They say… To kill yourself… is a cowardly act.  But I say it is also a courageous act – for not many have the courage to take themselves out of the world without knowing the outcome of their life.

To the one contemplating suicide – they are standing on a ledge by their toes.  They cry for sympathy… many times.  And at first, those around them listen.  Then those around them harbor it as a plea for attention.  A cry in the wilderness to them. But it only takes the person that kills themselves one time to prove everyone wrong – that it wasn’t for attention… it was for help.  A person that commits suicide has immense control emotionally over other’s lives – a selfish control. For they are loved, but they don’t know how much until after they’re gone.

They won’t see their own funeral and the rivers of tears… they won’t see the heartache. Or the people there that they thought didn’t love them, the people crying the most.  The domino effect the depression will have on others when they’re gone — and they won’t hear the fissures of hearts spliting wide open.  They won’t hear the glowing praise and tributes from those that remembered them in happier times. They traded their pain for others to have it. But how to stop it… if you can, read on.

Suicide destroys families with reckless abandon… robbing those around them of closure. Robbing those around them of being able to tell them one last time that they were loved.   It’s devastating. And there’s no coming back. No second chances.

How to prevent this?  It’s an eternal place that depression dwells.  It’s a dark cloud that eventually makes it to a depressed person’s eyes… then, they can’t see beyond the dark cloud, swallowing them like an oil spill on clear water.

As with substance abuse… the person has visceral support in the beginning…but the more times they yo-yo between sobriety and dependence… the support group lessens.  Gets smaller and smaller.  

The final rung on the ladder before a depressed person is flung over the ledge after looking into the dark abyss so much is… when they hide it from their loved ones; rather than admit they’ve fallen off the wagon… they keep a flaccid smile, almost as prosthetic as a mannequin’s wry grin… and of the same heart – hard.  When others chide that there’s no hope for them – they’re lost. It’s not a mendacious fact – they are really lost… but you’ve refused to send them anymore life preservers and no more road maps to help them back from the abysmal wilderness…

And that’s when they only have one last place to retreat to… themselves… inside where the darkest blackness resides. It’s been waiting for them to come inside totally. Then there’s no escape when you’re locked in a tiny room with your worst enemy – yourself in a decayed emotional state.  Slowly a hideous mask of perverted self-reflection begins to descend over them. They treat the depression as their only friend.  They have nowhere else to turn when their only friend whispers… jump. Let’s see if life is better beyond this one… and their eyes grow dim.  Their body becomes weighted, shoulders down, eyes to the ground, as if carrying a thousand bricks, and emotionally they are.  Their ears hear one noisome cacophony – the voice telling them they’ve failed everyone… die with honor.  It is a lie, but the depressed person won’t be told that… for there’s no one left they can tell it to. They’ve failed everyone by this lie being told inside them…

And when you’re locked away in a dark place for so long, that lying voice becomes truth… you’re only friend. And it will continue to help them along until they’re in the cold ground.

This signs are clear… isolation… They’ll stop talking about how bad they feel.  When that smile comes after a long bout of depression… there’s a warning summoned to all ears. It’s not a real smile, but a smile to get by in someone’s presence. Desperation ensues… they’ll discontinue any talk of tomorrow. It will only be past and present tense.  They’ll seem melancholy and discombobulated, for after awhile the voice is drowing all hope quickly. They’ll resign themselves to a fate that no one cares what really happens to them. They’ll have feigned excitement for birthdays and holidays – the noose of depression tightening.

Try choking yourself until you pass out – that’s what depression feels like in the final stages… as if dying can only bring them RELIEF.  Their mistakes and guilt condemning them at every turn.  Abandonment is a life’s sentence without ever spending a night in jail.

Internally they are lower than sea level – trust can only come from letting them open up – no matter what they tell you or defend… listen.  Telling a depressed person on the verge of suicide that “everything’s going to be okay” is a perfidious lie to them that will sequester them away from you. Offer tangible solutions, not fortune cookie quips you don’t believe in yourself.  Spend quality time with them – don’t throw them off on a therapist without becoming their therapist first.

Let them know how important they are – and you yourself can’t do without them… then they have a goal, to become your pillar of strength. Get them in the running again with company, not complacency. The more they do… the weaker the voice gets.

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