Common Suicide Methods: U.S. ( courtesy of Wikipedia )
A good friend told me recently that he was researching suicide methods. I was a little shocked, to put it mildly. He’s under 50, and – although he is chronically ill – he’s not terminally ill. This is a guy who always said he wanted to live to be 100, and would take “every day he could get” whatever his condition. I felt badly that I had never noticed, but apparently he has been suffering greatly for a long time. Sick for 25 years, estranged from his family and without any “loving presence” in his life, he said he was just tired of being sick, and felt “used up” by the world. We spoke at length about his reasons and he asserted that he’d been thinking about it since “around the mid-1990’s,” which is when he first realized that his future was only getting bleaker. I thought he couldn’t be serious, until he asked me to help him get some helium gas from a party supply store. I told him I had no idea where to get it, and refused to give him the money to purchase the tank of gas (even if I had the money – which I don’t – I couldn’t do it).
I questioned him further about his motivations and this is what he said:
“I feel dead already. Everything and everyone I ever believed in is gone. I don’t enjoy anything anymore. I’ve tried more pills for depression and anxiety than I can remember: nothing has helped for long. The last 15 years I’ve gone from one crisis to the next without a moments’ rest. I’ve never had a career or even a good job. My family wants nothing to do with me; too much water under the bridge. I was homeless and alone for years, dreaming that my father or mother or brother or SOMEBODY would come to my rescue. No one even called. I entrusted my only resources to false friends who cheated me. I’m penniless, disabled and probably always will be. So, what would you do if you were me?”
It took me a long time to answer, and before I could he said: “See?”
We’ve known each other for two years. In that time we have both been in and out of homeless shelters, halfway-houses, and hospitals repeatedly. I don’t know why he chose to tell me, since he’s never been particularly forthcoming with me about his feelings, but he said that whenever he died – and whatever the means – I would be the only person in the world who would even notice. What do you say to that? I told him he needed help, and offered to accompany him to the ER immediately. He said that he had been getting that kind of help for years and it led nowhere. If I called 911, he said, they would release him in 72 hours and it would just be one more horrible experience to add to the tally of tragedy that his life had become.” I myself have made several suicide attempts”, I replied, ” and I’m glad now that I failed.” He answered: “So have I, and I’m not glad at all.”
It’s been several days now, and he still answers when I call, but he refuses to discuss the matter further, and assures me that he has to be certain that someone special to him (whom he has been supporting) is not hurt by his departure, and has a roof over his head when he’s gone. I told him that I hoped he would change his mind before he finishes making those arrangements.
He smiled and said:”Don’t hold your breath.”