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View Diary: This Is My Secret. This Is His Story. (52 comments)

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  •  I read this last night (17+ / 0-)

    and started and deleted a comment several times.

    The people who jumped, or fell, or were pushed will always hold some kind of intrigue for me.

    I've struggled with my own attempts at suicide and how to reconcile in a world where it's still far too often the case that the act is whispered of.

    There was an article in the New Yorker in 2003 called "Jumpers" by Tad Friend which discussed the allure of the Golden Gate Bridge as a popular destination for people....for people who want that final moment of control in a life fraught with depression and despair...even as interviews of the survivors indicate that power is often an illusion realized as soon as they go over the rail.

    http://www.newyorker.com/...

    The article was inspiration for a film in 2006 called "The Bridge" which documents some of the people who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge during 2004, with interviews of some of the family and friends.

    http://www.thebridge-themovie.com/...

    I can't say it brought me any answers to my own personal questions, but it provides something...I don't know, dialogue I guess, which in and of itself is a good thing.

    I know talking about the subject more would probably make it less likely to happen.

    I'll give you this too as a former catholic. I'm not giving any advice or answers. I can only offer my own questioning of what's right. (I've grown comfortable enough to say I "believe" that's how it's supposed to be)
    It's 2283 of the Catholic Catechism:

    "We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives."

    Thanks for a poignant diary, and secret, and thanks for sharing.

    "were we ever warmer on that day, a million miles away, it seemed from all of eternity"

    by anodnhajo on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 07:05:48 AM PDT

    •  A poignant comment yourself (12+ / 0-)

      Dialogue is indeed a good thing about any issue, but I think particularly suicide.

      Suicide is a painful topic to discuss because it usually occurs so suddenly and without warning, thus leaving the individual's family shocked and devastated.

      But suicide is also the paramount taboo topic.  You can talk to your school counselor about anything "in confidence" - except if you start talking about suicide.  High school is difficult enough to survive when you just be yourself, not to mention the firestorm of gossip one would generate if he/she was found to thought about or attempt suicide.  "Oh, that person is crazy!" the students would say, not to mention any Christian absolutism about suicide and hell that would could be shoved toward the student.

      Thank you for being so open about your struggles.  I am starting to see the beginning of removing the taboo label around suicide, especially in light of the "It Gets Better" campaign.  That is a good thing.

      Thanks for reading.

      "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

      by mconvente on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 07:31:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Important to remember, too (7+ / 0-)

        I think, that talking about suicide is also a form of treatment for those with suicidal tendencies.

        In a strange way, suicide really is the quintessential libertarian "test case". Except when it isn't of course, since as human beings we are always connected to some other human beings, thus do our actions and choices impact on and have implications for other human beings.  

        If human beings have free will, then control over the means and time of one's death, where possible, control over the very fact of one's life should rest with that free-willed individual.  And yet...

        I would not be alive today were it not for a profound sense of responsibility I felt compelled to honor to the people whom my own suicide would have impacted.  While I'm not always sure that I made the right decision, I am crystal clear about what the reason was why I made it.  No libertarian, I.

        Religion is, among other things, one of the tools that humankind has developed to help it deal with, and most often simplify these complexities and contradictions of human existence, responsibilities (both for and to), actions and consequences.  Religion is a tool here.  It is not the only tool available and developed by humans to work through these dilemmas, nor is it always the best tool for every case.  But it is often the only tool that some people have for that purpose.  (Or the only one they know how to use).    

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 10:12:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  suicide rarely occurs suddenly and without warning (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anodnhajo, Naniboujou, Creosote

        most who battle suicidality battle it for months or years and some eventually lose the battle.  It may seem sudden and without warning to those who have been ignoring the pain and despair, but not to the person feeling it.  That may be harsh, sometimes the stigma of mental illness, or other societal pressures, cause the depressed to hide their pain with varying degrees of success.  One of the reasons for the devastation the family feels is that with hindsight they can identify the signs that they missed and blame themselves for

        The exceptions may come from those who experience increased suicidality as a side-effect of various medications (Prozac is one) -- the closest I ever came to losing my battle was shortly after being put on Prozac.  

        I don't mean this as an attack against you ... we need to be aware of the difficulty of living with depression and suicidality.  It is a long term struggle.  Therapy can be very effective and needs to be a) not stigmatized and b) covered by insurance (10 visits a year is insufficient treatment for major depression).

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