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Living with suicide

by cj1210

A psychologist gave me a booklet for ‘the bereaved’ to inform me on what I would feel in the coming weeks/months/years. Seeing as every time I start to read the shitty booklet I bawl my eyes out, I’ve decided to write about what I am feeling and hope to feel in the coming weeks/months/years. I hope that in writing this, others who may find themselves in a similar disastrous situation can get some sort of comfort in knowing that shit luck affects a lot of people.

First of all, my boyfriend committed suicide. We were at my house arguing, it was an ongoing insecurity fight that we had been having for three days prior. He was irrational and paranoid but very serious – and didn’t show real emotion. On this particular day I had had enough and told him to leave. Once he left I thought, “this is stupid, we are literally fighting over nothing” so I ran down the street after him and tried to talk some sense to him. I lost my temper and walked home. After half an hour at home I couldn’t sit still and B wasn’t answering my calls so I jumped in my car and drove further down the street – no B… I did a U-turn and saw him standing on the bridge looking down. I parked my car and thought “ok, oh shit, he’s staring at the road, what am I going to say to stop him, I need to show him I love him” so I walked over to B and went to wrap my arms around him in a hug but he pushed me back so forcefully I almost cried. It was as if he was pushing his hurt on to me and it didn’t physically hurt but it broke my heart. I followed him and couldn’t stop him. He told me to go away and I said I was here so he wouldn’t kill himself. He said, “I’m not going to kill myself” and crossed the road and started running. I don’t know why but that was a comfort to me, I didn’t think he was going to kill himself so when he said he wasn’t going to I thought he must just be angry and he will just run to the train station. But I still wanted him to talk to me. I started to jog, running after my athlete boyfriend was a no-brainer, I needed to pace myself if I was actually going to follow him. Mind you, I was bare foot while he had canvas shoes on so when he crossed the road again to lose me and started running on the bitumen, I stopped and sighed – I gave up. I walked back to my car with a huge feeling of defeat and helplessness. He is so stubborn! I couldn’t stop him.

What they don’t give you is a booklet on how to identify a psychotic episode. There’s no guide on how to help your depressed boyfriend who is addicted to ice. And after he’s committed suicide there is no “It wasn’t your fault” pamphlet. But there are people like me, who go through hell and come back with a story that can shed light on the devils of earth. So here is my advice for anyone in a relationship with someone who has a drug problem –

  1. If you’re significant other has confessed to you that they have a drug problem GET THEM HELP. I can’t stress that enough. My boyfriend confessed to me and I straight away Googled the effects of ice and the webpage said: “The only way to get off ice is to go cold turkey”. Yes, correct but they left out that it’s bloody hard to just wake up and decide “I’m gonna stop taking ice”. Ice grabs you and doesn’t let go. I honestly believe the only way my boyfriend was going to be rid of ice would have been a) an epiphany that told him to get help or b) was forced into rehab (and even then, if he didn’t want the help it wouldn’t have worked). I was naïve…like I said; I didn’t have a booklet on how to help a drug user. I literally told B “please don’t take ice anymore” and he said “ok” and so I believed he wasn’t doing it anymore. But trust me he didn’t want to, he told me several times that he didn’t “need” drugs anymore, he could see the damage it was doing… so why did he continue to? Because he was addicted!!
  1. If they are religious, go to church with them and make it a thing. My boyfriend was brought up as a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints and was a strong believer but didn’t go to church because he felt that he wasn’t ready – because of his lifestyle. I’m not religious but I believe that he needed God. He needed a purpose. People with a drug dependency need a sense of hope and religion can be a bright ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
  2. Don’t watch movies where they do drugs
  1. This is probably advice that will get me in trouble but drugs can make your partner have outbursts when they are in an argument. With B, everything was exaggerated when he was high or coming down, so when we would fight he would be uncharacteristically nasty and when he was sad, he was the saddest person ever and when he was happy, he was bloody over the moon. So my advice is, if they are ripping in to you – let them. Let them put all their anger on to you – and then go and find a relationships councilor. Never answer back because when they are in that frame of mind, nothing you say will change their mind for the positive. I found in most cases, he needed to release his anger and then he would be fine and feel embarrassed about all the things he said in anger.
  1. In saying that – if you guys are having an argument every weekend, it could be a clue that your partner is taking drugs (or you’re really not meant to be together). B and I started out in the most perfect relationship right up until about 3months of dating when we had our first fight over something so small, in hindsight if I had the ‘how to help a drug user’ booklet, I would have seen the signs. We would fight almost every weekend, and then every Tuesday, like clockwork, we would be back together. We would hang out on Friday, Saturday he would go to his mates (and I’m assuming) get high, then Sunday we would fight, Monday he would be sad and Tuesday we were back together and better than ever. I told myself it was because we were getting to know each other. He would push me away and later in the relationship he said it was because he wasn’t good for me and that he was a bad person – so clearly the drugs talking! He was an amazing person deep down but the drugs altered his mind and he did bad things to get drugs.
  1. Don’t try and play mind games with someone battling a drug addiction

