    The authors said the study suggests physical-education classes may help in decreasing the risk of sadness and suicidal behaviors, and enhancing self-esteem.

    The study appears in the August issue of the Journal of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

    (END) Dow Jones Newswires
    2004-08-02 - 21:48 EST

  • The course of life demands us some difficulties, setbacks, and obstacles that render our paths through life hard and rather harsh to put up with. I'll say, and with all my deepest respect to official statistics, that 99% of teenagers today are facing a fierce wind in what I refer to as harsh. I'll be kinder now when I say that 90% of them are drowning in these troubles and hitting some sort of cold bottom; alone and surrounded by void. I speak from a very true experience. An experience I lived and am still living. Just like most of them, I thought and sometimes still think of the easy passage out of this horribly tangled mess, and I direct no blame. I will speak with the usage of "we" with respect to the cases I am analyzing below.

    Within the human core is a spot where we tend to give up just gaining our peace and, in our cases, things that are getting worse leave us no choice but to listen to that spot as its voice raises higher than the voice of reasoning. When things are too horrible, there is this huge weight that starts to build up in the chest. Breathing becomes a struggle, focusing is blurred by the pain & hurt as we are surrounded by darkness. We inhale a cold dry air that chills our nerves, feelings, and soul. Thinking positively has no existence in the dictionary at such times. In many cases tears of hurt and pain mix with blood, and suicide becomes the refuge and escape of the deep pit we are so horribly drowning in. A battle is lost. However, over the course of some time, I am thinking positively and feel obliged to share this with you.

    Beneath the place of wrath and tears that we are sinking in, there is only one shred, one thread, that we can cling too. There are good things and bad things about this thread. For the sake of optimism, I will tell you the good part. This shred is what is referred to as hope. I call forth my hope for when all goes deadly wrong and the fact that I have no particular assurance whatsoever that those things will get worse or better. I don't know what will happen tomorrow or the next hour. That may sound lame or too desperate, but at least I give my self an excuse to live one more day and maybe through that day something will happen to add up to my energy ad let me live one more day. As such, I have made it through for two days and then again there is still my clinging to the thread of hope for a better tomorrow. At the very least, we should all think of this: "When has the sun set and never risen to a brand new day?" I have never experienced such a time, so I say that in my life, the sun has set but it will have to rise again. It is just probably taking so long for a reason I am perfectly unaware with.

    Here comes the bad part, many will just lose patience and let go. When will they wait until before losing all hope and patience? That spot I talked about earlier starts getting sorer and the voice within gets higher and louder that we here t in every breath that we struggle to breathe. My only solace to anyone who is suffering and facing some really hard time is to hold onto that shred of hope a little longer. Sometimes it will get really crappy and harsh but I have this firm belief that deep within us lies the strength to fight back. I don't want to be talked about as "giving up" or "a quitter" so I choose to be a fighter and I believe that I, by my birth, was given one chance, one opportunity, and two choices. I MUST choose to live.

  • Teenage Suicide

    by: Unknown

     

    I thought of dying
    gazing into the black, seductive ice water
    so glassy and so tranquil
    I thought of dying
    but in my place
    Death's bony embrace
    clutched listless children
    gnawed by hunger;
    prisoners on death row
    detritus of their own childhoods;
    poor shepherds grazing blunt-toothed animals
    on land mined hillsides

    I thought of dying,
    to throw myself away
    so much landfill
    If it's no use to me
    I could give it
    I can holler with my lungs
    at injustice
    join hands in protest
    at brutality
    I realized that I had long been dead
    but I could choose instead
    to re-awake
    and be alive for them.

    If you want to commit suicide, read this, it may help:

    Think of three people that care about you. Anyone can name three people. Just try. Think of five things you would miss if you died. There are five. Just try. Think of ten people that would miss you if you died. You can do it. If you still want to die, talk to the three people, do the five things. Oh, and call a medical professional for help! People care, remember that!

