Columns Mar 28, 2012 at 4:00 am

Two Years Later, Thank You


So instead of going to see a psychiatrist or just quietly blowing your brains out on a back country road, you chose to commit suicide in a way that would traumatize the most people possible. But you lived! Congratulations! The people that saw you and called 911 probably don't know if you lived or died to this day, and your immature stunt caused them lasting psychological harm. You don't get a pass on being an asshole just because you're sad you stupid fuck. The next time your cat dies, kill yourself in a way the rest of us won't notice.
Thanks for the kind words, Brandon J!

News flash - depressed people do stupid things without even realizing that they might be traumatizing other people. I know because I was one of them. Try to imagine you are in the worst physical pain possible - that you are writhing in agony and there was no end to the pain in sight. Would you really care who you hurt to make the pain stop? Because that is what it feels like to be suicidal. Give the guy a fucking break, for Christ's sake!
People aren't traumatized in witnessing a suicide. Or if they are, they're just pussies. I love how Brandon is a such a fag as to compare the very real depression and trauma the depressed suffer with merely happening to witness the depressed acting depressed.

Did your parents have any children that lived?
Brandon J = Class Act
fuck you central scrutinizer. I walked in on my best friend's mom (essentially my mom too, I lived with her through high school) after she attempted to OD on pills and booze. she shattered every bit of glass in the house (table tops, windows, etc) and slashed up her wrists and ankles. I picked glass out of her feet on the way to the hospital and spent the rest of the night cleaning up the shattered glass and blood and then went to school the next day. I still have fucking nightmares. not traumatized? I WAS 16. I'm not saying that seriously depressed people should be blamed for their condition, but their decision to end their lives effects others around them.
Ignore the haters and dumbfucks, I, Anon. I'm glad you're still with us, and even gladder you're doing okay. Cheers.
Brandon J, Is this really how you want to squander the gift of life? Posting toxic spew from the safety of an anonymous forum? I pity you, and everyone like you ,whose only real sense of power is gained by tearing down the triumphs of others. I have also been in dark places,and contemplated suicide. Thankfully I gutted it out and got to the other side. I think that whoever wrote this demonstrates more insight and courage than you may ever know in your miserable existence if this is the way you treat others. Grow a soul!
Remove @1's name and post this as the next "I Anon". let the good times roll!
Anon. I am happy to hear you are finding peace with your life. As someone who lost a family member to suicide, I'm glad you got a second chance.
Dear Stranger: Please re-post Brandonj's comment as the next "I Anon", without his name of course, so everyone can get in on the fun.
My friend can tell the same story, I can't tell you how happy it makes me when I see her.
I'm glad you made it Anon, I hope you've found healthy way to deal with the crap life throws at you. Too many wonderful people have died by their own hand. There's no shame in wanting the pain to stop, and we are conditioned to think that someone will save us. But we need to treat our metal health with the same amount of care we would for any other part of our body. Again, I'm really glad you made it.
@1 was needlessly sarcastic, but makes me think of a question I have asked myself. At what point should you level the pain you'll cause others against the pain you're experiencing yourself (physical or otherwise)?
We are an odd species, we view being selfish and putting our needs first without considering others as unappealing.

Glad you made it through I, Anon, sometimes it takes nearing the end to realize you want to live.
@13 uh "needless sarcastic"? When some one tells you to fuck off and die, do you just shrug and wonder about sarcasm?
@1 is a raving fucking douchebag! The kind of person who rails on and on about the selfishness of others, but couldn't for second put themselves in another's shoes.
Brandon J is a sick fuck. Here's some sarcasm; gosh I sure hope you live a great life and never have to be traumatized by another's pain. I'm not sure the world would go on if Brandon j had to go through something like that. The poor thing. I sure hope a giant boulder never comes crashing down from the sky to flatten you into a blob of shit. And if that does happen, PLEASE DON'T LET IT HAPPEN IN FRONT OF ANYONE ELSE! That would make you super selfish.
Ha growler, Nice!
A good friend of mine did not make it after jumping off of the Aurora Bridge years ago, and it made me cry to read this. I hope my friend is at peace, and I'm glad you found your will to live, anon. You are loved.
Remember I anon, life is for the living. Stick around, somebody needs you.
BrandonJ is a troll at best, and his account should be deleted. It sets a new low for that Strangery 'cool' cynicalness and/or emotionally stunted adolescent trashtalking. It's predictable that a comment like this would be posted here, yet sad to see it nonetheless.

