So today is Suicide Prevention Day, as you might know. And although I do know my stance on it, it seems like with each passing year over the last while, it's been harder to be 100% sure all the time. Suicide has always been a pretty big part of my life, and as I write this, no living individual currently knows everything this journal will say. It'll be dark. If that doesn't interest you, I understand– I just feel like writing this+getting it off my chest anyway. If you are currently feeling suicidal, the only part of this journal you should probably read is the last paragraph, if anything.
Although I've had on-and-off suicidal thoughts since I was about 12 till now, and suicide attempts by my mother were not uncommon, the issue became more real than ever two years (and eighteen days) ago when she succeeded. It was strange. Because a lot of the time you'll hear people saying, you know, "I never saw this coming, s/he was such a bright person" or whatever, but it really wasn't like that for me. The consensus between my father and myself was that it was "shocking, but not surprising." We both saw it coming.
So what does that say about me and suicide prevention? Aside from that I was more bark than bite and a (relatively) bad son to boot, I don't really know. I've always supported the right-to-die movement, which has been going on for a while in Canada now, so it has occurred to me that I have somewhat of a conflict of interest: although I think people have the right to end their lives, I would very much rather they not. I saw my mother's self-destruction, and knew that she would very likely kill herself at some point, but I didn't let that stop me from largely rejecting her in her last years because of her treatment of me, which I perceived as manipulative at best, and perhaps it was. Another thing I'll never know for sure.
What this means is that I have never actually been good at suicide prevention when it mattered. Postponement, absolutely, but I'll get to that later.
That said, postponement does bring me to my second suicide prevention failure. On May 8th of this year, my very dear friend JakesException took his life. I've never spoken about it on this account due to how personal it is, but depending on who you watch on here, you may have heard about his loss. He was a phenomenal person and poet, although very troubled. Similar to my thoughts on my mother's mental health when she was alive, Jake was certain that he would die by suicide. I worked hard to change his mind about this, because not only had I become pretty gung-ho about suicide prevention after the loss of my mother, but even besides that, he was just a really special person to me, and I let him know it, even though he had a hard time believing it.
So, postponement. Jake and I did have a falling out for a few months, and when we started talking again after that time, he had gotten a fair bit worse. This also marks the second time in as many years that I rejected someone and they died. Figures. Anyway, I continued to try to help him, but I got the sinking feeling that he may have been right all that time ago. Still, a lot of our talks were about his suicidality, and I would try to talk him out of it, despite that nagging thought. Obviously, it ended up not working, and among everything else, the fear emerged that suicide prevention may not be as possible as I had thought. Both Jake and my mother lasted longer than they would have without me (they said as much, so it's not my ego), but in the end neither could stay alive. Postponement is the best I've been able to do.
The thought that the best I can do is delay the horrifying and tragic is, well, horrifying to me. It's hard not to internalize those kinds of things as failures, and I absolutely have. Jake was actually a big help in me overcome my guilt regarding my mother, ironically enough. Like a bad habit though, it's come back lately, partly because of his own death and my failure to do more to actually stop it.
So my thoughts and feelings this Suicide Prevention Day are conflicted. Of course I support the cause, but my faith in its possibility wavers so much that I don't know if I can believe in it. That will never stop me from doing what I can to help those in need to the best of my ability, but I don't know if I will ever be able to get over the fear that I may simply be prolonging their suffering by putting off their end. This is a horrible way to think, and I'm truly and thoroughly disgusted at myself for it, I don't know how else I'm supposed to feel given my experiences.
I don't want it to be Suicide Postponement Day, though. And if you are in need, or know somebody who is, please seek help regardless. Prove me wrong. You are worth infinitely more than you realize, and this journal is not meant to promote suicide or say that it's the only option. And I may take this back down if I decide –or someone tells me– that that message is too prevalent in this journal, but until then: please stay safe, and seek the help you need. The only one who can prevent your suicide is you, and I can tell you from experience that it is worth it, as are you. You are beautiful and deserve all the beautiful things the world has to offer. Your brain may tell you otherwise, but it is true. There are plenty of resources, and you are not alone.