Suicides in our Community

topic posted Sat, February 9, 2008 - 9:20 AM by  Kamikaze
The latest was Bio Tech Ryan. Last week.
Buffalo Bill was apparently an accidental heroin overdose.
Bret from the MidWest.
6 others I knew...
My first was Tex from DPW.
I don't get it.
WHY, when you are a member of a bright, eclectic, gifting, sharing community; would you not pick up the phone?!
I don't get it.
Call me simple, but why do we not pick up on the clues, be more 'Radically Inclusive' to the extent that this doesn't happen.
I couldn't stop the suicide on the Playa last year by a Colorado Burner I knew because I didn't know he was in pain.
Maybe thats the problem.
I recently shared a few very personal details of my life in a Blog and a few, who I really don't know that well, ripped me a new asshole by diagnosing me from their perspective.
It totally chilled any 'shares' I wanted to make in the future.
So, fuck Y'all.
I'm posting here instead of a Blog because I'm tired of the bullshit and hypocrisy.
Boot me off of Tribe. I don't care.
If ONE of you shows compassion, or reaches out, or drives by a friends house, or calls someone you haven't talked to's worth it. To 'put it out there', to be open, honest, and vulnerable.

This Thread will self destruct in 24 hours.
Think about it.
Do the right thing.

posted by:
  • Because of your post I worite to a freind of mine who I know is having problms.

    Thank you KK.

    We lost a good freind of mine in 2001.
    She was awesome. a real free spirited Burner with an appitie for creativity, sincere intamacy and human adventures.
    Motorcycle riding, art making booty shaking woman of wit, wacky and wonderful.

    She took her own life and only told one other person she was going to. That person (very un willingly) agreed not to interfer. We spent a lot of time digesting it all.
    In the end, I ,like many of us, declared that we supported her and her diecision. A person who lives so bright has lived indeed. If she wanted or needed it to end, the very least we could do was respect her. It's hard still, but I trust her. She trusted us.

    She was truley alive and her death will never destroy those moments. I wish her pain could have been managed with us, but she did try that.

    Now she is at peace, and the rest of us, well, I'd rather be hurt by her death than to live knowing she is still in pain.

    My advice to those of you who consider offing yourself.
    Make sure you have at least done what she did first.

    Turn your life into an incredible adventure filled with close genuine friends who will be forever hurt by your departure. And if you still can't suffer life's unfairness and the discomforts of reality,

    seek medication.

    • >She was truley alive and her death will never destroy those moments. <

      My experience has been very different, anyone I know who is truely alive and living their fullest fights the thought of death very hard, rages against it.
  • hey K,

    I dont have the answers to most of your questions. I DO know that I have been in that place in 2000. If it wasnt for the knowledge of what it would have done to my folks I would have done it too.

    It was a hard lesson but as as Im sure you know, the sun comes out again. I dont know. Life is fucking hard
  • A long long time ago, many chapters past in my life, I seriously wanted to kill myself, even had it all planned out. I can only emphasize how glad I am now that I didn't do it. I could never have predicted the wonderful twists and turns my life has taken since that time. I am so grateful I didn't miss out on all the good things that were to come, that I am living now.

    Suicide may seem to make sense sometimes, but my recommendation is to seek help and don't quit seeking it till you get what you need.
    • I dont know why someone would flame you for your concerns Kami. It makes you look stronger in my eyes when you become stronger for those that may not have the strength to help themselves. We shouldnt ignore those that go into depression and we shouldnt be fooled by the dangers signs of it either.
  • Unsu...
    I have dealt with a few suicides of close friends. One being my best friend in the world that I knew since before we could walk. It is extremely hard if not impossible to stop somebody who is convinced suicide is their only answer. They will do anything they can to shut you out so you have absolutely no idea they are planning on doing it. Picking up on clues is easy to say but really not easy to do. A lot of times somebody who is going to commit suicide becomes at peace with themselves and instead of showing signs of depression actually seem happier then they have in years.
    • I have no problems tossing my number out for people I do not know. I will say, I am a better writer than a talker. I was silenced on sharing many moons ago....
      This community. Really, so many of you willing to share your lives with each other. The common bond you have. Granted, artists tend to be somewhat moody and unpredictable. Hell, when it comes to the flames you guys love so much, I spent 3 years blowing stuff up and well,,it takes a rather unique person to enjoy these things. To be able to have that common ground is remarkable.
      We can never know, what truly goes on in a persons life. But if we can help, then we should. If not for us or for them, then simply just for the future that is just around the corner. One never knows what is there. If we can pick up on the signs, then catch them and carry them until the moment of true dispair goes away, then we will be able to share with them, the future that they find.
      I dont know what else to say.

      Hugs KK and remember. The people who shot you down, have problems of their own. Some of them, do not even realize how fortunate they are to walk among friends and strangers and be accepted for who they are. When you can do just that, then you have grown to be an incredible person that has no limits, no boundaries in life. For those of you who have been hurt, some of us are here for you and are really here to help give you that gentle shove upwards on your path of life and healing. We cant do it for you, but we have arms, hands and shoulders, to be there for you, when you need to stop and rest a moment, because life happened to you. Thats what friends are for. We always have time in our lives to do this. We will need it ourselves someday....

      HUgs and nibbles all of you actually.....

      from just a stranger
    • <Picking up on clues is easy to say but really not easy to do. A lot of times somebody who is going to commit suicide becomes at peace with themselves and instead of showing signs of depression actually seem happier then they have in years.>

      This is very true, and exactly why a professional in this field should be treating the person.
  • I've been there a couple times, once with a woman I lived with. The last attempt, I got the suicide note ran home, saw the car with a hose running from the exhuast pipe to the car window. I called the police, had her put in 48 observation lock down. She was cursing at me the whole time the police were interviewing her.

    That was 23 years ago and we split up shortly after that...but she's still alive and she still thanks.

    Suicide and depression are complicated issues, but I'll fall on the side of tough love every time and risk being called an asshole.

    I've read just about every book and article I could find since then, even called a "suicide survivors" therapy group and I still don't fully understand it.

    Find your peace the best you can.
  • Thank you, Kamikaze. I think a lot of us have been touched by this subject in our personal lives. Like Eddie said, it seems to be pretty common that people had no idea the person would ever consider such a thing. And like Simon said, it's so hard on the survivors, especially parents. I'd like to think that no matter how miserable I got, I would tough it out because I wouln't want to inflict miserableness and grief on my family. But I've never walked a mile in those shoes, and some folks probably convince themselves nobody would care. But somebody always does. The Colorado burner suicide was a sad thing for all of us to learn about, even though we didn't know him (or most of us didn't anyway).

    I'm really sorry somebody was unkind to you in posting about your blog. Some people just have a mean streak, it seems, or want to put themselves above others. There's probably more of that online than in the real world. Disregard their BS and follow your own heart.


    • "declared that we supported her and her diecision. A person who lives so bright has lived indeed. If she wanted or needed it to end, the very least we could do was respect her"

      Sorry, I don't agree. It's one thing if a person has a terminal illness... I would agree that suicide is an option then.

      But for a person to opt out on life is a terrible waste for all... the person and their loved ones.

      There's love, there's art, there's music, there's adventure... there is so much to do and experience.... help the person live so they can enjoy all that life has to offer.

      Things change, people change. What might sound or be a hopeless condition one day could be turned around.

      IF someone confides in you about suicidal thoughts YOU OWE IT TO THEM to help them get help.

      • Unsu...
        "Sorry, I don't agree. It's one thing if a person has a terminal illness... I would agree that suicide is an option then."

        A shame and a waste it most likely may be but a person's life is about the only thing they have in the end. The one thing no other person should control the disposition of (absent Murderers and Rapists who can swing). All else can be removed by circumstance or authority but your life is yours.

        The courts may not agree but they're wrong on so many topics I don't see them as any moral guide.

        I support the right of a person to end their life if they want but I would use my last breathe to talk them out of it. It is far too often a permanent solution for what are essentially temporary problems like adolesence, heartbreak, durance or other trial. Things that all pass in time.

        If you feel this way I say, "Give yourself time. You deserve that much." I wish I could shout it.

      • I respect what you are trying to say, and I agree, everybody deserves as much help as possible...

        But please know,

        There is a reason why she only told one other person of her decision.
        She knew the rest of us would do everything to stop her, or in reality, slow her down.

        This is not a case of temporary depression. This is the very last act of a person with chronic and ever growing physical / mental pain and suffering whom I loved very much.
        Loved enough to know she would never has cause me an once of pain unless she was absolutly certain she could not stand it one day longer.

        We all loved her enough to see past our our own pain and into hers.
        Criticize us as you will but just hope you never get put in her shoes.
        • Unsu...
          This is not a case of temporary depression. This is the very last act of a person with chronic and ever growing physical / mental pain and suffering whom I loved very much.

          our society never accounts for how serious depression is. i know just how she felt, and i gotta say i respect it. sadly, i respect it.

          terminally ill people get to commit suicide all the time, why not the mentally ill? hey, if you had to live with the pain of being a burden to your friends and family, with no hope in sight for recovery, and you would not be in control of the decisions that shape your life because of mental illness, how is that terribly different from living with a debilitating life threatening disease? sounds exactly the same to me.

          living with mental illnesses, and especially depression, is wishing you were dead every day, living in pain and horror every day, and never being able to end that because your sane normal friends will miss you... well shit. sounds awful. but if you can't live, love, or learn what's the fucking point? what is living? do you think mentally ill people with chronic life long illnesses are "living" according to any standard you would choose for yourself?

          i think the mentally ill should be given the chance to have that choice to end that pain with dignity. i don't think this radical thought out loud to encourage that, just to encourage empathy for this problem. i guess it's a no brainer, because if you really want to end your pain you will. lets not kill the mentally ill out of hand, but if they hate that suffering who can blame them?

          i honestly have a lot of contradiction where suicide is concerned. i personally believe it is an awful thing to do, but i have some understanding of why people i love have done it, and even why i myself would love to do it at times. i have been living with depression for a long long time, and actually it's not getting better. some days i ask myself if it's all worth it. that is normal for my condition. no one wants to live their whole lives in pain, it isn't fun.
          • Evil, I think that the difference in a terminally ill person to make that decision is a bit different than someone who can end up changing their mind with treatment. Terminally ill folk fall in a differing category than those who just feel depression. I believe that all people have the right to decide their lives. But, the fine line here is if someone isn't mentally completely coherent, how do we in good conscience let that person make a choice that is so permanent. terminally ill patients who make this type of decision face no hope of things getting better. A person who is mentally ill does have the chance to get better.
      • I agree to dissent with this also.

        Supporting a person's decision to commit suicide seems to be disrespectful in and of itself. Ibelieve suicide is what happens when a person runs out of coping mechanisms. It is the "last straw" or "getting to the end of their rope". I am fairly familiar with the cycle as I am close friendswith a person who has suicidal thoughts. The second I hear, feel, or even suspect, action is taken.

        If you "respect" a person's desire to commit suicide then I believe you are telling the - "Yup. You are right, you have run out of options. You are at the end of your rope and I got nothing for you."

        After the fact? I have gotten pissed after hearing about two people I know murdering themselves. Why? I believe it is a very selfish act. I still love them - but I get pissed - as if they were still here.. Then I cry for the life lost.
        • Do you respect someone's choice to die of heart disease? Or get mad at them for doing so?
          • I am not sure anybody "chooses" to die of heart disease. I am a smoker -which in my own logic train - means I am probably committing suicide slowly. this means I am a Jackass - and I fully accept that fact.

            Call me a hypocrite. It wouldn't be the worst I have been called.

            That being said - if I get diagnosed with lung, heart, or other disease, I will be pissed at my own stupidity and try to see if there is a way to avert my demise. I am not the type to rollover and play dead.

            In my own twisted logic, however, I am not committing suicide - I am gambling. Not everybody who smokes dies of related causes. Again, I will point out my own hypocrisy here - as I would not play Russian Roulette with a pistol.

            Good question though as it caused e to dismount from my high-horse and get into it a bit.

            Thanks crypto!
            • <I am not sure anybody "chooses" to die of heart disease.>


              Most suicide deaths are connected with affective disorders. Or drug addictions. Both of those mess up brain chemistry; and they often are in conjunction with each other. It's more complicated than that, as both these families of disorders have strong social componants, and it's hard to know how Roman falling on your sword or Japanese sepuku or Arctic peoples going out on the ice flow in a hard winter fit in, but the best information we have indicates that suicide is involentary when you look at the whole of the person, rather than the misery of the victims achieve to finally feel that death is the best option. SSRIs, mood stableizers and even electro convulsive therapy can do amazing things to help people to expand their worlds again, but the stigma of mental illness is still so great that many people are not willing to use these therapies.
              • I am not trying to be snarky, though it may come across as such, but I must ask-

                How are affective disorders diagnosed after death? If they were diagnosed prior and the victim was given the treatment but didn'tfollow the regimine. isn't it still their choice?

                I guess it could be lumped under my skewed concept of gambling, but it seems that on the one hand, it may be ASSUMED the person was suffering from such a disorder,or they were diagnosed and refused to follow their treatment.

                If they were disgnosed, is it safe to assume that there was a failing in their support network,or was it an individual choice?

                I am just trying to clarify. I swear to Dog I am not trying to be a pain in the ass.
                • I do not mean to be flippant about this.

                  My life has been touched by suicide as well.

                  I just think that it is narrow minded to simply say all suicide is the result of some disorder or another, some psychological dent that if not for, the person would still be living.

                  I do not have a whole mess of bluster to bolster how I feel about this, but suicide is a choice: if I never knew it before, I know it now. It's a choice consciously made for better or worse, for adventure or pure selfishness, and just as legitimate a choice as the one to go into chemo or other difficult choice. Perhaps it's a choice we make in every moment; I won't go so far as to say one way or another about this, but how we live our lives has a gravity most would rather not embrace.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    I was very careful not to say "all."

                    And I don't know that it's really a choice when the chooser feels his/her back is up against the wall.
                    • Unsu...
                      This is a fascinating thread, a lot of good information is being shared. It's become clear to me that there are different types of suicide, you can't compare the shotgun revenge one with someone who is terminally ill or old or even depressed. They are just too different. My dad quit AA because the group couldn't save one of it's members from suicide and wouldn't talk about it afterwards. My dad's life always seemed like such a waste of time, talent and energy, but he would always tell me he would never commit suicide. I often wondered what he lived for (I know that sounds cold, but it's true and a long story). He died being treated for cancer and wanted all available treatment. They couldn't do much for him, because his liver was destroyed by endless years of drinking. His life struck me as a slow, drawn out suicide. Was it more or less painful for him and us? I don't know.

                      I watched bits of a documentary on suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge (one person who jumped landed right next to my girlfriend who was on a boat) and one of the things that stuck with me about the film was that the survivors - and most of the people talked out of jumping - never tried to take their own lives again. Several of the survivors talked about how they changed their minds right after their feet left the deck. So I think intervention is noble, needed and - as said earlier - not without risk. I also think that for some who have made their peace, their choice should be respected (and I'm not going to judge who they are or why they did it.) For the shotgun in the shed one, it's horrible, but better than the one's that kill their families, lovers, assorted people that have agrieved them and then kill themselves. I save my unforgiveness for them.

                      Does anyone know how prevelant suicide is during warfare? I sometimes have self-destructive thoughts (occasionally suicidal ones) but never when I am in a truly dangerous situation. It's a strange and sad quirk of human nature when soldiers come home after surviving battle and kill themselves over despair and depression. It seems when someone else is trying to kill you, you think only of survival.
                      • well, there are cases of suicidal heroism, and that's another question. But I tend to agree that suicide in fighting soldiers is rare. I think that there's a great deal of "bonding" and that the feeling of belonging can outweigh a lot of nasty shit during the time combat is going on. When they come home with PTSD, then the fun* starts.
                        And the suicides at Masada, I don't know how to account for that.

                        *No, I don't believe that PTSD is fun for sufferers or those close to them. Just that whistling past the graveyard coping mechanism.
                    • The feeling of having your back against the wall is the same thing as running out of coping mechanisms.

                      The suicide I am talking about is the taking of life withe the intent of relieving yourself of the "unbearable burden of living".

                      Do not confuse suicide with sacrifice. Suicide is a taking of one's life whereas sacrifice is the giving of one's life. In sacrifice, there is an understood greater good. While a person committing suicide might believe in some sense that it is for the best, it is usually because THEY can't cope.

                      I would likely argue vehemently that the person who kills themselves because they are a burden is committing a selfish act, but that the person who pulls their children from a burning house and dies in the process is sacrificing their lives for a greater reason.

                      This is of course coming from a strictly Western vantage point. In Japan and Rome, Honor was an integral part of life and was completely associated with the family. In a way,the Centurion or Samuri who killed themselves for dishonor was, culturally, sacrificing their life for the benefit of family. So was the ancient who hopped an ice flow - tribe in that case.

                      The meat of this discussion can feed us all for years to come...
                • It's probably a good question. Let's just say that they are very prevelent, and that many victims had shown symptoms. The modern ability to
                  alter brain chemistry is amazing in the opening up of new treatments, but we lag behind in true understanding.
  • Well SHIT KK... this coming from you who was having a hard time at the beginning of the week last year. I am so glad I was able to get through that with you. When you asked if our camp was "bad music camp" that was the first time I saw you smile.

    And frankly, I doubt I saw you smile as much as you did when handing out porn and what not during the DPW parade.

    Well done friend... well done.

    As for suicides.... you have a lot of creative, artistic people. Historically, per capita, their rate of mental illness is higher.

    And don't ANYONE think suicide is ANYTHING other than that....

    It is a mental illness, it is not a choice... and your mind and existence becomes detached and clouded and alone.

    They don't pick up the phone because of this KK....

    beautiful thoughts and concern, and PM if you are ever feelin' down.

    Love to all of you.
    • please read Marc Ektlund's collection of suicide notes in the book "Or not to be".

      You will understand that this is a sad mental illness... people are so detached from reality. They are about to take a step into an unknowable, final void... and some of the notes are like "make sure to get the ticket off my dresser to get the dry cleaning. There's some extra money in my change jar"

      People have no concept of reality at that point. He uses famous people, normal people, all walks of life....

      the most disturbing but darkly comic to me was an investor in junk bonds during the Michael Milken thing, he hung himself in his office with a note pinned to him that said,

      "Self awareness is everything"

      AND KK... dear me please do not remove this. I will find you and tackle you.

      One of our cultural problems with suicide is that people are too scared to create a dialogue about it. It is important, and don't you dare destroy the good you have started.

      Bravo sir.
      • "It is a mental illness, it is not a choice..."

        "People have no concept of reality at that point."

        Honestly, would you want to have a dialogue with someone who thought that about you?

        • The dialgoue is for everyone to understand it, then we can better help those dealing with it.

          The dialogue is so that people with your comments or opinions don't relegate it back to some shameful family secret.
          • "The dialgoue is for everyone to understand it, then we can better help those dealing with it. The dialogue is so that people with your comments or opinions don't relegate it back to some shameful family secret. "

        • Richard Cory
          by Edwin Arlington Robinson

          Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
          We people on the pavement looked at him
          He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
          Clean favored, and imperially slim.

          And he was always quietly arrayed,
          And he was always human when he talked;
          But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
          "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

          And he was rich—yes, richer than a king,
          And admirably schooled in every grace:
          In fine, we thought that he was everything
          To make us wish that we were in his place.

          So on we worked, and waited for the light,
          And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
          And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
          Went home and put a bullet through his head.
          • Here, where the lonely hooting owl
            Sends forth his midnight moans,
            Fierce wolves shall o’er my carcase growl,
            Or buzzards pick my bones.

            No fellow-man shall learn my fate,
            Or where my ashes lie;
            Unless by beasts drawn round their bait,
            Or by the ravens’ cry.

            Yes! I’ve resolved the deed to do,
            And this the place to do it:
            This heart I’ll rush a dagger through,
            Though I in hell should rue it!

            Hell! What is hell to one like me
            Who pleasures never know;
            By friends consigned to misery,
            By hope deserted too?

            To ease me of this power to think,
            That through my bosom raves,
            I’ll headlong leap from hell’s high brink,
            And wallow in its waves.

            Though devils yell, and burning chains
            May waken long regret;
            Their frightful screams, and piercing pains,
            Will help me to forget.

            Yes! I’m prepared, through endless night,
            To take that fiery berth!
            Think not with tales of hell to fright
            Me, who am damn’d on earth!

            Sweet steel! come forth from your sheath,
            And glist’ning, speak your powers;
            Rip up the organs of my breath,
            And draw my blood in showers!

            I strike! It quivers in that heart
            Which drives me to this end;
            I draw and kiss the bloody dart,
            My last—my only friend!