It obviously hurts people when someone commits suicide, but in the end the people's whose lives it hurts the worst are the ones that do it. I've had three friends kill themselves. It's been devastating in the least but I never felt anger toward them. Only sadness. Sad that no one could help them and I've been there myself. This is a success story and we should only look at it that way. This person got a second chance and has learned a very important lesson. I don't understand how that wouldn't be a reason to celebrate.
I'm with AmyC.
@1, you suck.
@14, you don't suck.
@2 put it perfectly, people in pain don't care who they hurt, and if you surround yourself with these people they will suck the life and joy right out of you. You'll do everything you can to help them, you'll sacrifice everything you have to save them and they'll still kill themselves and you'll be left to pick up the pieces. Your well being will not cross their minds for one single second. We hate Narcissists, people who love themselves so much that they don't have even a shred of empathy for others, well suicidal people are the same way, they just hate themselves instead. I'm tired of giving them a pass on their humanity.
Dying is easy, its what I'm living for....
Brandon J., I am sorry that someone obviously really hurt you personally through suicide. If people in pain/those who attempt suicide really don't care who they hurt (and I would add if they hurt others), explain the phenomena of suicide letters. Explain this I, Anonymous, which is clearly motivated by compassion and concern for others. Explain my relative who took his life to save his family from financial ruin. I've had the privilege to sit in on therapy sessions of those hospitalized for suicide attempts and nearly everyone thought they were sparing others from pain by inflicting unbelievable pain on themselves. Those who try to commit suicide have faults like all of us, but they are not a group of narcissists.
Brandon J., I am sorry that someone really hurt you through their suicide. I doubt they meant to hurt you. But if people in pain or those that try to take their lives don't care about or think about others, explain the phenomena of suicide letters. Or this I, Anonymous, that is clearly motivated by sincere concern for the welfare of those that may have be affected unintentionally by his or her attempt. Or the several men I've known who have taken their lives to avert financial ruin for their families. I believe that most people who attempt suicide believe that they are sparing others from pain by inflicting severe pain upon themselves. That doesn't sound like narcissism to me. That sounds like deep love and a chemical imbalance in their brains.
Anon, I'm glad you made it and gained enlightenment, too, and am glad you'll be sticking around for a while.
You meanies are going to drive poor Brandon J. to do something similar. Ease up.

I anon, you're not completely healed yet. Emotional instability brought you here. Some might call it attention whoring but perhaps it's yet another cry for help.

Get it from a professional.
@ 23, you don't know the first thing about depression or suicide. You are unqualified to comment on it. Don't say anything else here, because you'll only dig the hole deeper if you do.
@1 Why do you think he wrote this I, Anonymous you fucking butt dumpling.
I had lost touch with an old friend. I found out from a mutual friend that he’d killed himself. I think of him often and know that his family suffers.

Anon, thank you for writing this.

Miss you, B.
@1@23 RE:
Actually to add, most people probably pass my comments anyway since I don't have some dumb asinine picture but actually even if #1 was being sarcastic it still butt dumpling quality.

He even addresses in his letter he knows what he did affected people. He literally addresses every stupid qualm you have.

And lastly, lastly, lastly; You aren'r some devine authoritative person who can "give people a pass on humanity" or "not give people a pass on humanity." The most YOU can do is post shitty comments on a blog post like the rest of us. Just pitiful.
Suicide ideation can be such an insidious, omnipresent part of depression that you don't even realize you have it. I spent three years hoping to die and planning all kinds of ways to make it happen, and the impulses were so engrained in the fabric of the way I thought that they never raised any red flags. I let magazine subscriptions expire and closed credit card accounts and cleaned out boxes in the attic and quit clubs I belonged to in my slow march to my inevitable demise. It was only when a friend of mine committed suicide and my first reaction was jealousy while everyone else around me was in shock and despair that I finally realized something was truly wrong in my head. Two years later, I'm on six meds to control the depression but I still can't shake the thoughts and impulses to kill myself. I live with it every fucking day and I fucking fucking hate it. But I can't make it go away. Not even with a psychiatrist *and* a psychologist and a fistful of pills every morning. Sometimes suicide has nothing to do with being "sad," Brandon J. Only an asshole or a stupid fuck would make that assumption.
@33 - Keep hanging on, Nofo. Like @17 said, somebody needs you. The butt dumplings like Brandon J (nice one, @30!) are the minority in this world. I'm rooting for you.
This is a beautiful letter. Just goes to show that a 911 call can make a huge, huge difference. I'm glad that you are holding on, Anon!
this anon post is kinda ironic, coming from the stranger. the anti-suicide-barriers-on-bridges stranger. the fuck-you-to-suicide-prevention-goups, don't-tell-us-not-to-write-graphic-long-articles-about-suicide stranger.
oooh lets be all caring and gushing and hopeful and encouraging for this guy even though we could give a shit about really preventing suicide.

