When someone kills themselves seemingly out of the blue, without warning ( in the words of friends and co workers) there is always the question left behind “WHY”? Does there need to be a why? does there need to be an answer? I cannot answer that. I don’t know that there is always an answer or an explanation. It could be as simple as a reaction to an antidepressant. a routine change in dose or drug leading to a horrific spiral the person themselves cannot even explain. or it could be far more deep an answer, a lifetime of suffering, or challenges. One stressor too many that did indeed finally break the camel’s back so to speak. For me whenever the word is uttered, or depicted it is impossible to not be instantly placed back in those moments before I acted upon my basest impulse to no longer be. It is a knee jerk reaction I guess. I could not tell you if it is compulsive or empathetic. It just is. I know in my heart exactly what that person felt. Maybe not 100% the same experience but I do know the fear and the pain. The terror and the ambivalence. Yes, ambivalence. There is always that deep desire for some magic word, or bullet or drug that would take it all away. Something that would quell the chaos raging and offset the panic. The desire for someone, anyone to understand and get it at the same level I am know telling you I get it whenever I hear someone ended their life. That is hard to come by when you are spiraling deep within the darkness and have unknowingly (or sometimes knowingly) cut yourself off from everyone. Found ways to push the people you love and care about far enough away that you can create that room you need to act. That may be a very matter of fact process that is consciously decided upon or it may be a collateral casualty of the darkness and irritability. There is only so long people can take that. The instinct is to move away, not toward that. Who want to spend time with someone so deeply depressed. For me I collapse into this world of silence. Words as heavy as setting concrete stall in my mouth before they ever have the opportunity to make themselves known. Sure we want nothing more than to be loved and held when it is that hellish. To surrender completely to a person that can care for us and keep is from harm. But how many people have that? How many lovers, friends, husbands and wives say the wrong thing at the wrong time? When the smallest of miscommunications lay proof to the depressed that they are indeed worthless, unloveable, unsalvagable. It may be the farthest thing from the truth yet it is what we hear. The distortion echoing loud in that cavern we have found ourselves in. and so it goes. Distance. Pain and the ultimate decision. So many, so so many end up there and far too many act and never come back. I came back, whether of my choosing or not. I had no say in the CPR. under different circumstances I would have been just another statistic. Another number. Yet another person who left far too many Whys and not enough answers. Though I think at the end of the day I would be one of those that people could say it was just a matter of time. It was her whole life. There was a disease. There was trauma. There were all the hallmarks of why a person chooses death over life. I would never be one of those “but I don’t understand she never showed anything to the world, she never had a reason.” No that would not be me. sadly. does that make it any better? In the larger picture, no. Death is still death. Loss is still loss and devastation is still complete. I can’t begin to know why I am still here. It wasn’t my time I guess. I was not meant to leave with world yet. It did give me that deep insight into the moments of death and dying. The complete and utter calm that falls over you when the decision locks into you free falling mind. But the fear remains. That doesn’t leave. Will it hurt? What happens next? The questions each of us asks in the course of a normal life. We all wonder and think about death. Just some more than others, and some in the context of suicide and others within the scope of aging and dying. I answered those questions for myself. I regret that my choice at 20 more than words could ever describe. I crossed a boundary few ever choose to. A boundary nobody should ever stray over. There is no coming back. Either by fatality or by the intrinsic weakening of the moral fibers in one’s being. Once weakened it is far too easy to toe that line again. That boundary is barely visible on my radar anymore. It should be marked by flashing lights and sirens. Blocked by walls and razor wire. It is not. It once was. At 20 when I first touched it. It was an enormous hurdle to be overcome. I brushed against it many times in the years prior. Over the course of my life, yet I never made that leap. Always stopped dead and retreated because it was NOT to be crossed no matter how great the pain. I cannot tell you why that changed at 20. I can only wonder now, after all the changes in knowledge about medications if it wasn’t the antidepressants. I have never been back to that place in my head. Never have I returned to the full tilt don’t stop till your gone behavior. When I look back at that week period I cannot help but be appalled and shocked by that impulsivity and rage. I was without a doubt unhinged. I would without provocation attempt to kill myself unless I was drugged and tied down in restraints. That isn’t me. Least not the me I know now. Sad thinking back over it. I do truly wonder what set off that reaction and why it was so intense. I count myself lucky that despite their complete incompetence and poor treatment I was still in a hospital minutes from a standard medical team with the ability to deal with a coding patient. and so the story of my life moved on and I was not just a number. yes, I learned that it doesn’t hurt to die. It is just a lapse into darkness. Does the body fight, yes. But there is no pain. I learned I could walk across that boundary and that is indeed my greatest mistake. I wish to god I had never made the decisions I made that week, though I find it very hard to consider them decisions given the mental state I was in. I do not even recall actively thinking to myself “you need to kill yourself now”. That is not how it was. Looking forward out over my life I made it quite a long time before that decision came back again. Very different than that time in my youth. But a boundary is a boundary and I crossed it again.
I do not know what the future will bring. I only know that I of all people need to tread so carefully. To always know where I have been, what I have done and sadly what it changed in me. Suicide will never be just a word. I live it every time I hear it and you know what, maybe I should. I deserve that.


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