I will never forget the way he looked at me when he told a lie that could potentially harm hundreds of lives.
“I’ve been clean and sober for over a year”
“No you have not.” I responded with disgust.
He was talking to classmates of his – classmates that were studying to become the next generation of employees working with people suffering from drug addiction.
Having been in my own cycle of chaos I knew that allowing him to perpetuate this lie and potentially graduate and then work for someone like myself would cause more harm not only to himself but to the possible clients he’d be working with.
I don’t usually mind standing by my friends when they tell a white lie, but this lie? This one was one that could legitimately affect the life of someone in serious desperate need.
People in Addictions -must- be clean and sober or at least stable because the people we work with live in chaos. It’s why when I look back I realize how much I sucked at my job. I may not have been addicted to drugs but I was by no means stable.
Long story short he ended up being removed from the class a few days later.
I found out a year later that he’d committed suicide. By jumping off a train platform and head on into a skytrain. A train I had been on at the moment of impact.
I was a few cars down so I didn’t see what happened but I was there.
This was a man that I
I will never forget his last words to me. “You are the worst friend in the world.”
I think about that a lot lately – maybe every day, maybe every other day. I think about him. About his beautiful blue green eyes, his punk rock style and hair. I think about his hugs that felt like I was being wrapped in a slice of heaven.
I think about the fact that no matter how much I loved him he just didn’t love himself.
I’ve never written about this before because I guess I just wasn’t angry enough. Maybe I wasn’t ready to let go. James was for a short time, The man I loved.
He’s the reason I fight so hard for people suffering from addictions – the reason I spent so long trying to convince people not to give up on themselves.
I know that his words – his mean cruel and hurtful words were coming from a dark place. I also know that much like my friend Andy – a man who hung himself – there was never anything I could have said or done to change his mind.
My best friend and the man I loved both committed suicide.
I have considered it. As recently as last week in fact. I consider it all the time. Then I think about all the people I love – that love me – that inspire me on a regular every day basis.
People I’ve known most of my life – Kate for instance – my best friend from childhood.
And Jen and Sylvie and their son Jake. I think about what it would do to my mother and my friend YK. Ace and even Kim who is less of a friend and more of an inspiration.
I think of all the people who I love and that love me that wouldn’t make it to the funeral because they’er in other countries or because they just couldn’t face burying one more person.
There’s only one reason I stay alive however. That’s my dog.
What would happen to him if I were to die suddenly? What would happen to him if I was the one to slit my own throat? To end my life? It would destroy him. The only truly innocent victim in my life.
Last night we had a fire alarm go off in the middle of the night. Knowing there was no fire I decided to leave Whalley in the house because I didn’t want to stress him out with all the neighbors and their dogs.
When I finally got back inside my mom told me she thought he was going to have a heart attack because he was so afraid. This is enough to keep me alive. To let me know that there is a creature on this planet that depends solely on me for his protection and safety. Why the hell would I do that to him?
What James and Andy did was selfish – I understand why they did it and for a long while I was totally angry at them. Enraged really too much to grieve. It took me a long time to realize that James was full of shit. He told a lie that would have life long impacts on other innocent people – a lie that he told in front of me that could have cost me my job if I’d not been honest.
A lie that I couldn’t live with. He made the choice to end his life because he did not see an end to his misery. I understand it I don’t like it or respect it but I understand it.
Tonight someone said “They will be the cause of my suicide.” Fuck that. That’s not even remotely funny. It’s not even slightly humorous.
When you end your life you have no idea the spider web affect you have on all those who have to now suffer with losing you.
You might not see it but maybe you aren’t looking hard enough. You might not believe it but maybe that’s because it’s easier – so much easier – to stay in the dark then open yourself up to the possibility of happiness. I know this. I’ve been there, many times.
If you want to kill yourself I suppose I can’t stop you but at least do those who love you a favor. Don’t blame them. It’s a selfish act made by a desperate person. I DO understand this but I will as a survivor no longer feel guilty because the people I love are dead.