that said, you're awesome anon. good work on surviving and being happy after rescue.
What kind of injuries does one sustain when jumping off a bridge into the water? Is the impact with the water enough to break bones or whatnot?
I'm glad that this is the first swear word free, non ridiculously trivial self indulgent I anonymous that I can remember. I am not glad that I read the comments.
@23, A clarification of sorts...It's not that suicidal and depressed people don't care about others, it's just that they don't realize that they are hurting others.
Writing a nasty comment to someone who's shared their very personal and painful experience is the exact opposite.
@33: Sometimes the relief happens slowly, but hold onto the hope that it may still come for you. I don't remember when I stopped thinking about killing myself everyday, but it did eventually happen. Change doctors if you need to. If you have insurance, being hospitalized to wean off old meds and try new ones can help.

Consider different therapists with different styles. At different parts of my journey, different therapies helped (CBT, mindfulness, art, writing, interpersonal).

Whatever it takes, keep alive. I'm rooting for you, too.
FWIW, I, Anon: I've been thinking a lot about suicide lately. Your note made me want to live.
@37m - I'm no expert but I do own "The Worst Case Survival Handbook." It says that if you have to jump off a bridge (with the intention of living through it) you should make sure to clench your butt before hitting the surface. I believe that's to keep large volumes of water from infiltrating your colon at high speed. Which could certainly cause some injuries.

Then again broken bones are probably very likely too.
wow lack of compassion for self and others triumphs.I seen combat in 4 countrys lost my grandmother and uncle to suicide promissed my aunt never to do it .when i witnessed my wife go off meds get really self distructive i called her 'spiratual leader'(whom was manipulating her for her money..i;e CULT) for help they tried to brainwash me into go to the psychward for sucide or commit sucide.when i refused he called the cops and had me taken .i never threatened nor made any action towards that act.Holding my promiss to my aunt true.When i was cleared the doc warned me of the cult advised me to get out leaving my rich severly mentally ill wife behind.aftrwards i did finally get to that point thinking often of death .i loved her so much the loss was cripeling the worry for her well being far worse.i live now 3 months later with severe ptsd from the experiance pray often and you know what life gets better everyday.whomever wrote that post was thankfull of his continuance of life .he owns his mistake and seeks to thank those whom gave him a new lease on life.much like my wife did when we met.Kelley i love you now and forever please find help.And for all you haters please find love of life and quite taken out your anger on innocent people .You are the verry people that need help the most .people often commit suicide as part of a never ending cycle caused by emotional abuse lack of compassion or plain out pain.stop being selfish and quit showing your ass in public.YOu need help!!!
@33 - Yup, me too. I spent 40 years as a chronic suicidal depressive. I did things like become a borderline animal hoarder to keep myself alive - it was subconscious, but I understand now that that is what I was doing. I couldn't die while all those critters depended on me.

The main thing that worked for me is the concept of unlearning depression. It's a learned response: "oh, I have a flat tire. I'll just kill myself." You can unlearn it and teach yourself healthier responses, but it takes at least twice as long as learning the original, unhealthy response did.

My knee-jerk reaction to a suicide was always envy. But I'm here to tell you, it CAN get better. I go entire days now without thinking about it.
HI-5 Anon!!!!

Brandon J is a dick.
What Nofo @33 said. Brandon J your cruelty is startling. You had an angry outburst directed at someone who did not hurt you, because of someone who did hurt you in the past. This outburst probably gave you some satisfaction, but it hurt everyone who read it. And you're saying the writer is being selfish?

My mother regularly threatens suicide in order to get her way or to punish people, so I know from whence I speak. Brandon J, you need therapy, so that you can learn not to inflict pain in the same way that it was inflicted on you.

@37, @41. The New Yorker did a good expose on what happens when you jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Broken bones? Yes, lots of broken bones. Lots of ruptured organs too. Apparently, 24 people have survived that jump (less than 2% of jumpers) and they all said they regretted jumping on the way down.…
@1 There is something seriously wrong with you.

