Leaving Cert results came out yesterday. I always worry around this time of year that they’re going to find people in rivers and under trains because the pressure just became too much. At least once every few months, I hear of someone local or someone my parents knew who took their own lives. Every now and then, it’s someone I know.
I grew up being very casual about suicide. I have made two serious attempts and many other plans after weeks of obsessive ideation. I have had friends ring me up to say goodbye before they went through with their own plans and who fortunately allowed themselves to be calmed enough to go to sleep and keep on living. I have become accustomed to the possibility of death that suicide has become almost nonchalant to me, something everyone thought about all the time because I thought about it all the time.
It was only when I heard of a recent suicide in my area that it hit me that I don’t want to die anymore. That I have actual plans for the future as opposed to my 3-6 month plans of the past. That I have changed and for the first time in ten years, the thought of suicide once again receives the gravity it deserves.
The last time I had a depressive episode, I, in a wave of desperation, spent about half an hour Googling reasons why I should continue to live. It wasn’t what saved me, it was only a web page of course, but it did give a glimpse of the reality of what I was pursuing. So just in case it flashes up on someone’s Google search, here’s some practical reasons to not kill yourself.
1. You’re not a fortune teller. I’ve heard of people killing themselves because their exams didn’t work out or they didn’t get their first choice in something. I did get my first choice and I still dropped out. I was devastated and was plagued by depression for months. But that dark cloud was the short term result of the best decision I have ever made and things are not perfect but they have improved to a degree that I never thought possible. Now might suck but tomorrow might be a little better. Don’t take the permanent solution to a permanent problem.
2. You are sick. Go to the doctor. It was 7 years of intermittent depressive episodes before I ever went to the doctor who questioned why I had never considered going on medication before. A few months to work out the dosage and I was stable enough to go about my life. Add in therapy, psychiatry, dietetics (for my situation) and my life improved ten fold. No one is depressed for the craic. You are lacking in serotonin. Get on that.
3. Think of the aftermath. Not just for you; you’ll be dead, the aftermath ends there. Think of the person who has to find you. Think of your significant others at the funeral. You have no one, you say? Think of the healthcare workers who will be trying to revive you when you get wheeled in on a stretcher. Probably better to get to the hospital alive, the recovery period will be a lot less unpleasant.
4. Give it a day. Killing yourself is, once again, very permanent. What’s 24 more hours? You can always kill yourself tomorrow if it’s as shit as ever. And in the meantime, things might get better, you might get some family, social or medical support and you might end up not wanting to die for a little while longer.
5. Call the Samaritans on 1850-0609090. They saved my life once. They could do the same for you.
Much love kids,