IF YOU WERE going to kill yourself, how would you do it? You could jump off a bridge, or leap in front of a subway, or shoot yourself in the head. You could tie a noose round your neck or take an overdose of barbiturates. You could even swim out into the lake, too far to swim back.

I’ve considered many of these methods myself and have even attempted to carry some of them out. I came close a few years ago, with an X-Acto knife and too much gin. My left wrist has been the site of several minor skirmishes since then but has seen nothing on that scale; I had to wrap a Tensor bandage around my entire forearm and pretend to friends and family that I’d been in some sort of skateboarding accident.

I was diagnosed with depression, various forms of anxiety, and (very mild) obsessive-compulsive disorder at twelve, and, despite nearly a bit of therapy, I still can’t see my future.

The fact is, killing yourself is a fantastically tricky thing to do. Setting aside the basic human impulse to survive, there are a great many practical complications that any attempt at suicide presents. Guns can misfire, ropes can snap, drugs can induce vomiting and leave you with little more than a sore stomach and a fucked-up liver. Around 40 percent of subway jumpers survive, mangled into considerably worse shape than before. Just 1 percent of wrist-cutters are successful.

Most suicidal people are aware of the risks, aware that whatever attempt they make on their own life is statistically likely to fail and cause them greater pain and humiliation, to compound their sadness and anxiety and loneliness and make life even more wretched and grey, even me.

Some people want to save those that try, but most of the time. We, the people who are depressed really don’t have someone that doesn’t have it that understands. Because people don’t understand people who have depression.

People see us as freaks. People don’t understand what it’s like, people think that depression is just a excuse. Except it’s not, it’s real.

 

So please, if you know someone who is struggling, don’t exclude them. They want someone there for them, they want someone to care and know that they’re not ok.

I myself want someone to hold me tight and say “I know your not ok”. I want someone to do that.

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