The title says it all. I may be back, or I may not.
The title says it all. I may be back, or I may not.
The older I get the more I realize that even if things do get better, it’s always temporary. The good days feel like a tease and a cruel joke because when the bad comes, it’s like it laser. It targets all those things to make sure I feel the maximum amount of pain.
People always give laughable examples of what could be my thing to fight for, but what is and isn’t worth it are very personal things to a soul. I need something to cling to that makes ME feel like I have a purpose.
For the last several years I had several things. They meant everything to me. One by one they all were taken. I don’t have it in me to start over again. Every few years I cycle through this. Just because it might be good again a few years from now doesn’t make it worth the suffering now.
Each and every time it gets harder. Each and every time I am more alone in the fight. And with the direction the world is heading now, I see only darkness and hopelessness for us all. I am amazed that so many people can just keep going on like things are fine. -Brona Storm
I’ve been having a hard time lately. My wife and I are to the point where we actually hate each other and are bringing up divorce. My faith is at an all-time low, and I have no friends to talk to.
We bought our dream home last year, and now it looks like we’ll have to sell it and get two apartments: one for me and one for her and the kids. I honestly can’t afford two apartments plus child support on my salary, so she will have to get a job before any of this happens.
I’ve been thinking about suicide again. I know I’d be able to see my sons anytime, but it wouldn’t be the same.
I’m not being recognized at my job no matter how hard I work…
Et cetera, et cetera.
So what did I do yesterday morning? I went to Mass. Every nerve in my body said No! Stay in bed and pout.
But I refused to listen.
I prayed on the way, God, please give me a jolt of the Holy Spirit and show me what to do about everything. My life is a mess. It’s too hard to go on.
I’ve asked God to show me certain things about myself during Mass, and he always has.
This time I was desperate. I was at the end of my rope. Actually I still am.
The first reading during Mass was God’s answer to my prayer. It was Isaiah 35:4-7:
Say to the fearful of heart:
Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall see,
and the ears of the deaf be opened;
Then the lame shall leap like a stag,
and the mute tongue sing for joy.
For waters will burst forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the Arabah.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water.
The first two lines spoke to my heart. My heart is full of fear. However, God says to be strong and not be afraid. He doesn’t say that He will do these things for me; rather, I need to make the decision to be strong and stop being afraid.
It gave me peace and hope. Later that day, my son was scheduled to sell popcorn for the Boy Scouts in front of a supermarket. I went with him, and we ended up having a good time.
Normally I hate Sundays because it’s like I’m just waiting around for Monday morning to come. But it was a good day.
Then at 8:00 last night my wife and I ended up fighting again.
I want to lie right now and say that I kept that Bible verse close to my heart for the rest of the day, but I really didn’t. I ended up forgetting about it.
But the good thing about God is that we can repent and believe again.
Then I went to work this morning to find out that I was passed over for a promotion for no apparent reason. So I forgot about the verse yet again.
But now I’m sharing it with you. Hopefully you’ll remember it.
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.
– The Eagles, “Hotel California”
I’ve blogged about my friend from work, Sheila. She suffers from several mental disorders and is an alcoholic on top of all that. We are kindred spirits and have become best friends.
I never knew that I could have a totally platonic friendship with a female. To be honest, I can’t be certain if Sheila is straight or not. She’s never talked about any past relationships, she’s never been married, and she dresses in loose blouses and loose pants everyday at work. Not that that’s a bad thing or anything. It doesn’t matter to me. Somehow, this is the first time that I’ve actually thought about it.
Well, for the first time, our friendship is in serious danger from my perspective.
See, Sheila has a classroom with her own private closet (All other classrooms have to share a closet with another classroom). Several times, in jest, she’s mentioned that she could “jack off” in her closet and nobody would ever know. This was the first sexual comment that she had ever made. Being a lonely celibate male, I took mental note of those comments. I couldn’t help it.
One evening last week, out of the blue, I thought it would be funny if I texted Sheila the words, “Are you jacking off?” Her immediate response was, “What???”
