For those of you who don't know, Junior Seau killed himself a few days back. When I first heard about his death, I was unaware that it had been a suicide. Yesterday, I read a blog post from a friend of mine, Christopher Reed (an actor on the tv show “Son's of Anarchy”) about the affect of Seau's death. We both grew up in San Diego, Chris is a die hard football fan and Seau was a legend to him. In his post (which can be found here) he talks about his own thought of suicide while growing up and the death of our friend Jeff Wells. I spent most of yesterday thinking about suicide. After reading an update from a friend on facebook about morning someone she recently lost due to suicide, I decided to put my thoughts to computer (doesn't sound as good as paper, but it's more accurate).
Like Chris, I had thoughts of taking my own life in middle school. My first attempt was around the age of twelve. I tried to die from sucking on toxic markers… I know, it's pretty humiliating. Anyway, what struck me looking back and comparing myself to Chris was that he had much better reasons than I did. Looking back, I can't see one good reason, other than the fact that I felt miserable. I had friends, I felt needed in my family, and yet I had a deep dark loneliness. I must have tried to kill myself at least once a year after that with various degrees of determination. I always regretted it, but that never stopped me from trying again.
Here's what I want to know… What's in us at this age that turns so many of us to thoughts of ending our lives? Is there science out there that can explain it? Because I'm a mom. In about ten years, I'm going to have a teenager. A few years later I'll have two. I am so scared that I won't be able to stop them from feeling this way. From thinking that life will never get any better and the only hope is to take their life. I'm terrified that I won't have the right words at the right time, or worse, they'll never even tell me what they're going through.
It is a deeply selfish act. It's terrible. I found out that Jeff Wells had killed himself a few days after my daughter was born. I was trying to breast feed, having no luck, tired, emotionally drained and lost when I got the call. I cried a lot, I still do. I can't cry without thinking about Jeff. The kicker? We weren't that close. I spent time at him with parties, and I thought he was incredibly talented but we never shared a sacred moment, or some deep connection or anything. But still, over four years later, I can't think of him without crying.
Here's the bottom line… Don't kill yourself. It's a terrible idea that will affect people that you probably don't even think about anymore. I don't know what to say, or how to make you feel better… But there are probably people out there who do. Get help, stay alive.