Trigger Alert: Suicide. A Friend in Need.

Postby lifelonglearner » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:37 am

Hello all, today is my second day on this site, and I'm already enjoying the community here. There are so many like-minded and relatable individuals here.

Anyways, I'm posting this simply to get something off of my chest. That something is a date; it's not a particularly special date, and definitely not a recognizable one. The date is October 2nd, 2019. This is the day that my friend has decided is the absolute furthest she will wait before committing suicide.

It's difficult you know, when you watch minutes turn into hours, and hours turn into days, and you try not to blink as each day slips by like another grain of sand in an hourglass. It bothers me that I am helpless in the situation, but I am doing all of the usual things that I learned from my lowest points. I provide her with availability. I avoid saying, "I know how you feel" and/or "It's just a phase". I am supportive and provide suggestions, and back off when she starts shutting down. I am careful to study her episodes and when or how I can prevent self-harm relapses. But no matter what I do, these are only small victories. I will probably never believe it until it happens, but admittedly there is no guarantee that she's wrong about the claim. She could die next year. She could die even before next summer. She could die by the end of this week.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I understand the situation because I was experiencing something similar once. I will never know exactly how she feels, but I recognize how much pain she might be in currently. I suppose I'm making this post because I never thought that I would be on the other side of the fence, and now...I feel helpless. I want nothing more than to save her from her death. I just don't know if I'm the person capable enough to do it.

Thanks for listening, guys. Take care.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:23 am

lifelonglearner wrote: I just don't know if I'm the person capable enough to do it.


You are as capable as anyone else in that you can say some version of “I’d rather you not, but it’s your choice,” and then follow up with asking if they prefer pizza or a hamburger for lunch.

The reason this approach is a good path when someone threatens and tries to manipulate you by telling you they will do something that you have absolutely no control over, is that it acknowledges your preference and then changes the subject. It doesn’t enable the person to provide some ultimatum and see who all jumps.

This is reality. It sucks, but it is the choice each of us gets to make. You can choose to (1) be the manipulator, making threats and giving deadlines with consequences, or (2) you can choose to be the manipulated and try to bend heaven and earth over something you can’t control, empowering the manipulator, or (3) you can acknowledge their pain, wish them the best in their choices in life, and then move on with your life.
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#2

Postby Mayfair » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:31 am

Not sure what to say to you. I hope you get can find a solution to this problem. Do you work?
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#3

Postby moonlightress » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:35 pm

lifelonglearner wrote: But no matter what I do, these are only small victories.

I’ve worked with helping, and been a friend of, people like your friend. Know this: what you consider small victories are not small. A happy life is not made up of a single big thing that makes you happy once and for all, it’s not some destination you reach. A happy life is just a series of happy moments, interspersed with unhappy ones; the happy moments outnumbering the unhappy. Each night you get her through, because of something you said or did earlier that day, each time she reaches out and you’re there, is a little moment of happiness in her series of unhappy moments. Small happy moments can tip the balance in the end.
I want nothing more than to save her from her death. I just don't know if I'm the person capable enough to do it.

If you focus on providing her with the one big thing that will stop her, you’ll only get discouraged and feel helpless, as you are now. Your feelings of helplessness will compound her own feelings of hopelessness. Don’t try to be her “rescuer”; that is too heavy a burden to bear. There are professionals for that. You’re much more valuable to her as a friend, giving her little happy moments. Someone who *doesn't* carry her as a burden.

If you ask people “what stopped you from carrying it through?” they often point to some little thing somebody said to them or did for them, that stuck in their minds. Or they point to someone who didn’t give up on them, even when they had given up on themselves.
It bothers me that I am helpless in the situation, but I am doing all of the usual things that I learned from my lowest points. I provide her with availability. I avoid saying, "I know how you feel" and/or "It's just a phase". I am supportive and provide suggestions, and back off when she starts shutting down.

When she shuts down and won’t let you in, a tiny thing like a text saying something like “a flower for you” and a sunflower emoji or “thinking of you” or “you’re worth it” or some silly joke or a really bad pun (the internet is full of them) that she doesn’t have to reply to, is a little happy moment, that you can give her without requiring any input from her.
It's difficult you know.