    As many times as you have been told this... suicide is not the answer! Every single one of you is here for a reason! And when it is your time to go then you will be taken. You feel that no one cares but there is at least one person that deep heartedly cares for you. It may not be obvious to you though at times! There is so much held in the future just awaiting all of you. If you end you life now you won't get to see what is waiting for you! Ending your life is not going to solve anything...it will only make things worse....you are hurting so many people if you commit suicide...think to yourself: Is it worth hurting friends, mom, dad, and other family for me to die. Is it worth losing everything that I had waiting for me in life? Is it worth missing out on all of the things you will be missing out on? IS SUICIDE WORTH ALL OF THIS? NO!I could go on and on here with reason why you should not commit suicide... but I am going to leave you with this.... PLEASE RE-THINK YOUR DECISION!

    The #1 best thing for you to do is talk to someone about your feelings! You need to get them out in the open! If you have already taken that step and nothing has changed then GET HELP! Go to a guidance counselor at school or a local counselor in your area. Teen suicide hotline # is 1-800-SUICIDE. It is 100% confidential and free. It will notshow up on your phone bill!!

  • Life is precious. It should never be wasted or taken for granted. Nothing, for that matter, should ever be wasted or taken for granted. Life is very much like a flower; if it isn't cared for and nurtured, and problems are ignored, it will be lost. I've learned in the past few weeks that one should always live life to the fullest. Life is what is most important to me, and this is the story of how this came to be.

    A few weeks ago, I let my mind be clouded by insignificant problems, and I was caught up in myself, too blind to see what was going on around me. I was inside a shell that kept me from being aware of the turmoil my best friend was going through. Now, that friend is dead.

    I was so shocked when I learned what had happened. The announcement echoed in my head. My heart stopped, and my entire body went numb.

    "I'm very sorry to say that a freshman, Carol Layman, passed away last night between the hours of six and seven o'clock. Counselors will be available throughout the day for anyone who wants to come down. Let us all have a moment of silence."

    I will never forget those words. A guy in my class, Eric, was staring at me because he knew she was my best friend. All I could do was sit there for a minute until I could feel again; my mouth was still hanging open. My mind was still trying to process what had happened as I stumbled up to the teacher's desk and mumbled, through approaching tears, "C-can I go..." I couldn't say anything else. He understood and sent me down to the office with my friend, Natalie. I was still somewhat numb, but I could feel all eyes on me as I staggered out of the classroom.

    Natalie asked if I knew what had happened, and I told her I knew it had been suicide. At the bottom of the stairs, I saw Jessica and Tiffany - two of Carol's other closest friends. I dropped my books and ran to them, crying hysterically. We were led, blinded by tears, to a small room. I recognized everyone, save a few people. Maddie and Michelle came too, more of Carol's closest friends, Maddie looked like she'd just gotten over a hysterical fit of crying, and Michelle started one of her own when she hugged me. I tried to cheer her up a bit, but it wasn't working since I was bawling too.

    We had to move to a bigger room because there were so many people there crying, weeping, sobbing for their lost friend. After awhile, I went into a small hallway to talk to Maddie, and I heard a tear-filled voice behind me saying, "Becky!" I turned, and Heather was standing there, crying. I flung my arms around her and started crying harder. She didn't know Carol very well, but she was going through a rough time and this didn't help. The three of us went back into the room, and Daniel, Carol's Homecoming date and very good friend, came down after a few minutes. Everyone was going up to him and hugging him. He came and sat by Heather and me, just staring off into nothingness; his eyes were haunted. When we were sharing memories of Carol, I started crying really hard, and he held my hand and hugged me really tight. We sat like that for a long time. Sarah, one of Carol's best and oldest friends, came in after awhile, bringing candy and terrible news. Not only was Carol dead, but she had hung herself in her basement. After we'd calmed down, she announced she had the demo CD containing one of the many songs Carol had written and recorded with her, and we all wanted to hear it. The minute her voice came on, everyone who had known her when she recorded it burst into tears. We knew all the lyrics, and we all thought the same thing: She planned it this way.

