Every thirteen minutes, someone in the US commits suicide. A traumatized lover pops a bottle of pills. A bullied teen hangs from a noose. A horribly depressed soul shoots himself in the face. A depressed teen hangs herself with a belt.
One week from today is the local Out of the Darkness walk, organized by the American Foundation for Suicide prevention. This is the 10th annual walk here in Cincinnati. For 10 years the Cincinnati chapter has raised awareness and money to help fight against suicide. They hope to erase the stigma attached to mental illness. They use they money raised to research mental illness, which is the cause of suicide 90% of the time. They provide support for those who have survived a suicide attempt and for those left behind by a loved one who has committed suicide.
Suicide has been an unwanted part of my life for 16 years. During my first marriage, the threat of suicide and even a handful of unsuccessful attempts was used to hold me hostage in a marriage I did not want. During my second marriage, I spent a lot of time helping my wife recover from the suicide of her brother. Suicide has a devastating effect on the surviving loved ones. Suicide attempts do, as well. The effects are paralyzing. Destructive. Soul-crushing.
I have connected with many people here on WordPress who have attempted suicide. They are all wonderful people who suffer from some sort of mental illness. Depression. Bipolar. Addiction. All they wanted was for the pain to end.
Next week I will be walking for these people. I will be walking for two of my closest friends, who have both confided in me that they attempted suicide in the past. I will be walking for my ex-brother-in-law, who’s suicide tore apart his remaining family. I still don’t know if, seven years later, they have recovered. I don’t know if they ever will. I will be walking for my first wife who, despite her willfully using suicide in an attempt to manipulate me, actually attempted it due to her, at the time, undiagnosed mental illness. Most importantly, I will be walking for my children. The twins mother, my first wife, attempted suicide. Baby C’s uncle successfully committed suicide. I fear those traits are somewhere buried within my children.
I unashamedly beg you to donate to AFSP if you can. This organization provides, in my opinion, a vital community service. The research funded and services provided to those who need them makes it all worth it. Your donation will make a difference to someone.