Dreadfully difficult. The tough truth is that it’s her decision in the end. It won’t be your fault if your help isn’t enough. But each little moment she gets through because you were there, is another day for her to get the professional help that will reach through to her.

You make a difference. Your friend is lucky to have you.
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#4

Postby Livetowin » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:50 pm

You only control yourself in this life. If a person repeatedly makes claims to harm themselves, all you can do is offer your insight and knowledge as to why its not a good idea. But don't own this crisis that she chooses to live in. That is not your weight to carry. And actually its selfish for her to keep creating this drama for attention.

Identity in life can be a tremendous struggle to find. But removing your issues by taking yourself out is not something I subscribe to or have a great deal of sympathy for because it hurts those who do care. There are scores of people in this world that face the challenges of survival each and every day that would give anything just to have a moment in their life when all they had to do is ponder their existence. There are others dying from terminal illnesses that would love to have a chance to extend their lives just so they can keep seeing those who care for them.

There's a time to handle gently and then there's a time to quit feeding the problem. Tell her you care greatly for her, but walking away from those who care for her only takes care of her, but does nothing for those who fight for her. Where is her resolve for them? You only have one life to make your own choices. You don't have choices to make when you end that.
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#5

Postby Armstrong » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:54 am

Do you need a friend? I could be a friend for him (or was it her)? I'm Muslim. Why does she want to comitt suicide?
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#6

Postby lifelonglearner » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:45 pm

Hello all, I am surprised by all the support you guys are giving. I am a little confused as to why I can't reply to any of your posts directly, but be aware that I read them all and you have really brought happy tears to my eyes.
In collective reply to all of you, I will say that I am convinced that I will approach this differently and that I will not attempt to be the end-all solution to her problem, but simply be a friend to her and not 'try moving heaven and earth' (Richard's suggestion). I am so grateful that I was able to read all of your responses and I am sorry that I couldn't reply directly to you.
If there's anyone that knows of a way to give direct replies, let me know!
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#7

Postby moonlightress » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:15 pm

lifelonglearner wrote:If there's anyone that knows of a way to give direct replies, let me know!

You won't be able to reply directly or post any links, until you've reached a post count of 30.
Spambots, you know, they're like weeds. :roll:
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#8

Postby Mayfair » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:40 pm

Probably won't be missed.

I don't care what you think.
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#9

Postby Candid » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:17 am

lifelonglearner wrote:The date is October 2nd, 2019. This is the day that my friend has decided is the absolute furthest she will wait before committing suicide.


I find this bizarre. I've never known a person wanting to end his or her life in a year's time. If things are that bad, they usually want to end it right now.

She could die next year. She could die even before next summer. She could die by the end of this week.


And so could any one of us. The freak accident does happen, you know.

A threat such as this one is clearly a cry for help. You don't mention degenerative illness or intractable physical pain. Your friend wants you to talk her out of it.

I understand the situation because I was experiencing something similar once.


So you know from experience that even the most severe depression passes eventually, Comes back. Goes again.

To anyone else feeling this way, I suggest the obvious. Tell your doctor, not your friends. Ask about medication and therapy. There are professionals trained to delve into your history and figure out why life looks so bleak that you want to end it.

It's really not that easy to commit suicide, you know, and messing it up can be disastrous. You spend time in a psychiatric hospital where you're watched round the clock, and/or you've added physical problems to mental ones.

I predict this friend will still be around five years from now, during which time she may or may not have done something about her problems other than burdening her friends.
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#10

Postby Mayfair » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:54 am

More people ought to commit suicide. Don't worry about it.
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#11

Postby Candid » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:33 pm

lol Jason. You really are being vile in your latest incarnation.

Sooner or later a newbie who doesn't get your GSOH is going to report you and you'll be banned again.
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#12

Postby PM » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:54 am

Yes reported. What a twat.
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#13

Postby Candid » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:22 am

PM, you know not what you've done.
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