Why People Kill Themselves

Notes about the S-word

Suicide is about two things: Thoughts and Access. That’s it.
Thoughts
We get these thoughts sometimes. They are terrible. It seems like the world hates you, or one person hates you, or you hate you. It seems like you don’t fit into the construct of what work is, or school, or the people and interactions around you.
Here’s the thing; thoughts go away; they come and go. Have you ever had an idea for something and lost it before you could write it down? Thoughts and ideas are always on their way somewhere. When you think about them, your brain is stopping them in their track.
Just because you don’t fit into the world that you are in, does not mean that you are not valuable. In fact, if you don’t fit in, you are exactly what this world needs.
The world is sometimes a shit hole and sometimes a magical wonderland. The trick is to find the magical-shitty balance.

Access
Access is about access to the means of actually committing the act of death.
If you have a gun in the house, or rope, or roof access on a tall building; it is the access to these things, while you are having one of these thoughts, that makes them deadly.
I try to avoid these objects. I’m not against owning a gun (or rope for that matter), but I certainly don’t keep one in the house.
Thoughts and Access
There were about three times in my life where both thought and access had occurred.
1. The first was on a cruise. Freedom of the Seas. The thought wasn’t clear, but I knew I wanted to jump off the ship. It was probably mostly booze mixed with the imaginative thought that I would free-float into the deep blue. There was no attempt, but the harsh reality would not have matched this dream. I think my brother (aka my Jack Dawson) talked me out of it.
2. The second time was felt as an oncoming subway car was making its approach. Standing there after a long unfulfilled workday. A day filled with staring into the background picture on my desktop, imagining another life. Taking a step back was the solution.
3. The third and most recent was on the way home from an interview for a part-time job. Underpaid and underemployed, I was on a search for some meaningful work that also paid decently enough. In short, never wear a tie to an interview at Whole Foods. The whole drive home, I kept repeating the phrase, “I want to kill myself, I want to kill myself, I want to kill myself.” Over and over, while I was driving a car, mind you. The mere action of saying these words helped relieve the pain.
In all these situations, something pulled me back. One could call that willpower, but I’d call it waiting. Waiting for the thought to leave my mind.
Solutions
I always hate articles that describe an issue, without ever giving a solution. Lazy-ass writers. At the moment when a thought and access meet, waiting, is the number one way to overcome the situation. But what about the everyday? These are the solutions that have helped me conquer these thoughts, and in some cases my overall depression.
- Get a journal, write all your thoughts down; also its way cheaper than a therapist, and does exactly the same thing.
-Make things
- Make something that may never be worth any money, but makes you happy, and refer to it.
- Make a playlist, one you would want to share with someone to show how much you care about them, or to show them how hip you are to know such incredible music. Or make a thematic playlist.
-Dance
-Make a dance video
-Make anything
- Do improv
- Start an Instagram feed; go to an instameet
- Take a Skillshare class
-Reach out to friends, reach out to me, or reach out to the suicide hotline(even though the difficulty of typing the long and hard to remember number is enough to make someone shoot themselves).
- Move to a smaller city/town that you could afford, and find your art.
Friends
Friends are probably the most important piece. If you don’t have any friends, get a pet.
If you feel like a friend or relative is having this issue; telling them you love them doesn’t necessarily make them feel better. The word ‘love’ is often so overused. Especially when we are reminded by people who say, “I love pistachios,” the word becomes meaningless.
Share your love, don’t just tell them.
Share music with them, they may seemingly hate it, but it’s still good. I mean try and put in the work and pick something they might like.
Sometimes just a conversation will do it. People like to know tricks of the trade — in this case, life. Share them. Your failures; your path; all solid material. The key is to be truthful.
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