            (thought to have been written by Abraham Lincoln)
    • Unsu...
      "As for suicides.... you have a lot of creative, artistic people. Historically, per capita, their rate of mental illness is higher.

      It is a mental illness, it is not a choice... and your mind and existence becomes detached and clouded and alone."

      So, if I understand you correctly, not sure I do so help me, a person loses their love in say an aircrash and gives into sadness and takes their life. To you, that's mental illness? All suicides are mentally ill?

      If so, I do not agree. Humans are passionate. It'd be nice if that passion went completely toward love but it doesn't and I'd not want to limit that aspect of humanity in any one way for fear of limiting it all ways.

      • I have the unfortunate experience of having lived for a long time with someone who used the threat of suicide to manipulate people. It is a common trait with her particular problem. Most successful suicides are by people who would never tell you even if you asked.
        • This is true. I feel very sorry for the ones that go through life threatening people, that they are going to do this. They do not feel they are worth much to begin with and through their own illness, may never be able to see they are worth everything...
          • "They do not feel they are worth much to begin with and through their own illness, may never be able to see they are worth everything..."

            You say they are worth everything ... but what you say or what I say or what that person over there says, thinks, or feels, ultimately doesn't matter. The only way I have come to grips with it is that ones who do it, don't reach out, and don't tell anyone about it are simply recipients of a self-terminating DNA sequence. There is no use feeling guilty about it. You didn't cause it, you couldn't fix it, it just was.
  • Unsu...
    I can't wait until I commit suicide.

    Of all places... here I thought burners would be more receptive to some persons choices over how to live (or not) their lives... Instead we have to 'help' the people before they are 'lost'......

    yeh! or maybe everyone should realize that not all suicides are the same, not all are bad and that some do it as an affirmation of life rather than through disgust of it.

    I hope for the day when suicide is no longer seen as a negative thing.
    • Christopher? What makes you say such a thing. It is to help them before they are lost and to carry them through the lost period.

      To take your own life, unless through dire, and I mean dire circumstances, is not something to be gloried. Too many people who have been caught before they could finalize the act, have, in the end, been damn grateful for not leaving. They ended up being where they needed to be. I am not saying all of them feel this way. There are some people, who end it through determination. To the rest of us, this is a tragedy. It is heart breaking. I have walked in on an attempted hanging. Barely got there in time as they were not conscious. It was a friend of mine, whose hormone therapy went south on them and it messed them up so badly, that this was the outcome. of all the people, they called me. I almost did not go over. As it was I had to drive 40 minutes to their house. If I hadnt gone,,,,,,,,,,
      You do not understand the toll it takes on everyone else. Even if you were to do this thing, you would leave behind grief such as you have probably never really understood or witnessed. It is not the same grief, from loss through illness or age or accident. It is so much deeper than that.
      I think that you misunderstand the points here. There is such a thing as carrying the person through the entire period, that they feel this overwhelming need to take their own life.
      There is tomorrow Christopher. One never knows what the next day will bring.....What you have said, speaks on many levels. On all the levels, this makes me sad that you felt the need to say this, in this particular thread.........:(

      HUgs Christopher. Please tread more softly in the future. See beyond the words. It is hard to put feeling down on paper into black and white. But sometimes there is no mistaking what you read....It is how do we interpret what we see.....

    I recently took a suicide prevention class through Colorado Youth at Risk. The main thing I took back with me is that we need to talk more. Ask more questions. If we know someone is hurting a little concern can go a long way. It is not our responsibility to change their mind or fix their problems, but we can encourage them to seek someone to talk to.

    I thought this was a good trick to get to the bottom of whether someone is contemplating suicide or not:
    Ask, "on a scale of 1-10, one being a mild, having a bad day pain or 10, not wanting to live anymore pain, where are you?"

    Studies have shown that it really helps to talk about and share our pain (although I think one might be better off with a live conversation rather than a blog or post through tribe). It can lift some weight...
    • Thich Quang Duc was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on June 11, 1963. Thích Quảng Đức was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam's Ngô Đình Diệm administration. Photos of his self-immolation were circulated widely across the world and brought attention to the policies of the Diệm regime. Malcolm Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for his iconic photo of the monk's death, as did David Halberstam for his written account. After his death, his body was re-cremated, but his heart remained intact. This was interpreted as a symbol of compassion and led Buddhists to revere him as a bodhisattva, heightening the impact of his death on the public psyche.

      Seppuku (切腹, Seppuku? "belly-cutting") is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku is performed by males; the female equivalent is called Jigai. Part of the samurai honor code, seppuku has been used both voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies, and as a form of capital punishment for samurai who have committed serious offenses. Seppuku is performed by plunging a sword into the abdomen and making a left to right cut. Seppuku also means to die with honour rather than give up and be cowardly.
      • I don't honestly know that Seppuku is honorable. I don't know enough about how it played out in japanese culture. It seems to me that it was, at times at least, a matter of not having a job--you belong to a house (as in being a hireling) and if that house falls you kill yourself. I do know that being a Ronin was not a happy life, and considered a dishonorable one. It's my understanding that at some time(s) and place(s) in Japan's past there was the cultural phenomenon of older adults doing something similier to the polar people's out on the iceflow suicide. It was about food in hard times, one dies or maybe all die. And maybe in that case it was better to just get it over with. I don't know. I'm not real convinced that the Roman falling on his sword was honorable, although it was defined as such at the time. Certainly, if the Emperor sent you a dagger, your family was better off if you did off yourself, nasty piece of business for the survivor.

        The Thich Quang Duc suicide was a huge anomaly. How many thousands or millions of people killed themselves world wide in the 60s? And how many moved cultures and politics as his did? And how much longer did it take for us to stop supporting that regime?

        I am certain there are honorable suicides, but they are so damn few as to barely be worth talking about. Just mention them and move on.
    • "Studies have shown that it really helps to talk about and share our pain (although I think one might be better off with a live conversation rather than a blog or post through tribe)."

      The average person is better to get a suicidal person to professional help as quickly as possible. And I mean like pretty much the moment they discover the person is suicidal. Don't tarry. This is because a person who is serious about suicide, they they mentioned it at all, probably means they are pretty close to actually doing it right that second. So you had better get them to professional help. Don't get delusions of grandeur about how good you are with people. Get professional help NOW. And if they are like 99% of the people claiming to be suicidal they are doing so to manipulate you. They are doing it for dramatic effect. They want to stir strong feelings in you and become the focus of your attention. Doing so enables them and makes it more likely they will do that again in the future. Again, get yourself out of that situation as quickly as possible and hand it off to a professional who is trained. You are not trained to tell the difference ... they are. You keeping engaged in the situation is probably the worst possible thing you can do. When you are dealing with someone who is admittedly suicidal, GET PROFESSIONAL HELP NOW. It is for their benefit that YOU get out of the picture as quickly as possible.
      • Amazing how I get the feeling here that so many people take on an air of mommy/daddy authority who needs to save the helpless child that wants to out their life. I'm not knocking the natural desire to save someone's life, thank god we have that in spades, and you do need to have quite a lot of confidence to dive into the "saving" - which may come off as a bit authoritative in spirit. But what I truly DON'T like is the inability to recognize just how incredibly LONELY the path of suicide is and are you really strong enough and respectful enough of that person's soul to come as close to it as you can possibly stand, while remembering everyone has a different pain threshold ?? If your agenda is ACTUALLY understanding the person's pain and motivation of despair ( or even enlightenment, which is possible I think ), and you put the agenda of saving their life as SECONDARY to that of peering into their soul and truly connecting with them while respecting their independence -- then I would argue you have gone much further towards breaking their shell of loneliness and maybe gaining real trust as opposed to a "Professional" whose agenda is so focused they can't even see what I just said. It may be that the Professional is way more effective in saving the life and so we sorely need them, but I wish the former were more easily found, because they can bring the transcendent love and then soothe the soul. Can a Professional treat at both levels ? Sure, but I doubt that many are willing to lose their jobs or perhaps risk a prison term if it goes the other way ( or have to lie so much about their methods to superiors, or lie to the patient if they don't permit the ultimate choice )............ Personally, for the record, I would actually prefer to have BOTH approaches from different people if I was ever stuck in one of those horrid "hospitals". But that's where my values happen to be. And someone who simply thought of me as having a mental illness, a bent screw that needed to be fixed, just fucked up DNA, well that person has zero chance of gaining trust and real connection !!!
        just the 2 cents
  • Let me reiterate... been there done that got the t-shirt. I had my life totally fuck up by this behavior by the time I was 25. Yes, try to talk the person down but while you are doing it, be on the other phohne calling the professionals. When a person has gotten to the point of really doing the deed, there isn't much you can do. They already have a script written out in their head and are just daring you to prove to them that life doesn't suck. Nobody wins at misery poker.

    You don’t ignore it but you let them know there are consequences for making threats about killing oneself. If they are on meds, make sure they don’t go off their meds; especially the creative types who think that they can’t be at their best when on meds.
  • The book about depression for the 1990s and into our own time is Andrew Solomon's Noonday Demon.
    • Depression is a disease that can be fatal. As fatal or terminal as cancer.
      • When I was 15, my idol, and my "big sister" and my friend, Bianca Greenough, killed herself at my boarding school, Santa Catalina in Monterey, Ca. The people in power there worked to cover it up, but it was never buried for me.
        There will never be a day that I don't remember being in voice lessons, having my friend Fayth show up, crying (she doesn't cry), watching Mr Oder drive by in his golf cart and not say a word, watching the guy from the Monterey Herald saying, "I'm here with the Coroner" and having Ms Chick say, "Go back to your dorms NOW" while dealing with him, while I'm asking the Mexican girls in Spanish what happened because they're sobbing , and the juniors are at their SAT tests... so only the senior girls are there, and they tell me that something happened to Bianca...
        I will never forget that.
        Bianca refused a hug from me the night before she mixed a bunch of chemicals that killed her. Why? We will never know. But she was my Binky, my friend, the one who told me not to pay attention to the bullshit ,the one who was rejected from Stanford but didn't care. ...
        I loved her.
        And I will never forget her.
        I thought that I was on that path, until she did it. I will never forget her saying, yeah, I'm okay. Maybe tomorrow, when I wanted to just hug my "big-sister role model"
        I will never forget her smile. I was one of her yearbook editors.
        That pain, 15 years gone, is still fresh.
        I miss her.
        And because of her, I will never do what she did. That is the only consolation I have from her action. I have no reason, no logic, no nothing. Nothing. Except that I have promised to never do that.
        Because what happens to the survivors is worse than death..
        I still die every day.
        And I pray for her.
        And i love her no less.
        • Star writes:

          <<Because what happens to the survivors is worse than death.. >>

          This is why responding to these types of calls is so hard. Its one thing when someones loved one dies naturally, but its even harder when they take their own lives. Who do you say to the family? What can you say?? I struggle with that all the time, and Ive been doing this for over 17 years.
  • Hey Kamikaze, I was just thinking about Tex and some other departed DPW stars after hearing this song at a little underground concert.

    (Sullivan) 1994

    Across the town on the other hill,
    your lights glow from a different world.
    You always found a place to hide - nails and cross to lay beside;
    with all the ghosts that we denied.
    Now, in rippled arcs across the sky, the great white birds of winter fly;
    and the wheel turns, and people change - scattered ashes to the wind.
    And there's no pain, there's no pain, there's no pain
    A dry river in the blazing sun . . .

    Your parched face and your callused hands,
    Behind us lie the arid lands
    To say too much - well, it was not our way,
    and in the end there wasn't much to say;
    the scars are healed now anyway
    and there's no pain. . . a dry river in the blazing sun . . .

    And Abraham rose, took his only son, and knife and tinder
    in his hand, and setting out across the desert and up into
    the scrubland hills, he bound the boy Isaac to the stone,
    raised the blade and waited for the miracle.
    But the wind blows silent across the hills, across the dead and the empty hills,
    dead, like the god that never came,
    like your face, the day that you turned away.
    There's no pain . . . a dry river in the blazing sun . . .
    • I worry about the ones who try to take as many people as they can with them when they commit suicide.

      What a dark world these people must inhabit.

      This is good thread, don't destroy it, Kami.
      • Good input, all.
        One of the most important things I learned here is that for warning signs are given. I always assumed that they give a 'cry for help', but that doesn't always seem to be true.
        Of course, all of us should take any sign seriously! But it is hard to know especially when someone gets quiet. Withdraws. Sometimes people (including me) just need some space.
        I will post this as a Blog and pull the Thread as I intended. This is not an appropriate Thread here, but I welcome you to re-visit the Blog and update your thoughts or expand on them there.
        Thread will be pulled at Noon CST.
        Thanks for sharing and allowing me to vent.
        7 Suicides in 7 years by people I personally knew in the Community is 7 too many and I was...pissed!!
        This helped.
  • Normally, I am a man of my word, and when I say I am pulling a Thread, I mean it!
    But...I have gotten too many PM's saying leave it up.
    This, too, will fade into the dark night of old Threads, but I stirred up some passion that can not be denied.
    For those offended by this 'inappropriate Blog' on the Burningman Tribe, I apologize.
    For those of you who needed to read this/respond to this/share....thank you for. Fuck. I don't know. Just Thank You.
    I'm done here.
    Carry on.
    • Bravo, KK. I think this should stay up. It needs to be available, and, I think that the community as a whole seems to think it's worthwhile discussing. The signal to noise ratio seems to show to me that we as a group think it's worth talking about. As a resource that can be searched by Burners, it might give even one person something to think about. The thought that someone else might understand. So for it to remain up, I think is a far more useful service than pulling it.
    • Damn you fuk ur day KK!!!, I only published my inner most nuggets here because you said you were going to delete everything. What I really meant to say was suicide is cool; die young, leave an attractive corpse; everybody was kung fu dancing, everybody wang chung tonight.
    • KK, PLEASE don't take this thread down, you didn't take time out of your day or camping trip to just type some words on a page, I firmly believe, that given ALL that YOU have been thru this is not only cathartic for you, but also for some others. and as you already said, You had stopped sharing your thooughts, so for you to have opened this thread for the discussions taking place is important perhaps more so than you in this moment realize.

      Suicides come in all shapes and sizes, just like the persons that commit to the suicide. some think long and hard about it, some plan it, some just do it, and all variations on the theme.

      Yes, we can say "how are you" we can watch them like hawks, we can pray they dont do it, we can say things like "go ahead" or please dont, we can take them to their meetings and meet with their doctors but when all else is said and done, THEY will make the final decision, oft times in less than a moments thought,

      perhaps hoping in the last breath is doesnt happen, or perhaps hoping in the last breath is does.

      My X tried 8 times before she was finally successful. we spent 16 years together, 8 of them I tried everything I knew to help her be "happy" and want to live.... I checked myself over and over to be sure of what I did or said and how I did it or said it.....

      but, in the end, it was her final act of self defiance that said "I AM IN CONTROL" and with that ounce of control she had left she ended her journey here..

      suicide is not for the faint of heart, it's not for the weak, it for the SELF, in whatever state of mind it resides in. and NO ONE can stop it it the person is intent on it. whether after planning it for years or doing it in the spark of the moment.....

      we left alive surmise all sorts of things to make sense of it..... for me, there is no sense, but, the "for me" is not the same as for ANY ONE else,

      take what ya can fro the life ya know... take what ya can from the life of the person you knew, shake your head, your fists. scream at the Gods or the deep black darkness, but in the final moments we ALL stand alone....

      KK has a saying that I have come to use as a mantra of sorts...... "I get up, I put my boots on"

      THAT is all there is.

      and with that I just want to say. I consider you ALL to be part of my existance for better or worse, AND, I Love you all..... I am here in whatever capacity for whatever reason to the best of my abilities.....

  • I, as some others who posted here, have faced depression in the past. There was a time, sitting in a hotel room, I made the decision to end it all. I even reached the point where I had put the barrel in my mouth and cocked the revolver. At that point, I looked across the room, and saw a bottle of whiskey. The decision to drink that bottle first, is what kept me from pulling the pin. When I awoke, I got a phone call that made my pain less. That was many years in the past, but I can still recall the pain I felt, the despair I faced, and how right the decision felt at the time. And just how grateful I was to Jim Beam that I stopped for him, and the feelings of relief that I'd not gone through with my plan.
    As others have pointed out, this is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, in most instances. For someone who faces ongoing and unrelenting physical pain, and faces an ongoing and permanent decline in life quality, the decision can be a viable option. But from what I understand, a person who makes the decision to end their suffering goes through much in the way of discussion and questioning by doctors to insure that is what they really want. It is problematical, at best, to help, or even let, a person who isn't of sound mind to make such a fateful decision. Derek Humphry, who started the original Hemlock society, confines his arguments to terminally ill persons, citing, among other reasons, the possibility of treating mental illness.
    So, I think from both experience as well as from what experts in the field state, that we should try treatments for what ails us before make such a drastic and irreversible decision. If someone, after trying all available treatments, still feel strong in their decision, then the matter might be more open for discusion.
    I think that almost all of us have, at one time or another, felt wretched over a breakup of personal relationships. I've helped any number of friends who have verbalized, in one form or another, the thought that " I wish I was dead". ANd how many of those of us who felt that way, regret our decisions now?
    I remember, on the survey form at the burn last year, a statement that I paraphrase- How much do you feel isolated in your everyday life? How much do you feel isolated even at the burn? I think this is a very valid question. The burn, and our community, have facets that are both inclusive as well as isolating. And it's all too easy to leave someone who is feeling down to their own devices when they are expressing depression, when we are on a positive high note in our own cycle in life. Sometime that is well, and no harm comes form it. And sometimes the end result is a bit more drastic. How can we help? I don't know. More education, more interaction with our fellow beings? This whole thread has given me lots to think about.
    • I don't know about you guys, but I get to that point about twice a year.

      Most people know I can get a little down on myself, then spring right back and be wildly exuberant within hours. It's the way my brain is set up and the way the neurotransmitting chemicals interact with each other that makes me down on myself. It's just a matter of telling myself that no matter how miserable I feel at the moment, reality is that I am, as a matter of fact, alive. That is wonderful, and gives me the motivation to ignore my negative thoughts. I'll usually write a few of them down in a notepad and burn the notepads a couple of times per year, usually alone to get rid of the demons that build up and try to bite me.

      I know what the throes of depression are like and if you have the mental toughness to explore how deep it can go, it can be a very revealing experience.

      Only the deepest of despair can reveal the true beauty of unbridled joy.

      Live on. You owe it to yourself to experience tomorrow.
  • Unsu...
    It's because many either don't want you to burden you with their problems, and even when we speak out... there's usually no one there to help (I'm still living proof of that) and only until after they have made their decision, then EVERYONE starts coming around to talk about how they lived their life, not how they died.

    I see it as hypocrisy and annoying, but even when people are frustrated, one can still write about these kinds of things in hopes that it would teach others to go to God for man (mankind) and not to mankind for mankind.
    • What's wrong with mankind for mankind?

      I'm not trying to piss on your post, I'm genuinely curious to know your veiwpoint.

      Sometimes it is very dificult for us secular people to empathize with people of faith based beliefs.

      How does a godless person help sooth one who is deelpy spiritual?

      Honestly, I'm up for all veiwpoints on this one.

      • Unsu...
        You wrote:
        "What's wrong with mankind for mankind?"

        That's just it. One should never go to anyone else for advice. It's good to hear their opinion, but one must know (even the "godless") that there is a God (one God) and if they cannot believe that- at least start knowing that there IS something greater than thyself and it’s not in the form of a leaf, a snake, etc. All those things you love and hate have all been created by God… because He has given all of us decisions to make.

        You also wrote:
        “I'm not trying to piss on your post, I'm genuinely curious to know your viewpoint.”

        My viewpoint is exactly what I wrote. My first paragraph was an answer to KK’s question “WHY, when you are a member of a bright, eclectic, gifting, sharing community; would you not pick up the phone?!” I wrote that it was because many don't want to burden others with their problems. Even when people express their “art” as hurting and somebody might think it’s just art or they don’t know the person, the people viewing it or that are in that person’s life may never know who they really are because they haven’t taken the time to get to know that person in a deeper setting.

        If we are all a community filled with love, then many of us need and want people to show us the love instead of the mockery that takes place or the ridicule, the name-calling, the disrespect for our own beliefs… and even if some of us don’t believe in what others do- we don’t lash out at them, but we only tell what our opinion is (or what we know to be true- standing by our own integrity) when asked or if it’s something that we want to promote, but not condemn others at the same time.

        I also wrote “I see it as hypocrisy and annoying, but even when people are frustrated, one can still write about these kinds of things in hopes that it would teach others to go to God for man (mankind) and not to mankind for mankind.”

