Note: The following article contains references to suicide. The reader is encouraged to skip this article if the subject is triggering.
Beneath my watchstrap is a reminder.
A reminder of a person I was, a reminder of a life that I lived and a life that I tried in multiple ways to end whether through threat or physical attempt.
Many of these circumstances came when I was merely 20 years of age.
Over the years, that scar has faded as have the feelings and emotions of someone desperate to feel something more meaningful than what I had at the time.
As 2021 ended and 2022 began, I heard about friends of our family who took their lives and even in the news, I’ve seen more reports of people who just couldn’t hang on in this world any longer.
It can be a merciless world…
My wife and I were talking sometime back, and in Marissa’s mind, it’s always been difficult for her to understand how someone can get so low that they feel inclined to remove themselves.
Even though it’s been a very long time since I’ve had those thoughts, I understand it. I understand how someone can feel so desperate to feel valued or loved or appreciated that they convince themselves the world would be better off without them.
It pains me to say that, as an only child, that I would have felt that way and considered leaving my parents with that void in their lives. My parents who only ever showed me love and support and understanding.
I just didn’t know how to accept it back then.
And this reminder on my wrist, over the years it has faded so much that, in the right light, I can barely see the evidence of that former life of mine.
There is never a convenient time to talk about suicide. Even when there are awareness months and weeks and days where people collectively take to social media for the cause. Phone numbers are offered as are email addresses and points of contact. People, myself included, offer themselves, their listening ears and their homes to anyone who feels so much despair that they consider letting go completely.
And since there is never a convenient time to talk about it, I’m talking about it now. To anyone who will listen or read, people are suffering everywhere, just like I did over 20 years ago. People are making threats and taking action because the world they live in is suffocating them. I remember those days, and even when I try not to, the reminder on my wrist tells me otherwise: Don’t forget what you’ve been through.
And here is my very simple plea: Stay alive. At all costs, stay alive.
Had I fulfilled the hopes I had for myself once upon a time, I would have missed out on so many incredible parts of my life: on my wife, Marissa, on my son, Jackson, and our son, Sebastian. There would be no RevFit, I would not have been there for my mother when cancer took my father from this world, I would not have been able to tell my father over and over again how much I loved him before cancer took over, I would not have been here to write these words to someone who may need to see them, that yes…sometimes, the grass is actually greener on the other side.
And if you’re reading this, and you need an ear, from someone who’s been there, this is where you’ll find me:
I’ll write it again because it matters.