One of the people on my FB friends list just posted “Thanks to the bridge jumper for ruining my dinner”. Well, that got my attention. The fact that someone would post that, in that way just bothered me to no end. All I can think about is that poor soul that climbed up the side of that bridge. The pain and suffering that drives a human being to such lengths. Have you ever stopped and looked at those bridges? Nothing more than foot wide at the top, surrounded by gusting winds and swaying metal. That is a desperate awful place. No one in their right mind would go up there.
I know a bit about not being in my right mind. I have crossed the Rubicon into that no mans land, before you act to take your own life. In those hours when everything snaps into sharp focus. Like a lens finally adjusted just right. The clarity is blinding. It all becomes so “right”, so sure and so concise. The months of thinking, longing, hoping and ruminating finally come to a head. It makes perfect sense. The suffering and pain will finally be a thing of the past. No longer will you need to tread water in that murky abyss. Oh it is so very wonderous. It is finally being sure everything is going to be ok. Everything will be fine now. How sure it all becomes is quite scary. Now looking back, oh it is terrifyingly deadly. When that final disconnect occurs. Granted it normally takes a long time to get to that place. It takes suffering of the bone crushing variety. At least for me, suicide isn’t a split second decision made over a latte. No it is far more insidious and slow than that. It starts as just a mere blip on the radar. An intrusive thought amidst a plain jane depressed day. Completely uninvited. and so it begins, the path from a flicker of a thought to a demon of a plan. Those tiny little thoughts come out more often, they linger in the periphery. I don’t bat them away, quite so quickly. Sometimes, I grasp them, and find solace in their existence. Comfort knowing that I can get out, get away, get anywhere but here. But the question is where? I find myself hoping there is something after, that it just doesn’t end. Maybe a better place? Chances are there is nothing, but one can hope.
You are probably thinking what does hope have to do with suicide? Suicide is about the hope for pain to end. The hope that suffering doesn’t need to continue. Yes, suicide is about hope. Hope for a better place. I know when I get to that awful place, all I can think of is a way out. Anywhere but here. It is then that the intellect takes over, the planning, and orchestration of this end to come. I have always liked that stage. It brings me great relief and comfort. The careful repetitious thoughts, the secrecy, and the very private world in last days before an attempt. The rest all just slips away. People appear as far away, and of not much importance, unless they pose a threat to the plan. The only thing that has meaning then is this all important decision. I don’t know why even the best support system is cast aside, I don’t know why I have walked away from arms outstretched to help me. That is a piece for future work, and it is something that I know I need to understand better. Over these past few years I have gotten better about being very honest with my therapists. I choose that path of treatment and attempts at wellness over my planning of death. I won’t say I don’t still find comfort in thoughts of suicide. Because I do. I think it is forever a part of me. I just make different choices. I grasp that outstretched hand.
So I think back about this person that managed to climb to the top of that bridge. There was a plan, they had made their decision. I don’t know what happened to that jumper. I only wish them a place without pain. And to that person that posted that comment on the news feed, I hope you never have to experience a world without being able to see a future. A world where pain is so great that suicide becomes about hope.