H: It’s so good to hear your voice.
J: I know doesn’t just about everyone want to hear my voice at the other end of a phone?
H: [Contemplative pause] I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love to hear it.
I’m loved by my friends, I’m loved by acquaintances, I’m loved by total strangers. Not everyone but those people are exceptions. I have fed off this love for so long, I still feed off of this love. I have pointed to it for why not to kill myself countless times. I’ve changed so many people’s lives for the better. Yet this knowledge sometimes leaves me feeling hollow? Why does making someone else feel amazing leave me feeling empty.
When people try to kill themselves there are a few common argument against it. By thinking about how much you have bettered peoples lives. How good of a person you are in the world and how much you are loved and needed by others. And I know I am very loved and feel needed and wanted by lots of folks in my life I’ve changed countless people lives for the better. This knowledge and these feelings has never brought me down from the edge.
The thing that kept me most from the edge is something much different from this. My first time feeling suicidal to the degree of jumping off a building was 2008 and it scared me. After some googling I came to understand that suicidal thoughts are the logical step when you run out of coping mechanisms. Your dog dies, you’re sad but you can handle it. One of your friends stops talking to you, you’re sad but you can handle it. You start feeling isolated from the world, it hurts but you you can handle it. But compound these things and your sad, you’re filled with sadness and you hurt, you can’t handle it, it’s too much. What do you do?
If it’s too much to handle by definition you can’t handle it yourself. You have run out of coping mechanisms you have run out of ways to deal with it. This is when I stand atop a tall building. This is when I look over the edge. I can’t handle the stresses of life, I don’t feel like I belong I don’t feel like it’s going to get better, I don’t think I’m ever going to deal with it, It feels like it’s never going to end and I’m going to feel this forever. That’s why I look over the edge. That’s why I peer down and prepare to jump. I prepare to jump to make it go away. I don’t want to jump now, I didn’t want to jump 7 years ago when I got the closest I’ve ever been. I just wanted to know it was going to all work out, I just wanted all the hurt to go away because I couldn’t deal with it. I just wanted to know if I really needed to I could escape from all of my problems.
If you tell me I’m needed, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me I’m loved, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me you love me, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me the world will miss me, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me I’m strong, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me to follow my passion, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me I was an inspiration, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me it’s all going to be okay, I’d still want to jump. I’m not at the top of a building because I want listen, I’m at the top of a building because I can’t handle what’s going on because it’s too much.
I’m not standing at the edge because my day went well, I’m not standing on the edge because my week went well, I’m not standing on the edge because my life is going well. I’m standing on the edge because I’ve been slowly descending here. Because I’m slowly losing hope, slowly unable to handle my daily stresses. I will look at your messages and they will make me feel better, it’s nice to be needed, loved, and an inspiration, but it doesn’t fix my problems. I feel bad saying this because I know you’re only trying to help, I’m just trying to let you know it’s not going to help, not now, maybe earlier. But don’t worry it’s not your responsibility it’s mine. I feel alone and detached from the world. I’m having a hard time and I’m sure you are having a hard time in your life as well. I wish I could cope with it I wish I had asked for help earlier. It’s too late. I can’t. I need to stand atop a building and look down to make my problems small, smaller than the 8 stories I’m looking down. Small enough so I can step back off this ledge.
This is a story by Jenny where she is speaking more about her feelings historically than about her suicidal feelings currently. When she stood on that ledge and readied herself to jump her problems did get smaller, they did get small enough that she could step back off that ledge. She has since learned how to ask for help a little more and started to learn how to accept help. She is happily seeing a therapist and psychiatrist who are both monitoring her mental health closely.
Also check out this previous post where she talks more about her artwork that addresses this topic.