This leads me to my next part of advice. In my story, there are two baddies, drugs and the second is depression or mental illness. There is one important thing I would like to instill in every single person – in the world (if I could) and that is – depression is a CHEMICAL IMBALANCE in the brain! Just as your pancreas not working anymore causes diabetes, something in your brain not working anymore causes depression!! Medical terms aside, both illnesses need medication to keep your body/mind under control! My boyfriend was apparently diagnosed with depression at an early age but didn’t want to take medicine for it. He told me it was because he didn’t want to live the rest of his life taking medicine and that he was smarter than that. Fair point but that compromise meant he lived the rest of his life with a skewed idea of himself and was consequently miserable enough to take hard drugs which lead to his brain telling itself to jump off a bridge. So advice for anyone in a relationship with someone suffering from depression:

  1. Get them medicine or book them in with a psychologist. Urge them to try medication because chances are it could make them feel a whole lot better! And if not, try a different type.
  1. In the drug section I mentioned religion but I want to point out that if you’re dating a person with drug addiction and depression, understand the line between religion and science. Yes its nice to believe that there is a higher power but we are still made up of chemicals and weird stuff that means we are destructible. When we die we eventually disintegrate – even if we go to heaven, its not a holiday, you will NEVER see your friends/family (any famous person) in physical form again because they will be alive and you will be either in the ground or floating around where no one can see or hear you. Life doesn’t get better once you die. But life has a huge chance of getting better if you don’t die. In religion families believe they will be together in the after life, that’s lovely to believe but a suicidal person that has a hard life on earth is too easily comforted by the idea that they can exit this world and float on up to heaven. That’s destructive! Work hard at a beautiful life on earth and maybe you will be rewarded with a place in heaven – that seems to be a more practical approach.
  1. Never put them down. Even in a heated argument, never let your big mouth get the best of you. Rule of thumb, if you don’t have something nice to say – don’t say it at all!
  1. If your partner is on a bridge staring at the road, CALL THE POLICE. Scream that you love them. Scream nice things at them till they start crying and break down in front of you. At least that way they have stopped walking away from you and closer to ‘heaven’.

So those are some of the things I wish someone told me or that I could have read before getting in to a relationship with B.

On Wednesday the 1st of October at 8:30am I got a call from Bs cousin, I saw her name come up and I immediately thought it was B calling me from her phone, because he didn’t have credit. I answered and said “Hey how are you?” It was his cousin who replied with “Hey CJ umm Bs brain dead and we’re going to be turning his life support off”. Worst thing to wake up to ever, no one can beat me on that one. Mum drove me to the hospital where I walked in blotchy faced and dreary. That sounds a lot nicer than what I actually looked like and a whole lot better than how I felt. I walked for ages to the stupid ICU and was let in to Bs room. I saw him lying there motionless and with tabs on his eyes. Tubes up his nose and cotton stuffed in his mouth. I saw a big graze on his arm, which made me think he had been hit by a car. I just wanted to collapse. I couldn’t stop saying sorry. I was just so sorry that I stopped running. Look at him, lying there because I couldn’t get him to come back in to the car with me. I didn’t even try that hard to get him to come back and now he’s brain dead. About 2minutes later a doctor came in and flicked the switch. So effortlessly like he was turning off the light – Brighams light. I stroked his arm for comfort, more for me than him I guess, and his dad put his hand on Brighams chest as it rose and fell with his last heartbeat. For the record – I didn’t see a spirit leave his body and I didn’t feel any warm feeling of comfort. I felt like bashing his heart until it started beating again. I felt like ripping all those tubes out, yelling at the doctor to come and show me Brighams brain and how we were going to fix it. It wasn’t real. This wasn’t happening. He couldn’t die. In the car I remember thinking I would ask my dad for a loan to pay for whatever machines Brigham needed to live. I didn’t understand how important your brain is, I just thought you know as long as his heart is pumping he’d be sweet. Stupid brain.

