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Gary Green

Sunday, September 10, 2006 

...And What Would You Do?

A few days ago, an anonymous blogger submitted a lengthy comment telling me how much they enjoyed the content of the site, how it always put a smile on their face, which was invaluable to them as their life was very difficult. No mention of specifics, but they went on to tell me that they had been dealing with mental instability and depression for years and had made more than one attempt at suicide, and was in fact planning another attempt this very weekend.

"I spent the whole day today at work planning on using my weekend to prepare for a massive overdose and since I have no family, I actually made a list of things to prepare so no one has to worry about my life insurance policy, my debts, etc. I have so many left over medications (at least 20 bottles or so) that if I took them all together, I don't think I'd suffer, let alonoe, lay there waiting. I even decided to write a personal letter to those friends of mine. Suicide is one of the most mysterious things I deal with, especially as a bipolar."

My initial reaction was to respond immediately, but then I reconsidered. The idea of taking any level of responsibility for a stranger, a person I know nothing - zero! - about, took me to a more sensible solution, which is to simply say to that person if they're reading this - find someone in your world who has a vested concern in your well-being and ongoing happiness and talk to them. If you don't have a person like that, call a suicide hotline. Express your feelings to someone - anyone - lots of people who have more training in handling this sort of thing are out there, and ready to help you.

Short of that, I wonder if there is more I am supposed to do. What would you do?

Ooo, good question. Here's what I would do:

1. Build a time machine.
2. Take Miss Happypants back in time five years and chain her to a desk on the 101st floor of the World Trade Center, preferably facing a window.
3. Invite one of the thousands of people who died that day in New York to take Miss Happypant's place in the future, reuniting them with their family and friends who are spending this day grieving their legitimate loss.

These long-winded suicide note writers are basically frustrated novelists too gutless to submit their work to a real publisher, so they hone in on someone they see as a sympathetic target and fire off a woe-is-me diatribe hoping (usually correctly) that the reader won't call their bluff and tell them to either shit or get off the pot. They don't want to die--that would rob them of the reward they are really seeking: attention. By posting her letter here you've given her the suicidal's equivalent of a publishing contract...probably a good thing, since I bet a dozen glazed donuts she hasn't the guts to post it on her OWN blog.

I had someone like this in my life once upon a time. After listening sympathetically to her lies for YEARS (she was bi-polar, abused, molested, raped by her dad, uncle, brother, etc.) I finally called her bluff when she told me she had been diagnosed with AIDS. I told her I couldn't stand to see another friend die and never wanted to see her again. The result? She stopped lying, went into therapy, is now happily married with two kids and living a miraculously AIDS-free life. AND she's a published author! Are you reading this, Miss Happypants? ;)

many times when peeps were complainging about their lives i've looked them straight in the eye and said "ya know, regardless of what everyone else tells you, suicide 'is' the answer to all your problems". i was joking of course, and it was obvious when i said it.

were i wearing your boots i'd prolly have been hooked, possibly reeled in a bit, but i doubt all the way. you did good.

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