On Suicide and Recovery

Video game lag in real life. Running on caffeine.
A sign in the middle of a field: what on earth are you doing?

Your father on the phone asking:
Do you want to kill yourself?

Excerpt from wake up call; the end of things by Adrian Reese

It was a bad time.

This poem is about the darkest period of my life. It was almost surreal. The world didn’t feel right to me (hence the “video game lag in real life”). I felt like I was splitting apart – the situation was unsustainable (hence the “running on caffeine”). It was horrible and I knew it was horrible, but I kept doing the same things over and over again as if something would change.

What on earth was I doing?? I couldn’t seem to better my situation. Nothing was improving. And I was spiraling like water swirling down a drain. Nothing was connecting for me. I couldn’t even reach out for help.

In the end, it wasn’t until my father asked me if I was going to kill myself that something changed. I was able to say yes, and this allowed things to get better.

A lot of people say, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” But that is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is like to be suicidal. When you are suicidal, your world narrows. You are largely incapable of asking for help. It feels so shameful and you feel so worthless that you cannot even envision help. You may try to help yourself – I reached out to people, trying to spend time with them, but they ignored or avoided me – but you aren’t able to do much more than staunch the bleeding.

Being actively suicidal is the most painful thing I have ever experienced. I hope that by being open about it now, I help others access the help they need.



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