        Okay… perhaps I should explain a viewpoint in a different way. So, I might hate myself for doing this, and I might just have to go to Burning Man again and burn this poem forever, but after attempting suicide at least 3 times and failing, I will explain it one more time (and maybe another time in the future). I definitely DON’T want to be responsible for someone else taking their life due to the poetry I write (and even the poetry I don’t write).

        When One Is Ready

        When one is ready to die,
        they might have a look in their eye
        as if life was not meant for them.
        After living through the good and bad,
        with some joy- but, most of life sad,
        their future seems quite dim.

        Religious people may speak always-
        “that God gave you life, you can’t take it away”
        and, that “we all have a purpose here on earth.”
        But, since our purpose is complete,
        our destiny- we will meet,
        as each of us are destined since birth.

        When all the many goals one has achieved
        equal to the broken hearts one has received,
        you no longer have control on where you life goes.
        Sure we guide ourselves for awhile...
        and then, with people’s help- we no longer smile,
        if or when we guide ourselves again, no one knows.

        We grow weary of people around us,
        and life has no meaning and death is a must-
        as life is just a game that God and Satan play.
        We know for a fact that life is a bore,
        and we’re only a ‘rope’ in a tug-of-war;
        now, it’s time to play the game our way.

        Life’s a bore because we’re not amused.
        We’re tossed around and mentally abused.
        Even a sane person can take their own life!
        Once we were cared for with real love,
        watched over and supported by the one above.
        Now, we no longer try to change the world of strife.

        Without the world’s anger, life would be calm.
        But, remember- we're all in God’s palm.
        Some who do take their life are angels amongst the dead.
        For all the worldly no longer live
        when they have no more love to give,
        and they worship the power beneath the earth instead.

        All we’ve wanted in life is to be loved each day,
        to have friends that would be there for us always,
        and to be married with children that we could mold.
        A house with a white-picket fence,
        enjoying our lives without being tense,
        and to rock our grandchildren in the rocker when we’re old.

        When one is ready to die, they’ll go the way they want to leave.
        When our coffin is picked out, our bills paid, we believe...
        that making amends with people is all that’s left to do.
        Since not being pleased as much since birth,
        it’ll be time to leave this lonely earth-
        explaining that we don’t want to hurt all of you.

        So, remember the songs I sang with pride,
        and all the love I had inside;
        and the romance I always wished for- for my heart.
        Remember the mountains that I climbed,
        all the poems (and the ones that didn’t rhyme),
        and the times- we now will be apart.

        At last, as I leave- do not shed a tear,
        for you were not close to me when I was here,
        and you will go on to live another day.
        I’ll miss all the ones I love,
        and hate to disappoint the one above;
        but, like the wind... I’m destined to pass away.

        Marcas B. Sterling
        February 18, 1992

        I no longer feel that way, and at times- I still don’t want to be here, but I am trying my hardest not to say that or think that, because now that Renata is in my life… she is my gift from God and I know that I have to continue on in this “so-called” life. Many of us don’t want to hurt all of you… as we know we can, but we still don’t… and that’s in an emotional hurt, a physical hurt, the deepest meaning of hurt. So many of us are also sacrificing OURSELVES just by staying here… “pardoning” you. It’s not our wish to die or to live, but our path is God’s path chosen for us. I listen to Him, no one else.

        You also wrote:
        “Sometimes it is very difficult for us secular people to empathize with people of faith based beliefs.”

        That’s quite alright. God loves you anyway… even the so-called “Godless” and/or atheists, the people that hate, those that are destructive, commit crimes, etc. But, imagine how much more beautiful people if you did have God in your life. You (nor anyone) HAS to worship in a church to have God in your life. I am totally against worshiping in churches (temples built by the hands of the man) that have huge crosses on the outside and inside of the church (which are also known as “graven images” basically). I am well aware of many religions and faiths and Catholicism messed it up for all of us Christians because of the government ruling over the church and allowing it to be a money-making business instead of a faith. I come from a very strict religious background which I don’t like to talk about anymore (because I am supposed to forgive and forget the sins, transgressions and inequities of not only myself, but of others too) and it’s hard to talk about the contradictions I have experienced in my own faith (which I now know my true path). My congregation is everyone I meet on a day-to-day basis, and I pray when I wake up, pray when I go to bed, pray before I eat and whether I in my bedroom alone, or at an outdoor Goa and/or PsyTrance event, or being tortured as a prisoner of war in Iraq, I know that God will be with me at all times, and I’m very okay with knowing that.

        You also wrote:
        “How does a godless person help sooth one who is deeply spiritual?”

        They are unable to. They may think that they have the power, or that they’re helping, but in reality, they’re not. They’re only holding back a tide if that deeply spiritual person is hurting inside. Sure they might be able to help for awhile, and I laugh at many psychotherapists, those who say they’re actually healers, etc. It’s not their power… what they have achieved is something that God has given them. Like God has given us many things for all of us to share and experience… the music we listen to, the artists that brought us that music, etc. Even if the artist has music that isn’t pleasant to listen to and is more of a sound of “devil-worshipping” or “hatred-type” music (which I experienced again this last weekend listening to 4 bands- while 3 of them were all metal)… people need to get a clue. There IS a right and wrong way to do things, to go about doing things, to offend and not to offend, and many can stretch that out quite a lengthy ways… but, then… pushing the boundaries and over the limit is something that is out there too and sometimes too much is not good for anyone… just like food, just like many things and addictions.

        You also wrote:
        “Honestly, I'm up for all viewpoints on this one."

        That’s good. I consider myself a very spiritual person and I became more spiritual once I got into the electronic music scene. Being a drummer since I was 4, I have a rhythm that’s always in my head and music heals all of us… and I thank God everyday for what I know, what I can still learn and for the people being around me that has influenced me artistically and made me even a better person that I am. Some, however- just don’t care… and those are the people that I think are extremely shallow because I know their attitudes. I’m actually a lot more experienced at reading people than people know (along the lines of being somewhat of a psychic or if not- very, HIGHLY intuitive) and usually within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone in person, shaking their hand, hugging them, talking with them, etc.- I know whether or not that person is deeply spiritual, considerate and so many other things. I don’t judge, but I also “avoid bad company” and I want to surround myself with good company these days since my life has been quite hard on me. But, I’m pretty adaptable to many people and their lifestyles, even though I may not agree with them. I still love them, love my enemies, and if they’re not ok with me, I’m ok with them and I know that I might have to distance myself from them, but also- I know that I can still sit among them and discuss other things that might be beneficial for all of us.

        The devil is your enemy, I’m not. I’m just a messenger.

        Peace and many blessings………

        • Man you have a lot to say.
          alright... let's see here.

          Please correct me if I have missed your viewpoint to a greta degree..

          What's wrong with mankind for mankind?"

          Your veiwpoint is that mankind should never advise each other about anything becuase ultimatly, God is really the only source of genuine help.

          “I'm genuinely curious to know your viewpoint. WHY, when you are a member of a bright, eclectic, gifting, sharing community; would you not pick up the phone?!”

          Your veiwpoint is that many people do not reach out to others because many don't want to burden others with their problems.

          But you also mentioned that even when people do reach out , it is often overlooked or misinterpreted.

          You also mentioned that open dialouges can promote/remind people to return/go to God for help/solice etc.

          “Sometimes it is very difficult for us secular people to empathize with people of faith based beliefs.”

          Your view point is that those difficulties are not so important because ultmatly, people can't really help other people anyways, and maybe it is a good thing not to get distracted from real help ie. God.

          “How does a godless person help sooth one who is deeply spiritual?”

          Your veiwpoint is that we can not really help each other, at least not in a genuine way , the way turning to god can.

          In short, what I think you are trying to say is that , we as humans should recognize our relationship to god, and his sole ability to really save us, rather than waste energy on ultimately human deceptions.
          You would rather see us engage in dialouges that help remind and or reach each other in a way that reflects gods ultimate pressence in all of life.

          or in other words,

          if a person expresses the state of being where they are considering suicide, you would rather have us all, try to respond in a way that helps reflect or remind that person, (and possibly the self) of the relationship to god, and his pressence in these matters.

          Is this close to your veiwpoint?

        • Unsu...
          "there is a God (one God)"

          What about me? I know you believe in me...
          • Well. I'll take Marcus's silence as a yes.
            It makes sense to me. Spiritual people need to be addresses according to their beliefs.

            I think the worst thing to do is get cuaght up in a beliefs battle when it comes to saving lives.

            BUt I will offer my suggestion for what "mankind for mankind" suggest when a person experiences a condition that prompts consideration of suicide.

            Most of us secular humans beleive that life is short. It is more than likely that you get only what you get. We also believe that life is worth living. Even a life in suffering has hidden treasures that make the unbearable, worth it. We do believe in things greater than the physical world. There is a value to human principles, profound gestures and the awesome expereinec of a shared existenece with each other. Still my personal perspectives are best sumed up in the following advice, taken from soem people who really do care about saving lives, and have a lot of experience in that effort.


            What can I do to help someone who may be suicidal?

            Take it seriously.
            Myth: “The people who talk about it don't do it.” Studies have found that more than 75% of all completed suicides did things in the few weeks or months prior to their deaths to indicate to others that they were in deep despair. Anyone expressing suicidal feelings needs immediate attention.

            Myth: “Anyone who tries to kill himself has got to be crazy.” Perhaps 10% of all suicidal people are psychotic or have delusional beliefs about reality. Most suicidal people suffer from the recognized mental illness of depression; but many depressed people adequately manage their daily affairs. The absence of “craziness” does not mean the absence of suicide risk.

            “Those problems weren't enough to commit suicide over,” is often said by people who knew a completed suicide. You cannot assume that because you feel something is not worth being suicidal about, that the person you are with feels the same way. It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly it's hurting the person who has it.

            Remember: suicidal behavior is a cry for help.
            Myth: “If a someone is going to kill himself, nothing can stop him.” The fact that a person is still alive is sufficient proof that part of him wants to remain alive. The suicidal person is ambivalent - part of him wants to live and part of him wants not so much death as he wants the pain to end. It is the part that wants to live that tells another “I feel suicidal.” If a suicidal person turns to you it is likely that he believes that you are more caring, more informed about coping with misfortune, and more willing to protect his confidentiality. No matter how negative the manner and content of his talk, he is doing a positive thing and has a positive view of you.

            Be willing to give and get help sooner rather than later.
            Suicide prevention is not a last minute activity. All textbooks on depression say it should be reached as soon as possible. Unfortunately, suicidal people are afraid that trying to get help may bring them more pain: being told they are stupid, foolish, sinful, or manipulative; rejection; punishment; suspension from school or job; written records of their condition; or involuntary commitment. You need to do everything you can to reduce pain, rather than increase or prolong it. Constructively involving yourself on the side of life as early as possible will reduce the risk of suicide.

            Give the person every opportunity to unburden his troubles and ventilate his feelings. You don't need to say much and there are no magic words. If you are concerned, your voice and manner will show it. Give him relief from being alone with his pain; let him know you are glad he turned to you. Patience, sympathy, acceptance. Avoid arguments and advice giving.

            ASK: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?”
            Myth: “Talking about it may give someone the idea.” People already have the idea; suicide is constantly in the news media. If you ask a despairing person this question you are doing a good thing for them: you are showing him that you care about him, that you take him seriously, and that you are willing to let him share his pain with you. You are giving him further opportunity to discharge pent up and painful feelings. If the person is having thoughts of suicide, find out how far along his ideation has progressed.

            If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him alone.
            If the means are present, try to get rid of them. Detoxify the home.

            Urge professional help.
            Persistence and patience may be needed to seek, engage and continue with as many options as possible. In any referral situation, let the person know you care and want to maintain contact.

            No secrets.
            It is the part of the person that is afraid of more pain that says “Don't tell anyone.” It is the part that wants to stay alive that tells you about it. Respond to that part of the person and persistently seek out a mature and compassionate person with whom you can review the situation. (You can get outside help and still protect the person from pain causing breaches of privacy.) Do not try to go it alone. Get help for the person and for yourself. Distributing the anxieties and responsibilities of suicide prevention makes it easier and much more effective.

            From crisis to recovery.
            Most people have suicidal thoughts or feelings at some point in their lives; yet less than 2% of all deaths are suicides. Nearly all suicidal people suffer from conditions that will pass with time or with the assistance of a recovery program. There are hundreds of modest steps we can take to improve our response to the suicidal and to make it easier for them to seek help. Taking these modest steps can save many lives and reduce a great deal of human suffering.

            WARNING SIGNS

            Conditions associated with increased risk of suicide
            · Death or terminal illness of relative or friend.
            · Divorce, separation, broken relationship, stress on family.
            · Loss of health (real or imaginary).
            · Loss of job, home, money, status, self-esteem, personal security.
            · Alcohol or drug abuse.
            · Depression. In the young depression may be masked by hyperactivity or acting out behavior. In the elderly it may be incorrectly attributed to the natural effects of aging. Depression that seems to quickly disappear for no apparent reason is cause for concern. The early stages of recovery from depression can be a high risk period. Recent studies have associated anxiety disorders with increased risk for attempted suicide.

            Emotional and behavioral changes associated with suicide
            · Overwhelming Pain: pain that threatens to exceed the person's pain coping capacities. Suicidal feelings are often the result of longstanding problems that have been exacerbated by recent precipitating events. The precipitating factors may be new pain or the loss of pain coping resources.
            · Hopelessness: the feeling that the pain will continue or get worse; things will never get better.
            · Powerlessness: the feeling that one's resources for reducing pain are exhausted.
            · Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, self-hatred, “no one cares”. Fears of losing control, harming self or others.
            · Personality becomes sad, withdrawn, tired, apathetic, anxious, irritable, or prone to angry outbursts.
            · Declining performance in school, work, or other activities. (Occasionally the reverse: someone who volunteers for extra duties because they need to fill up their time.)
            · Social isolation; or association with a group that has different moral standards than those of the family.
            · Declining interest in sex, friends, or activities previously enjoyed.
            · Neglect of personal welfare, deteriorating physical appearance.
            · Alterations in either direction in sleeping or eating habits.
            · (Particularly in the elderly) Self-starvation, dietary mismanagement, disobeying medical instructions.
            · Difficult times: holidays, anniversaries, and the first week after discharge from a hospital; just before and after diagnosis of a major illness; just before and during disciplinary proceedings. Undocumented status adds to the stress of a crisis.
            Suicidal Behavior
            · Previous suicide attempts, “mini-attempts”.
            · Explicit statements of suicidal ideation or feelings.
            · Development of suicidal plan, acquiring the means, “rehearsal” behavior, setting a time for the attempt.
            · Self-inflicted injuries, such as cuts, burns, or head banging.
            · Reckless behavior. (Besides suicide, other leading causes of death among young people in New York City are homicide, accidents, drug overdose, and AIDS.) Unexplained accidents among children and the elderly.
            · Making out a will or giving away favorite possessions.
            · Inappropriately saying goodbye.
            · Verbal behavior that is ambiguous or indirect: “I'm going away on a real long trip.”, “You won't have to worry about me anymore.”, “I want to go to sleep and never wake up.”, “I'm so depressed, I just can't go on.”, “Does God punish suicides?”, “Voices are telling me to do bad things.”, requests for euthanasia information, inappropriate joking, stories or essays on morbid themes.

            The majority of the population at any one time does not have many of the warning signs and has a lower suicide risk rate. But a lower rate in a larger population is still a lot of people - and many completed suicides had only a few of the conditions listed above. In a one person to another person situation, all indications of suicidality need to be taken seriously.

            And if you are a person who has contemplating how to end your own suffering , consider this long post first.


            If you are feeling suicidal now, please stop long enough to read this.

            It will only take about five minutes. I do not want to talk you out of your bad feelings. I am not a therapist or other mental health professional - only someone who knows what it is like to be in pain.
            I don’t know who you are, or why you are reading this page. I only know that for the moment, you’re reading it, and that is good. I can assume that you are here because you are troubled and considering ending your life. If it were possible, I would prefer to be there with you at this moment, to sit with you and talk, face to face and heart to heart. But since that is not possible, we will have to make do with this.

            I have known a lot of people who have wanted to kill themselves, so I have some small idea of what you might be feeling. I know that you might not be up to reading a long book, so I am going to keep this short. While we are together here for the next five minutes, I have five simple, practical things I would like to share with you. I won’t argue with you about whether you should kill yourself. But I assume that if you are thinking about it, you feel pretty bad.

            Well, you’re still reading, and that’s very good. I’d like to ask you to stay with me for the rest of this page. I hope it means that you’re at least a tiny bit unsure, somewhere deep inside, about whether or not you really will end your life. Often people feel that, even in the deepest darkness of despair. Being unsure about dying is okay and normal. The fact that you are still alive at this minute means you are still a little bit unsure. It means that even while you want to die, at the same time some part of you still wants to live. So let’s hang on to that, and keep going for a few more minutes.

            Start by considering this statement:
            “Suicide is not chosen; it happens
            when pain exceeds
            resources for coping with pain.”

            That’s all it’s about. You are not a bad person, or crazy, or weak, or flawed, because you feel suicidal. It doesn’t even mean that you really want to die - it only means that you have more pain than you can cope with right now. If I start piling weights on your shoulders, you will eventually collapse if I add enough weights... no matter how much you want to remain standing. Willpower has nothing to do with it. Of course you would cheer yourself up, if you could.

            Don’t accept it if someone tells you, “that’s not enough to be suicidal about.” There are many kinds of pain that may lead to suicide. Whether or not the pain is bearable may differ from person to person. What might be bearable to someone else, may not be bearable to you. The point at which the pain becomes unbearable depends on what kinds of coping resources you have. Individuals vary greatly in their capacity to withstand pain.

            When pain exceeds pain-coping resources, suicidal feelings are the result. Suicide is neither wrong nor right; it is not a defect of character; it is morally neutral. It is simply an imbalance of pain versus coping resources.

            You can survive suicidal feelings if you do either of two things: (1) find a way to reduce your pain, or (2) find a way to increase your coping resources. Both are possible.

            Now I want to tell you five things to think about.

            You need to hear that people do get through this -- even people who feel as badly as you are feeling now. Statistically, there is a very good chance that you are going to live. I hope that this information gives you some sense of hope.

            Give yourself some distance. Say to yourself, “I will wait 24 hours before I do anything.” Or a week. Remember that feelings and actions are two different things - just because you feel like killing yourself, doesn’t mean that you have to actually do it right this minute. Put some distance between your suicidal feelings and suicidal action. Even if it’s just 24 hours. You have already done it for 5 minutes, just by reading this page. You can do it for another 5 minutes by continuing to read this page. Keep going, and realize that while you still feel suicidal, you are not, at this moment, acting on it. That is very encouraging to me, and I hope it is to you.

            People often turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain. Remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it. You will not feel the relief you so desperately seek, if you are dead.

            Some people will react badly to your suicidal feelings, either because they are frightened, or angry; they may actually increase your pain instead of helping you, despite their intentions, by saying or doing thoughtless things. You have to understand that their bad reactions are about their fears, not about you.

            But there are people out there who can be with you in this horrible time, and will not judge you, or argue with you, or send you to a hospital, or try to talk you out of how badly you feel. They will simply care for you. Find one of them. Now. Use your 24 hours, or your week, and tell someone what’s going on with you. It is okay to ask for help. Try:
            Send an anonymous e-mail to "samaritans.htm" Call 1-800-SUICIDE in the U.S. Teenagers, call Covenant House NineLine, 1-800-999-9999 Look in the front of your phone book for a crisis line Call a psychotherapist Carefully choose a friend or a minister or rabbi, someone who is likely to listen

            But don’t give yourself the additional burden of trying to deal with this alone. Just talking about how you got to where you are, releases an awful lot of the pressure, and it might be just the additional coping resource you need to regain your balance.

            Suicidal feelings are, in and of themselves, traumatic. After they subside, you need to continue caring for yourself. Therapy is a really good idea. So are the various self-help groups available both in your community and on the Internet.

            Well, it’s been a few minutes and you’re still with me. I’m really glad.
            Since you have made it this far, you deserve a reward. I think you should reward yourself by giving yourself a gift. The gift you will give yourself is a coping resource. Remember, back up near the top of the page, I said that the idea is to make sure you have more coping resources than you have pain. So let’s give you another coping resource, or two, or ten...! until they outnumber your sources of pain.

            Now, while this page may have given you some small relief, the best coping resource we can give you is another human being to talk with. If you find someone who wants to listen, and tell them how you are feeling and how you got to this point, you will have increased your coping resources by one. Hopefully the first person you choose won’t be the last. There are a lot of people out there who really want to hear from you. It’s time to start looking around for one of them.

            Now: I’d like you to call someone.
            • Unsu...
              In a nutshell... yes. :) I actually wrote a small reply and Tribe glitched or something and it didn't get posted.