    Completely

    By Carol Layman

    Drop my eyes and lift my glass
    Turn my face away
    For the first part
    Then the last
    And I can't breathe
    I'm completely lost in the blue
    Totally lost in you
    Take a walk through silent sound
    Leave my body underground
    Never remember what I felt
    Completely lost in the blue
    Totally lost in you
    For the first part
    Then the last
    And I can't breathe
    And I can see you there
    Sunlight behind your eyes
    I'm completely lost in the blue
    Totally lost in you
    And I can feel life slipping away
    Like the flowers by my grave
    Flowers you left behind
    Scattered roses on the ground
    Completely lost in the blue
    Totally lost in you
    ‘Cause it just cuts deeper every time
    I don't feel your hand on mine
    The metal above me gently shines
    Completely lost in the blue
    Totally lost in you
    For the first part
    Then the last
    And I just stopped breathing

    When the song came to, "Like the flowers by my grave," I started sobbing uncontrollably, and I fell into Daniel's arms, still holding Heather's hands. Lots of people were hysterical by the end of it. A little bit later, they played the song again because we all wanted to hear it more. I was holding hands with Sarah and Heather, and crying really hard, when Brian came up and held me and wiped my tears away. I didn't even realize it was him until Heather said his name. Carol had always said he was an "attractive jerk," but he had been the first guy to show up in the room that morning...

    After that, Heather, Sarah, Daniel, Lauren, Conor, Michelle, and I went down to lunch. I got some fries and a lemonade with Michelle and Daniel, but I couldn't taste any of it so I threw it away half-finished.

    When I got back from lunch, I was hit with the news that we weren't allowed to play her song anymore. We all asked- well, more like yelled- "WHY!?" Apparently it was too "emotional" for us. I was extremely angry since they had just gotten done telling us that "crying is good at a time like this." Hypocrites.

    I decided that I would try to go to one class... Chemistry. It was a bad mistake on my part. That day our class was doing a lab that required concentration - something I did not have. Sravya and Shivani were understanding and let Kali and I copy their work for the lab. However, as I was cleaning out some test tubes (one of the very few things I was actually able to do to help), I overheard some of my classmates talking. Jesse, a guy who I never liked that much anyway, asked the question. "So what happened with that girl?" he said. I winced at the fact that he didn't even use her name. Drew said something that I couldn't hear, then Vince did what will make me hate him forever and always: "Oh really? Well I was there!" He started laughing. He thought that my best friend's death was amusing. I turned on my heel to face him, and glared at him straight in the eye. "That is SO not funny!!!" I screamed, on the verge of tears. I ran back to my seat and buried my head in my arms. I couldn't take it anymore. As soon as the bell rang, I went back to the office.

    I spent the rest of the day in a smaller room with Tiffany, Heather, Conor, and some others writing notes to Carol. Heather and I left ten minutes before the bell rang and went to my locker then to hers. As we came down the stairs, Frankie, a friend of mine who was pregnant at the time, was standing by the doors. We stood by her, and Heather said she just couldn't believe it.

    "I know what can help make you feel better!" Frankie stepped closer to us and put Heather's hand on her stomach. "Babies!" I shouted, laughing. I put my hand on her stomach as well, felt a kick, and took my hand away, smiling a little. The bell rang and Heather and I went out to the bus together and sat down in the back. I took out my iPod and started playing Carol's song.

    Garrett, a friend of ours who goes to the junior high but rides the bus with us, said something I couldn't hear, then Heather snapped, "I'm not in the mood! My friend died yesterday! She killed herself!" I looked up, and his face was in total shock. "It was Carol," I added softly. He came back and sat next to us. We all held hands and I let them both listen to her song. I started crying again and buried my face in Heather's backpack.

    When I got home, the house was empty. I threw down my backpack and staggered around my house screaming and crying hysterically.

    "Why, Carol!?! How could you do this!?! How could I let you!?! WHY!?!" I couldn't get control and I fell down on my couch sobbing uncontrollably. Fleetingly, I wondered if I was going insane. I calmed myself down, knowing my mom would be home any minute and that I had to be able to talk and tell her what had happened. I heaved myself up from the couch and drunkenly stumbled toward the front door. Mom's car was in the driveway, and I ran outside.

    "Mom!" I said still crying, "Carol's dead. She hung herself. She's dead."

    "What!?!" My mom's mouth dropped and her eyes widened. She slammed the car door and helped me inside. I didn't want to be with her, I didn't want to explain anything. She hadn't liked Carol and she didn't deserve to know. Finally, the more rational side of me gained control and I told Mom what had happened. She called Daddy, who was still at work, and told him - a lot less bluntly than I told her- what was going on. Then she called Shannon, my sister's baby-sitter, and told her that she needed her to watch my sister and why. I calmed down and went into the computer room and started up AIM because I needed to talk to my friends. I started crying and eventually went up to my room. The rest of the day was a blur... All I really remember is crying, not eating, and a restless sleep full of nightmares.