@ Anon. Glad you made it. Hang in there. It really is worth it.
I dunno... I thought @1's response was kinda funny. Something edgy and alt-weekly publication-y about it.
@45: INteresting article, thanks for linking it.

"Many people don’t look down first, and so those who jump from the north end of the bridge hit the land instead of the water they saw farther out. Jumpers who hit the water do so at about seventy-five miles an hour and with a force of fifteen thousand pounds per square inch. Eighty-five per cent of them suffer broken ribs, which rip inward and tear through the spleen, the lungs, and the heart. Vertebrae snap, and the liver often ruptures. “It’s as if someone took an eggbeater to the organs of the body and ground everything up,” Ron Wilton, a Coast Guard officer, once observed.

Those who survive the impact usually die soon afterward. If they go straight in, they plunge so deeply into the water—which reaches a depth of three hundred and fifty feet—that they drown. (The rare survivors always hit feet first, and at a slight angle.)"

Unpleasant. Definitely at odds with the idealization of the process that the article describes jumpers imagining.

Hey, kids: don't jump, it's not going to end well.
@ 48, the thing I'll never forget about 9/11 was the image of the people who jumped from the towers. No graceful swandives there - they were tumbling head over heels over head again. That made it so much more horrible.

I remember that New Yorker article. I thought of it when the Great Aurora Bridge Suicide Barrier Debate was raging here. From page 2 of the article:

In 1993, a man named Steve Page threw his three-year-old daughter, Kellie, over the side of the bridge and followed her down; even after this widely publicized atrocity, an Examiner poll that year found that fifty-four per cent of the respondents opposed building a suicide barrier...
@33- Lived like you for 43 years. 12 years later, I finally don't think about dying every day. It takes a long time to get your brain away from lifetime thought patterns, but it can happen. If you can possibly figure out a way to stop working, it may help.
I detest the 'suicide is selfish' argument. A suicidal person believes to the core of their being they're doing the world a favor. @2 describes the agony very well.
The pain of depression is largely invisible to all but the one living it.
Brandon J is one of the biggest jerks I've ever read on SLOG.
Depression--like trauma, anxiety, and some other disorders--actually changes your brain's structure over time. It is a very long and difficult healing process, usually combining medication and therapy (sometimes just therapy). I get annoyed when people reduce psychological problems and disorders to "being really sad" or "being worried all the time." (I also abhor statements like "I'm OCD about ___" or "I have mild OCD" with no diagnosis at all--what's with people thinking OCD is the cool new mental disorder?)

Aside from my rambling, suicidal people experience chronic pain, sometimes at depths non-depressives may have never felt. They interpret information differently. Innocuous statements (someone point out a stain on their shirt, perhaps) suddenly take on a sinister meaning ("they think I'm slovenly and incapable of taking care of myself.") If a baby won't smile at them, it's just further confirmation that they are in fact The Worst Person in the World. It can be maddening to love a depressed person, but love them you must. So, Brandon J., get a clue, learn just a modicum of compassion, and learn how much happier you can be by helping others.
I'm happy you're still with us, i,anon!!
#1 is a cold-hearted, mean spirited douche bag. And I agree with him completely.
I hate to say it, but sometimes I think we need to respect the right of other people to suicide. What we think about life and death and religion is not relevant to this person.

I think it's much more selfish to give birth than to commit suicide. Giving birth has more impact on another person than a witness to suicide. More impact to a person who has no control over your decisions. The joyous occasion of birth is the moment we open someone up, without their consent, to experiencing our pain, our fuckups, our insane ideas of parenthood, and all our genetic predispositions towards disease, both mental and physical.
+1 for Brandon.

Those of us who have lived here for years are sick of these immature emo kids feeling so sorry for themselves that they try and inflict their misery upon us. Grow the fuck up, asshole.
@1 and @23 obviously wrote his responses while high on COCAINE and MALT LIQUOR
Is that aqua-colored background in the graphic supposed to be Fudgie the Whale?
Hey! I love you and I am glad you are still here. Anyone who would attempt to belittle somebody for expressing gratitude to another human for saving a life… is just not even worth being annoyed at. They obviously don't understand enough about empathy to live any sort of meaningful life so let them be selfish bitches forever. They might even have themselves fooled, but of course never really knowing any kind of meaningful existence, they just won't ever be able to fathom the intensity of life that you are able to experience, for any reason, good or bad.
Mental illness is a disease. A disease is an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs bodily functions and can be deadly. Just because you can't see emotion, does not make it any less real than any of your body's other functions.

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