Last week I was shook to the core to find out that an acquaintance committed suicide. It shook me so bad because I know what it’s like to have suicidal thoughts. Obviously having the thoughts and acting on them are two completely different things. I’ve had suicidal thoughts off and on since I was in 7th grade. Fortunately for me I’m too chicken to ever act on those thoughts – thank God for that.
But another reason this shook me to the core was because it was such a reminder about a few things. Like how short life really is. In this case life didn’t have to be this short but for whatever reason he chose to make it end when he did. My heart breaks for his kids. Another thing it reminded me of is the fact that just because people put a smile on (and let me tell you in all the years I knew him I never saw him without a smile on his face. I never saw him not laughing or joking or having fun. He was always so upbeat and happy go lucky.) their face it does not mean that on the inside they are smiling and are ok! We don’t ever really know what a person if truly feeling on the inside unless they choose to open up and share those feelings with us. It’s also a reminder that our world needs more love, kindness and gentleness to our fellow human beings for that exact reason (that we don’t know what they are going through).
I know because I’m one of those people. I’m great at putting a fake smile on my face and pretending everything is peachy keen when it’s not! Even lately with those that I share the AA tables with, those people that understand me, those people that get me and get how sucky early recovery really is…I have closed myself off and not been able to open up and share about things. I don’t know why. I also realized through his death that closing myself off is a very dangerous place to be because maybe that’s what happened with him – maybe he was so ashamed and full of guilt that he felt like he had to close himself off and not share his feelings. Believe me I know what shame and guilt feel like and I know how easy it is to just carry that stuff around instead of letting it out.
Last night for whatever reason I kept dreaming about this acquaintance that committed suicide. I would wake up crying, soaked in sweat with his face in my mind. I would no sooner fall back asleep only to be jolted back awake with another dream about him. I couldn’t even fall back asleep after waking for the fourth time at 4:45am.
I just can’t stop thinking about his suicide.
What was so unbearable in his life that he just couldn’t take it anymore?
What was so awful that could make him kill himself and take away his children’s rights to have a dad in their life?
What makes some people with suicidal thoughts actually act on them versus those (like myself) that have the thoughts but don’t act on them?
What gives some some people with thoughts of killing themselves a glimmer of hope that keeps them hanging on and fighting for life…no matter how small that glimmer of hope is?
I just have so many questions and I’m sitting here trying to type this through tears. My heart is so burdened with grief for his family and friends but my heart is also burdened with emotions and thoughts pertaining to myself, my depression, my alcoholism and so much more.
As I think of him and his passing I almost feel guilty for feeling this way but I feel so very thankful and blessed that I’m scared of suicide (no way could I ever hang myself, put a gun to my head & pull the trigger, take a bottle of pills, slit my wrists…or any other way of killing oneself) because it’s that fear that has kept me from actually ever going through with it.
I also realize that I’m so thankful that I have a small glimmer of hope that life will get better. Yes it sucks right now and there’s a whole shit load of messes that have to be cleaned up and amends to be made but I have hope that I will get through this. I’m so very thankful for that little tiny glimmer of hope…I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. And probably most important – I’m just not ready to stop fighting yet!
Until next time…
photo credit: windchime