After that, I never heard from her. She avoided me at work for the remainder of the week, and she is not answering her phone or texts this weekend. Usually when she gets drunk, she blocks me on her phone for small infractions that I’ve done. For example, when one of her cats died, she thought I didn’t show enough compassion to her.
I’m thinking that she has blocked me again.
I never meant to offend her. And, by the way, would that comment of mine really offend her?! After her references to masturbation, would she really shun me for joking about it in a text??
I’m at a total loss. I’ve been depressed and full of anxiety this whole weekend. Yes, the days that I live for, Saturdays and Sundays, I’ve spent down and out.
I miss my friend. If I can build enough courage to go into work tomorrow (My social anxiety makes it hard for me to attend work sometimes), the first thing I’ll do is apologize to Sheila.
I didn’t realize how much I needed her friendship. No one else on earth understands me the way she does, and vice versa.
Sheila, please forgive me. I didn’t mean to offend you. You have been planning your suicide for when your last remaining cat dies, and I don’t want to be a trigger.
Come back to me. I need you.
As you probably know, I blog only when I have something to say, which isn’t very often these days.
However, the recent controversy over YouTube star Logan Paul caught my attention for two reasons: 1) He went to Japan, a country in which I used to live, and 2) he encountered a suicide victim inside a forest named Aokigahara, a place referred to in English as the Suicide Forest.
I have been to Aokigahara. It’s at the foot of Mount Fuji, a famous inactive volcano. I didn’t venture inside the forest because of all the warning signs and creepiness. Plus, it’s believed to be haunted, and I’m scared to death of the supernatural.
As a person with mental illness and suicide ideation, I wanted to see with my own eyes this ‘foolproof’ method of ending one’s life. Suicidal individuals wander inside the vast, dense forest and literally never find their way out. They usually die of starvation. The trees are so dense that helicopters cannot see inside the forest from above.
To be honest, I had never heard of Logan Paul before this latest controversy. I was able to see the video on TMZ though since it doesn’t exist on YouTube anymore.
Paul seems to me like an arrogant, immature 22-year-old. Being a YouTube sensation and getting filthy rich from it, it appears in the video that he and his friends decide to give his fans a treat and spend the night in the ‘haunted’ forest. They accidentally find a hanging body as a result.
From this point the media rage ensues: Paul didn’t turn off his video camera. Instead, he decided to show a close-up of the hanging body with purplish hands. The face was luckily blurred out.
And then he uttered a joke and laughed. Jeez, an arrogant, rich kid had the audacity to do this. *Sarcasm mode off*
My gosh, young people nowadays take selfies with their dead grandparents at funerals. They watch daredevils fall to their deaths from tall buildings without batting an eye. Some people, young and old, laugh as a coping mechanism when faced with awkward situations.
Bottom line: Logan Paul is a young, foolish, stunt-driven punk who laughed while standing next to a suicide victim. What the hell else would you expect?
Personally, seeing the cold purplish hands of the victim in the video was a strong enough deterrent for me. I don’t want to end up like that, so I keep taking my meds and visiting my therapist.
Paul probably had little interest in promoting suicide prevention. Anyway, the video is out there and it’s not going away. Paul will continue to make money off his videos because his legion of young fans are forgiving of their heroes.
Since I saw the video a few days ago, I’ve had zero thoughts of suicide.
All I can say is: It helped me.
Has it occurred to you that the video might help others too? Help them in ways that a suicide hotline number wouldn’t?
I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting, and dirty.
— Pope Francis
I made a new friend at work. I’ll say her name is Sheila. It’s a wonder that we found each other. You see, Sheila suffers from depression and suicidal ideation just like I do. We didn’t know this when we started chatting daily and visiting each other’s classrooms.
Sheila seemed meek and shy. I could tell right away that she was introverted almost to the point of misanthropy.
After talking casually for several weeks, she started confiding in me. “I have a drinking problem.” “I suffer from depression.”
I also started opening up with her. It turns out that we both have spent time in psych wards for suicide attempts and depression.
