When you want to kill yourself
The ledge of my school’s junior high building is very easy to access. Many students have considered using it as an escape—not from school, but from life. I’m not sure how high it really is. It doesn’t seem nearly that high in some ways, but when one is up there, it seems high enough to kill oneself.
It’s not the most romantic spot to jump from, but perhaps for some it’s the easiest to access. It’s just right there. For others, perhaps it seems like there is a higher chance of not surviving if they jump from it. But mostly, I thought of jumping from that particular ledge because it seemed like the right thing to do.
The truth is, if you were totally certain that you wanted to kill yourself, if you were 100-percent sure, then there are better ways to do it: firing a bullet into your brain or jumping off something higher, with a harder landing. If you really wanted to kill yourself, you could do it. But jumping off the JHS ledge also provides that chance, however slim, that you’ll open your eyes and see that you’re still alive.
I thought about all those things not too long ago as I stood by the railing, ready to jump over to the ledge. I thought of all those things when I pulled myself tight against the railing and tried not to cry, choking back my tears so that no one would become suspicious and try to stop me.
I thought about my parents, my friends, my relatives, how their lives would be much better without me. I thought about what could happen if I ended up not killing myself. But mostly, I thought about jumping off that ledge because it seemed like exactly the right thing to do.
How come I’m alive right now? you may ask. It’s because my guidance counselor pulled me down right when I was about to jump over the railing.
My suicidal feelings did not end there, however. There are days when you just want to kill yourself. You can’t blame a suicidal person for feeling this way. Sometimes it gets to a point where the pain just becomes unbearable.
A few days ago, I did what I feared most: I asked my parents to take me to the hospital. It reached a point where I myself knew that if I didn’t go to the hospital, I would end up killing myself. It wasn’t the best moment in my life, but it was one of the most defining. In the end, though, I had the courage and strength to tell my parents that I no longer needed to go to the hospital, but instead be in the company of a lot of people in order to distract myself. Being with my cousins did in fact help me, and in the end helped me realize that the fact that I asked my parents to take me to the hospital meant that I didn’t really, completely, want to kill myself.
Hope. No matter how difficult things get, there is always something good to gain from our dark times. But like many things in our lives, it doesn’t always come easy. We must actively seek new meaning and place it in a brand-new light. It might not be okay today, or tomorrow, or this week, or month, but it will pass, and we’ll get through this.
Seek help. It is easier to stay silent. But silence kills. Speak up about what you are feeling.
Suicide is in fact avoidable. If someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation has a 24-hour depression and suicide prevention hotline to help those suffering from depression. You can call 804-4673 and 0917-558-4673.
Talk about it. All in all, I believe that suicide should be a topic more commonly discussed, especially in schools. There should be more awareness of depression and other mental illnesses. I believe that this will aid in decreasing suicide rates in the country, especially among the youth.
Lance Patrick Ty, 15, is a Grade 10 student and suffering from severe clinical depression.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Center for Mental Health hotline at 0917-899-USAP (8727); (02) 7-989-USAP; or 1553 (landline to landline, toll-free).
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