Sep 15, 2012

Suicide Prevention Week

Once upon a time, there was a boy who wanted to die.

Really, they should've expected this. He'd had suicidal thoughts before. When he told them about this first time, they sent him to his therapist, who said he was not in immediate danger of harming himself. They sent him back to school the next day.

The thoughts didn't go away.

Sure, they were a bit dormant. They didn't resurface for a while— a year later, in fact. But they were there, slipping through whenever he made a mistake.

useless
boring
piece of
just
kill
yourself

Funny enough, these thoughts manifested as voices. Voices in his head; can you imagine? Not only was he "majorly depressed with a generalized anxiety disorder and seasonal affective disorder," now he was psychotic! What a freak. What a

worthless
alone
no
one
would
care

Every day, he woke up miserable. Beyond miserable, really. He had a hole in his heart that they tried to fill with medicine and therapy, and nothing worked.

So it was his time to die.

Normally you'd pick a day, one that was really symbolic. A birthday. A deathday. The day the cops arrested his father. The day he first tried to cut himself.

Nope.

He couldn't wait for a day. He just wanted it to end.

But first he had things to do. Promises to keep. Miles to go before he'd sleep.

terrible
wrong
unwanted
just
do
it

He wanted to listen to his favorite song on repeat. Finish a good book he was reading. Say a silent goodbye to his family. So he decided: one more day. One more day.

He listened to his favorite song. He put up with school. And he read his book.

The love interest died.

He didn't expect that. She was invincible. She smoked and drank and had sex and lived like he never had. In fact, he liked her. A lot. He felt, when he was reading her, like a small portion of his heart beat again.

Because she was him, different as they were. They were depressed. They were scared. They were guilty. They knew what it was like to be alone, surrounded by people.

And she died.

And he cried.

And a small part of him said:

I
don't
want
to
die

So he told someone.

He went to school and told his guidance counselor and started rereading his book as they discussed treatment facilities. And as he walked outside with the January wind howling, he clutched his book to his chest and felt it beat.

And now, as he writes this, he still feels that book on his chest, and he still thinks

I
am
strong.

3 comments:

  1. Okay. I am not Throwing A Pity Party, because I know you hate those. There are just a few things I'd like to say, mkay? Mkay.

    Firstly, you are wonderful. I don't say it to you half as often as I think it. You are wonderful and thoughtful and creative and just NICE in this weird time when people just don't bother anymore. Please don't forget it, ever.

    Secondly, you are not worthless. I know you know this now. I know you don't need to hear it. But I need to say it. You are not worthless.

    Thirdly, as your critique partner, I am legally entitled to tell you how amazing this piece was. How crazy talented you are. How you can twist words and tell stories and make me cry in all sorts of odd, embarrassing places when I read your manuscripts. How you will get an agent and a book deal and a spot in the New York Times Bestselling List, because there are very few people in this world who deserve it more than you do.

    Okay. Enough mushyness. I have sent brownies to your inbox. Don't eat them. They will spontaneously combust.

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  2. There are chills on my arms right now, Mark. Chills. One, because of what you went through and also because this piece is so fantastically written.

    And now I understand your love for LfA.

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  3. This was amazing! I absolutely loved the italicized parts that really stuck out. You are incredibly talented and now have a new follower!

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