    That day was by far one of the three worst days of my life, the other two were the viewing and the funeral.

    The viewing was two days later, Thursday, November 4, 2004. I went with Kali, and when we walked in, Brooke was standing there with Caitlin. they weren't incredibly close to Carol, but their lives had been touched by her death. They saw me come in and both said, "Becky!" and hugged me - they were both crying hard.

    I told them I had to go see her and that I'd be back. I stepped up to the casket and saw her body. Immediately the tears came. She looked so unhappy. Some people later said she looked peaceful, but I disagree. She looked as I had expected her to look, completely hopeless. There was a mark on her neck, which was covered in make-up in a pitiful attempt to hide it. My tears fell on her arm, and I got up the courage to touch her. I reached out and held her hand. It was as cold and hard as ice. She was wearing her black sweater with the little holes in it, and her gorgeous cross necklace hung around her fragile neck. It wasn't her... it couldn't be my best friend laying there so cold and unhappy. The body was someone else. I knew it had been Carol, but now it wasn't. It was just a body. She looked so different... not even her hair was the same; it looked thin and wiry - usually it was full and thick. Everyone was crying and hugging. I lost it and had to sit down. Jon, her brother, and Julie, his recent wife, came over when I was hysterical and were trying to comfort me, but I only cried harder because I knew Jon had been her favorite family member. They sat there for awhile and I just cried. Eventually, they got up and went away telling me things would get better.

    I walked out into the front hall, and picked up a pad with paper to write memories and sat down with Laura, Katie, Courtney, and Heather. I was still sobbing and Laura looked at me and I asked if I was okay. I shook my head and began writing about my beloved friend. I walked around, hugging people and getting hugs. I saw Sarah talking to Garrett, and I ran up and hugged her tight. There was a sitting room, and Sarah, Kali, Kia, Garrett, Heather, Daniel, Conor, and I went in and sat down. I sat next to Sarah and held her hand she had a tissue in it that looked like it had been through a war. She sniffled and said, "We should probably stick together, Becky." I nodded and stayed silent.

    We laughed a little when Daniel had a little kid kick Conor in the shin, harder when Daniel whispered to the boy to kick Conor where it hurts. Kia moved Conor's arm from his leg so it was sitting across his lap, blocking the way of the kid. Conor, who was unaware of what Daniel had said to the boy, looked very surprised and said, "Oh dear!" We all laughed.

    I tired to talk to Carol's dad, but he was talking to Lauren. I hugged her mom instead and told her if she ever needed anything, she could call me. My mom told me that Stephani, my college friend who had known Carol through church, had gotten there, so I went and hugged her and cried even more.

    Eventually, I had to go. Lauren, one of Carol's best friends, and I walked up to the casket, and first she kissed Carol's forehead, then I did the same. "Bye, sweetie... I love you and I'll miss you. Goodbye." I kissed her again, and a fresh flood of tears came pouring. We left and took Kali home. Her mom was in a fuzzy, white robe and gave me a big hug when we dropped her off. After that, my mom took me to McDonald's where I got a Happy Meal. I got home and I ate for the first time since the fries on Tuesday. The toy that came with it was a little, blue, fairy doll. Carol had been a fairy for Halloween.

    The next day was her funeral. I decided to go to school before it, and Kali, Heather, and I were going to go together. I got to school, and sort of sat in first period staring off into space the whole time. When I got to second period Theatre, Mrs. Lawson said, "You're guys aren't going to be able to focus anyway... just take a day off." I stood up and asked who wanted to hear her song on my iPod. Some kids who were closer to her came over, and I maxed the volume and sat it on a table. As her song played, people started coming over. Pretty soon, the whole class, even Mrs. Lawson, was standing in total silence, listening to Carol. I had the song on repeat and it played over and over again. Melanie started crying, and I gave her a hug that lasted about two songs. Then, I sat by Nikki and put my arm around her because she was crying too. I don't know how I managed, but I didn't end up crying.

