Suicide is silent

Ryan O'Toole, Staff Writer

He enters an empty house. He’s angry. Frustrated. His family is away.
Alone.
The silence amplifies his loneliness. He curses at the ceil- ing just to hear something.
Twenty-four hours.
Twenty-four hours ago he was fine. Twenty-four hours to move to a place too dark for definition.
Fist meets drywall. The pain feels good. Mattress kicked onto the floor, desk chair thrown down.
Tears push the corners of his eyes. God, when was the last time he cried? Blood trickles from his knuckles. Alone. A tidal wave of misery builds to its natural crest. A noose tossed over the banister. The end. Two belts away. The end of misery. Self-loathing. Three years of suffering
in secret. Ashamed of his own shortcomings. Embarrassed of his weakness. He collapses, too scared to support his own weight. Labored breathing. Elevated heart-rate. In a last desperate act, I make the phone call that saves
my life.
****
My life’s not so bad. My family is great. Parents who love me. Never had to want for anything. I consider myself an OK looking guy and I have enough friends. That doesn’t change anything. Misery is my mistress.
The first inklings came before freshman year. I knew I was
suicidal by the first snowfall. It took over a year to tell my parents, and almost four to write this.
There are people out there, like me. Alone, scared and ashamed for the way they feel.
Anyone can feel this way. Depression makes no allow- ances for who you are or how successful you are.
In my life, I’ve had two close friends attempt to take their own lives through overdoses, and even I didn’t notice any- thing was wrong until they told me after the fact.
My mom at first told me I couldn’t be depressed because I seemed so happy.
Just last month, Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley was discovered dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
At 23, this man with a college degree, a young child and a promising NFL career felt hopeless enough to take his own life.
Everyone close to him said there were no signs he was feeling this way — that he was depressed. He even seemed happy.
While prevailing knowledge is that most people contem- plating suicide show signs, these signs are often too subtle to be noticed until it’s too late.
The only way for suicide to be helped is for people experi- encing it to be comfortable telling other people.
If you’re going through this, you need to understand that you’re not alone. No matter who you are, you have someone who cares and will support you.
You need to tell someone. Tell your parents, your best friend. How the conversation goes is different for everyone, because the circumstances are different for everyone.
But the one thing we have in common is no one is strong enough to handle it on his or her own.
Unfortunately, when many people are told someone they care for tried to kill themselves they don’t know how to respond.
If someone trusts you enough to confide in you, above all, do not try to discredit their feelings.
It doesn’t matter how many times you tell them their life is worth it. They won’t believe you; they won’t see it that way. The best thing you can do is to continue to support them as best you can.
They need your help and your push to get more help. You need to push them to seek therapy or call a hotline. You need to try to understand them.
It can be the difference between life and death.