Archives For Suicide

My first post in this series of four, “Suicide – A Multidimensional Crisis” is here. My second post, “Suicide – It Begins With Suffering” is here. My third post “Suicide – The How-to Stratagem (Absurd!)” is here.

Praying Hands

During my time of struggle––hopefully the three earlier posts told the story––I would have characterized my life as untethered. I saw myself floating head down far from the earth’s surface, arms outstretched as though I was reaching for someone’s hand. I was only a stick figure, unrealized as a human being. I wasn’t floating in an atmosphere that was quiet and undisturbed but one that was tumultuous.

As the turbulence thrashed me about, as the glass shards of reality wounded me, I floated farther away and I was in danger of leaving the gravitational pull of our planet. Panicked, I prayed that somehow I would find a connection, something or someone who would grasp my hand and stop me from becoming my own planet adrift in the infinite void.

I found that connection. God––the Truth I had always been searching for––grabbed my hand and has never let go. And as I became more accepting of His presence––through prayer––it wasn’t coincidental that I never again wanted for the basics of life. Subtle miracles I like to say. Family and friends and new relationships stepped up to help in so many ways.

I’m going to assume that there are people reading this post (as well as the three earlier ones) who have had thoughts of hurting themselves. It’s an amazingly frightful act to consider and I’m empathetic to your pain. When I think of your agonizing struggles––I’ve been there and never want to go back––with as much honesty and conviction as I can muster, I beg your attention for what I’m about to say.

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SuicideMy first post in this series, “Suicide – A Multidimensional Crisis” is here. My second post, “Suicide – It Begins With Suffering” is here.

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I remember the day quite well. It was cold and blustery. I was alone at a friend’s ranch in the boondocks of Wyoming. In terms of isolation, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining comes to mind.

For the first time, I was about to fantasize about the specifics of killing myself. Why this day and not sooner? Perhaps hopelessness needs time to fester.

Regarding suicide, people think, they plan, and then they acquire the means to do it. And at some point they become resolute and just bide their time for the “right” moment. I never became resolute, never fully committed––God’s grace!––and as some sort of defensive mechanism, my brooding on that day––which you’re about to read––is a combination of cynicism, dark humor, melancholy, sadness, absurdity and God knows what.

By the way, fueled by beer which clearly reduced my inhibitions. I’ve never asked a shrink about this but perhaps I was keeping the unfathomable at arm’s length so my writing wasn’t wretchedly maudlin. Or a ranting against humanity. Or an exercise in victim-hood. Maybe I assumed it would be read so I merely wanted to entertain.

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I’ve never been able to accurately describe the pain I felt when hopelessness engulfed my entire being––my physical, my mental, my emotional, my spiritual. The despair was a silent but relentless vise that mercilessly crushed my very essence.

Torment

Unfortunately, my state of mind clouded lucid thinking that might have resolved my predicament. Imagine a tomato under a boot. Good options were obliterated under the boot’s heel, the crushing weight of life. The only remaining outcome, undoubtedly a bad and warped one, would be splattered on the sidewalk. Graphic symbolism for self-destruction, don’t you think?

I was suffering but I couldn’t tell anyone. My God, what would they think? You’re that pathetic? You’re that weak? This is what I’d like to talk about in this second post on suicide. Suffering. My first post, “Suicide – A Multidimensional Crisis” can be read here.

Prior to 2009, I was living a nice but passionless life in the mountains of Colorado. I had taken time off from the institutional investing world to play. Consequently, there was a lot of golf, skiing, partying and in retrospect, drifting. Ultimately though, I knew I had to get back to work so I starting looking worldwide in early 2008.

When the summer fun ended and autumn rolled in I had three quasi-offers––two in London (President, Managing Director) and one in the UAE (Managing Director). Things were looking good. I would use my Colorado dream home as a retreat and jump right back into the financial thunderdome. Without missing a beat.

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I’m about to enter an emotional minefield. And it’s uncomfortable. Walking in the redwoods and chatting about my life with a friend is one thing. Reflecting on my spiritual journey through time and space in a book is another. But in the Internet age, revealing a very dark moment in my life can be risky. Very.

SUICIDE

This digital stuff doesn’t disappear. I know it hangs on servers somewhere out there like vampires in the netherworld. But Internet musings have the potential to be like hydrogen atoms from the Big Bang––indestructible, ubiquitous and unfortunately, a shelf life of 14 billion years.

In the beginning of my blogging life––I just passed the four-month anniversary––I decided to be candid about my own experiences in hopes that sharing them would be edifying for others. But to date, I’ve stayed away from one subject. Suicide––Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, “to kill oneself.” The memories of pondering such an act are none too sweet.

However, since I survived the 12/21/2012 apocalypse and have a new beginning (Excuse me? Nothing happened? The trailer in the Mojave was unnecessary? But I stole it!), and realizing that folks may get melancholy around the holidays, I thought I could shed some light on a more intimate type of destruction; one that is the leading cause of death by injury in the United States.

Suicide––Self murder––Warped Resolution.

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