    After a few more times through, Mrs. Lawson said, "Why don't we all write a few sentences about Carol." I left the song playing and we all went back to our seats. After all of them were done and collected together, Nikki gave them to me and asked if I wanted to read them. I nodded and started reading. Everyone mentioned that she was always smiling. I got to the one I recognized as Nick's. Nick is the class clown, he can never be serious, but his sentences were so beautiful. All I can remember is that he compared things about Carol to the sun and moon and stars. I wish I could remember more.

    The bell rang and I stumbled off to Spanish, where I stared off into space the whole time. Maddie, Ashley, and I left together, and Heather met us in the hallway. I walked with her to my locker then to hers. We ran into Kali at some point and went up to the front of the school where my mom was waiting for us. We arrived at the church and were parked near the very front of the procession. I saw the hearse that would be carrying my beloved friend, and I started weeping again. When we got inside what is my old church, all the memories of my times with Carol there came rushing at me almost literally, and I started to fall over. I caught my balance and was thankful that no one had noticed. I hung up my coat, and Heather, Kali, and I went into the sanctuary where the sound of piano music was floating toward us. We went up to the stage and saw among others Jessica, Sarah, and Lauren. My mom came over and told Kali and I to get down because it was disrespectful.

    I went out to the casket where Carol's parents were sitting, watching their beautiful daughter. I sat down beside her mom and held her hand, unable to think of anything to say. I remembered my promise to Carol when she asked what I would do if she died. Even though it was just meant as a joke then, "I'd be sure to keep your mom from jumping off the roof." Carol had told me how fragile her mother was and how easily she got extremely depressed. Sitting there, holding her mom's hand, I saw this for the first time. She looked so delicate and helpless, like a crystal glass sitting on the very edge of a high shelf that could tip over any minute. I squeezed her hand and said something along the lines of, "Things will get better," and sat there for awhile longer. I decided I should let family come and talk to her, so I let go and gave her a hug. The music from inside the sanctuary had stopped, and I went in with Kali and my mom. The usher said, "We'll get you a seat right up front by the family." So, we sat down in the second row, and I noticed that Adam, a guy Carol had met in seventh grade and dated at least six times, was sitting by himself over on the end. Until Carol died, we had hated each other with a burning hatred because he is a Catholic who wants to purify the world and I'm a Wiccan. However, death is rather bittersweet. It brings people together, and it gives people a reality check. I realized that our fighting was stupid, and it wasn't fair for him to sit alone at his friend's funeral. I stood up and told Kali I'd be right back, and I walked over and asked if he wanted to sit with us. He smiled, got up, and walked back over with me. When I realized that Carol hadn't exaggerated when she told me he was obsessed with history I started laughing. He started telling me all these cities and towns that should be marked on a map in the Bible he was looking at. I started thinking about the long-running joke Carol and I had going on about the fact that he wanted to rule the world. I started laughing, but I couldn't tell him why, so I said I'd tell him later.

    The service started, and Lauren opened it by playing Amazing Grace on her violin. It was beautiful... the whole service was beautiful. Michelle read two poems she had written, then Sarah and Kia sang a song. After that, Carol's other brother, Dan's, band sang a song as well that they had dedicated to her. Some very nice things were said about her, and it was emphasized that there was no blame. At the end, a group of three boys and three girls got up and sang "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera. I started sobbing quietly in my seat. The service ended and Carol's casket was rolled away, along with a part of my heart.

    We left the sanctuary and walked out to the lobby. I saw Kristina and Ugonna there and ran into Kristina's arms. They both go to Central, the other high school in our town, and I hadn't seen either of them in ages. The church officials called those of us who were going to the burial out to our cars, so I had to leave with Kali and Mom. We got into the car and started off. First, I looked at the huge trail of cars behind us, then I looked at the hearse just a few cars in front of us. It was incredibly powerful. We finally reached the cemetery and got out. Kali and I met up with Daniel and Ashley and stood on a hill overlooking her grave, then we walked down to it. Pastor Jim said a few things that I didn't hear as I was looking at the metal cage that would hold my best friend's body for eternity. After he was done, I put a rose on top of the casket with some others. People began to leave, but her closest, oldest friends stayed. We all huddled up into a circle with her three closest friends, Sarah, Lauren, and I in the center. For a few minutes we stood in silence, then Lauren's voice broke through her tears:

    "Drop my eyes and," she paused and sniffled, "lift my glass," Sarah joined in, "turn my face away," Conor and I sang out, "for the first part and the last," soon everyone was singing, "and I can't breathe." We sang the whole song through, beautifully for Carol. Then, we sang "My Immortal," by Evanescence and "Lullaby," another song of Carol's. Those moments were by far the most beautiful moments of my life.