When Syxx Achenson took his life it broke me to the end of the world and back. Syxx helped me design my first ever tattoo. A Dragon coming out of an egg on my left shoulder blade – representing that even though my Grandfather was gone life goes on.
When I found out about his suicide I decided to get a flash tattoo on my right shoulder blade. It’s a black cougar with the words “Killed by Death.” Although I got it for him I also got it as a promise to myself. I’d never commit suicide and put my family and friends and loved ones through that hell.
It’s so much easier to sink into dark deep depression than it is to make changes in your life that make you happy. A Lesson I learned from Jackson during his time in my life.
I asked him once why it is he kept going back to crack instead of just trying to get help.
“It’s harder to get clean and sober than it is to just go smoke the rock.” I get that too. Dealing with your problems means actually dealing with your problems. Get over it.
You all know I’m about love and support but I’m also about blunt honesty when it’s warranted.
I give all kids who want to commit suicide a pass – I know you feel like it doesn’t get better and some days – even as an adult – life fucking sucks.
Other days are amazing. That’s just life. Not every single day of your life is going to be amazing, just like not every day is going to go into the gutter. At a certain point however you need to take responsibility for your life.
There is help out there – if you are brave enough to ask for it.
There are people who care – if you are brave enough to look around.
If you honestly truly cannot find any single person who gives a fuck about you then it’s time to go find some.
Find a hobby, join a bowling league, take up kick boxing. For god sakes change your music.
If you’re suicidal or having suicidal thoughts I can almost guarantee your music consists of shock rock, black dark angry heavy metal or gangster rap – or something similar. It’s time to change the station.
One of the best things I realized about my depression is that listening to heavy metal actually adds to my feelings of anger depression and angst. I still listen to my favorites but I listen to it in measure instead of every day all day.
I paint. I write I draw. I find things that make me happy and excited. I go out to events and I see friends. I do wine nights with my soul sister at least once a month and we never miss our monthly meet ups – never ever.
I go to lunch. By myself. In Vancouver. Away from anyone and everyone I know. I find weird little holes in the walls and I don’t care if I look like I fit in or not I spend time with myself enjoying my own company because it’s pretty awesome.
I spend time with people I like and people who like me -who don’t judge me for being a writer and advice giver. I take showers. I masturbate. I have cut coffee almost completely out of my diet.
I play with my dog. I still live with depression but I can honestly say although I contemplate what would happen if I committed suicide, I don’t actually think about how I would do it any more. Not in years.
I have made a life less ordinary life for myself because the choice was that or death. I am not ready to die today.
If you are ready to die today pick up the god damn phone and call some body. Whether it’s a friend a loved one or a fucking help line I do not care.
Don’t you dare however blame someone else because you are too much of a pussy to do the work it takes to find your fucking happiness.
There are a lot of things you can blame someone for but consider this:
“You’re the reason I am going to kill myself” could be the last words you ever say to someone. Who deserves that kind of shit on their plate?! No body.
It is a selfish act taken by desperate people who need help.
If you know someone who clearly needs help do them a favor. Say something nice, invite them out for a cup of tea. Invite them to hang out with you for a few hours.
There are a million ways to save your life, or the life of someone you know who is suffering but I am over feeling sorry for any red blooded healthy adult human being who wants to commit suicide. I’ve been to too many funerals in my life time.
If someone you know has died by their own hands, do yourselves a favor and stop feeling guilty, it isn’t your fault and there really is nothing you could have done.
Some of the best people I’ve ever known died by their own hands – and no matter how much I loved them it would never have been enough. I have to believe they weren’t meant to be here longer. It’s the only way I’ll survive the pain and as much as I might love them to this day, I will not allow myself to suffer at the hands of someone else’s selfishness ever again.
Or maybe I’m just being a selfish bitch. What do you think?