Sooooo, after waking up this morning I hopped on the ol book of faces and come across a status that is reading as a suicide note. “I say goodbye to all of you with regret and shame…overwhelmed with guilt and shame...I am hypocritical at best and deserve what I chose...please pray for my family...please remember me forever loving you with a wounded soul.” I have reached out to everyone I know near where this person lives or with more direct contact to them. I’ve heard nothing back as has everyone I’ve talked to. As you can imagine this is a terrifying time.
In my short two years in sobriety I have already lost count of the lives lost specifically to suicide...and these aren’t all substance abuse related suicides. Substance inclusive or not, entertaining this option is a feeling-based situation. Hopelessness is the epidemic, substance abuse is the (shitty) coping mechanism. Hopelessness is a feeling and a feeling does not equal fact. Since it is not a fact, then siding with hopelessness is a choice. Because it is a choice, that means there are other options.
No one expects you to know the all the options, the hope is just that you seek them only by sharing that you need or want some help.
It’s not a big secret that I tried to kill myself in like 2012-13. My life was not what I wanted it to be at all. I hated myself for being a shitty parent, a terrible son and brother, and an under accomplished leach on humanity. I never, not once, tried to be a better parent or family member or accomplish anything of value. I did however make valiant efforts to distract myself from those feelings that were eating me up on the inside. When my distractions started to not work as well, I just doubled down and went harder on my avoidance efforts. Addressing the problem with distraction efforts rather than remedy attempts maintained my current bad feelings while generating new problems, nothing ever got better. Obvi.
Long story shortened, I started dating a girl who presented like everything I wanted for my life. I invested my identity in HER presentation and still did nothing to fix any of my personal issues. This relationship was my last ditch effort at feeling normal. It worked! I was hanging out with my friends who were careered, coupled, and progressing, I re-enrolled in school, I was even active in my family again. Then all of my unresolved issues and related bad habits showed face. With no signs of change forthcoming she decided to break it off. I felt like she was the only thing of value about me. I use the term thing because essentially that’s what she was, she was my normalcy. Losing that meant that I was condemned to live the life that I hated and death seemed like the only other option so I swallowed a bottle of pills.
It took several more years to find the belief in the possibility of change but hope was found in the very center of “Everything I’m doing is failing. I can’t do this anymore. I give up.” I didn’t give up trying, I gave up trying my way. That was surrender and it was the most empowering thing I could’ve done. I needed new ideas that were impossible to generate on my own because all of my thoughts and feelings were tainted by and limited to my experiences. When I stopped trying to figure it all out by myself with my limited knowledge of how to, skewed notions of should be, and pessimistic perceptions of what’s possible, things slowly started to change. I had to lean on sources outside of myself and have a willingness to change everything. Given the fact that my life at that time made me want to kill myself, I had nothing to lose in trying some things I hadn’t thought of, in ways I hadn’t thought of.
Here I am, alive, five or six years after what would’ve been the end of my story, now attempting to show that everything is overcomeable. I’m doing so from a place of optimism, happiness, and contentment with life. Also doing so from my own blog on my own website. I don’t say this boastfully as though I’m something special. Trust me, Forbes still has no clue who I am. I say this because I am having experiences I never would’ve imagined. I attended my first ever UNC/dook basketball game this year. This was lifelong dream that has come true, 5-6yrs after I tried to eliminate all possibilities of new experiences. This may seem small to most but to me, it was everything. Whatever the dream, it ceases to have any chance the moment I decide to turn away from hope.
Just because I didn’t know the answer didn’t mean there wasn’t one. Though I didn’t see a way out, didn’t mean there wasn’t one. I was shown an answer, I was shown a way out. I chose to fight for my peace, my joy, and my life and I lived another day and another day until I found them. Then I lived another day and another day to see life take form around me and I grew and had new and unexpectedly amazing experiences. There’s song I love when I need encouragement that says (loose quote) ‘Eyes haven’t seen, ears haven’t heard all that is planned for me, there is such much more still worth fighting for.’
Worth Fighting For (song)
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating.
YOU ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR! When suicide is on the table we all lose. We lose because we selfishly want our family member, friend, lover. These are selfish wants because we want what you mean to us to stay around. But the biggest loser in all of this is you. You have a reason and a purpose solely intended to fill and delight your soul. We desperately need you to seek that because what you have to offer is a much needed contribution to our own journey to fulfillment. But what is much greater is the joy that awaits you in your calling. It may seem so dark right now, I remember this place all too well. But oh my God the first breath of reason, cause, purpose, hope is like nothing you can imagine, I swear by it. Don’t you do yourself the disservice of passing up on the joy that is yours for the taking. I will fight for it with you, I mean it, because you are so much more and worth fighting for.