              I, because I'm Christian, am not perfect. Just remember, when people who say they are think they're all perfect and all, they're not. I love one line I heard (as it states it somewhat like that in the Bible)... "love the sinner, not the sin".

              No matter where I go though... especially to Burning Man, outdoor PsyTrance events, to a Goa Gil event, Earthdance, wherever... I always know that God will be with me... rather I smoke that bowl or whether I take that sugarcube or whatever. These days I try my best to be better to my body... but, I've always remained young-looking... even though my life has been quite hard.

              My spiritual, meditation, cathartic cleansing comes from me dancing into a ritual, tribal trance rhythm when very beautiful music is playing (whether it be Progressive Tribal House, Tribal Trance... especially Goa, and could be melodic Downtempo or Psybient). It also happens when I'm drumming with 3-5 other exceptional drummers and we're all in a drum circle surrounded by flutes and didges... or we're drumming to the Progressive Tribal House DJ and everyone is just kicking a-- staying on that tribal beat.

              I just wish people would really consider something else before taking their own life. It's not true by the way... "it's the easy way out". It's the hard way out too... because sticking around would be harder, but we would have to try and learn more patience than what we already know.

              These days, I hope everyone prays for all those who have tried, all those that are going through tough times.

              It makes me sad and my depression kicks in even more when I know people have gone, and especially when people are hurting. I just don't want anyone in this life to ever "HURT".

  • Several above posts touch on this, but I want to reiterate it:

    People who kill themselves are not thinking or acting rationally. They are suffering from mental illness to the point that everything is irrational.

    So expecting them to suddenly act rationally is a non-starter, even after reading a nice essay, or having a heart to heart conversation, and so on. These people need help from mental health professionals and they probably need to get on meds immeadiately, likely against their current (irrational) wishes. Intervention is pretty much necessary. Its a judgment call that we as loved ones sometimes have to make....

    We "don't get it" because we enjoy decent mental health and are looking at things in a rational way.

    / one friend lost to suicide many years ago, still think about him all the time
    // partner of five years suffers from mental illness requiring intervention more than once
    • Unsu...
      What Blanco said........

      "These people need help from mental health professionals and they probably need to get on meds immeadiately"

      I completely disagree. In some cases... sure. In other cases... no. Mainly- I would say "no" because for one... I strongly dislike (and would not encourage) mental health professionals. They f--k with your mind and usually- in the past when I had a session or two, I am the one that's usually talking and they appear to be the patient. Call it whatever you want, but it's not irrational, and not f--ked up... it's just that I know myself better than anyone else, and some people out there do. As far as the meds... as long as the meds are holistic medicine, natural / organic type of medicine and not prescribed, FDA-approved, health / pharmaceutical type of medicine... then, I would recommend it.

      I would recommend going up on a mountain top with about 12-15 others and have everyone interact with that person through discussion, music, art, dance, poetry, singing, etc.

      "Intervention is pretty much necessary."

      The RIGHT intervention. The wrong intervention could cause one to be quite angry (and it's a possibility that it could make the issue worse).

      "Its a judgment call that we as loved ones sometimes have to make...."

      Like the character Rose in the movie Titanic... 'Sometimes I feel like I'm in a big room and shouting and no one can hear me'. That's how I feel sometimes in the scene. Everyone either wants to ignore, has their "Washington attitudes" (very cold, and not warming like someone who has southern hospitality)... and no one wants to understand "why" or what got me to this point.

      I just hope that someday... as Renata and I have talked about it, that maybe someone would do my story (such as Oprah) or someone could write the story (be a ghost-writer). It's interesting to say the least, but I also think it would help others who are going (or have gone) through the same thing I have.

      Thanks for all your advice (to everyone). People need love, support, nurturing, and I know that Burning Man is means more to me an just a party. Some out there think (and know) the same thing.

      A friend........

      • Marcas,

        I certainly hear ya. I agree that for any illness, mainstream medicine is often about masking symptoms rather than dealing with causes. That said, if a loved one came down with life threatening pneumonia I would strongly advocate a regimen of FDA approved antibiotics immediately, rather than advocating herbal extracts, organics, or a mountain top retreat.

        Our dysfunctional culture teaches us to oppress those suffering from mental illness in ways we would never accept for those suffering from other illnesses (diabetes, cancer, etc. etc.). In general we act like mental illness is not a "real" illness, that those afflicted should be ashamed, or are making it up, or they just need an attitude adjustment. We don't expect people suffering from leukemia for example to be ashamed, or that they are making things up, or that they will get better with an attitude adjustment. We accept their illness as an illness and support them toward appropriate treatment. I think its worth contemplating how much of our attitudes on mental illness are simply running the oppression that we've internalized from our default culture.

        A large component (not the only) of mental illness is chemistry. Based on my experience, I would always advocate helping a loved one with life threatening mental illness by getting them stable with meds. Once they are in a better place, then you can contemplate more holistic approaches etc. While I agree that meds may not be a good long term solution, I think they are often appropriate in emergencies. When some one is ill to the point of seriously contemplating suicide - you have a crisis on your hands. If you want them to stay around, you need to get them stable asap - in my mind this is no different than having a loved one on death's door from pneumonia. Help them get stable first, then look into larger issues such as life issues, lifestyle, diet, and so on.

        Much love,

        • not necessarily about meds... but the people need help. Thanks everyone for reiterating...

          suicide is not a choice. Suicide is a mental illness that is genetically based. It runs in families for christ sake. The gene is identified.

          So... you know... go with that.

          AGAIN.. I encourage you to read "Or not to be... a collection of suicide notes". Very enlightening.
          • Unsu...
            "suicide is not a choice. Suicide is a mental illness that is genetically based. It runs in families for christ sake. The gene is identified."

            The "suicide gene" has been ID'd? Really?

            Well, when they take that one out I wonder what else will go with it. Maybe the ability to wildly achieve. Yes, that seems likely.

            I hope no-one in your life is contemplating suicide (for so many reasons but particularly) because I can just see you having them turned over to the mercies of modern chemically based psychology.

            A straight jacket and meds are so very uplifting to the wounded spirit. Nothing like being helpless before people who actually think they know what's best for you to such a degree that they're inspired to remove your freedom to choose. Without freedom of choice you are not free. I guess it needs to be resaid from time to time.

            Or is it just that the ends justify the means? Like waterboarding?

  • I'm very sorry to hear of your losses Kami... I've also lost a friend to suicide, my ex-boyfriend.

    Many Christmases ago, he tried to commit suicide. I spent time with him after he left the hospital, everything appeared normal. He acted like nothing happened but one night I got a sinking feeling as I lay in bed. I immediately called him. He was slurring his words and slammed the phone down. As I drove to his house I prayed to God he wouldn't die before I got there. As I held his grimy head close to my chest, he wept, and told me everything wasn't worth it anymore. He screamed and yelled for me to leave, calling me a fucking bitch and worthless. But I knew deep down he was going to commit suicide that night if I left, it was obvious that was his plan. I was very close to picking up the phone to call his parents...however he told me he already told them he committed a few weeks prior. I weighed out the option but decided against it.

    The next day I gave him a phone number and information on free mental health care and expressed my deepest concerns. He was more of himself that day, outwardly expressing that he was just fine.

    A few days later he was found dead by his mom. She was checking up on him at his apartment.

    I toiled for many months about how I didn't do enough, didn't say enough, and didn't stop it from happening...yet the people around me kept telling me, "It wasn't your fault, he was going to try to commit again" No one else went through that, and no one could tell me what I felt, because I felt deeply that if I had called his parents things may have been different. The very hard part about this was, his parents had no idea he tried to commit suicide just a few weeks later. You see, he lied to protect himself and not worry his parents.

    It took over a year to believe that I did all I could. I mean, truly believe it with all of my heart. All anyone can do is to the best of their ability. And more likely than not, there's not much you can do when a person has already gotten that far. It took my own grieving process to get to that point.

    I had all the clues in the world yet, I couldn't be a miracle worker on that day. Ultimately, we can't save lives.

    Suicide is never about us. It's about the struggles of that person, and commonly the person either doesn't express outward signs or they cut themselves off from everyone so as not to be a burden. The signs are very hard and even then, we may not be able to do anything, as in the case with me. When the final days loom, suicide becomes their necessity fostered by the reality that the pain is too much to bear. There is no other option, no way for the pain to stop, and so the stopping of the pain becomes death.
    • I want to add...

      There are signs a person is going to commit suicide (not to make it seem like there's none) it's just that to someone who has no idea they're in pain, they may be hard to read.
      • And sometimes they are just a person who wishes to give signs that they are going to commit suicide without really having any real desire to do so. Point is that YOU probably don't have the skills to know the difference. You can't know if they will or if they won't. Better to just get someone else on the case.
  • People are lonely, very lonely, purposeless. No playa will ever help alienation, which in fact grows in numbers.
    • Unsu...
      Hear, hear.

      People don't want anything worth having either. Such things require work and can easily but superficially be replaced by any combinition of enduring addiction and fleeting material satisfaction.

      The lonely thing's the most appalling. In a world just freaking chock full of people we cannot find or finding, recognize each other. Like some sad tasmanian devil anologues. Bite, Bite, Bite!!

  • I never told my story.
    Telling it could affect my Security Clearance.

    It was 1984.
    I was in college.

    I was
    A) Chairman of the Board at Sac State
    B) A Nationally ranked member on the Debate Team
    C) A member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity
    D) Well laid and well loved

    E) Found myself at a lake in Northern California with a gun in my mouth


    I don't know.
    I do know I was depressed (reason number two to revoke my Security Clearance) and was in pain.

    What I DO know is that, at a quiet lake in the middle of the night, with my Walther P-4 (9mm) on my temple, in my mouth, at my head...
    God or Life or Whatever spoke to me.
    And it spoke quite clearly.
    "This is not your path"
    "This is wrong"

    I was 26.

    Since then, I won't lie, I've been tempted.
    All I need to do is remember that time, place, and decision.

    I don't know a god damn thing, but what I know (for me!) is true.

    If you EVER feel that that is your path...know this!
    I have never forgiven a friend who took that path!


    • KK, it is our gain that you did not take this path to its termination. I'm a medic, have seen what lies at the end of the path. seen the sights. heard the sounds. even after 17 yrs remember them all. some things will go to my grave with me, and while i too have struggled with depression, and have briefly contemplated things at the end of my barrel, a winchester 94, have fought the dark side. so far, so good.
  • Something to do, something to look forward to and someone to love. Those three things are whats needed.
    • Unsu...
      "Something to do, something to look forward to and someone to love. Those three things are whats needed."

      Gothalot - I believe you would be quoting Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning. He was a holocaust survivor and made some very profound analogies.

      Today I found myself resonating so much with this statement. Probably more now than ever.
      “When pain exceeds pain-coping resources, suicidal feelings are the result. Suicide is neither wrong nor right; it is not a defect of character; it is morally neutral. It is simply an imbalance of pain versus coping resources."

      I still remember Viktor Frankl trying to find humor in bad situations, such as when Viktor joked with a friend... "When we get out of here, will we always still want to ask a party host to ladle from the bottom?"

      Or when a friend died in the camp because he lost hope of ever getting out. He imagined he would be free on "X" date. When that did not occur, he lost the will to live because he lost hope.

      Thank you for the reminder Gothalot of one of the most profound writer's of the human condition that I've ever read. .........I read that about 20 years ago. I really, really, really needed that perspective today.

      Most of the past 2 weeks I haven't been able to stand or sit because of the pain... that technically makes me a worm with arms. This has been going on for over 2 years on and off. ....At the moment I am living for dark chocolate m&m's. Then a friend called.... adventures await me this weekend. I'm clueless if I can physically do it, but I know where I can find a walker along the way to Santa Cruz and I've got drugs!

      You never know with people,... If they seem angry and troubled, it could be for a good reason. You will never know the other side of them if you don't try!!!!!!!!!! ...It could have been YOU in their shoes. ........By the grace of god go I !!!!!!

      And no I'm not going to chat with anyone about suicide. That's fucking nuts!!! No one will take my ultimate choice from me and social stigma sucks.

      Just be kind and show a little love... That's the best anyone could ask for.
      • Unsu...
        If anyone you know might consider suicide and has an intellectual bent, Viktor Frankl is good reading. He dedicated much of his professional life to creating greater understanding of this issue.

        Here's a little more info on Viktor Frankl:

        Quotation from Man's Search for Meaning:
        We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing a something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering."

        "by experiencing a something" --- outside ourselves is an important part of his beliefs on meaning in life
  • taking one's life is a person thing. each as their own reason, their own way to go. being bright i don't think slows one down. it's sometimes the "thinkers" the "ceartive ones" that find suicide a solution.

    as a kid i came close. now as an adult, i wonder from time to time, what it would feel like, to put a glock/ sig sauer/ keltec/ walther into my mouth and pull the trigger.
    over in a flash, but what comes next?
    i think the "what's next," keeps me from purchasing a hangun.

    being a semi-control freak, makes me skiddish about the uncertainty of the after-life.
    • "taking one's life is a person thing" (sic)

      Taking ones life is THE most selfish thing one can do.

      Your problems are over. Everyone else has to live with it. People who love you.

      Boo-fucking-Hoo I say. I feel sorry for the ones left behind.

      When I was 15 my 14 year old cousin, who I was very close to, killed herself with a handgun.
      She actually showed me her Dads gun while on vacation just days before she used it on herself.

      I have to live with the fact that I might have done something. Even though she didn't show the slightest hint that she was unhappy, hurting or otherwise. After 30+ years I have used up my compassion for people that take their own lives. Especially someone who chooses to do it in public, like at Burning Man or on television.

      I call bullshit


      • "taking one's life is a personal thing"

        i understand, and respect your opinion/reaction to what i wrote..

        my life is my life. not my families, not my friends, but mine.

        my freedoms end at the tips of my fingers, as do yours.

        if you are hurt by me killing myself, that is something you must deal with. good, bad, or otherwise.

        yes, my problems would be over. survivors need to control their own actions, thoughts, and emotions. whether dead or alive, i am not responsible for how you feel about something, nor can i control your feelings. i would not knowingly want to hurt anyone.

        i think if someone end their life, they must be in so much pain, they cannot deal with it, and death is less painful.
  • Hmmm..... my lil brother took his life and i still can't understand how no one saw it coming..... We've gotta get over ourselves and start lookin out for our friends and loved ones and reachin out to the lonely-lookin strangers too! ONE LOVE PEOPLE MEANS EVERY-ONE!!!!! Here's a song i wrote for my brother and others:

    Broken Heart (Maria Mango)

    Let it go, let it go, let the tears flow
    Watch 'em ebb and flow like the ocean
    Nobody knows how the winds of change will blow
    Causin' highs and lows of emotion

    You don't heal a broken heart
    By pretending it ain't broken

    The lonliness and pain are hurtin' my brain
    And I'm feelin' quite insane at the moment
    And there ain't no shame in sharin' your pain
    There's no one to blame and you know it

    You don't heal a broken heart
    By pretending it ain't broken

    Some poeple live for love, some people die for love
    A self-sacrificing crime of passion
    Don't push and shove, don't lie for love
    This world needs more compassion

    You don't heal a broken heart
    By pretending it ain't broken

    The people they cry for a friend who has died
    Wonderin' why weren't we there for each other?
    Pass the rye and heave a sigh
    As we sing all night for my brother

    You don't heal a broken heart
    By pretending it ain't broken

    A mother's woe cannot be told
    The babe she used to hold is gone forever
    And his father now knows a new kind of low
    Wonders how he can go on, maybe never

    You don't heal a broken heart
    By pretending it ain't broken

    This is the darkest night with no end in sight
    How do we know there will be light in the morning?
    The fire burns bright as the phoenix takes flight
    And I feel this might be a warning

    You don't heal a broken heart
    By pretending it ain't broken

    The way we feel is very real
    Only time will heal our sorrow
    You are at the wheel of karma's automobile
    Steering your way to tomorrow

    And you don't heal a broken heart
    By pretending it ain't broken

    We need each other now, need the sun to part the clouds
    Need to play our music loud so he can hear it
    And if each of us vows to love more now
    When death comes around, we won't fear it

    And you don't heal a broken heart
    By pretending it ain't broken
  • Now you're an Angel
    (by eyefleye)

    so beautiful inside and out
    a genuine spirit without a doubt

    she graced her life with such charm
    no one could imagine she'd come to harm

    her physical being no longer on Earth
    birth, death, and then rebirth

    i miss you with all my heart
    our sisterhood we barely got to start

    i pray your soul is safe and at peace
    signing up for another life's lease

    all you understand now you fully see
    i feel your presence watch over me

    your long blond locks and deep blue eyes
    part of the ocean and above the skies

    our loss leaves a void no one can explain
    no more depression no more pain

    At work you flew the skies above
    now you grace them with our memories of love

    forever i will miss your smirky smile
    'til we meet again, just a relative while

    my dearest Tina, in peace please rest
    life is short, and life's a test

    rest in peace, safe you are
    in my heart you're never far

    had i known the pain you suffered each day
    many things i'd have done a different way

    all that was said, and all that was not
    all motives from love were purely sought

    i'm grieving today and i'll grieve tomorrow
    so much pain from loss and sorrow

    depression can take a lethal hold
    none too young nor too old

    it tears us down
    our faces frown

    it causes grief
    a fight for relief

    tina chose to leave this earth
    she didn't know her real worth

    if i could only turn back time
    i'd take hold of sister mine

    i'd let her know how much she's missed
    her cheek, one more time, i would have kissed

    too young to die
    too old to ask why

    how far can you sink
    fragile life gone in a blink

    a moment in time was all it took
    all our lives forever were shook

    she fought a battle and lost
    the price of her life that war cost

    depression was her enemy's name
    her peace she had to regain

    now she is resting - no more war
    among the heavens she now can soar

    i want her to tell me, I want to know why
    but all i hear is silence, her choice was to die

    if only one wish from my heart be the goal
    i'd ask for peace in your weary young soul

    day or night no more a care
    the light you'll keep and guide us there

    nothing can hurt you, you're safe from all harm
    please guide your family,
    and look after our mom.

    learn from our loss and don't give in
    life is sacred and life should win

    when you feel there is no other way
    seek your help and true words say

    there's lots of support all around
    don't let your fears build a mound

    tomorrow is another day
    know there is another way

    In memory of Tina

    Tina Marie Lonstron
    October 8, 1969 - June 9, 2006
    • Sending my heart out to those in pain enough to wish their own end and also to those who suffer from missing those who have taken their own lives.

      My experience is that our real life goes on beyond death so, unless there's a fatal illness, it's best to stick with reality and work things out, no matter how long it takes, cause there's not really another choice. Not trying to preach, just feel like I need to say that killing ourselves isn't the answer.

      Wishing all Peace


  • yo KK LTNS. if you were on the playa i didnt see you. and i saw EVERYONE. i checked them off my list. didnt see you.

    i have a theory about suicide and it isnt pretty. stop now unless you can swallow the red pill unreservedly. i believe we are, and have been for over fifteen thousand years, infiltrated by and more or less controlled by an alien reptilian race from the orion system, whose objectives are to use us like cattle as food for them: however they feed in ways we may not understand; sucking off our energy, especially energies created by anger and fear. they are an interdimensional race and can literally "posess" a human being from the lower astral plane, inhabiting a human and controlling his or her thoughts and actions. once we die here in the physical realm, we transfer fully into the astral plane, where we are capable of being killed yet again: however in this astral plane, once we die our astral flesh - and our energies - become literal food for this unmerciful and relentless race of malevolent beings. to learn more listen to the David Icke interviews with Credo Mutwa and also the Peggy Kane interviews, all available on YouTube. also research William Cooper and Philip Schneider. but dont say I didnt warn you.

    vote reptilian. its the only choice you have anyway so get used to it.
    • It's like going down the rabbit hole...
      following a thread... and then it leads to another thread....
      stirring up the collective consciousness and getting people to release their pain, tell their stories, honor their loved ones...make their peace with something they can't change. Thank you all for sharing. KK you are such a little shit-kicker, stirrin' it up again...painful, but for the good of all.

      I never understood suicide until I felt bad enough to consider one time, during a particularly difficult period...but even then, I knew it was a cop out, I knew it would solve nothing, I knew it was not much different than indulging in a long sleep, an escape...

      ...but my core belief carried me through, that is is against my personal philosophy. When I wanted to give up and be free of the desolation that had become my life, I realized that life is a gift, and we have not only the opportunity, but the responsibility to fulfill it to the best of our abilities. Nobody's perfect, and in our imperfection we must find compassion, "There, but for the Grace of God, go I". Hang in matter what.

      I worked with a woman who jumped in front of a train one day...her lover called work looking for her, and I had to tell him...her husband had a bad back, he could not work, was laid up in bed 24/7....she struggled to support the family, her teenage son was in trouble, in prison...she lost her compass, her ability to carry it all, her will to live. It was sad. Such a shock to our mutual friend who was close to her.

