Friday, April 2, 2010


Being a Young Adult Writer, I often times have to ponder over my childhood. Sometimes I like the memories, and sometimes I want to forget them. However, I chose not to because I believe other kids can learn from my dumb mistakes.


I know the answer to this personally. Why? Because I spent two days in a hospital program that evaluated teens that decided to try their hand at suicide. Boy, was I surprised.

Many of the teenagers there did it just for the attention that their parents or friends gave them because of it. Others attempted it because they truly wanted to give up – they thought that life was just too hard to keep fighting away at it. Lastly, there were the other few kids, like myself, that just threatened to do it. Just to make a point to their parents.

I personally never tried to commit suicide. Although, when I was 15yrs old, I threatened to do it when I got into a fight with my mother. Oh, she got me good. She checked my tail into the hospital and refused to take me out until I realized just what it was, I was threatening to do.


I remember sitting there with these other teens. The teens who desperately argued that whenever they got the chance they would finish the deed; I felt great sadness for them. Why, because those kids were extremely depressed, had horrible home lives, or were so tormented by their peers that they felt defeated. Even at that age, it broke my heart. I usually had some great advice to give to my friends, but for these kids I could say nothing to change their minds. Also, with what they were going through, I truly felt ashamed to put my family through my little tantrum.

One question I asked them was, “Well, if you are going to commit suicide to teach someone else a lesson... They’ll live on, able to forget you, improve their lives, and have everything you wanted but gave up too easily to attain.”

Suicide is giving up. It’s taking away any chance you have at happiness, recovery, and victory over your problems.

Everyone else that is left alive, heals. The poor kid that died never gets the chance to heal or to enjoy all the things life had to offer. It’s like they squandered there blessing before they had a chance to collect it.


After my mother finally allowed me to come home, I learned that throwing around threats like that only hurt myself. Also, it proved to others that I wasn’t as strong as I believed myself to be. Lastly, I resolved that giving up, only hurt me, because for everyone else – LIFE GOES ON.


I hope that any teen or person that feels that life is just too hard to continue on fighting through it. Dig deep, and realize, that tomorrow will be better. That you’ll grow stronger, and that you are never alone.

Call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255): for help.


M.R.J. Le Blanc said...

Very insightful post. I came close to suicide once myself, but I'm glad I never went through with it. High school can be a nightmare for some, but honestly when you look back at it it's such a small segment of your life. Life really starts once you leave it :)

E.J. Wesley said...


I saw your link on the AW YA blogroll, and after reading an article this week about a young woman from Massachusetts who killed herself I felt compelled to check out your thoughts.

The young woman was being bullied at her school, and it ripped my heart out reading about it. I was once a teen, now work with teenagers, have teenage neices and nephews, and write material intended for teens, so I know how hard that time in life can be. It's good of you to state what so many parents, teachers, etc. should be saying to young people every day: there is always another choice, and there ARE people who love you and their lives will be destroyed if you make that final decision.

Thanks for sharing. The story of the young woman is here if you care to read it:

Anonymous said...

I've never seriously considered suicide (seriously being the key word), but my WIP is about a girl's fight to make a decision, if she should or shouldn't do it. Your post was really insightful, and I hope that maybe I can work some of this into the WIP at some point :)

Insanad said...

I found your blog by following several inks from the AWW site. I'm a newby there but am hoping to dig in and learn from all the folks that have been down that bloody publishing path.

Suicide is an issue that touches many people in the most dark and long term ways. I thought I'd not have to deal with it much in my own family until I went through such a dark depression that I considered such alternatives to end my own anger and pain. Fortunately I never did but I do understand how those thoughts take over.

Unfortunately my own nephew took his life two years ago and even now it brings me to my knees. I ache for those kids who are feeling such intense pressure. I ache for their families and the aftermath of what everyone involved goes through. I wish so much I could go back and say or do something, anything to have helped and stopped Justin.

If you're interested in reading this experience you may find it here:

Book Monster said...

I was in a situation where I thought about suicide once. Last September when my friends decided to kick me out of my group, my bff for my whole life *since kindergarten* turned on me. She believed what this new girl said, which wasn't true. And they started to viciously attack me. Through both in real life and virtually. This came right after my grandfather died so I was weak. After they did I stayed at home, missed school. My teachers/guidance councilor/parents try to help me. But the only one who could really help me, was me. My best guy friend told me to forget about them and that they were stupid. And that they were never really my friends. After that I deicded to switch schools to where my real friends were, and ever since then I've been so happy. I do better in school as well :)

Marilyn Almodovar said...

Hey LM

This was a post that touched me deeply.

My father, who was an aspiring writer and a soldier, committed suicide when he was barely 27 and I was four. He had dealt with schizophrenia for a while and his life had fallen apart, this included a divorce from my mother.

My father according to my mom, would use the suicide threat and gobble up pills, so that she would go and see him. Unfortunately the last attempt claimed his life.

The stigma that has come from this act has been one great to bear. I was watched by doctors as I grew up. Mainly because people thought I would inherit my dad's schizophrenia, or maybe because they were afraid that I would commit suicide. Neither of these things applied to me because my mother was and is still the wisest person that I know and my rock.

I just know how hard it is for those left behind. It's a very hard road to recovery and grief. I'm almost 36 and there's not one day that I don't mourn my father's death.


Jeff Winbush said...

I don't think there's too many people who haven't seriously considered putting an end to their lives for one reason or another. I'm going to New York this week and just read about a college student who jumped from the Empire State Bldg. What problem could a young man have that would make him consider suicide a solution to life's problems? I can't imagine and hope I never do.

He had to be a tortured soul in great pain. But there is help available. There are people who care.

Thanks for a well-written and thoughtful essay.