On World Suicide Prevention Day, a Very Personal Story

As I write this on September 10, 2020, I’m reminded that today is World Suicide Prevention Day. If you count yourself among the lucky few who have never lost a friend or loved one to suicide, I hope you still understand the depths that one has to reach to end their lives and the trauma and damage it does to those left behind.

In the world of addiction and recovery, I don’t think it’s possible to not have been touched by suicide one way or another. Unfortunately for many of us, we also have a story of considering, or attempting. I am no different.

I’d like to share with you an excerpt from my first book, “The Addiction Nobody Will Talk About: How My Pornography Addiction Hurt People and Destroyed Relationships” about the only time in my life when I came close to ending things.

If you’re contemplating suicide, please consider reaching out to one of the following resources before doing anything:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Online Chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
Crisis Text Line: Text Home to 741741

From Chapter 19 of “The Addiction Nobody Will Talk About”

Late Christmas night of 2013, into the early morning of the 26th, I watched the Doctor Who Christmas episode as I did every year. For whatever reason, during the closing credits,

I broke down crying, a quivering mass of sadness and despair. The only thing that felt right at the moment was to stop it all. I’d never had that feeling before, but it was crystal clear.

While I’m sure everyone would deny it, most people have probably pondered how they’d kill themselves. I always thought carbon monoxide poisoning was the logical choice. You painlessly fall asleep and don’t wake up. I don’t know if I planned on killing myself, but the idea of going into the garage, starting the car, and sitting in it seemed like the right thing to do. It didn’t feel like I was getting ready to go kill myself. It felt like I was getting ready to see if I could perform a dress rehearsal of killing myself.

I went toward the garage but realized we took separate cars to my wife’s parents’ house earlier in the day. Both cars were in the driveway. Even in my darkest hour, I’m a lazy piece of shit. Putting on my shoes, going outside in the cold, opening the garage door, getting a car in the garage, shutting the garage door, and starting the process was too much work . . . and I knew my wife might hear me. I looked through the window of our mud room into the garage at a beam but realized you can’t rehearse a hanging. I didn’t know how to tie a noose or if we had any rope. The idea of hanging did not sound peaceful either.

Then the thought hit me, “It would not be cool for the kids to find their father dead in the garage the day after Christmas.”

The fog, almost a buzz of sorts, lifted, and I went back inside. I sat on the couch, in mild shock over the last few minutes. How serious had I just been? Had I let the thought of suicide become an actual possibility? It wasn’t a bad idea for a few minutes. I was legitimately suicidal for a few minutes and didn’t recognize it as it was happening.

Despite the drama of the next several years to come, be it in a courtroom, rehab center, or just sitting at home, I never once returned to this dark place. I’ve told myself if it happens in the future, to think of my kids, but I was so detached from rational thinking, I don’t know if that will happen. When I look back, those few minutes are the scariest of my life.

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