Thursday, December 23, 2010

Talk to somebody ...

Having dealt with PTSD (it got to the point where I was homeless, me and my dog living out of a van for about half a year), I know what it means to have no hope, especially this time of year. There are a lot of people for whom this season is the worst of the year, especially with the lousy economy, those with depression or just have been dealt a bad hand in the last few years.

Last week, a guy I know couldn't take the pressures and committed suicide. We weren't best friends, wouldn't even call us friends, but he was a customer when I worked for Harry, he worked for the City, and we'd tip a couple together and shoot the shit for a few hours when we'd run into each other in the pub. I've known the man for 20 years and he was a nice guy, happy-go-lucky, and the last person I'd think would opt for a "permanent solution". He was 50 years old, with a lot of living left to do.

My point is this, especially this time of year. If you feel that life is so bad that you want to check out, talk to someone. Tell somebody, a friend, family member, acquaintance, what you're feeling. Had this guy talked to me (I can relate), I would have tried to get him some professional help and maybe me and my other buddies wouldn't be mourning him now.

Listen to me. Suicide is a selfish act. You might not feel whatever pain you have anymore, not hear the voices in your head, or not have to worry about money, but there are a whole host of people you leave behind, devastated and confused. It's hard to reconcile for the family, wondering what they could have done different to prevent the tragic outcome, wondering if something they did pushed you to it. No one you leave behind gets over it.

This guy wasn't the first I've known to kill himself, probably won't be the last. I'd just like to say that no matter how hard life gets (and I been on the bottom), things do get better. The life I have now wasn't handed to me. It took a lot of hard work and a great woman who understood my problem and helped me work through it. I'm glad.

Please, in this season especially, if you feel life isn't worth living, talk to someone before you decide to end it. Regardless of how things look now, there is a beautiful world out there, full of life and joy. You can find it if you try.


From my buddy W.K in comments:

... And the corollary, if someone asks to talk to you, take the time and LISTEN!

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