“Did you really want to die?”

“No one commits suicide because they want to die.”

“Then why do they do it?”

“Because they want to stop the pain.”

-Tiffanie DeBartolo, How to Kill a Rock Star

Suicide is a global epidemic. In 2017 it claimed over a million lives worldwide and was the 10th leading cause of death.

Having Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism, I have been in enough sustained emotional agony and prolonged mental anguish that I have created concrete plans to end my life twice. By God’s grace, an angel intervened each time and prevented me from implementing a permanent solution to temporary problems. I was hospitalized and the agony eventually returned, but with much gratitude, I lived to write about it and to find a peaceful, stable, sober life. One day at a time.

I have worked with a number of poor souls in AA as their sponsor, also affording them peer support when they had a dual diagnosis. Not all of them received the grace that I did.

One fellow sufferer with whom I only worked for a short time had the same dual diagnosis as me, and most likely existed in the desolate isolation of the nearly hopeless 4th quadrant, according to Attachment Theory.

From birth, he was taught that his caregivers were unreliable and unresponsive to his needs. And his interpretion was that he wasn’t worth receiving care. He was worthless and others wouldn’t or couldn’t help. That was the message he internalized.

His training for life through parental boot camp probably perpetuated the feelings that he was unloved, other people were unreliable, and he wasn’t worthy.

Imagine what it was like for him when training was over and the battle of life on life’s terms began. Coming from a position of, “I’m shit and everyone else is either shit or won’t help me,” is a hell of a spot. It certainly doesn’t engender healthy coping skills or healthy relationships.

From my perspective, this individual responded by building and maintaining the Great Wall of China around his core self and by creating a durable and effective facade of “having it all together.” Vulnerability was like a bear trap into which he had stuck his paw once too often.

Yet buried deep behind the wall and the “I’m fine” facade, there were hundreds of immensely swollen, pustules of infection afflicting his tender, wounded soul.

So much pain that was so intense and prolonged that he reached the point of no return somewhere along the way and saw no alternative but to end his life.

Imagine feeling so tortured for so long your only perceived option was to jump from a bridge and into the yawning chasm of death.

Forever there to remain.

And so it was for him. May the Higher Power rest his soul.

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