Sheila and I are at the point to where we share everything with each other — because we have each other’s trust.
Today we were on the topic of suicide. We were discussing how different methods wouldn’t totally work. A bullet to the head might turn one into a vegetable instead of being fatal. How swallowing Drano could only burn your insides and not kill you. How pills don’t work (because we have both tried them).
Then our conversation took an eerie turn. Could we go to the Netherlands and take the euthanasia drug? Surely not. They wouldn’t give it out for healthy people’s suicides. What about Oregon? Nope. same thing.
Then Sheila said something that — well, I should have been shocked or red flags should have gone up, but they didn’t.
Sheila said, “As soon as my two cats die, I’m checking out.” Then she made a cutting motion across her throat with her index finger.
All I said was, “How?”
“I’ve been researching about hiring someone to kill me. Either that or jumping off a bridge into traffic.”
The thing is, I did nothing to persuade her from those plans. I didn’t step in like a friend should. I didn’t report her to 911.
Instead I empathized with her and told her I felt the same way. I even asked her if she would someday fly to Amsterdam with me so we could take the euthanasia pill together.
I know that I failed as a Christian. I know that I still have a shot at persuading her to live though.
But what about my agreeing with her? That certainly isn’t the Christian thing to do.
Oh, and Sheila is an alcoholic. She drinks wine at work out of her coffee tumbler. On Fridays we go out for lunch and we both slam beers.
I have the time of my life with Sheila — in a totally platonic way. But at the same time I am starting to believe that God put me in Sheila’s life to help her. And helping her I’m not.
Could you pray for me? Could you also pray for Sheila? Her parents have passed away, she doesn’t communicate with her siblings, and she has no real friends except for me. She has no one to live for.
Right now we are partners in misery yet we both are the only ones who can make each other laugh. It’s a tough situation because I love our friendship.
But at this point I guess I don’t love her enough to reach out to her as a Christian. The scary thing is, I don’t want it to ruin the fun we have.
The suicidal downward spiral feels like a water park slide: looping down and around until we go crashing into the water, all the while laughing and giggling like two kids under the summer sun.
Except we’re under storm clouds and I’m doing nothing about it. I want to feel ashamed of myself but for some reason I don’t. You have every right to judge me, but at this time I just ask for your prayers. That I can be a man of God and help this poor woman.
I read this last night during my private devotional. It’s Psalm 8: 5.
What are humans that you are mindful of them,
mere mortals that you care for them?
Somehow, though, I wasn’t able to fathom how much God loves me and how he cares about me as I’m just a speck in the universe. I try to grasp these concepts with my finite mind, but I just can’t seem to.
I have been suicidal for the past two days. I don’t know if it’s from my new meds or if it’s from job stress. I mean, I look around at all that I have — a loving family, a good job, a nice place to live — and it does nothing to me. I don’t feel any differently.
I know that I’m supposed to take heart and believe in the Gospel, but it’s just too darn hard when I don’t see it. Where is God in all this? Why doesn’t He help me?
All I’m left with are my thoughts. Thoughts that wander throughout my empty head and through the empty life that I’m feeling.
I guess what I mean is that God exists; I just don’t see or feel His presence anywhere.
It sucks, really.
On January 3rd of this year, I received Last Rites from a Catholic priest while I was on a ventilator in the hospital.
I’m still alive though.
My sister told me that I was unconscious for almost a full day, but while the priest was performing the rite, I woke up. She said the thought of that whole scenario really freaked her out. She is an unbeliever, but who knows for how long. Personally I don’t think it was mere coincidence either that I awoke as the priest was performing Last Rites on me. I remember opening my eyes, but I couldn’t talk due to the giant tube down my throat. I thought maybe he, the doctor, and the nurse knew something that I didn’t. Was I about to die?
Waking up, I remember being disappointed to know that my suicide attempt was unsuccessful. Perhaps the end that I so desperately wanted was still to come.
