How this Reddit Thread Furthers the Discussion on Suicide Prevention
The question posed to the audience of Reddit was this: “Formerly suicidal people of Reddit, how did things change?”
For some of you who may not be familiar with Reddit, it’s an app that sucks away most of my time. Seriously, Reddit is a network of communities based on people’s interests. I am interested in suicide prevention, so when I saw this question on Reddit, I had to check out the comments. These are some of the best answers I could find, and there are plenty more. You can find the Reddit thread here. And please be aware there are grammatical errors. I left them all in there, so it’s as raw as their emotions.
So, formerly suicidal people of Reddit, how did things change?
- “I dropped the toxic, enabling people in my life and the people who fed into my depression. I lost a friend to suicide after we made a deal to stick around for each other. Unfortunately, he couldn’t deal, but I decided to hold up my end for him. I later found my purpose in search and rescue and training a k9. I’ve met a lot of people who have also faced a lot of what I’ve gone through which provides an ever-strengthening support network. Not to mention I’ve proven to myself and others that I can do far more than we thought I’d be capable of. I now have 13 certifications for SAR, training a k9, have a job I love, have a stable and functioning relationship and a new outlook. I still wrestle with my depression. But its been a while since it has had me pinned.”
- “I’m just not suicidal right now. In a few months I’m sure I will be again. And then I won’t be. And then I will. I think with mental illness and suicidal thoughts/ideations, it’s really important to remember that it isn’t always you. It isn’t always you that genuinely wants to. Sometimes it’s just that thing inside your head saying it’s easier to not be alive. The best thing you can do is try to set up a life for yourself that you, in your right mind, truly believe is worth living. Sometimes sheer willpower is the only reason you don’t kill yourself. Sometimes you’re just too depressed to have the energy to do it. Suicidal thoughts are a poison and if you’re experiencing them, try to vocalize it to people that care about you. They can’t make it go away but they can make you feel less alone.”
- “The turning point was when one of the few people that I considered family [died by] suicide. He left a note that said something along the lines of why bother, who wants this note anyways. And like, him thinking that no one would care were some of the same thoughts I was having, but the general vibe in my small group changed drastically. It was basically the thought, that even if it was only one or two people, people will miss those who pass. And no one should have to deal with something as terrible as the feeling of burying someone you’ve known and spent time with so many years, who died thinking no one cares. It’s a feeling I would never wish on any living thing. It just sucks.”
- “this. i’ve lost people to suicide, drugs and other bullshit and every time it happens it hurts everyone around them so much. i’ve had my moments but i finally realized i don’t ever want to be responsible for someone else’s grief. if only my dead friends knew how much their deaths fucked me and other people up, maybe things would’ve been different.”
- “I know someone who we thought [died by] suicide at first (now we think it was an accidental overdose) but I knew he struggled socially and we thought this was the outcome. Anyway, I remember going to his funeral and the absolute sorrow of all the mourners was almost tangible. I’ve been to a funeral where the widow began screaming and throwing herself on the coffin but somehow this one was so much worse. I can still hear the sobs as we did the procession out of the church.”
- “I lost the only family member I had that was my age and shared similar interests. He was more like a brother to me than a cousin. He was someone I was meant to have by my side my whole life and now I don’t. Seeing what death does to people, especially an intentional one, is the only reason I got through my worst depressive episodes.”
- “My godmother’s son killed himself a few years ago. I didn’t know him that well although we were at the same school for a little while. He was older than me and had moved to another country but I saw him every couple of years at extended family events. I still think about him most days and I miss him even though he was a small part of my life. The net probably extends further than you think.”
- “One of the beautiful things about suffering is that it gives you empathy. Now I know how suicidal people feel, or have an idea at least. Empathy is one of the most important traits I look for in myself and friends, so when something makes you stronger, you understand and you can empathize.”
- “I’m only somewhat tongue-in-cheek when I say that spite is one hell of a motivator for not [dying by] suicide. I come from an abusive upbringing, was often bullied in school, long family history of mental health issues… the works. But back when I was actively suicidal, much of what kept me going was a sense of “fuck that — if I kill myself, that means they won. And I’m not gonna let that happen.” Gives more meaning to the phrase “the best revenge is a life well-lived,” heh. The best revenge is sometimes a life lived at all.”
- “Objectively, most of my life has actually gotten worse. However, proper medication (managed by a psychiatrist) and regular therapy have done wonders. I still have some heavy depressive episodes and anxiety attacks, but I no longer go straight to “the only way out is death” which is a big deal. Used to be I didn’t go a day without wanting to die, now is rare for me to feel that way at all.”
These brave folks nailed it! Here is the link so you can read more.
The author is Dennis Gillan and all he did was cut and paste these brilliant responses. You can find the lazy bastard here: www.dennisgillan.com
Getty image by Irina_Strelnikova