Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and my friend Melanie asked me to participate in a blog tour because she routinely has people visit her site after search “I have so much debt I want to kill myself” – but it doesn't have to be that way.
I've never had thoughts of suicide. I've had brief moments of depression, a feeling of emptiness of purpose, but never anywhere near thoughts of suicide. I've found that the most helpful thing to do is to talk to someone, anyone, and put those thoughts out of my head and into the world.
It reminds me of one of my favorite shows, The West Wing, and one of my favorite scenes is embedded below. It's from the episode titled Noël (Season 2, Episode 10). To put the scene in context, the man walking is Josh Lyman, White House deputy chief of staff. The man who is seated is Leo McGarry, White House chief of staff and recovering alcoholic.
Josh has just experienced the trauma of a terrorist shooting in which he is shot and experiencing post traumatic stress disorder. He had an episode in his apartment and was asked to speak to a psychiatrist. He's just come back from talking to the psychiatrist and Leo is checking in on him.
If you can't watch, here's the story from Leo:
This guy's walking down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep, he can't get out.
A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, “Hey you, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up “Father, I'm down in this hole, can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a friend walks by. “Hey Joe, it's me, can you help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole.
Our guy says, “Are you stupid? Now we're both down here.”
The friend says, “Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out.”
If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK and/or visit http://www.Suicide.org.
There are many folks who have been where you are and they can help. They've been in the hole and they know the way out. Give them a call.