[Written By @notdan March 2019]
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It’s been almost two years since I laid in my bed, pointed a loaded gun at my head, and lightly pulled at the trigger. It obviously didn’t go off. I didn’t pull hard enough on the trigger to cause it to fire, and I’m lucky that night didn’t end me. I didn’t leave a note, post anything online, or call anyone. My brain had been hijacked; The part of my consciousness that cared about things simply shut down. My ability to realize how devastating my actions would have been was completely missing.
If you’ve followed me on Twitter you probably know by now I struggle with some really serious depression and other issues. I’ve had problems with depression that come and go in varying degrees since I was a teenager, so it’s nothing terribly new. Graduating from casual suicidal ideation to planning and “getting close”, however, is new.
I’m still not sure exactly what happened that night. It has happened only a few times before over the past 2 years. The best way I can describe it is to imagine that a breaker switch has been flipped in your head and now half of your brain.. logic, happiness, intellect and other core functions disappear. They’re replaced with past memories of every shitty thing you ever did, and every possible reason in the world to hate yourself. Your heart starts to race faster and your adrenal glands pump out cortisol, compounding the issue and creating more panic. You want it to stop, you just want it to stop and you want the pain to end. Desperation sets in and hope is no longer a word in your vocabulary.
I believe that ironically, amongst other things, some of the anti-depressants I was taking at the time may have contributed to these suicidal anxiety outbreaks. It appears to at least be partially true, as it’s been a while since I stopped taking some of them. Another large contributing factor in my life was the death of a close friend that I considered family, a death that haunts me every day and infects my thoughts on an unrelenting basis.
One thing that I know for sure is that I have a lot of people that care about me, and that life is beautiful. I’ve come to know that the darkness eventually subsides. But, in those worst moments.. the moments that you cannot imagine that salvation will come, none of the positivity in the world seems to matter.
For now, I’ve gotten myself upright with a combination of medications, notably including Ketamine and Lithium. Ketamine has been shown to have great promise in cases of treatment-resistant depression. Check out these¹ articles² about³ it. Success rates are as high as 85%⁴. It’s exciting and promising, and I’m glad it’s being explored. Psilocybin (AKA magic mushrooms) in therapeutic/lower doses also appear to have very promising effects. I’m blessed to have friends and doctors that are compassionate enough to guide me on this experimental journey.
I wrote this article for two main reasons: I wanted to get some this off my chest and try to heal by coherently getting some of my thoughts out.
But more importantly, I want to connect with the person reading who’s considering suicide or having extreme depression issues right now. Yeah, it’s possibly you. Otherwise, if you’re feeling fine you can stop reading at this point, the rest of this isn’t particularly for you. Though, you’ve made it this far, you might as well continue. (Do eeet)
For the ones still reading (you) I want you to know that you’re truly not alone.. regardless of what your stupid fucking brain is telling you. Thinking seriously about suicide is something you can’t ignore, and you need to recognize that.
I’m not going to tell you that you should reconsider. I’m not going to try and guilt you into staying alive, either. Instead I want to offer you some things that I learned while I was standing on the brink of destruction. Is it wrong to kill yourself? No. But it’s a bad idea if you haven’t really thought through a few things first. So humor me for a few more minutes, and lets talk through some of this stuff..
There is no reason to kill yourself right now or later tonight. There just isn’t. What is this, some kind of race? Give yourself three more days. Go ahead and set a fucking timer if you want, but give yourself three days to look around and be sure you’re making the right decision.
IMPORTANT STUFF BELOW; PLEASE READ.
If you feel like you can’t wait three days, I need you to realize that you are likely having an uncontrollable anxiety attack or a break from reality. This is TEMPORARY. Suicide is permanent. You need to call someone right now, because chances are that your brain is playing tricks on you, and you’re not thinking clearly. You might accidentally do something that isn’t meant to happen.
Call someone now, please. It takes 60 seconds: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
If you’re ok with the idea of waiting a few days, I have a few quick things to say and then it’s really up to you what comes next.
Making a Final Exit is a big deal. You should use some time to make preparations like creating a will, making sure your pets are going to be ok, saying goodbye to people, etc.
You really should figure out something awesome to do before you Exit. Do something that you’ve always wanted to do. Old enough to rent a car? Get a ridiculous rental car and drive to a racetrack, take a really nice Cadillac off-roading (lol), or buy a bus ticket to Hollywood. Ever tried MDMA/Ecstasy/Coke? Fuck it, try it. Some people will call me an asshole for saying ‘try cocaine!’, but I’d rather you try a drug versus killing yourself. Whatever you decide to do over the next few days, the only thing I ask is that you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else. It’s three days of unapologetically being yourself. Try to use this time to find yourself and capture a few reasons to live. I promise you, there’s reasons to live and you’ll find them if you take a little while to look.
While you drift through the next few days, it’s important to really soak in all of the details of the world around you. Start focusing on the tiniest of details, like the texture of paper or the smell of your neighbors shitty cooking. These are all things that, if you let them, will help ground you and tether back to reality. Things are bad right now, but you can probably figure out a way to work around them.
One really important thing I need to mention is that killing yourself isn’t easy. You (statistically speaking) are not going to succeed, and instead you’re going to severely hurt yourself and possibly fuck yourself up and then have to deal with that on top of everything else. I’m sorry about the brutal honesty here, but these are the facts. Do you think that you’re just gonna overdose on pills and go to sleep forever? Yeah… sorry to break it to you, but that only has a success rate of around 12%. Meanwhile, you end up inhaling your own puke for hours before someone finds you. Not fun. When I said earlier that I’ve been truly suicidal, I meant it. I’ve done a lot of research on how to kill yourself, and I mean this in the most caring way possible: Do yourself a favor and research it as well. My hope is that while researching you’ll start realize things AREN’T as unfixable as they seem. A really good resource I found is www.lostallhope.com. Check it out.
I hope you take some time to look for professional help. Getting on medication and talking with a psychologist is ideal, but I know not everyone can easily do this. If you can’t find anything traditional, go to a local shelter organization or church and find some free counseling services. They exist. These services tend to be agnostic and non-judgemental. Just avoid Evangelical, Mormon, and Scientology — or more simply put: Any religion that harbors hate or insists you be a different person, because thats the last thing you need right now. Believe me, I wouldn’t point you to a fucking church counselor for things like suicide/LGBT issues/whatever if I thought they were going to go all ‘ur gonna burn in hell’ on you. Believe it or not, not all church organizations are bad. Some have some really good programs and resources.
TL;DR: Suicide isn’t painless, especially when you leave everyone in pain. Your problems, even if they’re caused by a brain injury or chemical imbalance, ARE FIXABLE. In fact, the only thing you can’t fix is killing yourself. Be good to yourself and realize you’re on this planet for a reason. Yeah yeah, its not edgy of me to say some of this stuff, but go fuck yourself, this is important. Anyways, I hope you get some benefit from reading this and I hope you start to love yourself again.
PS: this is a scary thing to see. trust me.