    After we went home and dropped Kali off, we went to Carol's house, and I was sent up to her room by her mom. Sarah, Jessica, Lauren, and Michelle were there, with others. Jon and Julie were there telling people whether or not they could take things. We looked throughout her room and took things that were important to us. Kia had her zipper necklace and her Evanescence piano book. Sarah got all of her songs and one of her sketchbooks. Others took various other things that had belonged to her. I took a lot of little things. Her Rock Docs pin (which I later gave to Daniel), her Good Charlotte and Simple Plan CDs, a purple guitar pick, one of her favorite books, 'Speak', two drawings of echidnas that she'd attempted, and her pink chain purse. However, the two most important things I was able to get were one of the poems she showed me once, 'And Then Forever Ended', and the song she had written for me, 'Rebecca'. I knew she'd written it, but I'd never heard it.

    Rebecca
    By Carol Layman

    You say you looked up to me
    But I think you saw right through...

    Chorus
    Rebecca
    Children don't do this
    You're not a little girl
    Or a victim of the world
    You're just
    Rebecca...

    Feel it fading fast
    The whisper of redemption on my breath
    You know that I was always second best
    But somehow you forget that I
    Was always the only one there in the dark

    Chorus

    And I watched as you healed
    Felt everything you'll never try to feel
    But my words never made it to your heart
    And now you say you're angry
    That I had to say, "Goodbye,"
    But I need some time to be what I am
    Rebecca X2

    Chorus

    After that, I went to Conor's house where we made a scrapbook for Carol's parents. I also heard the tape of her songs that Lauren had recorded one day at her house. We ate some orange sorbet, and talked awhile. After that, I went home, and cried myself to sleep. Again.

    Losing Carol was by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me. She was my best friend - no - she was my sister for three years of my life, and I will never be able to forget her. If I hadn't been silent about some of the things she told me, she might still be here today. However, I try not to dwell on that. I remember the happy memories of our time together. I try to live by one of her favorite quotes: "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened."

    The lesson to be learned from this tale is that one should never take things for granted. Also, if something is going on with a friend, one should never, ever stay quiet or be too afraid to act. In the wise words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:

    "You can never do an act of kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."

  • As many times as you have been told this, suicide is NOT the answer!!! Every single one of you is here for a reason, and when it is your time to go then you will be taken.

    You feel that no one cares, but there is at least one person that deep heartedly cares for you. It may not be obvious to you though at times, but there IS a person who cares for you this much!!!! There is so much held in the future just awaiting all of you. If you end you life now you won't get to see what is waiting for you.

    Ending your life is not going to solve anything; it will only make things worse. You are hurting so many people if you commit suicide. Think to yourself, if you die, is it worth hurting your friends (YES EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE FRIEND, so don't tell me you don't have any), mom, dad, and other family? Is it worth losing everything that you had waiting for you in life? Is it worth missing out on all of the things you will be missing out on? IS SUICIDE WORTH ALL OF THIS??? HELL NO!!!

    PLEASE RE-THINK YOUR DECISION!

  • Article Found By: Emily. Quote Found By: Kiyotie

    "But pain can be neither created nor destroyed It only passes on to those you've left behind."

    Almost everyone at some time in his or her life will experience periods of anxiety, sadness, and despair. These are normal reactions to the pain of loss, rejection, or disappointment. Those with serious mental illnesses however, often experience much more extreme reactions; reactions that can leave them mired in hopelessness. And when all hope is lost, some feel that suicide is the only solution. It isn't.

    According to the National Institute of Mental Health, scientific evidence has shown that almost all people who take their own lives have a diagnosable mental or substance abuse disorder, and the majority have more than one disorder. In other words, the feelings that often lead to suicide are highly treatable. That's why it is imperative that we better understand the symptoms of the disorders and the behaviors that often accompany thoughts of suicide. With more knowledge, we can often prevent the devastation of losing a loved one.