Last Rites (not what it’s called anymore) consists of prayers, consecration of oil, and the other two steps that I obviously couldn’t take part in: confession and receiving communion.
Why and how did I end up here? Well, I remember being depressed about a lot of things; I was home alone. I thought it would be a good idea to end it all by swallowing three bottles of prescription pills and then sitting in my idling car with the garage door down, sucking in the carbon monoxide.
The next thing I remember was waking up with the priest praying over me and putting oil on my forehead.
After I got out of the main hospital and then the mental health facility, my therapist asked me if I saw a bright light (i.e. near death experience). I told her that I had not. At least I didn’t recall anything like that.
Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know what I’ve been going through. I can’t preach at you since I’m guilty of attempting recently. Obviously God doesn’t want me to die yet. I think I’ve finally learned my lesson and won’t attempt anymore.
If you’re thinking about killing yourself, just remember that success is never guaranteed. You might wake up in pain with doctor and hospital bills coming out the nose. It’s not worth it.
Reach out to a friend, a family member, or even a suicide hotline.
My psychiatrist has had me on about five or six different types of medication for anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Seroquel has left me groggy and in a zombie state of mind for who knows how long (My short-term memory has suffered — I can’t even remember what activities I did with my kids yesterday.)
I have decided to go off all of my meds except for Xanax and Klonopin (two benzos — uh oh). The Klonopin is supposed to provide more stability to aid my Xanax which is more short-term.
I could be setting myself up for something major. I don’t know. All I know right now is that I would rather have a clear (depressed) mind than one that is hazed and spaced-out.
I’m typing this while being on sub duty at my school. Things got so bad with my groggy and forgetful side effects from my meds that my doctor wrote me a note stating that I should be on light duty at my school for a month. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to haunt me professionally.
Talk about feeling useless. All around me today, teachers are upbeat, full of energy, chatting away incessantly, and having an overall grand time in life.
Me, I’m relegated to my empty classroom. I am typing this post instead of throwing up my hands in surrender and quitting everything in life — even my family. It’s that bad.
Which brings me to this blog post. 5 reasons not to kill yourself. Here goes:
All the research involved in how to successfully take your own life (and, believe me, I know) is overwhelming, and, if you’re already on the brink of suicide, why would you want to spend the effort doing all that research? It’s too hard.
And what if you fail in your attempt? Which brings me to…
This really sucks. Believe me, it’s happened twice to me already. The first time was traumatic to my wife, children, mother, and to my bank account. Not to mention my reputation and career.
There is a very good chance that your suicide attempt will fail. Need some statistics? Then Google some. They’re out there. And you don’t want to be hooked up to a feeding tube living out the rest of your life as a vegetable. (Couldn’t they just unplug me? You may ask. It’s much more complicated than that.)
Someone will. Who, you ask? I don’t know. But someone. Not only that, but that one person (or two, or three, or…) will slowly start to die from the inside out. I know. I watched my aunt slowly waste away to nothing after my cousin killed himself.
I’m beyond caring, you may be thinking. My pain is too great. Well, then, imagine that person saying, “[your name], I love you.”
If you’re a person of faith, wouldn’t it be against your religion? Wouldn’t you go to hell? For you atheists, what? What makes you think something better awaits you “on the other side” or wherever you think you go? Or, do you subscribe to Ozzy Osbourne’s theory that, after you die, you’ll be merely a turd flushed down a giant toilet, gone forever. [paraphrase]
Isn’t watching your favorite movies or drinking a nice craft beer under a shade tree better that being flushed into the big septic tank in the sky?
You know what I mean. Biting into your favorite chocolate candy bar. Ordering pizza and watching a new movie on Netflix. Taking up a new hobby like bass guitar, not because you hope to ever join a band, but because you love the thumping pulse of the bass, and you like to feel the satisfaction of playing the intros of your favorite songs.
There are other gems: Feeding newborn kittens from a bottle at the local animal shelter. Treating yourself to a coffee and pastry at Starbucks. Curling up beside the fireplace with a good book.
Go find your nugget.