      Years ago, I had a lover in SF who made reference to such I told his best friends, thinking it was absolutely necessary. He never forgave me for that, he moved on, yet punished me time and time again for my "big mouth". Maybe he wasn't serious, or maybe I just hit a nerve. I cared for him, how could I remain silent? Afterward, I was a wreck trying to justify to everyone what I did and why...the people involved know who they are. Had I remained silent, what then? I never fell for another DJ, or anyone who cared more about what other people thought, than about those of us who cared enough to speak up, just in case. I think instead he's decided to smoke himself to death, slowly, surely.

      I had close friends in college, twins, we stayed in touch until their brother killed himself, and I inadvertently hurt them. My intent was to comfort them and reassure them that there was no way they could have known or stopped him, that they should not blame themselves...I told them it was his choice. They never spoke to me again. He robbed them of sharing his life, and he robbed me of sharing my life with 2 of my best friends ever. So yes, suicide is selfish, but in the pain of the moment I really believe most are only seeking relief.

      Although, some seek revenge. My landlord from the late 80's, they had 3 houses on a large parcel of land up on Hillside Ave. in Mill Valley, we rented one house, the daughter & son-in-law had another, and the owners. Long after I had moved out, their daughter and son-in-law split up. She was in Hawaii on a vacation with her new beau. The son-in-law...bitter, hurt...he rigged a shotgun in the shed and blew his own head off...left an angry note for her...set it up so she'd find him when she got back, but one of his friends felt something was up, went over there and found him before she returned. The awful thing was that in that house, her own brother had killed himself with a shotgun many years earlier. So he deliberately chose a method that was mean and vindictive, designed to inflict maximum pain. She was always so sweet, she created beautiful gardens. When he never got around to redoing the patio, she finally got out the jackhammer and did it herself, laid sod for the new lawn, made a flagstone path, she was amazing. She let me keep her kitty that befriended me, my dear little Grace was with me for 12 of her 18 years. I'm glad she and her kids didn't find him.

      Choose life.
    • I read this at my Mom's memorial the other week...

      You just never know what someone is dealing with. Put yourself in their shoes and then judge, or forgive....your choice, life is a choice.

      The Body is Too Slow for Me

      Toward the gardens,
      Toward the orchards,
      I am going.
      If you want to stay here,
      Stay here -
      I am going!
      My day is dark without His Face,
      Toward that bright flame
      I am going.

      My soul is racing ahead of me.
      It says, The body is too slow for me -
      I am going.

      The smell of apples arises
      from the orchard of my soul.
      One whiff and I am gone -
      Toward a feast of apples
      I am going.

      A sudden wind won't blow me over.
      Toward Him, like a mountain of iron,
      I am going.

      My shirt is ripped open
      with the pain of loss.
      Searching for a new life,
      with my head held high,
      I am going.

      I am fire, though I seem like oil -
      Seeking to be the fuel of His fire,
      I am going.

      I appear as a steady mountain
      Yet bit by bit,
      Toward that tiny opening
      I am going.
  • My sister succeeded to take her life at her second attempt; 6 months after her first, near-successful attempt. The interesting part for me is that because I had the 6 months in-between the two attempts, in the meantime, I was given the opportunity to ask some of those questions one otherwise would not necessarily have the chance to ask;

    Weren't you afraid? Didn't it hurt? What were you thinking at that moment? How long have you been feeling this way? Was there no other options? How did you feel about never seeing your family again, if you went through with it, or did you even think about that at the time? and such......

    I think I understand a bit more than I did before, but most importantly I learned to let go of judgement. I had always been under the assumption that suicide was a very selfish act, and that the people who chose this path were weak and careless toward their families and loved ones. I learned that a person who has come to that very dark place, where there are no options available, don't even have the capacity to think about anyone or anything else.

    Through my experience with Tina's decision to leave this life the first time, I learned that life had become an unbearable anguish, and in her case so unbearable that there was no fear, no pain, no regret. (her note told us, the family, that she loved us, but that was about it).. Nothing else much mattered. The depression was too convincing. Voices were telling her that she didn't need to suffer any longer, that she could just end it and be done.

    I also found out how weak the support system is for those in dire emotional need, and how often that system that we all buy into fails us when we need it the most.

    The six months after her first attempt were so hard; I tried with everything I had to control the situation, to help her, but feeling like maybe she really didn't want the help. Fearing that things would backfire. I was terrified that she would attempt to take her life again, and when she did it was like the air was completely sucked out of me, and the rug was flung from under me, and I went flailing into a sad sad place. In retrospect, that entire year turned into a big cloud of fog. It affected everything around me, and even though I have always felt like whatever my actions were at the time, they were always initiated with the best of intent in mind. In retrospect, there are many things I wish I would have done differently, but that's because it ended like it did. At the time when I was thick in the midst of it, I truly felt like I was doing everything I could think of, no rock left unturned, to try to help her. In the end I felt like perhaps I tried doing too much, but I have come to realize that if I hadn't, I would only be wallowing in the regret of not having tried hard enough.

    Even so, there has not been a day where I have been angry with Tina for making the final choice that she did. There was no note the second time, there was no need. I miss her terribly. I wish that everything was different, but I also realize that this was her choice for her path. We are all only responsible for ourselves, in the long run, and that's so easy to say, yet so hard to do. I don't like her choice, but I can't project feelings of judgement toward her either. The only thing I can do is to learn to appreciate all the beautiful things I have in my life, all the blessings - big and small. Try to learn all the lessons I'm here to learn. I've had to learn to let go of the fear, let go of the sadness, and move on and forward, because non of this was about me. Just her. And she has visited me in dreams and told me so, that helps.

    I think one of the most important lessons in all of this, for me, is appreciating how important communication truly is. How we should not let society's "rules" shame us into silence. When the darkness comes, reach out and ask for help - it's amazing, the support that truly is there, in our community, if you only have the courage and the strength to ask. Don't wait until you're in such a dark place that you can't.

    Thank you for posting this thread and allowing it to remain. It's important. It always catches me a bit off guard - realizing how many people who share similar experiences, how many nuances, shapes and forms these traumatic kind of experiences have for all of us.
  • >WHY, when you are a member of a bright, eclectic, gifting, sharing community; would you not pick up the phone?!

    One reason might be that when people have always had the money to participate in such a community suddenly don't have it,
    they begin to feel the huge hole in their creative identity that a lot of less fortunate creative people have always taken for granted.

    Is there any pattern, so far, to the financial histories of the people ending their own lives?
    • >Is there any pattern<

      Sure, addictive perosnalities, emotional instability and worst of all the enablers. Once you start convincing yourself that the 'community' is your salvation instead of profesional help, a proper program or sponsors you just continue on the road of self denial until for some they hit the end.
      • I was actually going to make a point of not getting to that this time.

        At the risking of tarnishing my glory as The One True Cynic, I might suggest that if you all really care so much about these suicides,
        the responsible thing to do is figure out to whom they will most likely next happen and approach those people proactively about their current situation and outlook.
        • Maybe we should pool our money together and hire a very experienced and intuitive LCSW to mingle with all of us and do that. Maybe we should give him;/her special underwear and a cape. How's "Captain Prozac" for a name?
          • I just meant that there's no point at all in bemoaning these peoples' illegal exercise of free will when it entails self-nullification, if the whole problem is going to be dealt with no less passively than by those who don't even bother to notice anything is happening.

            I'm a bitter, cynical person who openly begrudges the fact so many people who are dumber than me, don't work as hard and don't have more compelling creative concepts get to go to Burning Man with some regularity.

            But that does not mean that after having a good laugh at the thought of people losing all the assets I never had, I should want these people to take a dirt nap.

            Nothing doing. If you're reading this, and you think you might be one of the pertinent people, I'll be VERY eager to explain to you your reasons for not killing yourself. These are things that worked for me when drugs and what passes for counseling if you're poor did not work.

            1) You can always kill yourself later, and you'll be just as dead for just as long. You stand to miss more good things if you die sooner,
            so it might at least be worthwhile kicking around for a little while yet to so if, somehow, anything might improve.

  • A critical piece in my journey with suicide:

    I wasn't expecting anyone to notice, or care, once I was gone.
    • <A critical piece in my journey with suicide:

      I wasn't expecting anyone to notice, or care, once I was gone. >

      But we do and we do and we would miss you!

      Please come to the tribe if you bleed...............

      That is why we are here!
      • Leave the post up. Albeit an uncomfortable issue it is apparent that it needs addressing publicly. Death however its ending is not pretty. Life is hard to live and we all do our best to help those around us and ourselves the best we can.

        Listen to each other and keep communication open. Sometimes just letting someone know you are here is all it takes to save a life.

        My two cents, 25 w inflation.
        • <Listen to each other and keep communication open. Sometimes just letting someone know you are here is all it takes to save a life. >
          Yes Yes YES

          I also want to reach out to ANYONE who is feeling low.

          Please before you put your life in a box, come here (or anywhere you feel safe) and share your pain. We will listen.
          Sure some will not be as supportive, but as KK so wisely helped me, this is a wide open space and some will love you and some will not.

          It only matters that you begin to love yourself again. None of us are perfect and we all need a hand sometimes.

          Reach out and help yourself.

          • I've dealt with a friends sucide, shortly after going through a depression, already on my way out of the country I took off to Asia not knowing if I would come back, spent a year wandering around with a few good times but isolated from people, came back and found the only place I felt at home was at music festivals, but was reluctant to reach out and open up, near the end of earthdance I went through a really intense energy/healing session with a woman who was a hard drug addict at one point, became withdrawn after wards, wound up living in park for awhile, things went okay for awhile, but over the last several months I have really isolated myself, and have questioned the value of life, the ripples of a sucide reach out far and dont ever seem to go away completely, would like to help out, need to help myself, its a strange beautiful world
            • Yeah, it is strange and beautiful world. (Was that Down by Law? Sad and beautiful, I think.)
              With social services cut to the fucking bone these days, you really have to be an eleven on the crazy meter to get any help from state/city/county.
              This is the approach I like best:
              I haven't looked at the website, so I can't judge how good it is, but I'm hoping it could be a start.
              You have certainly been under stress, so developing depression is not a surprise.

              Let me know if I can help.
              • I think and I can only say

                I Think from personal experiences that our own minds have so many levels of emotion, trauma, pain that often its easy to
                fall into you own place where no one else can see you or what your experiencing. It has always been easy to create and be free in a stoke of a brush or the sweet words sung in a song yet to live through experiences on a day to day basis that you feel no escape or control over can become overwhelming and some of us are so proud we could never talk to another or share the burdens of sadness with another who is visibly Happy
                Like the world no one can truly experience good without bad. I think in our community we see so much freedom and creativity that we cannot see what many people live
                in a day to day basis in the default world, Some people can become lost inside there own world and begin to believe there is no other
                way. Visibility in misleading because many people fear if they reveal there insecurities, fears, sadness that no one can relate or will no understand them
                I guess we need to see more from our hearts and try and read between the lines
                I reciently spent an afternoon with a friend in colorado, she took me to the hot springs and we really didnt say a whole lot of anything we just sat. Try and just sit with a friend , somtimes we can change where a person is in there world but we are blessed to be able to have few moments with them in that world no matter how many times you could have said somthing. You probably didnt need to say anything nor would they have wanted to hear it from you. You were there in that world in those moments and thats what matters
              • Thanks Crypto, this is good information. As you know, I work for the county myself as a Mental Health Clinician and do plenty of therapy.....and you're right, budgets being what they are and all, it can be difficult for all but the most critical to get sessions unless you have private insurance...............................but most of the population we serve is SSI and Medi-cal so please don't think just because you are low budget you can't get help. Call your local agency and find out your options.

                Also, with regards to suicide, there are 24 hour crisis lines across the entire country............yes, you must have access to a phone, but you will speak to a real person and sometimes at 0 dark thirty when one may be feeling the most vulnerable, just having someone listen can make a huge difference.

                ONE MORE THING THAT IS HUGE...............If you know someone, a friend or family member that is either contemplating suicide (because they have stated so) or you think they may be at risk due to severe depression, detachment from friends, anhedonia (they don't get pleasure from anything anymore) or you are just concerned about can call your local police (or theirs) 24/7 and ask them to do a "welfare check". The Police are our civil servants paid by taxpayer money and they MUST go if there is reasonable cause and cannot bill your down and out buddy for it. If the police get there and feel that this person is a danger to themselves, they can place them on the all too well known 5150 hold and take them to a psychiatric facility even if it is against their may sound kinda harsh, but it gives some cooling down time and the chance to re-evaluate along with some professional help. EVEN IF YOU FEAR THEY MAY GET MAD AT YOU FOR DOING THIS YOU ARE SHOWING THEM THAT YOU VALUE THEIR LIFE ENOUGH TO SAVE IT!!!
                • Tubbo sez:
                  "Suicide is a choice. Suicidal thoughts and talking of suicide may be somewhat involuntary, but suicide itself is a choice to follow through or to puss out.

                  Just because someone has a "disorder" doesn't mean they're incapable of rational, subjective thought..."

                  Which shows Tubbo's complete and total lack of understanding about suicide.

                  it is, precisely what a rational choice is *not*
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Just remember that Tubbo cured his UTI without a doctor by rational thinking.

                    Those of us that are irrational will have to muddle along in the full slosh of the human condition.
                    • I knew Caleb Schaber AKA 'Shooter'.
                      We were friends.
                      Then we were enemies.
                      Then friends again.
                      Then enemies...again...
                      That's how it goes with Caleb.
                      You either love him, or hate him. Or both. At the same time.
                      He wasn't easy!
                      Still isn't, as I am surprised at the amount of pain I am having right now.
                      I won't question his decision.
                      I've done that with too many others here.
                      Instead...I'll just Honor him and my memories of our time and place.
                      I'll never know his pain and I've got my own right now.
                      I am asking you to share pain with me
                      For a moment
                      and then judge or deal or do whatever you do.

                      Fuck Yer day
                      • I dont know why I love her like I do
                        All the changes you put me through
                        Take my money, my cigarettes
                        I havent seen the worst of it yet
                        I wanna know that youll tell me
                        I love to stay
                        Take me to the river, drop me in the water
                        Take me to the river, dip me in the water
                        Washing me down, washing me down

                        I dont know why you treat me so bad
                        Think of all the things we could have had
                        Love is an ocean that I cant forget
                        My sweet sixteen I would never regret

                        I wanna know that youll tell me
                        I love to stay
                        Take me to the river, drop me in the water
                        Push me in the river, dip me in the water
                        Washing me down, washing me

                        Hug me, squeeze me, love me, tease me
                        Till I cant, till I cant, till I cant take no more of it
                        Take me to the water, drop me in the river
                        Push me in the water, drop me in the river
                        Washing me down, washing me down

                        I dont know why I love you like I do
                        All the troubles you put me through
                        Sixteen candles there on my wall
                        And here am I the biggest fool of them all

                        I wanna know that youll tell me
                        I love to stay
                        Take me to the river and drop me in the water
                        Dip me in the river, drop me in the water
                        Washing me down, washing me down.
                        • Unsu...
                          • These are just my ponderings on what I believe is a very vital and actually life-affirming exploration:
                            We are complex beings and so there are many facets to this topic.
                            I have become one of the healthiest people I know on the planet and still, below the surface, the thought of suicide is there. It is not unique to this group. I believe it is in part a feature of the collective of humanity that we all are a part of and so it is in us all. I think it is a realistic reaction to an insane and dying world.
                            Having said that, I love life and spend every day working to heal us all so we can dance as the new world of joy and freedom.

                            What finally ended my love affair with suicide 15 years ago was falling into fierce self love and finally surrendering to life.
                            There is a wonderful quote I re-phrase from "For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow was Enuf" by Ntozake Shange
                            ...and I found god(dess) within me and I loved me...I loved me fiercely...
                            I wish us all fierce self-love! Yessssssssssssssss to life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                            • I have been unsane before. At times not sane. Sometimes I think technically insane. But I have NEVER EVER for a single instant thought about killing myself. Does not compute. I just like what might be ahead too much to take away the now because of the past.
        • After a day of trying to figure out why I was kicked so off-center by hearing of Shooter's suicide, and trying to figure out what my connection was, and why I valued it, I finally made my way over to Tribe and wow I'm so glad I'm here.

          Thanks Goth- That is the best summation of what I needed to hear that i can imagine stumbling into. All the more poignant that it was written so recently. I thought that someone had bumped this thread up on Tribe because of Shooter's death, but now I can see that this is nothing new, either as an occurence or a conversation.

          I really do want to say "Thank you Shooter" at this point for throwing a big fucking rock into the pool of this discussion, and creating ripples of thought and appreciation throughout. And as far as working to keep people we really love but maybe don't want to know that well (which is a pretty strong value in our community by the way) from blowing their heads off, we really do need to just keep the lines of communication open. Not only "you can talk to me", but "I will listen to you."

          I'll take your 2 cents on a 30:1 leverage! (just kidding, no tomatos please!)

  • OK I gotta VENT cuz im seriously pissed off at Caleb. fucking LAME. when i see him on the other side im gonna kick his fuckin ass for pulling this stupid shit.

    Caleb - the ultimate survivor who placed himself in dangerous circumstances just for fun... to pull this is an antithesis of everything i knew him for.

    anyone considering suicide is fucking LAME. this "poor me i cant take it" form of attention-grabbing is so last year. i personally want to kick the living shit out of anyone who thinks their life sucks and they would be better off dead. wait till i get through with you, then rethink that one.

    life is a precious gift, one that deserves to be savored to its fullest every waking moment. anything otherwise is detrimental and disrespectful of the forces that came together to allow you to BE in the first place, starting with your parents.

    my beliefs state that just cuz you die a physical death here on earth does not mean you stop consciousness or awareness of yourself and your surroundings - to the contrary all that was hidden while in this contract life now is again revealed, as you re-enter the astral plane of your existence, to which you were always umbilically tied while alive here.

    my guess is right now caleb is saying "oh shit what did i do" and now is facing a whole new set of challenges as he is dealt with by more aware entities regarding his recent action. suicide is not handled lightly, and anyone who thinks it is an easy out is going to find out the hard way they were as wrong as wrong can get.

    television madison avenue and hollywood have programmed our subconsious minds to the point where most of us are controlled beyond our awareness. turn off your TV, thank the ability to breathe and walk, and go tell someone you care about that you love them.

    live each day like it could be your last, but dont play God and decide when that day is.
    keep your karma clean.
    • <the ultimate survivor who placed himself in dangerous circumstances just for fun... to pull this is an antithesis of everything i knew him for.>
      It could be an exact mesh. If death was an attraction, then dancing with it--one step forward, one step back--may be an expression of what ultimately killed him

      <anyone considering suicide is fucking LAME. this "poor me i cant take it"...> I have come to see this view of suicide as a cultural blind spot, a fantasy to distract ourselves from looking into the truths of suicide. I think that if you can release this mistaken understanding, you might come closer to the reality of your friend's death.

      • we are of course assuming he DID shoot himself.

        ill believe that when we have proof-positive forensics.

        i dont believe he was the kind of person to actually kill himself. he loved life too much.
    • spehaz, It's nice that you can see life as a precious gift, one that deserves to be savored to its fullest every waking moment. I wish we could all see it that way.

      I guess you haven't felt the depths of despair that can lead a person to want it all to end, or even worse, take action on those thoughts.

      I can understand that you are angry, however I fear that posts like your vent session here, so often lead to people not reaching out for help, because they are afraid of being called LAME, when most likely, they already feel that way anyways, and are unable to get themselves out of it.

      Just because you have certain beliefs about what happens after we die, does not make them true. Nobody knows for sure.

      Fuck your day!

  • Martin Luther King, as reported by Marshall Thomas in the Monarch series of videos, was ordered by CIA/NSA to carry out his own assassination as a forced suicide, by their blackmailing him with photos and video of his extramarital affairs, which if made public would have sabotaged his entire civil rights movement of the black people. He succumbed to their wishes.

    Marshall Thomas created an educational series called Monarch: MKULTRA and Mind Control and contains much previously unreleased topsecret information and imagery. I recommend EVERYONE see it and share with others. it is available free to see on YouTube Google Video and elsewhere.

    Marhsall Thomas' Monarch Series, Chapters 01 thru 10-C all in one movie

    more good viewing:

    (1) THE OBAMA DECEPTION full-length HD version
    (although caution: Alex Jones is a Jesuit and as such is only telling half the story)

    (2) AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM by the late Aaron Russo
  • the only deaths in my family have all been suicides. for different situations, they run the gamut of dying of disease, facing the future of dying from disease, and from nothing but emotional pain. I myself have wrestled with the issue at various stages of my life and for varying degrees of attention and reaction to pain. At its worst i had to check myself in for help when it seemed most imminent an option.