    Now the eighth-leading cause of death overall in the U.S. and the third-leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, suicide has become the subject of much recent focus. U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, for instance, recently announced his Call to Action to Prevent Suicide, 1999, an initiative intended to increase public awareness, promote intervention strategies, and enhance research. The media, too, has been paying very close attention to the subject of suicide, writing articles and books and running news stories. Suicide among our nation's youth, a population very vulnerable to self-destructive emotions, has perhaps received the most discussion of late. Maybe this is because teenage suicide seems the most tragic -- lives lost before they've even started. Yet, while all of this recent focus is good, it's only the beginning. We cannot continue to lose so many lives unnecessarily.

    Some Basic Facts

    • In 1996, more teenagers and young adults died of suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia and influenza, and chronic lung disease combined.
    • In 1996, suicide was the second-leading cause of death among college students, the third-leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 24 years, and the fourth- leading cause of death among those aged 10 to 14 years.
    • From 1980 to 1996, the rate of suicide among African-American males aged 15 to 19 years increased by 105 percent.

    It is a hopeful sign that while the incidence of suicide among adolescents and young adults nearly tripled from 1965 to 1987, teen suicide rates in the past ten years have actually been declining, possibly due to increased recognition and treatment. (1996 is the most recent year for which suicide statistics are available.)

    Suicide "Signs"

    There are many behavioral indicators that can help parents or friends recognize the threat of suicide in a loved one. Since mental and substance-related disorders so frequently accompany suicidal behavior, many of the cues to be looked for are symptoms associated with such disorders as depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use, disruptive behavior disorders, borderline personality disorder, and schizophrenia.

    Some common symptoms of these disorders include:

    • Extreme personality changes
    • Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
    • Significant loss or gain in appetite
    • Difficulty falling asleep or wanting to sleep all day
    • Fatigue or loss of energy
    • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
    • Withdrawal from family and friends
    • Neglect of personal appearance or hygiene
    • Sadness, irritability, or indifference
    • Having trouble concentrating
    • Extreme anxiety or panic
    • Drug or alcohol use or abuse
    • Aggressive, destructive, or defiant behavior
    • Poor school performance
    • Hallucinations or unusual beliefs

    Tragically, many of these signs go unrecognized. And while suffering from one of these symptoms certainly does not necessarily mean that one is suicidal, it's always best to communicate openly with a loved one who has one or more of these behaviors, especially if they are unusual for that person.

    There are also some more obvious signs of the potential for committing suicide. Putting one's affairs in order, such as giving or throwing away favorite belongings, is a strong clue. And it can't be stressed more strongly that any talk of death or suicide should be taken seriously and paid close attention to. It is a sad fact that while many of those who commit suicide talked about it beforehand, only 33 percent to 50 percent were identified by their doctors as having a mental illness at the time of their death and only 15 percent of suicide victims were in treatment at the time of their death. Any history of previous suicide attempts is also reason for concern and watchfulness. Approximately one-third of teens who die by suicide have made a previous suicide attempt. It should be noted as well that while more females attempt suicide, more males are successful in completing suicide.

  • The rate of suicide in teenagers is alarmingly high, but with the societal taboo on suicide, you may be unclear which behaviors are symptoms of suicide and which are not. Regardless, if you are worried for your child's safety as a result of their behavior, it is likely they need counseling whether or not they are experiencing suicidal thoughts. However, knowing the signs and symptoms are a necessary way to determine the severity of your child's situation. Here are a few alarming behaviors and whether or not your child is at risk.

    teen with arms crossed head down contemplating

    Self-Harm, Cutting or Otherwise

    Self-harm is an act many teenagers commit. Best known is cutting, but self-harm can take many forms including, self-starvation, burning, substance abuse, avoidance of sleep, poor eating habits, and hitting inanimate objects. Of course, all of these behaviors are worrisome and likely will require counseling. Yet contrary to popular belief, self-harmers are usually not suicidal.

    Self-harm is a coping method employed by many teens to stay alive. Many report needing to "feel alive" and utilizing self-harm to remind themselves that they exist and have purpose. Others say they self-harm to numb emotional pain; pain that would otherwise cause them to feel suicidal. Though cutting in particular often seems like a suicide attempt, it is actually an attempt to avoid suicide.

