The following is a FaceBook message I received from a beautiful young lady, Alexis White. Her name is used with permission.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, please talk to someone, please.
If you’re a parent or adult who has a suicidal youth in your life, please take it seriously. Do not think they are being stupid or spoiled. Do not think they are doing it just to get attention. They need attention. Kids don’t want to die, they want the pain to stop and they simply don’t know how to make it stop. They run away by using drugs to numb the pain. They may act out in many ways. They probably cut in an effort to focus their pain, to feel it, to punish themselves. Don’t blame friends. Blaming is a serious waste of time. Be gentle. Look for a therapist. Chances are you can’t be the fix. You can be tender and encouraging. Search the Resources on this site. Talk to your friends. Don’t be ashamed that your child is struggling. Everyone has troubles; some are just really good at hiding it.
Lastly, a person has to fully experience three things to complete suicide. They have to have a complete loss of hope – no hope of anything ever changing. They have to be brave enough to use lethal means. And finally, they have to feel like they are a burden to their family and friends. What does that mean? That means you need to create hope through creating options. Don’t stop looking for solutions. Certainly don’t ignore the problem. Keep lethal means locked up as much as possible. Don’t make it easy for them. Finally, be very careful not to make someone feel like a burden. This is a hard one because you feel pain. You should get therapy too. I’ve seen horrible things done like underage kids are forced to pay for some or all of their hospital stays. No. Just NO! Reinforce in the child that noting is too much to keep them here or that you want to find a way because you love them. I tell kids straight up, “You are NOT a burden to me. I feel blessed that you’ll call and talk to me.” But, I’m also good at saying, “I’m tired. Can we talk tomorrow?” Do whatever you have to do to keep that child here. The aftermath of suicide is NOTHING you want to live through. At that point, you are FORCED to deal with the pain. You might as well fix the problem now.
In the end, if someone you love completes suicide, then you learn from it but don’t live in the ‘what if’ world of pain. People make choices. We have to make choices too. Grief is winding road – a painful, painful road. However, it’s not a life sentence of pain. Read my post Crater.
Now read what Alexis shared:
Hi, We haven’t talked much in the past while, but lately I’ve just been reminded more and more of her. It’s the little things, like rice Krispy treats and sandals and paint. It’s weird. I don’t like it. I see her in my friends, and she comes up in the strangest places. I can’t look at horses or boats or tye-dye or pugs or cute messy hairstyles without thinking of her. Hell, every time I look at my black belt, something I’ve worked for years, putting in my own blood, sweat, and tears for, something I should be proud of, it just seems like there’s something missing. And it’s her. She should have been there. She should have been the one to knock out Adam at the belt test, not me. I miss fighting her and getting my butt kicked by really one of the only people that could win a fight with me. I miss how we would always compete to see who was the strongest or who could do the most pushups or reps or who could go the longest or who had the strongest will. I miss training with her, she could always encourage me and inspire me and push me like no one else could. There are times, well most of the time really, that I find myself denying the fact that she’s gone. I tell myself that she had to fake her own death and she’s still here, she’s just hiding from something. About a month after, I even ended up convincing myself that it was someone else who did it and framed it as if it were her. I just couldn’t accept the fact that she took her own life. I still can’t. I still have trouble forcing myself to believe the truth. And I hate it, I hate the truth.
The months after it happened, the months where I got my black belt, Adam made things so much better. Both of them have the same kind of inner zen, and now both of them are gone. I miss Adam just as much as I miss her, and I don’t know where he is right now, but I can only pray that he is in a safe place. I can’t drive by certain places without remembering her. Even just hearing her name, even if it someone wasn’t talking about her, it’s just a flood of memories. Good and bad, just memories and things that reminded me of her. Every time I hear something about acapella, it always makes me think about that road trip down to cedar city. School gyms make me think of her. Superman of all things reminds me. Daisies and yarn even.
I went to cemetery point the other day
It was a nice day, somewhat cloudy but still warm and sunny. Just like the last time I was there with you and everyone else. I swear the walk down that center road in the cemetery, what should have been a 2 minute walk, felt like an hour. It seemed like every step I took towards her, I was moving farther away. When I got there I must have just stood in front of her for 10 minutes before I looked away or moved again. And I have to tell you, the strangest thing happened. I’m usually a very skeptical person, but I don’t know. After her, I ended up sinking into depression and I didn’t think I’d ever get out of it. But for almost a year and a half I’ve been out of that. I’m happy and I have hope. Sometimes I’m sad over different things, but I’m better, but it was so strange because when I was there, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t hurt like I did the day I watched her be put into the ground. Not because I wasn’t sad, but because I didn’t feel alone. I felt almost comforted by being there, but I’ve never felt comfortable in cemeteries. I don’t like them, but when I was there, I felt…content. It felt like when you hold your breath underwater for a long time. It hurts and you start noticing everything – the pain in your lungs, the throbbing in your head, the pressure behind your eyes, the feeling in your muscles to spring to the surface. And being there was like the relieving breath of air that was so needed. Things are weird. They’re just so weird. I remember like it was yesterday getting my butt kicked by her but both of us laughing as we fought. I’m happy that she was in my life though. I’m glad that she was in it, even if it wasn’t for a lifetime.