Content warning: Suicide & Depression*
*This all happened yesterday. The friend I speak about in this post has been found alive, and has made a decision to get help. We’re all very relieved and supportive. I’m leaving this post the way I wrote it before we knew for sure.
A friend posted his suicide note to facebook a few hours ago. The support and concern is pouring in through the comments, with family and friends and the local police department doing what they can to look for him.
But there’s a few other things showing up in the comments.
Nobody seems to know where he lived. They had the city (he lives in the same city I do) and a previous address further southwest, but nobody knew where he lived or where he stayed.
That seems very isolating to me. Last month, when I got sick with a fever, I had four people offer to come over and take care of me. Four people who know exactly where I live – three of whom know how to let themselves into my house without my being there.
People keep telling him he’s loved and appreciated, and I don’t doubt it…but it makes me sad to think that there’s not one out of over 100 people who have commented by now that know exactly where he lives.
The other thing was…well, a lack of comprehension. And this …this sense that a lot of the comments were taking his pain and making it about themselves.
He mentions in his note that he’s in a great deal of unresolved physical pain. In addition to the mental and emotional anguish, he’s suffering severe, chronic, physical pain.
I remember what that was like for my late husband. He spoke of suicide often, more in the abstract. He admitted to thinking about it. He admitted to wishing the pain would just stop and the feeling that the only way to end it was to end everything.
And in the comments of this note, people kept speaking to the emotional pain he’s in. The “you’re not as alone as you think you are” part, which is true – he’s not. But they don’t address or seem to acknowledge that even if he felt utterly loved (as he is) that he would still face every day with so much pain that can’t be managed safely because of his addictions.
And they keep talking about how much his loss would hurt them as if their pain is greater than the echo chamber of pain he’s experiencing in his mind. A clang and clatter so loud that he’s considering suicide as the only way to silence it.
I just…I guess I want to put out there that I get that. I would want him to know that I acknowledge that. That I see him and his pain and still selfishly want him to stay with us.
Right now on facebook I have many friends who are doing the 22 Pushups campaign. The 22 days of 22 pushups to raise awareness about veteran suicide. I heard there was gong to be a public vigil this weekend where veterans would be marching back and forth over a bridge for 24 hours straight to raise awareness of the issue.
I see all the people saying they are praying for my friend Kevin.
It’s all good. The pushups and the marching and the praying. It’s a form of acknowledging that there is a problem that we want addressed and resolved.
And I just wonder how much of it might be resolved…
…if friends reached out to friends before shit hits the fan?
I posted a status update earlier today. In honor of my friend Kevin, think about reaching out to a friend that’s had it rough that you haven’t spoken with in a while.
It just so happens that such a friend did reach out to me today. I’m glad she did. I’m glad to be someone she feels like she can talk to, even though months pass between conversations.
I’m glad she felt that when shit started getting close to the fan, she could call on me.
But here’s the thing…
Even though I’ve only met her a couple times and she lives in another state entirely – I know her address, and she knows mine.
I guess I keep coming back to that.