Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.
When I was in my early 20s I had a friend named Gene. To be frank I don't remember that much about him except that he was cute and a good drummer. I remember staying up all night talking and listening to music. Then getting dressed to the nines to go out to breakfast.
Gene's parents ran the family business but he had no interest in it. His mom was afraid to be alone so either Gene or his dad was always with her. At some point Gene learned that he was adopted. He didn't take it well. He started getting drunk a lot. One night while drunk, Gene and another friend broke into a house. I believe they were so drunk that thought it was the friend's house.
Gene was arrested and sent to jail for a year. While in jail he got injured – he never told me how – and the prison gave him morphine. He came out of jail addicted to it. The rest is kind of cliched. He started using other drugs. Then he started selling. At some point he was using more than he was selling and his supplier was not happy. The last time I saw Gene he was afraid that the supplier was going to kill him.
A few months after that meeting another friend told me that Gene had put antifreeze in a glass of milk and swallowed it. He was 25.
His death made me sad but it also pissed me off.
They say that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem but the problems don't seem temporary when your in the middle of them.
As most of you know, I suffer from migraines. I once read that people who get migraines are twice as likely to kill themselves. I understand that. There have been times when, in the middle of a migraine, I thought that if I died I'd never have to feel this way again. I know the migraine will go away. I also know it will come back.
This post was heading a certain direction until I stopped to look something up and found this:
Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain. Source
That took the wind out of my sails. Deep down, I've always thought that suicide was the coward's way out. The pain is over for you but just beginning for the people who love you.
There are millions of reasons to commit suicide. There are millions of reasons to live. Everyone has to find their own answers, but nobody has to look for those answers alone. There are hundreds of resources that can help.
One of my favorite is It Gets Better. Their focus is on the LGBT community but a lot of what they say relates to anyone. If that's not your cup of tea you can find other resources here.
About the image: An example of what is called Migraine Art. It is a visual representation of what a migraine feels like. I found it here.