My brother Peter killed himself on May 13th, 2010 sometime between noon and 5pm. My world lurched on its axis and will never recover.
There is nothing I can do to bring Peter back home to us, but I can tell you that if you are worried about a loved one or a friend, you need to intervene and help lead your loved one to some relief. Do not worry about “butting in” or being “nosey”. Get them to a doctor for a diagnosis. Walk with them. Call them. Follow up on whether they are taking their medications and making progress. Don’t always trust them; they want you to think they’re okay. They want you not to worry; they feel it’s asking too much of others to not be feeling better just yet. So they pretend.
If you have lost someone to suicide, know that it never goes away but it gets a little better. Let this loss wash over you gently, in its own way and in its own time. Don’t judge yourself. Just let it be. One morning, you’ll wake up and you’ll smile again. I promise. And when that day comes, that smile might fade five minutes later but it is progress. Someday, you’ll use this experience to cherish your own life even more. You may be inspired to shine your light more brightly, to take chances, to live la vita bella – the beautiful life - every moment of every day.
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety or any other mental illness that makes you feel ashamed overwhelmed and in constant pain, please know that you have an illness like any other and that it can be treated. Even in this dark valley, I bet you can remember feeling good and overcoming challenges in the past. If you’ve thought about suicide even a little bit, even once in awhile, please express that to a trusted friend or two. Don’t let the sirens of despair lure you to the rocks. It only takes a moment for you to end your life but your loss will create a lifetime of pain for your family and friends, who will always wonder what could have been had they known better what to do. Had they known at all.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?