    I can only say that the choice, as they all are, is ultimately up to the individual. Don't judge others based on your beliefs, wants, or loss. Not that i'm saying not to try to help someone through to a point they can be stronger. Life is sacred, but life is also pain, and it's impossible to understand another who has that balance out of whack.

    In the burn community, you have artists and people of passion for life, but with the highs also come the lows. my last burn experience was so bad i spent the week depressed and distraught, unable to escape my own wallow of self-pity and despair. I unsettled others at times even though i tried to keep to myself as i wandered aimlessly ( or maybe because of it). I won't say i didn't think of the 'easy way out', but i did seem content enough to be miserable and hurry home and never go back. Like a bad shroom trip, i have since got over it and am excited about the prospect of returning ( but not till '10).

    In almost all cases, it boils down to a mind in a desperate state, and a desperate mind, backed into a corner so to speak, has few options. even if the 'corner' is more perceived or situational than can be rationally assessed.

    Suicide hotlines, community resources, and of course, friends and loved ones have all been helpful during my various times of woe.
  • All of our reactions are shaped by our own experiences and processing them here is important. Those left behind often consider the same path, especially if they loved and looked up to someone who took themselves out. I think it's valuable to hear all perspectives, not just the whitewashed memories but also the ugly truths, which include the anguish and the aftermath for those left to scrub the floor, hide the porn before the families show up, break the news to friends, and turn the matter over and over in their minds deciding if they could have helped and worse--if they should follow when their own troubles feel just as heavy.

    Through sharing our stories honestly, those of us who have suffered through a beloved friend or admired stranger's choice of suicide, many of us who have suffered through several of such, can possibly help each other and maybe even help those considering the same path to think again about the repercussions of their choices on those they leave behind--some of whom they won't even realize they may affect in a profound way with their method and timing.

    Taking this thread down would be a disservice to all that have shared their thoughts, especially those who have been brave enough to post what was really in their hearts and minds instead of just spouting the usual "he / she was talented wonderful yet tortured artist" type of rhetoric. Which, while true in most cases is only one facet of the whole life lost.
    • <spouting the usual "he / she was talented wonderful yet tortured artist" type of rhetoric.>

      I dislike this cultural trope particularly. I think it's dangerous, this tortured artist meme. We've had it since the Romantics. Goethe may not have done us any favors. I think you can have such a thing as a happy great artist. Caulder is my poster boy for that. Maybe he wasn't happy, but his work is not Sturm und Drang.
      • Sun, April 19, 2009 - 7:00 AM
        Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors are dangerous

        "He was taking Lexapro for his depression and it seemed to be working, then he stopped. That fucker...He was a shit stirrer, but you knew he had a heart of gold...." (Double N Jënn)

        Everyone can have those moments, no matter how accomplished or popular, or how much of a rebel or how seemingly alone you might be, know that you are loved by someone, somebody sees your heart of gold. Probably loved by many, and more than you know.

        SSRI drugs can be helpful in short-term use, but they do not help a person to resolve the underlying problems. They were not meant for long-term use, yet millions of Americans use them at this time, often not in conjunction with therapy (counseling) as recommended. Sudden cessation of use of SSRIs has been linked to an increase in suicidal or homicidal thoughts and acts. I was on Lexapro for 6 mo. after a difficult transition from California & while undergoing extreme personal/family problems and physical abuse. I insisted on stopping it (gradually as is required) because I was starting to have suicidal and homicidal thoughts and contemplations, which is not like me, because I value life, however challenging, as a gift, a mission to fulfill. Those were dark days. Life is perhaps more challenging now than ever for me, but it is brighter, too. I have hope and optimism again.

        Homicidal Ideation Causally Related to Therapeutic Medications
        by Health News
        "Recently, there has been an increased awareness of the ability of antidepressant medications to cause a paradoxical increase in depression and, in some cases, suicidal ideation (SI) (Breggin, 2003, 2008; Food and Drug Administration, 2005a; Healey, Herxheimer, & Menkes, 2006; Khan, 2002; Marks, 2004). The clinical pharmacology and mechanism of the later effect may be related to the known ability of medications
        in the SSRI class to cause or exacerbate levels of anxiety, agitation, irritability, akathisia, aggression, hostility, emotional blunting, and disinhibition. Clinically all of these phenomena have been associated with violence. It is reasonable from a psychological perspective to understand how a medication that can induce or increase feelings of anxiety, agitation, akathisia, aggression, hostility, irritability, and/or disinhibition could lead toward self-directed or outwardly directed violence in a predisposed individual."

        End Of Antidepressants? - 68 Times Greater Suicide Risk Shown!
        Dr. Ann Blake Tracy
        Executive Director International Coalition for Drug Awareness

        Suicidality, violence & mania caused by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): A review and analysis
        by Peter R. Breggin
        published in the International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine

        Psychotropic Connection to Suicide -links to dozens of articles at:
        Anti-Depressant Connection to suicide and murder-suicides in “Indian Country" = GENOCIDE
        Prozac, Zoloft, Paxell, Luvox, and others

        National Suicide Hotlines USA
        United States of America
        Toll-Free / 24 hours a day / 7 days a week



        The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service
        vailable to anyone in suicidal crisis. If you need help, please dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

        Why should I call the Lifeline?
        From immediate suicidal crisis to information about mental health, crisis centers in our
        network are equipped to take a wide range of calls.
        Some of the reasons to call 1-800-273-TALK are listed below.
        * Call to speak with someone who cares
        * Call if you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself
        * Call to find referrals to mental health services in your area
        * Call to speak to a crisis worker about someone you're concerned about
        * Find out more
        • This reads more like a bised agenda than any shot at public information.

          It was bad enough that it ended up being posted in Shooter"s obit thread.
          • Badger, it's not a biased agenda, I have no agenda, and that was not "Shooter's obit thread". I'm sorry you don't appreciate he time I took to find research links to information I was already familiar case someone is so moved by his death they are considering suicide. O.k. so I had an agenda, to prevent another senseless death. So sue me.
            • "Badger, it's not a biased agenda, I have no agenda, and that was not "Shooter's obit thread". I'm sorry you don't appreciate he time I took to find research links to information I was already familiar case someone is so moved by his death they are considering suicide. O.k. so I had an agenda, to prevent another senseless death. So sue me. "

              It was, as another poster put it, an equivalent to an online wake where people spoke their truths about the man. The cadence of people's thoughts and feelings about Shooter didn't need to be interrupted by you tossing your theories/beliefs/agenda about the *why* of it like some turd getting tossed into the punch bowl. The only thing tackier was some conspiratorial nutjob suggesting that it might not have been a self-inflicted gunshot. I mean Jesus Christ.

              Your welcome to your opinions and your beliefs Phoenix and I'm not objecting to them per se. And though I and others may (or may not) subscribe to them there's plenty of places to inert them on Tribe for others to consider but dragging them into a room with you where friends and acquaintances are paying respects and remembrances for someone they've lost is the height of poor taste and insensitivity I think.
        • They did a study comparing number of deaths in teen-agers since the big hullabaloo about ssris causing suicide and subsequent drop in perscriptions of same and pre-warning deaths. Not treating with ssris caused more deaths.

          • oh, wait, let me make sure I'm in the right thread to engage in a "psychopharmaceutical discussion".

            One thing some of you seemed to miss about SSRIs is that while everybody's brain chemistry is different, in SOME individuals, these drugs can trigger something dangerous, i.e. "could lead toward self-directed or outwardly directed violence in a predisposed individual."

            My emphasis being on this phrase:
            "in a PREDISPOSED individual".

            I think a lot of people in this Community not only play with their own brain chemistry, they may qualify as "predisposed individuals". So that was part of my motivation or, as accused, "agenda" in sharing that information.

            Crypto, you are right, probably more people benefit from the use of anti-depressants, but who can say the benefits of the group should take precedence over a few thousand disposable lives (those who have severe reactions)? Most people who did ecstacy got a lot of insight and healing and did not have severe reactions as the few incidents reported in the press, in fact far fewer bad reactions than are tolerated from most legal prescriptions (and e was once legal and widely used in therapy). Yet this helpful tool was demonized in the press.

            The problem is there is not enough evaluation and ongoing monitoring of those who are on these powerful SSRI drugs, and they are not necessarily required to be monitored by a psychiatrist. Family MDs write these prescriptions all the time. The problem is they are not the solution for everyone, and can be a dangerous attempt at a solution for some, so how are those people screened out? Mostly, they are not.

            I knew about the risks before I used an SSRI drug, so I went into it with open eyes and noticed a rage that growing inside me and periods of time where I did not feel I was myself, and might harm someone else and/or myself. I felt like something would come over me that was not ME during these spells. Whatever it was, it scared me, so I stopped. I was only on Lexapro for 6 months, that was enough. If I ran out, the bad reaction would increase until I got more meds. My meds were given free to a program by the City of Boston's program by large Pharmaceutical companies, as "samples". Just as they are given to Doctors to encourage them to prescribe them. I am not getting into a discussion about the benefits and risks of Big Pharma meds. These drugs certainly help a lot of people cope and function, although they do not address the underlying issues. These drugs also are often involved, for example, in mass school shootings.

            Are meds to blame for Cho's rampage?
            Experts say psychiatric drugs linked to long list of school shooting sprees
            Posted: April 23, 2007
            By Bob Unruh
            © 2009

            Personally, I am not even really looking at things on a psychological level. All is energy, and every substance, meds, herbs, sugar, for example, has a characteristic energetic signature, and evokes specific reactions, chemical or energetic, with a specific response pattern that also depends on who or what it is interacting with.

            This book can help people who seek understanding and natural treatment alternatives.
            It helped me, and I haven't exactly followed it explicitly.
            The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, Ph.D.
            • But works best for me, and always has, was my friendships and being in nature, the great healer. And having, or attempting to have a spiritual discipline. Sure, I had to let go of a lot of my cynicism, or at least try to channel it into something lighter and more playful. But being in NATURE is key. The key to our individual and our collective healing, IMHO :-)
              • the tone of your posts makes your neurosis obvious phoenix. seizing upon one solution as "the solution" and then then trying to push it on other people with hysterical urgency comes across as being a part of your illness, not evidence of how far you've moved beyond it and how much you have to share that is helpful to other people dealing with these problems.
                • I agree with you Phoenix: being in nature, spiritual practice and lightening up are all such powerful ways to keep saying "Yes" to life when we live in such difficult times. As for the negative stuff, one big solution for me was to put up boundaries around it by saying, "Everyone gets to be who they are. I just don't live there any more"
  • A couple of days ago, an awol soldier committed suicide in my home community.
    Made me think of Shooter.

    Just read this:
    Army suicides soar past 2008's pace:

    The day after the shooting at a combat stress clinic in Iraq, new data released to Salon shows soldiers committing suicide at a record-setting pace.
  • Unsu...
    you cannot change another, only yourself.
    • I cannot figure out the context to this remark. Can you give me a hint?
      • Unsu...
        many people believe suicide to be either 'dishonourable', 'a failing', 'imperfection' and/or 'something to change/correct'.. 'that there are people to be saved'...

        thing is.. when you resonate with beliefs such as these you push that perspective onto other people.. which stresses them out.. and makes them more likely to kill themselves...

        will you be at peace while stood on the tall bridge when someone is screaming at you that 'IT'LL BE OK'.. or will you FEEL the peace of the being who knows it is fine for you to do whatever you do?

        • I think people can and should be saved. But with a clear understanding of what the monster Depression is like. Or the monster PTSD. But, yes, those things you talk about save few if any.
          • in my life I've become very personally familiar with the varieties of "suicidal ideation" and all the types of things that can bring it on -- and IMO suicide is almost always an attempt to escape suffering and fear, mental or physical. In Western culture, anyway. And I could never judge someone for it because I know myself what it's like.
            Yeah, there are people who probably have committed suicide "to show them"--have threatened it, or done it, purely as manipulation. But I think those are few. I suffered from major, recurring depression since I was literally a baby -- you can see it in the baby pictures, writ large -- I was unable ever to bounce back from chaos, turmoil, loss, and there was a lot of all of this. I was also very sensitive to some things, like birth control pills made me both suicidal and homicidal (not that last one, really, but they did bring on depression, and they also made me so snarky that soon I had no need for birth control, lol!) -- and then I learned that estrogen on its own made me within a week very coldly, clearly, methodically suicidal, and it was only my last dregs of curiosity and rational thought that made me say hey, wait a minute, wasn't I perfectly OK a week ago? And nothing whatever has happened from the usual to cause this. Maybe I'd better just do a little test and stop taking the pills. And voila! IN a few days back to "normal." This just seems to be an idiosyncratic reaction, I don't think it's at all common. But it's biological, purely and simply. I've suffered really abysmal post-partum /post-miscarriage depression - again, purely biological cause.

            The suicidal person at first does think in a very disordered way, without any clarity -- their thoughts lurch or crawl or stall in place -- and they will usually completely withdraw as well -- but then there can be a sudden inflow of what seems to be clarity. And it is, it's quite clear and quite objective, but they can only clearly see the bottom of the well, not anything else but the bottom of the well--and this is when they make the decision: OK, if this isn't better by date x, I'm doing it. Meanwhile, method is decided, tools or drugs acquired, and anticipation of relief of suffering either way can make the person suddenly appear much more normal, like they're getting over whatever their friends saw as wrong. This is really the most dangerous time, but so masked that nobody realizes it. The person experiences real calm, actual hope. It's going to end, really soon. They become capable of incredible organization, clearing things out, tossing stuff that's too private, burning their journals and mementoes, all kinds of things like this. Then date x arrives and they carry out their plan, with real relief.

            This is the kind of suicide you can't do a damn thing about.

            When somebody does actually still want to live, and feels the threat of the impulse really taking hold of them, then they will often reach out, to a stranger or to someone really trusted. They can be helped in this situation. But the person they turn to really has to have some balls, really has to be willing to go into a mental and spiritual place that not that many people can willingly or willfully access. I have a good story, it's really very funny, that shows this. After what I knew would be my last miscarriage happened, the hormones sent me straight into hell, and I withdrew there for over a month, unable to function at all or communicate. I didn't even have the energy to think about suicide at that point. But then one night of heavy snow, nobody able to travel anywhere, complete isolation, it became clear to me, this wasn't going to end and I couldn't stand it any more. And I called my dearest friend, Tom, in quite a panic, crying, as someone I could be completely honest with and didn't have to "phrase things right" to. And as soon as he picked up blurted it out, I can't stand it, I think I have to kill myself, I can't take this any more and it just won't stop, Tom!. And then he said oh, listen, I'm on my other line right now, can I call you back? I said no! no! I have to talk to you now!! He put me on hold a couple of minutes and came back and said here's the deal: Bob (another friend of both of us) is on my other line, and he feels just like you do right now, he wants to kill himself too!!!! So hang on, I want to talk to both of you but I'm going to have to keep switching back and forth. So he did. I had this really clear picture of Bob and myself, each of us kind of clinging to a jungle vine over the abyss, while Tom spoke to the other. He really had no time for beating around the bush. I don't know what he said to Bob, but to me he said, You don't have to explain it, I believe you. I believe that this is where you are and I'm not going to say you're wrong to feel this way. But it would hurt me so much if you did it, will you make a deal with me and honor it? Just for me, because you know I love you and need you? OK, maybe, I snuffled. Give it 30 days, he said. You can mark it on your calendar right now if you want. Give it, give *me,* 30 days more. If you don't feel better by then, you can do it and I won't try to stop you, I'll help you with things if you want, but don't do anything tonight but go to sleep, OK? I made him swear that he'd stick by this, and he made me swear, and we made the deal. I felt that hope--that I had a date, that it was going to end one way or the other and that Tom would help me.

            Of course in about 2 weeks the post-partum did begin to straighten out, helped largely by my now being able to go out into the world again (that calm now-I-can-function period), and in 3 weeks I told Tom, OK, the plan is off at least for now.

            But it was so funny that both Bob and I were in the same place (I didn't even know Bob was upset about anything at all!) and on the phone at the same time to our friend like that. It makes me laugh every time I think of it.

            Now for 11 years, after being on antidepressants for 3-4 years with vast side effects, I've been fine with just St. Johns Wort and though I've been sad in this time, I've always had a good reason, a real reason for it, and I've never felt suicidal again. Bless that little flower! But without it, all bets would once again be off.
  • /

    • Re: /

      Wow, that behaviour is sick, Crypto. Shows how suicide is essentially considered a selfish act by many people. I can't imagine pushing someone like that. To me, suicide is a way out of pain for the person involved. In other words a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

      Helping people see that the problem is temporary or trying to encourage development of coping skills seems the best way to prevent suicide. I realize now that one can't always get through to that person but I wouldn't want to push someone toward it.
      • Re: /

        No, that was shockingly pathological to Stumble Upon. On the other hand, five hours of closure of a major artery? In China, where the nail that sticks up gets hammered? That article is amazingly rich in something that might add to the discussion.
        • Re: /

          i read that story yesterday. i agree with the guy who pushed. either jump or dont, but dont fuck with my dinnertime.
          • Re: /

            "i agree with the guy who pushed. either jump or dont, but dont fuck with my dinnertime"

            Great love of your fellow humans? Not!
            What no time/brains to care for the needy?

            jarjar you need to go back to your underwater home and shut the fuck up!

            Fucking moron! Sorry but damn! People are in pain dude!!!

            If you don't want to help fine, just shut up! (go post shit elsewhere!)
            • Re: /

              Leave jarjar alone.

              Like it or not, he does make a point. He may be one of the few willing to openly say so, but getting in the way of anyone's dinner is a dangerous thing. People get testy when they haven't eaten in a while.

              It's all very well and good to talk about compassion in the abstract, it is exceedingly difficult to deal with mental illness in real time. Or any other kind of suffering. And if people are going to get scolded for expressing their opinion they will lie instead. At some point the lieing gums up the system so bad that it doesn't work anymore.

              I'm sure that jarjar gained no points with anyone with that post, but he is permitted to post it.
            • Re: /

              wheeeeeeeeeee! (sucker)

              <Great love of your fellow humans? Not!
              What no time/brains to care for the needy? >

              oh, so i have to love some guy in china who is simply waiting for the cops to inflate a balloon for him jump on? i love plenty of humans, but you cant dictate who i HAVE to love or not. there are plenty of assholes out there that i will never love, dead or alive.

              <jarjar you need to go back to your underwater home and shut the fuck up! >

              ahh i get it now. i'm actually a merman living in Arizona and that makes me cranky. oh, and NO! you shut the fuck up!

              <Fucking moron! Sorry but damn! People are in pain dude!!! >

              fucking moron! damn, but sorry dude, is that the only thing your brain knows how to say is cuss words? as for people being in pain, ive been there. i have had good friends commit suicide. its not fun. i've actually thought about taking that route myself several times. but ya know what? that dude in china was never going to jump. he was waiting for the cops to inflate the balloon to jump onto. if he were actually going to jump, he would have done it in the first 5-10 minutes he was up there. not wait 5 hours. so yes, i agree with the pusher. in fact i very well may have pushed him myself!

              <If you don't want to help fine, just shut up! (go post shit elsewhere!)>

              how is this thread helping? it didnt help shooter when he blew his brains out all over a trailer. it didnt help sunshine when she hung herself. all this thread is doing is massaging your ego, so you dont have to feal guilty about others offing themselves. what have YOU done to help suicidal people? besides pontificate all over threads like this? i'll tell you what i did after my friend closed his garage door and sat in his truck while it was running. i volunteered and still work for a suicide hot line. i talk for 5 hours 2 days a week to people who want to off themselves. sometimes talk just doent do it and they off themselves anyway. sometimes it does work and they are able to get professional help.

              so fuck you dood. i'll post my shit anywhere i want to cause i've been there and i am still there. where the fuck are you, asshole?

              and i still woulda pushed the dickhead closing the bridge for 5 hours.
              • "what have YOU done to help suicidal people?"

                Plenty, in my short life I've saved a few, more help than "push(ing) them off a bridge"!!!

                But that's not the issue I raised. People come here and share their fears and demons.
                We should care for them like lost puppies.

                A person in pain is not going to act "smart", they are in pain and need others to care enough to help them work things out.
                Does that always work? No.

                But to say "........ so yes, i agree with the pusher. in fact i very well may have pushed him myself"

                Well it just shows you to be in need of some love yourself. (just ask for help, we are listening.)

                Really jarjar, I am sorry if I went off on you but, we need people to care about those who can't keep it together on their own.
                I'd would hope you would have better advice for a person on the edge. A person depressed enough to even think about these things, needs a loving hand, not a smart mouth. A "melt down" is not funny in anyway.

