An open letter to the kid who’s contemplating suicide.
In light of recent occurrences, i feel compelled to write.
Nearly four years ago, a FWBHS freshman committed suicide. This is the year he would have graduated.
That same time of year, I was thinking the same thoughts. I vividly remember first hearing about Curtis. I imagined everything he was thinking in those final moments. I remember the heaviness in my heart. My body felt limp. I thought “If he can do it, why can’t I?” I went to his ceremony and sobbed, standing against the back wall. I didn’t know Curtis at all, but i knew what he was experiencing, thinking, feeling before he killed himself. I remember the ceremony they had for Curtis at school during the pep rally. I couldn’t even go inside the gym. I stood outside in the courtyard in a door entry-way hardly able to hold myself together. To see everyone mourning someone who did what I wanted to do hit me hard. I had been there. I knew the hollowness, the empty thinking, the wicked, self-deprecating thoughts, the hopelessness, the lack of motivation, the desire to end my life. I knew it.
Connor was one of my brother’s friends. I didn’t know him personally, but when I read the article that his body was found, everything stopped – like the earth was at a standstill. My parents had called me earlier in the day telling me that Connor wasn’t at home and that a gun was missing from his house. My heart sank. And then I read the article. His body had been found – and I couldn’t do it. At first I tried to keep the walls up that separated me from my memories of wanting to kill myself, but they were ripped down and I found tears streaming down my face as I imagined everything he was thinking. Everything his family’s thinking.
I’ve gone almost three years without coming close to seriously thinking about ending my life, yet somehow finding out that another person killed themselves brought back all the empty feelings I felt my junior year. Every now and then when I’m feeling particularly let down or sad the thought of hurting myself arises, but now it’s quickly shadowed with thoughts of the future I have before me and the people who would be devastated if I took my own life. Suicidal thoughts are terrifying. They trick you into detaching yourself from people – so while physically you’re with people and everything seems fine – heck, you might even come across as happy and joyful – mentally, you’re killing yourself. That’s where it starts. Loneliness kills. Whether it’s physical or mental.
My junior year of high school, I hated myself. I hated my personality, who I was, my performance in school. I was constantly arguing with my mom. But to everyone else, I was energetic, happy, annoyingly talkative. I was looking for attention. I needed validation that I wasn’t lonely. But my hyperness and over-talkativeness received harshly negative feedback which pushed me further into my pit of isolation.
I nearly hated my mom, I hated school, I hated myself. Ending my life seemed like the easiest answer. So i tried to stop eating, but that didn’t last very long. Then, I began cutting my wrists with a razor blade. And that felt good…to feel the pain, it was like I was punishing myself for not being liked. For not doing well in school. For hating myself. It felt good to see the blood run down my arms. To see fresh flesh exposed. I was thinking, “I’m too hyper, no one likes me anyways. Killing myself is easy.” I started looking up easy ways to kill yourself. I was afraid of prolonged pain – hanging, bleeding out. I started looking up which pills were most effective at a quick death. How exactly to angle a gun so it would ensure death.
If you are doing any of these things, stop. With everything in me I beg you to stop. Suicide is selfish. I KNOW the depression. I know it’s all mental. I’ve experienced it. Killing yourself seems like the easiest answer…the quickest way to relieve the emptiness.
I have honestly no idea how I was pulled out of my depression. I just know that one day, the razor didn’t seem so appealing. I dealt with my depression for just abouta year and 10 months. And it all started with rejection.
Fortunately, I’ve been given the fantastic gift of intrinsic awareness. I can usually pinpoint exactly what I’m feeling and why.
I found my suicide note I had written about a year ago. Re-reading it, I realized how selfish I was being. Truly. I felt rejected, put aside, useless, pointless. Killing yourself is the easy answer if you want an easy way out. But in nearly every case, the easy answer isn’t the right answer.
Guys, please. My heart is so unbelievably heavy as I write this. I’ve experienced emptiness. I’ve experienced suicidal thoughts. I’ve experienced holding a knife to my wrist willing myself to push it deeper.
But I didn’t.
You have to fight. Persevere.
It’s mental. It’s all mental. Which means you can weed through it. Talk to me. Watch a movie that gives you hope. Write about your future plans: the kind of person you want to marry, what kind of house you want to live in, the kind of people you hope your kids are, the kinds of dogs you want, what dress you think your sister will wear at her wedding. Talk to God. I’m so serious. I would fall to my knees sobbing talking to Dad about my emptiness. And I wholeheartedly believe that’s the reason I’m still alive today.
Life is meant to be lived. As humans, we tend to cage ourselves within the walls of monotony and comparison. We hardly experience life to it’s fullest extent. The thrill of booking a one-way ticket, the rush of experiencing a new country, the tingling feeling of falling in love. We are the victims of our own selves.
To this day, I can’t hold a gun. Standing on top of roofs/ high floors makes me nauseous. It’s all associated with the desire to end my life.
Suicide is real. It’s the villain that’s taken so many young, precious lives in Okaloosa County. We have to talk about it – social media has numbed kids into believing a “RIP” or “fly high” or “We’ll love you forever” on a latest post expresses our sadness but it doesn’t. I know that for some, the feeling of losing a best friend is one of the heaviest things you’ll experience and the sadness is incomparable. Talking isn’t always the most attractive coping mechanism, but it’s important. The outflow of negative emotions is so so important. If you don’t feel like talking, then write. Get a pad of paper and write down all of your emotions, everything you’re feeling. Social media has devastated our communication skills, how we relate to other people, how we interact.
Depression is real. And it has a hell of a grip. When allowed, it will swallow you whole till you forget who you are.
I’ve experienced it.
If anyone ever wants to talk. Or not; maybe just walk somewhere, or ask questions, or simply be with, do not hesitate to call me. Everyone needs someone and I know what it’s like to push everyone away.