Don’t Jump

DISCLAIMER: This entry is talking about the topic of suicide. Please read at your own discretion. If you or someone you know is struggling please seek professional help immediately. If you are in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255. I know life can be hard, but it gets better, give it time.

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Suicide is a tragedy. I was not going to talk about this but its been weighing on my heart since the news first broke. My alma mater has had the misfortune of navigating several student suicides; to the point where they have made national headlines. I really do not want to focus on the institution because I think that takes the spotlight away from those who are really suffering. Allegedly one young man jumped from a five-story parking garage. What would cause someone to do that?

I was so heartbroken because I know suicide and depression all too well. I used to be a frequent visitor to the abyss. There have been several times where the thought of doing harm to myself or taking my own life has been two bad decisions/thought processes away from a reality. I’ve even jumped before. No, I was not in the right state of mind when I took flight, and thankfully I was not too hurt, but I remember thinking to myself immediately after thrusting my body out of a two story window “why did I do that?”. I wonder if that young man thought that as his feet left the ground, “why did I do that?”.

That’s the first thought of most people who jump. Jumping sucks because a person has time to think about their actions before hitting the ground. I felt for that young man, and everyone else who took their life this semester. I cried for them all weekend, thinking about their family and friends. I cried for them thinking about how it was just too soon. They are not going to have a chance to see what the other side is like. Those individuals will never know what its like to not be in a frequent visitor to the abyss. I call depression the abyss because that’s what it’s like for me, an engulfment of darkness.

When someone is there it can feel so real, so much like the truth: “I’m useless”, “I’m a burden”, “things would be better if I weren’t here”, “my family would be happier if I weren’t here”, “I’m sorry that I cause so much trouble”. Sometimes just the idea of death can be so palatable. I’ve had the blade to my wrist and to my throat, I’ve asked the question: who would care? I was so heart broken for those individuals because I was once them. I was saved, and they could have been too.

Suicide is not a display of weakness for those who fall victim to it. We as human beings instinctually want to live. It takes a lot for an individual to forgo that natural human instinct. Suicide in most cases, does not come from a place of selfishness. Victims of suicide are rather selfless in their thought process as it relates to the impact their not being here would have on someone else.

I wish those individuals had the resources that they needed, because more likely than not at one point they did probably try to seek help. November 28th 2019, was the three year anniversary of my rebaptism. After surviving my jump I decided to rededicate my life to Jesus. I’m not pushing anything on anyone, but my point here is that there is more.

I mourned the loss of those individuals as if I knew them. Our young people in general are checking out too early, but from my experience, there are not enough people showing or telling us that this life thing is worth sticking around for. On a real level, none of us really know why we are here. We are all trying to figure that out by taking solace in whatever we choose to allow to ease our minds. And however that is, it’s the job of those who’ve experienced “more” to instill the hope into young people that there is more.

Therapists are great and necessary, but they do not have a monopoly on hope. Inspirational speakers and spiritual leaders are great and necessary, but they do not have a monopoly on hope either. Everyday authentic people who are good at doing everyday authentic things, like asking how someone’s day is going and meaning it, or smiling and saying hello can impart hope just as well if not better in some cases than the aforementioned. Suicide is a tragedy; don’t jump, there is more, there is hope.

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