                Many of the people coming back from this war are going to need a lot of help and your flippant "advice" isn't helping, anymore than my bitching about your comments. So let's just agree to focus on helpful comments and leave both our "snarks" at myspace.

                We are losing too many people because of lack of compassion.

                Sad truly sad........

              • Re: /

                <if he were actually going to jump, he would have done it in the first 5-10 minutes he was up there. not wait 5 hours. >

                Thing about suicide is that no statement applies to all.

                This reminded me of the time I drove home and on that route is the intersection of a couple freeways in which the different directions overpass onto each other. On the overpass above me I saw a man standing on the ledge, looking at the freeway running below the one I was on. There was an ocean of cars and trucks backed up coming from the other direction.

                Within a moment I could see what was going on, several men in bright emergency coats were lined up several yards from him. By the time I got home 10 minutes later he had jumped.

                Later I got the story (from sigalert no less), that they had set up the air mattress, the traffic was backed up for miles for hours. He waited on the side of the overpass for a while and suddenly he ran to the other end and jumped, where the air mattress wasn't.

                The man in china could have easily suddenly hopped up and jumped where the mattress was not. In the end the guy who pushed is a hero because he got him off there safely and he was able to free up traffic for dinnertime.
                • Re: /

                  Having seen the immediate aftermath of a guy who jumped off an overpass into the windshield of an oncoming car, I can only express my sympathy and concern for the people who have to deal with the guilt and pain of being the one the suicidal person landed on.

                  I saw the driver huddled up on the side of the highway, sobbing like his heart was breaking while emergency personnel pulled the body of the suicidal guy out of his windshield. It was horrific, and ugly.

                  I have always wondered or at least hoped that whomever would choose to go that way would spare a thought for the people who are going to be scarred forever by their act.
            • Re: /

              "If you don't want to help fine, just shut up! (go post shit elsewhere!) "

              A variation of the 'America, love it or leave it' bullshit.

              If you don't like what's being written maybe you might consider taking your own advice.
  • I am just so sadden by all of this. I just found out that a person from my first Burn that convinced me to go killed himself last month.What is going on? Please, if you're having these thoughts, reach out! There is someone that is more than happy to listen and try to offer other choices. Can this please stop?
    • <There is someone that is more than happy to listen and try to offer other choices.>

      Two things wrong here. One--it is really dismal stuff you'll be hearing, and over and over over weeks or months depending on so much else.
      Two--Offering other choices isn't actually helpful. It tends to drive off the sufferer, and make him or her less likely to confide in you. Everybody can offer other choices. What you need is someone who knows the nature of the monster that has eaten you and knows how to help you find your way out.

      I don't want to slap down anyone's impulse to help. I do, however, want people to know that it is not a simple thing. And attempted rescue of a potential suicide has the same risks as any attempted rescue--that of drowning as well. I know you all mean well, but don't fool yourself, if it was easy to find the way out, there would be very little suicide. From what has been said about both Caleb/Shooter and about Sunshine it took long months for both to get to the point where the pain was so fearsome that trading life for escaping it seemed like anything but a sucker deal.
      • Thank you Crypto. Caleb was the the acquaintance that I knew. I had talk to him several times trying to get him some free lance work following the primaries because his writing was so amazing. I thank you for not bashing me for wanting to help. I've just been there in that dark place repeatedly. Somehow during my first temple burn my faith in everything was restored. I'm very lucky. Everytime I get down. I think of that. I will watch the part from Beyond Black Rock where David Best is going around before the temple burn telling people "It's not your fault" He's right. It's not. Would maybe the suggestion of just being an ear to lean on be better? I'm just hoping to help the next person in my life that might feel that they are in this situation. I would feel better at least having tried than feeling I did nothing.
        • I posted some links in another thread, and I don't know which one. They weren't particularly special links, I just found them by googling something like "suicide symptoms." I read them cursorily to make sure they weren't wacked out. And this is like the third time I'm pushing this book in the past few weeks, but Andrew Solomon's Noonday Demon is really good, I think. He writes well (Pulitzer winner) and because it's from the nineties he talks about SSRIs. He also does some really interesting stuff, like participating in a West African healing ritual. And there's a chapter about poverty and depression. There are other depression memoirs, and not every one is going to respond to the one's I like, but even though there are people who go to collage for 8 years to study this stuff, the sufferers are in very real ways the experts. It's difficult--like living on the other side of a screen, or in some darkly magic land that speaks a different language. Metaphor becomes very important, because dry, rational speech is too divorced from the overwhelming hugeness of the cloud.
  • FKO - *(Thanks 4 this) "When pain exceeds pain-coping resources, suicidal feelings are the result. Suicide is neither wrong nor right; it is not a defect of character; it is morally neutral. It is simply an imbalance of pain versus coping resources.

    You can survive suicidal feelings if you do either of two things:
    (1) find a way to reduce your pain, or
    (2) find a way to increase your coping resources. Both are possible.

    Now I want to tell you five things to think about................."

    see post

    . .
    • Thank you for reposting this.

      By the way, not trying to pimp our project very heavily as much as just let people know, who are interested, but we have started a very sincere project aimed at building potential resources for people who attend Burning Man and beyond the pale of mainstream lifestyles, and mental health challenges.

      Mental Health and Safety for Safety Third People.

      Reach out.
      • Sorry , That link was supposed to be,

        • "By the way, not trying to pimp our project very heavily as much as just let people know, who are interested, but we have started a very sincere project aimed at building potential resources for people who attend Burning Man and beyond the pale of mainstream lifestyles, and mental health challenges. "

          True dat.

          How sincere? i"m taking the first draft of the mental health document to aid our Ranger staff at the Gateway Burners' burn. I'm also using it to discuss the elements of a Safe Tent/Sanctuary for the Midwest Burners' big burn, Interfuse with the rest of my fellow Interrangers.

          Folks, we MUST reach out to those who need us. We are burners, and our calling is to step where few dare to tread, in the radical lifestyle and radical community we love. We can take the lessons we learn and apply them in the default world, and hopefully it'll make it a better place for ALL some day. Optimistic? Sure. But think of the consequences if we don't TRY!
          • First of all, fuck you Kelly you piece of Air Force shit. Ok, now that I got that off my mind ( Don't worry Irish John, I love you, just pokin a stick in your eye for fun)

            It is perfectly ok to visit Shooters tribe blog and leave comments for the dead. It's cool it's metaphysical and it beats watching TV.
            Fuck you too Shooter, this beer's for you buddy....
  • Unsu...
    Attempt, that is. A serious attempt. *Not* completion.

    I heard it from the horse's mouth. Happened about a month ago.
    Someone impacted by very similar issues to the ones we've all been discussing.
    Thank God this person was unsuccessful. From what they tried, you'd think they woulda succeeded.
    I don't feel at liberty to disclose identity--though I sure as fuck am tempted to. I would "out" them if I thought they were still suicidal. Confidence ends (with me) when someone's life is at risk.

    But anyway. I'm pretty sure they're stable, at least for the forseeable future.
    Damn, these things are always so gray. You can totally argue that I'm right, or wrong, on each of several different points I've made so far (above). God knows if there are any clear answers.

    We really gotta pull something together here in this community. That tribe posted in the other post, is an excellent start.
    I can't do much personally, because I deal with this stuff 8 to 12 hours per day on the job. If I do it during my off hours too I'll drown. I feel a little guilty saying it, but I am going to have to be satisfied with making my contribution professionally rather than specifically to this community.

    The thing about severe mental illness is that the lines between choice and involuntary tend to blur. Because emotions run so strong and uncontainable, perspective totally distorts and the very foundation of the person is often so unstable and weakened.

    And there's that metaphor again about trying to save a person but not drowning oneself. Sunshine's behaviors near the end were a perfect example. When the intense emotions drive bad behavior that alienates everyone--how the hell do you solve that? These days, some professional organizations are recognizing this fact and using a team approach. That is, a whole team is assigned to each identified client so that there's many people. A buffering effect and less loss of perspective. I think our community could really benefit from such an approach. I guess the trick can be identifying the people who are suicidal. Some will be easier, some not.

    As I type this, Nomad and Citizen G are at Sunshine's apartment, doing a prayer and goodbye ceremony. Apparently tonight's the last night anyone can get in to the apartment.

    I'm really, really glad that our community is coming together here to discuss these issues.

    Peace and blessings (and I sincerely mean it).
    • Unsu...
      Oh, and I thought you all would like to know....
      This touched me with its beauty.

      Sunshine gifted her Burning Man ticket. Apparently one of her last acts. It's going to someone who loves the playa but otherwise wouldn't have been able to go.

      I think that's really, really beautiful in a painful sort of way.
      • <I think that's really, really beautiful in a painful sort of way. >

        As giving things away is one of the signs of impending suicide, I'm inclinded to disagree. As you are the mental health professional, I'm perfectly aware of the fact that if you say "Go teach your grandmother to suck eggs" I don't have a leg to stand on.
    • Moose!:

      Don't worry at all about the level of participation that you're able to give. As long as you're giving, many blessings on you on all you do.

      I noted with sincere interest this remark:
      "These days, some professional organizations are recognizing this fact and using a team approach. That is, a whole team is assigned to each identified client so that there's many people. A buffering effect and less loss of perspective. I think our community could really benefit from such an approach."

      Above all, the individual needing treatment comes first. That should not have to be emphasized, but I;ll do it here this once. Continuity within the sanctuary is important. The person who is assigned to an intervention should finish that intervwention, provided the subject of the intervention agrees. Close bonds are formed. And thus, the experience is meaningful.

      But that's just my opinion.

      I love you all!
      • Unsu...
        You can have close bonds with more than one person simultaneously.

        This creates a more stable structure and one that is less vulnerable to burnout, loss of perspective, etc.
        Continuity is still quite possible and the clarity (from the reduced burden) increases the chances of actually making sure the person in need comes first. Consistently and as often as they need it.
        • Thanks for keeping this thread going. The thoughts that are shared here daily over the last few weeks have been very encouraging and supportive. I've found much comfort coming here to see what others are saying about what we can do.

          I haven't much to add as I'm still processing Caleb's choice and my witnessing his death.

          Last night I went right back to the beginning of this thread to read what Kamikaze Kelly started in February 2008. The love in this community is strong and we can make a difference for the future. I wish I could have helped Caleb avoid the choice he made but I know now that I will make even greater efforts to help anyone else avoid that choice.

          My father gave me a book to read recently and it has been helpful. Henry David Thoreau, a great American philosopher, who is underrecognized, in my opinion, wrote "On Walden Pond" among other books. Reading this solitary exploration of a man's ideas has been a good, calming read for me. I would highly recommend it.

          Also I've just pulled Viktor Frankl's book "Man's Search for Meaning" off the shelf to read next.

          Keep the love going here, many are helped by what is said even if they're not posting.
          • Unsu...
            Hi Deb.... I remembered your story last night and thought of you. Particularly when I saw the post from Playa Mama which I'll snip for you since the thread is sooooo long:

            "I will watch the part from Beyond Black Rock where David Best is going around before the temple burn telling people "It's not your fault" He's right. It's not. Would maybe the suggestion of just being an ear to lean on be better? I'm just hoping to help the next person in my life that might feel that they are in this situation. I would feel better at least having tried than feeling I did nothing."

            He was full of tears and passion when he said that. I have the video. I didn't understand why he said that at the time.... now I do. David is a good man! He gives so much to us!

            Best wishes healing... if you find Man's Search for Meaning Helpful, please do share.
      • I'll one up Rhino, Moose (what is this--a thread for hoofed quadrupeds?), and say that if you spend too much of your time helping and rescuing others, it becomes pathological. Or reflects pathology.

        It's ungood! Yeah, that's what I meant.

        I know that, others know that, some may not of heard that before. Anyway, your off time is supposed to rejuvinate you for the on times, not sap you drier than the playa.

        (Oh, did I mix a metaphor there? Well, I hope it doesn't explode.)
        • "(Oh, did I mix a metaphor there? Well, I hope it doesn't explode.) "

          Itr's still ticking......back slowly away from it.....slow........slow.......keep it slow........
        • I'll also add that at least for Black Rock Rangers their role isn't one of babysitter. Not meaning to sound callus but it seems like its a good idea to ask what *is* the role of your volunteer base and what *are* reasonable expectations.

          Seems to me that suicide monitoring/prevention/identification of risk is a lesson that should should be conferred *on* professionals *by* professionals.

          I may be wrong here but this sounds like a recipe for...problems. Further, if I were volunteering I'd have to ask if the intent doesn't have a somewhat selfish motive that's being transferred to your volunteer base because you (or others) think its a good diea because of what has happened recently.
          • Unsu...
            "if I were volunteering I'd have to ask if the intent doesn't have a somewhat selfish motive that's being transferred to your volunteer base "

            ?? Just be a nice and decent person whether you are a Ranger or not. Don't be a vampire energy suck like insurance companies, attorneys, rapists, yahoos, thieves, the grump that cut you off at the intersection, etc... It's the mean, thoughtless people no matter how large or small the gesture affect us all... sometimes disproportionately because we ALL have our breaking point.
          • Unsu...
            I'd be happy to volunteer for a shift or two on playa.

            However my psychotherapy license is only good in California. Not in Nevada. I wonder if there would be any evil, short-sighted ramifications.
            • Talk to ESD: 911 at burningman dot com
              or to Black Swan of the BRC Rangers.

              I know that for medical there was a certian amount of protection provided by the good samaritan law, but that was for first aid (and don't quote me on it anyway.)

              I'm sure you could research the law and figure it out, but those people are likely to have the information at their fingertips.
          • I think we can risk to potential problems that arrise from do-gooders trying to act on whatever motive they have for doing what the county medical authority will only do after a crital mass of problems exist.

            I say we stop waitng for the medical profession to tell us what they are willing to do for us,and instead we start telling them what we need becuase we care for ourselves first.

            • I have issues with do-gooders, at least ignorant ones. Mental illnesses are old, crafty problems, and so much of the responce has been torch and pitchfork, tieing them up in bedlam and selling tickets to their ravings, and worse. These days we got free-ranging, whack-job exorcists roaming the countryside armed with bell book and candle. They practice on the evil spirits that possess gays in their off times. And I'm still horrified about the increase of suicide rate that has come about by the "black box" warnings on ssris.
              It's a complicated set of problems. There is no easy answer. Some of the professionals are little better than charlatans themselves. But I know too many people who would not be functioning without the apparatus of the health care system in all its evils to want to turn my back on that real source of help.
              I hope your efforts are governed by what works, rather than any ideology.
              • (the exorcists were made up--not so much out of whole cloth, but as an exagerration of current social trends.)
                • "I hope your efforts are governed by what works, rather than any ideology. "

                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Since writing this Comfort and Joy camp had to deal with some fucked up shit by a Colorado Burner I didn't know well.
                    And then...Shooter...
                    Sometimes there just aren't words, but I am bumping this anyways.
                    Just in case...
  • pain is pain.

    pain is pain,
    then goes numb.
    numb is numb.

    breathing slows, all goes black.
    breathing stops.

    • Just would like to remind people taht we do have at least a imformation and company resource gruop in our community:

      Radical life institute~ dedicated to improving our mass awareness and education about mental health issues in the Burner community.

      While we are not a replacement real medical care and don't claim to have any solutions, we do have a very careing lot dedicated insights and freindships that can help shine the light onto healthy perspectives.

      For instance, we understand that much of the issue surround scuicides has less to do with wanting life to end, but wanting to avoid or reduce suffering. A person contemplating scuicide may have over looked that they have more options than ending one;s life. They can take steps to decrease their suffering and increase their copeing mechanisms.

      By simply reaching out to another person about our problems, no matter how many people we reach out to before someone listens to us, we increase our copeing mechanisms. and being human, there are very few human problems that some other person has not already had to deal with and found a way to survive it. It just takes a person to realize change is out there for thse who really want it, and while some problems may never go away, very few are ever completely impossible.

      To those people suffering the loss of another, I speak for everyone at The radical life institute when I say, our best wishesare with you.


  • If you feel like you do not have Family right about now
    You do!
    ps Fuck Yer day

    • each day, many of us are killing ourselves very slowly. the shit we put into our mouths, the sofa we ride, the thoughts we have, the poison we sometimes spread with our words.

      so possibly for some, suicide is a way to "de-bullshit" the deal, and do it.

      honestly, would any of your lives change if i never posted again, i went away, whether just lost interest in tribe, or killed myself?
      you would wake the next day, like you did the day before.
      walk your dog, feed your cat.
      have some coffee and head to work, or not. the sun will rise and set again.

      i am not advocating suicide as an answer, but i'm not going to make someone feel worse by saying they are full of shit, or should do this or that.

      it's a fucking choice. plenty more serious than, do i wear this shirt or that shirt, but a choice. i think that's the beauty of life, to choose.
      if someone feels life is not worth living, or they have pain so intense that they want death, then who am i to stop them? who you to stop me?

      if i'm dead or alive, how does it make or break your day? ok, maybe the ones i've shared hot wings with, but those who haven't?
      you like zucchini, i don't. i like asparagus, you don't.

      life is good now, so i don't even know where the edge is. i'm so far back from the ledge, i'm in kansas.

      • The grim reaper gets us in the end anyway, but the defiance that we show until that point defines who we are and what we represent. Time is eternal, but an individual's life is only a mere fraction of time. You cannot de-bullshit all of the issues that you face in life, the ones you dispense with will have others spring up in their place. It might be worth considering that the issues that we choose to face defines us as individuals. And each individual has a journey to pursue. Your journey took you away from the edge of the cliff. Others prefer to travel right on the edge of the cliff. All we're asking is that people don't jump off the cliff. I agree that we should make our choices in life and LIVE with them.

        And remember, even in Kansas there are tornadoes that can turn everything to shit.
        • sa
          offline 55
          Piko!, I don't think you've thought this through. Or if you have, you've missed an important point: Just because someone is having suicidal thoughts doesn't mean they will next week or will ever again. I myself have been on the brink and thought that suicide was a viable option. I'm very glad you weren't around to offer up your helpful advice of "Go ahead and do it!" I'm sure my wife and son would agree with me.

          My depression came and went, and I will never consider suicide again. No longer an option.

          I only hope that your ignorant, insensitive comment doesn't reach someone who is in a precarious position. It may help them make a really bad decision.
          • Thanks, sa. I get so choked up with anger when people say "suicide is a choice" but I don't want to stray into the "by commiting suicide you are committing a sin against god" camp that I don't know what to say. Thank you for rising to the challenge.
          • "Go ahead and do it"? Where, in piko's post, did you read that? It seemed pretty clear to me that he specifically stated that he did NOT advocate suicide as a solution.

            One thing I got out of his post was that having a friend flying into hysterics when the subject comes up does not make someone want to talk about or explore their suicidal thoughts with them. I think a suicidal person needs to be HEARD, not just have all their feelings dismissed as unacceptable. If you are afraid of the reaction you'll get, you won't open up.

            I don't necessarily agree with everything he said, but if you got "suicide is awesome" out of that, I don't think that was the message.
            • " I think a suicidal person needs to be HEARD, not just have all their feelings dismissed as unacceptable. If you are afraid of the reaction you'll get, you won't open up. "

              I had the same initial reaction as Crypto, Anne, but then I re-read the post to try to understand just where he was coming from. About midway through, I thought of something really similar to what you just said, about a suicidal person needing to be HEARD. I then remembered that the critical skill that we can develop IN RESPONSE is a willingness to LISTEN. Listening to the need is what Radical Life Institute has been about from its very inception.
            • sa
              offline 55
              Where did I read "go ahead and do it?" Right here: <<if someone feels life is not worth living,...then who am i to stop them?>>

              Just because you feel that life is not worth living is not reason enough to kill yourself. Those feelings can and do pass. This is a VERY touchy subject and words must be chosen carefully.
              • I got off the phone awhile ago with an old friend who feels out of options.
                They may die. They may not. I can't fix them. Truth be told...if I got in my truck and drove still wouldn't help (in this specific case!).
                I do know that I can care, give a shit, and write/share/process.
                This Thread has opened a lot of feelings and stories. Some pretty freaking strong! reading back.
                Some said, when I first posted this, promising to pull it down after 24 hours, 'Don't!'
                Some may be embarrassed that some of us are still here and/or even talking about shit like this.
                My Security Clearance dictates implicitly that I have never ever ever thought about suicide. Ever.
                But I am human. I care. I know that I cannot do this thing called 'Life' alone and, for some, the Holidays are about Family and that's how I (and many) consider you, here, posting and contributing on Our Social Network.

                Sorry for all the words. If this were Facebook, I'd just 'Tweet'. But I am not good at that.
                I had more to share, but sometimes...for's probably best to just shut the fuck up and listen.

