Last night, like most nights, I couldn't get to sleep, probably because my blood is made of 90% soda. So I put on 'Shark Week 2009' on Netflix (classy) and tried to draw a bit while I subtly terrified myself to sleep. Towards the end of the first episode, around 4:00am, I heard a very loud noise. I jumped and felt really stupid for jumping because I know that meant I was thinking "A shark is attacking me" because I was watching sharks and my instincts are not very bright.
Of course, it wasn't a shark, the sound was outside my window and sharks do not fly (yet). After my brain understood that the sharks were on TV my first thought was "my neighbor threw something out their window". You know when you hear a noise and you immediately have some thought in your head of what it was based on the sound it made? That was my first thought, even though that was highly unlikely, simply because of the type of sound it made.
So I looked out and didn't see anything at first. I live in an apartment building, just moved in, too. The building is being repainted, and when I looked out I saw couple broken branches on the tree outside my window and thought "The branch broke". It was very windy and very likely. I also thought maybe the thing the painters were using to go up and down in could have fallen over.
Eventually, I went to bed. This morning, when I went out to go to work, I saw police outside. I thought "The branch must have fallen on a parked car and someone called the cops". A man from my building, also on his way to work, was walking in front of me and had said something to the cops that I couldn't hear. And then he'd looked up at the roof of my building, which I thought was weird because the building is 18 stories or so tall and the trees are maybe 2 stories tall but I looked up too. And then he looked down and I looked down too. On the ground, under my window was a body covered in a white sheet. I knew it was a body because their feet (bare for some reason) were not covered by the sheet.
That loud sound I heard last night turned out to be one of my new neighbors committing suicide.
All day this bothered me, for the usual, obvious reasons. But I think one of the most upsetting things was that while I was sitting on my bed drawing, someone was in the same building, looking down and deciding that their life should be over. All day I've been thinking "that's so horrible that they were in a building full of people and that the felt so alone and sad and horrible". I thought I wish I could have known somehow and talked to them which was impossible but theres this weird feeling of guilt. I think that maybe the worst part to me is that this person was very, very, very sad and didn't feel like there was anyone to turn to in a building full of people, in a city full of people. But I think most people, if they see someone in this sort of trouble, try to help. I think if someone had seen him or knew that he felt badly, they would have tried to help.
I've survived many episodes of extreme depression and two or three haphazard, very stupid attempts to off myself. I get that way all the time, actually. In fact, I would classify "wanting to not exist" as my default setting, as weird as that sounds.
So, I wanted to share some stuff I try to mentally go through when I feel this way in case you or a friend you have feels like they want to die because they're extremely depressed.
You don't want to die. You want to be happy and alive. It just hurts a lot.
It's usually not that you want to die. Everyone pretty much wants to be happy and live. It's just that you think you're never going to be happy and everything is very, very painful so you want to not exist. You don't want to be in pain and everything feels awful so that's where the suicide idea comes into play. You just want stuff to stop sucking so hard. And it will stop sucking so hard.
It gets better.
It gets better. You will, eventually, feel better. No matter how bad it is, you will feel better. I know this is hard to consider but think about it logically. If you feel extremely, extremely horrible, the worst that you can possibly feel, then if your disposition changes, it can only get better. At the very least, you've got a 50/50 chance of feeling better. And it is worth it to feel better. Also, I know how stupid and trite "time heals all wounds" sounds and that you've heard it before. But given some time, even a few hours, you will feel better.
You are not alone.
Especially if you're reading this. You are not alone, not really. You're on a computer and on an internet site and a community where you have at least a love of art in common with the users here. Many people on this site, in your town, in your country, in the world have felt exactly like you do. You are not alone, not really. Contact someone else, be around other people, simply because it's harder to kill yourself if there's a bunch of other people around you. Have someone stay with you for the night (suicide's more common at night), you don't have to tell them why if you don't want to (but it's a good idea).
Try before you die.
Try to help yourself and try to get help. Help comes in different forms. Sometimes it means calling a hotline (1-800-273-8255). Sometimes it means doing something that you know will make you feel better. Sometimes it's meds. Sometimes it's watching a movie or eating. Whatever it is, do it. Even if you'ren ot sure if something will make you feel better, do it and see. You can die any time you choose, so you might as well try to feel better. Suicide can always be "later", but trying to feel better isn't possible after you're dead, it doesn't work the other way around.
Go to sleep.
I don't care how you do it but go to sleep. Take a nap or go to sleep for the night. There's probably some medical reason, but whatever it is, this works for me a lot. Go to sleep. Some people say "go out for a walk" or something but that's only ever freaked me out more (not saying it might not work for you, though). Go to sleep, you will feel better when you wake up. Suicidal people are usually exhausted. Go to sleep. Rested and suicidal is better than exhausted and suicidal, so you will at least feel better in THAT aspect, and feeling just a little bit better can make all the difference.
1-800-799-4TTY (4889) (for the deaf)
more hotline stuff. crisis center locator, etc
I encourage others to post giving their own tips or checklists.