    If your child is self-harming, remain calm and understanding. If they are in such emotional turmoil that they feel the need to injure themselves, the last thing they need is the guilt of making you upset. From there, seek professional help. If professional help is out of your reach, you may want to offer some ways to wean your child off of self-harm such as snapping a rubber band on their wrists, holding an ice cube, drawing red lines where they might normally cut, and other such replacements.

    Discussion of Dying or Loss of the Desire to Live

    Many people incorrectly believe that if a person talks about wanting to die, they are simply seeking attention. However in actuality, most suicidal people will mention their desire to end their life in a final attempt to get help. Never take discussion of death lightly.

    If your child mentions wanting to die or how they might prefer to die, take it seriously. Sit them down, have an open, calm discussion about suicide and their mental state. Listen and ask questions but under no circumstances are you to make the discussion about how their suffering affects you. Turning things around onto yourself will make the teen feel guilty, ashamed, and unheard.

    Isolation from Friends and Family

    Isolation from family is not necessarily a cause for concern. If your child does not feel secure in your home, they are less likely to want to spend time there. For example, if your family is intolerant of the LGBTQA community and your teen is concealing the fact that they are gay, it is only natural that they would want to spend time with friends they can be themselves around.

    However withdrawing from all loved ones is a definite sign of depression and suicide. Even if the isolation is not by choice, lack of socialization can be the cause of depression and suicidal thoughts. Seek professional help and consider getting your teen involved with social groups such as hobby clubs, sports, or school activities.

    Depression and suicide are all too common in teens. With the current statistics, preventing suicide can seem like a monumental task. In reality, suicide prevention is more often a matter of talking openly with your teen, listening calmly, and creating an accepting, loving atmosphere in the home.

    It is important to remember that even the most loving and accepting family can produce a teen with depression. This is where listening comes into play. If your child tells you that they are depressed, it is your job to listen and get them the help they need. Something as simple as that can prevent that depression from worsening and resulting in suicidal thoughts.

    Image via Pixabay by bngdesigns

  • "When I see black and white photographs in one of the books from the prison library, I am struck by the clarity and depth that we don't see in a color photograph. I think that this must be the reason why most animals are color blind. They must capture movement exactly. They cannot afford any less. A dulling of the edges, a touch away from precision, and their lives are lost."

    "Like Eddie Mueller, animals are spared the gift of suicide. They can't see color, and they don't kill themselves. We are allowed to see deep blue skies, blood-red roses, and baseball fields of green. But all around the world, from one end to the other, thousands die every day. We slit our wrists, stick guns in our mouths, jump off bridges, and put ourselves to sleep with golden little pills. They say only a coward commits suicide. That's not fair. It's to simple. Only a person without the courage to consider the other possibilities would try to make it so simple. I am not afraid to hide."

    "I am given the choice to kill myself. I have preserved the idea of suicide as one of my only freedoms, but I cannot do it. Why not? It is this choice against a clear, protected option, every single day, which is the proof of the existence of God."

    "I don't kill myself because somewhere in my mind I know that the next moment is a gift. The next emotion will hold some joy, even in it's disgusting sadness...."

  • I know a lot of people that were once suicidal, or who frequently battle suicidal feelings.  And every time I talk to them when they are struggling, they ask me the same question "what do I have to live for?" I have to take a step back and think. What do you tell someone who has horrible circumstances, who thinks they have no other way out? If they don't see what they have to live for, how can you make them see? How can you see yourself?

    I always come back to the same answer though. I tell them they have their future to live for. The future is never set in stone; every choice we make can change our future. When all hope seems to be gone, and they are tired of holding on, you are battling a suicidal person for THEIR life. And it's not an easy battle; it's an uphill battle; it's a battle that they will try their hardest to make you lose. And the only credit you get when and if you win that battle is the satisfaction of saving somebody's life.

    I know it is hard to help a suicidal person, and if you start getting overwhelmed yourself, you should encourage them to talk to a professional. The most important thing to remember is that you are NOT responsible for a suicidal person's actions. In reality, you are not responsible for anyone else's actions. You can reach out a helping hand, and when they ask you what they have to live for, you can remind them that the future is never predetermined.