In the aftermath of my friend’s suicide, all of my friends who knew and loved her came to my house with food and alcohol. A couple of bottles of wine in, one of our number loudly demanded that none of us ever commit suicide. People chuckled, nodded, and conversation resumed. I slipped quietly out of the door.
I’ve attempted suicide twice, what feels like a lifetime ago, aged 11 and then 13. Most of my friends don’t know this. It isn’t because I make a secret of it, rather that it doesn’t tend to come up in conversation. And I don’t want to upset them.
I’ve heard people say that no matter how depressed they feel, they could never take their own life, because they’ve seen what it does to those left behind. But even as a left-behind myself, and even seeing what it’s doing to my fellow beloved left-behinds, I don’t have that certainty.
I’ve been there. I’ve despised my existence enough to want it to cease, and I’ve tried to bring that about. I’ve not felt that way for 8 years, but that doesn’t mean I think I’m safe from ever returning there. I’ve dealt with depression my whole life. I’ve been happy and then got bad again. Safety from suicidal impulses is not something I think I have a claim to.
I can’t promise I’ll not ever end my life. I just hope I don’t. But I can see circumstances in which I’d see fit to do so. I even think it’d be reasonable in some of those. The world isn’t an easy place to be.
So the gaping, ragged hole left by my friend just makes me feel guiltier. Because now I have an idea of what I might end up doing to the people I love.
To make things clear, I am nowhere near suicidal currently. All things considered, I’m doing pretty well. I’m just not willing to rule it out forever.