Also I should point out that this was the first time I had met Bs Dad. Also his cousin, who I spoke to on the phone, didn’t like me very much. Plus my mum was there the day I told Brigham to leave. He had gone to her the day before crying and saying that he loved me but he wasn’t the right one for me and he didn’t want to hurt me and he thanked her for making him feel so welcome. So she felt horrible for not seeing the signs. Turns out mum needed the ‘how to help a drug addict’ and ‘how to help someone with depression’ booklets too. He didn’t cry, he didn’t try and have a huge conversation with me like we normally would, he just would not let go of the paranoia and thats what confused me. I had no idea he was going to commit suicide that day. But I guess if i knew he was going to, he wouldn’t have. All in all it was the worst day of my life and im only 21 but I doubt I could have a worse day.

So that’s what happened to me.

Things missing for me (and my mum) that should have happened straight away

  • Free counseling
  • An explanation of what he did and where

It’s hard because I’m not family. He has the most beautiful family in the world (no exaggeration) and they were there for me 100% but I’m on my own now. The family has each other for support, they also have access to all the information and all of Bs things. Mum can block it out and move on. I’m on my own. I’ve got like a million questions that will probably never be answered and I’ve got a million memories all shared with Brigham… not his family. I’m sitting here heart broken and the family is probably laughing at me saying I’m pathetic for thinking Brigham and I were in love. He told me he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me – that’s all I have to go by now, he aint here to ‘have my back’. And it sucks.

But anyway life sucks some of the time. I’m not writing this for sympathy I’m trying to get my story out so people can learn from it.

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7 comments

dead_arsenic 12/14/2014 - 11:28 pm

Wow. I don’t know what else to say. Just wow. I’m crying.

theWhispersOfMySins 12/15/2014 - 12:00 am

Sorry for your loss. Wish I had words to help.

L4Y 12/15/2014 - 7:52 am

I’m very sorry for your loss. Thank you for your post and for taking the time to offer words that may help others. Best wishes to you.

Salt 12/15/2014 - 7:55 am

That was mortifying. CJ, thanks for that post that we can all learn from.

Speaking as someone in B’s position, with a loving gf who would do (and has tried) everything to help me just like you did for B, I don’t think there’s anything you could’ve done to stop him. When a person enters a state like that, it’s like a nuke hitting critical mass. Every thought, every action, every attempted hug or word of kindness only feeds the explosion. And when you add drugs to the mix, that often breaks down that final barrier between thinking about suicide and actually doing it. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t feel guilty one bit.

I’ve been the guy on the bridge. I’ve had a loved one chasing after me. And you know what, at that moment it only fuels the thrill of running away faster. When someone touches you, even with the most tenderness, it stokes the fury inside you. Simply because, at that point anything will stoke the fury. Even the thought of NOT being hugged. It’s literally like a chain of explosives going off, and the only thing a bystander can do is watch from a safe distance and hope the fury burns itself out before it hits the final powder keg.

So what’s the solution? Just like you outlined, the person has to be helped before he gets to that point. Great suggestions, every one of them. Except I’ll add that even getting help can be very touchy since most depressed/suicidal people have a strong distrust of doctors, therapists, medication and strangers in general.

So anyway, what kept me alive through my psychotic episode? I’ve been asking myself that every day. It was nothing from the outside, not my gf, not a family member or the voice of god or anything like that. It was something inside me that flipped the safety switch. I’m so sorry that B didn’t have that safety switch. But my point is: suicide is ENTIRELY the choice and responsibility of the person who commits suicide. Please don’t beat yourself up over this.

Salt 12/15/2014 - 8:04 am

I also wanted to add, you came to the right place. If you want to stick around, the folks here on SP can give you lots of support. 🙂

And even though your post is mainly about how to help a suicidal person, it actually spoke to me about being considerate of those who are trying to help. Maybe I won’t run away so fast next time.

cj1210 12/16/2014 - 8:37 am

Thank you so much for commenting and sharing part of your story, means a lot and helped me understand things better! Sucks to hear that you’ve been marginally close to where B was, it must be the worst pain but i’m happy to hear that you had a ‘safety switch’ or rational thought. I understand what you said about distrust of doctors and therapists etc because i’m starting to feel the same. This forum is helping though – talking to people who can actually understand from experience and therefore ccan help and support each other – its awesome. I mean what we’re talking about sucks – but its awesome that we can talk.

cj1210 12/16/2014 - 8:40 am

Also thank you for taking the time to read my post! I had a spark of relief when I read ‘maybe I won’t run away so fast next time’

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