                KK wishing ALL of you to know that you are NOT alone, and I understand more than most what it is like to feel that way...
              • It's odd that so many here are interested in preaching about what is and isn't acceptable to think or do. Particularly interesting was the "insensitive" accusation against the only -actually- sensitive post on the thread to that point.

                Advice: don't become a counselor, those of you who knee-jerked into "omg you never never ever do it"; you lack the chops. You just validated suicide for lots and lots of people - and actually explain it to the survivors. "Here is the attitude s/he encountered". Bad form.

                Think harder. "This is a VERY touchy subject and words must be chosen carefully."

                >>Just because you feel that life is not worth living is not reason enough to kill yourself. <<

                Actually you have zero credentials in anyone else's life to make that evaluation. It is a fine one for yourself, but you lack the authority (the intelligence, the insight, and the sensitivity) to make that call for anyone else.

                If someone (!!!) approaches you seeking solace or relief, will you bitch "omg that is a terrible way to think; you have no right to make that choice"? If so, kill yourself. Godspeed.
          • >>>Piko, I don't think you've thought this through.>>> >>>"Go ahead and do it!?"<<<<<

            sa- respectfully, where the fuck did i say that?!? don't put words in my mouth.

            i say it is the right of the individual to control their own choices. i won't make them for you, and you won't make them for me.

            I would never say, go ahead do it.

            ignorant and insensitive? i choose for myself, and no one else.

            i think of putting a loaded glock, or keltec, or walther pistol in my mouth then and again. i imagine pulling the trigger. i haven't bought a gun yet. i've also thought about fucking megan fox & jessica biel in the same night, but that too hasn't happened either.

            so, sa, ease up on me. i don't advocate suicide. i'm saying don't fucking decide for me. if i want to do it, it'll be my choice, my responsibility.

            @rhino, re: kansas......i'm actually in the nw, not kansas. just used it's geographic location as meaning far from the edge of the north american continent, and that i'm in a pretty good place mentally (not wanting to kill myself).
            • I knew you were up in the Pacific northwest, piko!; I just wanted to share with you the reality of 'being as far away from the cliff's edge' as we seem to be sometimes. The invitation to the regionals here stands, though.

              It's unfortunate that here, just like anywhere else in the country, people might think times are tough enough economically, that family relationships have gone sour so badly, or that interpersonal relationships have turned out so badly that suicide might be thought of as a potential solution. It isn't a solution, not even a choice in my opinion.
              • And that's wonderful for you, but to someone facing down the long barrel of a shotgun in their mind, it's not necessarily helpful. You might as well be speaking Romanian and talking about living on Titan in terms of reaching someone who's living with depression and has to argue with him/herself for 3 hours in order to get up and get dressed in the morning...
              • >>It isn't a solution, not even a choice in my opinion. <<

                Ridiculous. It's as if some of you actually want to go and kick suicidal people in the face to teach them a lesson.

                Seriously. Keep this shit to yourself if you suspect you may in the company of a depressed person. You are advocating for rejecting a world that contains this level of authoritarian bullying.

                Fucking accept it: it's out of your hands. Your holier-than-thou response may go over well in church or at the 12 step meeting, but it is disastrous in the real world. Petty platitudes and pompous judgments are just more static in the roar of pain - pain which may dwarf anything you can conceive of. Pretending there is always hope is the kind of illogical bullshit that can anger and provoke a person facing death.

                In case your wondering "why is he so angry on this one" it is because this is exactly the kind of snap churchy bullshit that keeps people from seeking help. You may have already prevented a dozen people from getting help. WTG.
                • Earlier in my life, I was given the "permission" to go ahead and end my own life. I had talked to several people, all of whom were of the Oh My God, don't ever ever! We'll be so mad/your folks'll be sad/why are you bad! -camp, none of which really spoke to me. At one point I ran into this person who didn't even know me, and his simple way of just receiving my pain and treating me as an equal and not someone who needed "help" was so refreshing. My possible suicide was not so uncomfortable to him. He said, Look, you're responsible for yourself and no one else. I don't know your story. You might NEED to die. He was giving me permission, but as a peer, not as a manipulation, and it provided just the slack I apparently needed to realize: I didn't want to die.

                  Since then I've been aware that many people who talk about and even do suicide act from pushing against, against estrangement, against , against experience of self. If you're all, Horrors, Think Of The Children, it might be just that much enough to push against to pull the trigger. Being real is always the first best solution to a person with a gun in their mouth.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Yes, that insistence by others that suicide is not on the table only makes the depressed person feel more out of step with the world, more alone. More in need of removal.
                    • I can imagine where suicide is the only rational means of escape from an untenable situation. I also know that people in pain often don't make rational decisions (I'm damn sure that I don't). So it's a dilemma. My own wish is to help those who can be helped, without taking away the ability of people to make their own choices. I've never been in the position, though, of being asked to help someone end it, and I hope that I'm never asked.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    >Being real is always the first best solution to a person with a gun in their mouth. <

                    But real is different for each person, and Rhino is being real, in his world he can't see ending one's life as a solution. I can only envy such a brain chemistry and appreciate that he cares as much about helping as any of you do. And you folks are tending to see only a narrow range of suicide and there is no one strain. There are those that are not depressed but tired of the pain that comes from physical issues such as cancer. There are those that come for the want of glory or cause such as those that strap a bomb onto themselves. And, there is that which comes from want of attention. And, there are those that come from a person not wanting to accept responsibility for their actions. They should not all be treated the same.
                    • "Yes, that insistence by others that suicide is not on the table only makes the depressed person feel more out of step with the world, more alone. More in need of removal. "

                      In that regard, I must say that for myself and myself alone, suicide is not an option. I can only begin to try to understand the feelings of those who still have that option on the table. I haven't been at that point.

                      When I came upon a semi tractor-trailer accident in '08 on the way back from Burningman, the truck involved was burning and the driver was inside. He couldn't find a way out. I kicked out the windshield of the truck and got him out safely. There was no other way for me. I couldn't live with the knowledge that I had let him burn up in the truck. So I acted. With no emergency service aid around (the highway patrol didn't even arrive for 45 minutes) the driver had no other help available to him. No one has ever thanked me, I haven't received any awards, but I sleep better at night knowing that he's alive.

                      You help those who you can.
                      • Forgive my assholey notes. I've been drastically unhappy and in mounting pain since July. I have been intensely suicidal (as opposed to my more familiar "aesthetically suicidal") with deeper and more dangerous elements creeping into the ... what would you say.... the logic of it, with particular strength through the past few days.

                        It does really, really, really fucking suck to try to reach out to someone and get a massive wall of ignorant religiosity. "It is just not done" "that is never okay" are not reasoned / reasoning positions; they are just tenets of a religion and not a particularly useful one to those who have been verily and utterly excommunicated by dint of simply not having the luxury of ignoring the terrible facts that make such a position literally worse than useless in the real world.

                        I think the best way for motivated positive people to help potential suicides is to provide real options of stuff to do to distract from the insoluble stuff, not lectures or sermons (which though well-meaning cannot hope to address the spiritual needs of someone who is *not*, unlike you, all happy and shit). One of the biggest problems is isolation and lack of social contact, I find. A lot of self-harmers are going to have already done some work on self-isolation, so it's not easy, and the opportunity may not always be there for it to be genuine, which is important.

                        Nothing, I think, is worse than the moralizing approach: "think of your family and the people that love you" -

                        - "oh right I forgot all about them until just now, thank you so much for reminding me" ... >:(
                        • >I've been drastically unhappy and in mounting pain since July.<

                          I've seen other writings of yours and have known that. And, every time I see a posting of yours I have a passing wish that you are feeling better. It's hurts me to know you are in pain.
  • Red
    offline 1
    this touches very close to home for me. i have had multiple suicides happen within in my family. i almost feel at fault sometimes because i feel like i could have tried to help more. or at least do something different. i hope we can all try to make the extra effort and reach out to those who we know who need a little extra attention or love. most of the time we have no clue that anything is wrong... but sometimes we do. it doesnt matter what sort of community we are involved in, depression effects everyone and at anytime. thanks for bringing this up.
    • sa
      offline 55
      There appears to be a lot of misunderstanding and judging going on here.

      I'm going to ignore the insults thrown my way and retract mine.

      What I should have said was simply:
      For ME, once upon a time, suicide was a viable, logical option. Things changed (within my head) and I no longer feel that way. Suicidal thoughts CAN and DO pass. Yes, it is your right to take your own life, but just because you feel that way doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. If you kill yourself you'll never know for sure, but if you don't, you may find someday that it definitely wasn't.

      • sa- i think if we were all around a campfire, or in one room face-to-face, we would have a more engaging experience. we would be able to hear each others voices, see facial and hand gestures, to get a better read on where we are all coming from.

        insults or not, at least the discussion is taking place, bring it into the light.

        so please, if i hurt feeling, or made anyone feel bad....i am sorry. it was not my intention. i do hope all understand and appreciate my spirit of sharing.
        • nah; I get even more in your face in person, if you put yourself in a position of moral authority. I'm totally uninhibited that way. My goal is to make you -actually- feel bad and not fake-apologize while blotting around for the PC-seeming "wellll I'll pretend to change my tune".

          It *actually* *is not* *OK* for SA or anyone else, no matter how wise they may think they are collectively or singly, to assume moral authority in this matter.

          Yes; mental illness is a very serious problem even in relatively minor cases; but *NO*one has the credentials to lay judgment on the final choice of a person with chronic pain, no matter what the source of that pain may be.

          When you experience it, you will understand why that is so. Until then, you must simply accept that it is out of your hands and face the possibility that instinctive need denigrate those who face this choice IS FAR LESS HELPFUL than shutting the fuck up and realizing "whoah this is way out of my league in the fake-ass wisdom department".

          Those who do well at it are -not- the ultra-sensitive empathy types. Following me here? You have to be hard to make headway in the game of forcing sad sacks of suffering to stay alive long enough to be robbed of something else.

          if "boo hoo hoo such mean and bitter words" then = you are not one of those = accept it. I know that there are words people can say that make waking up one more time seem more urgent to escape than typical "you can do it" platitudes and "maybe they'll find a cure (for the poor)" lies, but dammit for the Life of me I can't recall what they are at the moment.


          "Gosh that's fucking rough." "I can't pretend to understand but I really am here for you."
          The above is what you are qualified to say. If you can't really be there for someone, ~don't~ say that part. Establish realistic boundaries, too. Don't be an enabler; don't reward dramatic morbidity. I've had an excellent look at good and bad attempts in the past few months, most good, actually. "Please don't" is good. See how there's no judgment implicit, there? "I love you". If you don't or can't - sheeeeyit this just isn't your problem. See what I'm saying?

          it's not for everyone
          • I do understand ze sweet release zat comes from ending ze life full ov pain. NPR aired ze poignant story ov a writer who had lost her hearing and her ability to walk. She decided to stop ze oxygen when her sight began to fail: her one joy was reading, und that was about to end.

            Alll ze suiciders I've known personally or through ze fiends killed their elves in a state of deep despair that would have passed. None ov zem were suffering constantly. All ov them were still capable ov feeling joy again. Und every single one ov zem was stoned or drunk or drugged (or *should* have been on Rx but stopped it...).

            I believe zat in every instance I know of, ze suicider would not have made ze same decision on a different day, under different circumstances. I believe zat every single one ov them would take it back if they could. None ov zem were "Seven Pounds"-ers. None ov zem were chronically ill or in chronic pain. All ov zem had come-und-go psychological problems.

            Like most ov us.

            Und in zat one moment--SNAP!! Irreversible end game.

            Zat's ze sucky thing with suicide. No rewinds.

            I do understand zat mental anguish eez worse than physical pain. What keeps me passing ze open windows eez ze fluff ov family und fiends--und ze memory ov mein auntie who offed her elf before I even knew her. Her passing tore such ze hole in mein family zat I could never lay ze same on mein beloveds. Not zat I have not considered ze idea. But ze suicide ideation eez not ze suicide reality. Ze reality eez zat someone has to clean up your mess und live with your decision--wondering wondering wondering if they could have helped more.

            I donut nose ze answers, ov curse, und in ze deep dark Hour ov ze Wolf, every ping loox mighty bleak.

            I wish there was ze place where peeps could go who were at ze end ov their rope. A place with hot cookies und cold bubbly und loving caretakers. At zat place people could get ze help they need und zen be injected into a new weirld, a new situation, a new identity. Und begin again.

            Maybe that eez wot happens in death.

            Then again, maybe not. Maybe death eez worse zen life.

            Fuxxx. Goose in peace.
            • It's a mistake to think that "all I know of personally" is exhaustive or representative. It's a mistake to think that the emotions survivors feel are relative to the suffering of the person they are bereft of. It's a mistake to think that there is -Always- a fine reason to go on, that what is meaningful to you could provide equivalent hope for future relief to another, that you can know, based on personal experience or anecdotes involving hearsay, what is going on in the mind of a suicidal person.

              For me, physical pain is worse than mental anguish by a very large degree. Huge, in fact. Mental anguish fades, even if only for a second or two every now and then. Mental anguish can be... if not 'cured' then just held at bay for a sec with like drugs or excellent recordings of contemporary Norwegian compositions for harp and viol. All that shit is less than dust in the face of physical agony that doesn't ever ever ever let up. Top that shit off with how our lovely USA prevents health care from taking place, et voilà. Let a chronic pain sufferer "evolve" in a social matrix for a few years and watch all the reasons for living wink out, one by one. Nature does not intend that we should live, in this state, and so makes it much easier for the collective to abandon such folks. We have many programs in place to distance the caring from the cared-for; this helps only in temporary cases. Permanent - or seemingly permanent / chronic-over-years - painful medical conditions that aren't soluble via opium basically mean Death.

              How fast would it be best to die? Really really slowly? Is it best to die alone or surrounded by loved ones? How long should they be forced to watch?
              • I wasn't blanketing ze entire suicide pool, only offering up mein thoughts based on actual personal experience. Hell, Richard Cory may have had ze inoperable brain tumor for all we nose. I walnut comment on those I donut nose. Who knows ze secretions ov ze human heart? Surely not I.

                Lokifreign, I ham soggy zat aryoo have not been able to find comfort und freedom from pain. I nose zat aryoo have suffered long. I wish our system had better provisions for healing und upkeep. Bosh! Obamacareless. Please stick around as long as aryoo can. For bitter or warts, you are much-fluffed in these infernal ethers.
          • sa
            offline 55
            <<nah; I get even more in your face in person, if you put yourself in a position of moral authority. I'm totally uninhibited that way. My goal is to make you -actually- feel bad and not fake-apologize while blotting around for the PC-seeming "wellll I'll pretend to change my tune".>>

            I love it when people reply to a question that wasn't even asked. I guess that's you operate when you're an "IN YOUR FACE!" radical rebel -- KA-chow!

            <<It *actually* *is not* *OK* for SA or anyone else, no matter how wise they may think they are collectively or singly, to assume moral authority in this matter.>>

            Where do you see me claiming to be wise? Where am I assuming moral authority? I'm sharing my own personal experience. Period.

            <<Yes; mental illness is a very serious problem even in relatively minor cases; but *NO*one has the credentials to lay judgment on the final choice of a person with chronic pain, no matter what the source of that pain may be.>>

            I never said that there are no circumstances under which suicide is a viable option. I can see where someone who already has it all figured out would jump to that conclusion, but that was not my point at all. I'm talking about depression. Hope that clears things up a bit.
            • I'm tempted to show you your lexical errors....

              but that would assume some hidden value to your discourse. I am agnostic with regard to the quality of your personal expressions - but pat and confident in my previous analysis of your intelligence, intent, and compassion.

              Thank you for rededicating me to Life and Struggle. Someday I will either die or finally watch the last moron shut the fuck up.
              • Well, Lokifreign, thanks for sticking around in any case. Sometimes, I too have the same wish, of either dying or finally watching the last moron STFU. As long as I can outlast Fred Phelps, I'm a happy camper.

                One last little tiny observation, that might give you a smile based on your post:

                "One doctor I spoke with says that most if not all suicides lacked a certain level of brain cholesterol. I imagine it has something to do with the biological basis of "will to survive". "

                I guess also that that doctor can lend a whole new meaning to the terms 'bad' and 'good' cholesterol.
                • ha! no kidding! I asked him "can I clear this up with just eating a stick of butter?" but apparently it doesn't work that way.

                  why does it all gotta be so complex
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    "ha! no kidding! I asked him "can I clear this up with just eating a stick of butter?" but apparently it doesn't work that way. "

                    Well.....since you brought it you can't clear it up with a stick of butter. You COULD, however, go with what I call 'brain food'. Blueberries. I think I read somewhere that they're good for your thought process. If they aren't, they taste good.
        • sa
          offline 55
          Piko, please excuse my previous over-zealous reply. I read something into your post that was not there.

          --What's that, Loki, did you say something? Sorry, you'll have to be clearer next time. Cheers!
          • GO
            in a self-loving and personally empowering way.
            • Sigh. OK. I'm told you're Good but Slow. So I can accept that.

              SA, you did, in fact, set yourself up as moral arbiter for the whole of humankind, and it was a dumb thing to do owing to your lack of sensitivity. I'm hardly the poster boy fr self-restraint, though, so, rock on with your bad self, and hopefully it will just be more entertaining for both of us, next time.

              Consider the questions:

              How fast would it be best to die? Really really slowly? Is it best to die alone or surrounded by loved ones? How long should they be forced to watch?
              • >>>How fast would it be best to die? Really really slowly? Is it best to die alone or surrounded by loved ones? How long should they be forced to watch?<<<<

                speaking for MYSELF, for me only, not anyone else......
                if fast: a shiny pistol in the mouth, hollow point slug, in a private/ secluded place. not in a car. who wants to drive a car after someone died in it? not on someone else's property, or in a place that my mess would cause damage. probably in the woods on my property.

                if slow/sorta slow: flying off a high rise parking structure in downtown portland, wearing my glammed up playa cowboy boots, and cape. after midnight, from the top floor of a park smart garage.

                i prefer to be alone. if i knew someone wanted to watch, i'd let them. i wouldn't consider forcing anyone to watch. if they wanted to videotape it, i guess i'd be ok with that. i'd be dead, so why would it matter?

                i hope that covers it.

                now, before anyone goes ape shit, again i'm speaking for myself. selfish or not, my choice, my life, my way, my time.

                seriously, writing about this is kinda of therapeutic. for me, cleansing.

                all is going well in my life now, so putting a plan into motion is far from happening. not going to worry about it. just happy to be happy.
                • sa
                  offline 55
                  A big part of the reason I didn't do it was that it was hard to think of a way to kill myself and not leave behind a gory mess for someone to clean up.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.


                    I don't know why god/life/whatever spoke to me this morning, but I felt it important to resurrect this Thread.
                    If this offends, please forgive.
                    If this helps a soul, then pass it on.
                    • Re: Bump

                      Well, when you started this thread back in 2008 you *did* say that it'd only be up for 24 hours.

                      Why dig up the old ghosts?
                      • FYD

                        This morning in Austin, Texas.
                        One of my favorite memories a few years ago was getting leave from training at Shepard AFB to drive to the Deep End and hang with Burners I hadn't worked with in years. There was one photo of 16 crazy late night folk all in DPW hoddies.
                        Anne Bonnie/Jossie Wails was there. Please reach out to her and any other member of that/our Community.
                        That is all.
                        • Re: FYD

                          There will be a Memorial, most likely tonight at the Warehouse. Shep leaves behind a 13 year old Daughter, Indy, who is an awesome kid. I'm worried about Anne Bonny who was there, but the local community has rallied.
                          What more to say. Nothing.
                          Just...hold each other tight and don't let go.
                          • Time
                            Tuesday, October 25 · 3:00pm - 6:00pm
                            The Warehouse
                            1023 Springdale rd., the middle (of 3) warehouses, marked with a 105.
                            Austin, Texas

                            Anna Maul

                            We are gathering today to honor the passing of our friend, our camp mate, our favorite malcontent, Daniel "Shep" Sheppard.

                            Join us in raising a glass of whiskey in his honor today at 3p - ?

                            Feel free to share thoughts or memories here for his family that may not be able to join us today.
  • -
    offline 12
    ya well don't forget that for one these folks don't want to share their pain. Partly because they maybe ashamed, partly because they may not want to bring you down and also likely that they simply know they will not be understood. So don't feel so bad for not being there, you didn't set an intention to not be there for someone.

    And secondly remember there are scores of very mysterious and unexplainable suicides and thats because they are unexplainable!! Many of these are people who are being literally DRIVEN into madness and other states of mind by black opperations. They cannot safely share their experiences without being thought of as crazy and being threatened with mental institutions. There are plenty of folks that are being assasinated via suicide. If you don't believe it you have been lucky enough not to have discovered something, written something, heard something or have knowledge of something that is a threat to those who are attempting at maintaining power.

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