The Grim Reality of Suicide: Signs We Can’t Afford to Miss
Imagine it is a warm, breezy December evening and your parent is about to get the phone call that they never expect to get. One of those calls that takes their legs right out from underneath them. You are in the emergency room and your blood is painted across the floor and you wake up to the piercing screams of your mother as she is being held back by the police while the doctors and nurses are trying to stop you from bleeding out. Hi, my name is Jacob Gland and I am a suicide survivor…this was me December 4, 2017 a night that I will never forget. I won’t be able to forget the thick arterial blood that covered my front porch or the tears that were coming down my mom’s face. That evening I had given up and I was tired of fighting. I sat on the front porch that night with my firearm and loaded one hollow point into the chamber, the next thing you know I pulled the trigger point blank into my leg hitting my femoral artery. See I knew that if I hit my main artery in my leg, I would bleed out in seven minutes. It’s a miracle that the paramedics arrived at the house when they did because I wouldn’t be writing this today. This was not my first attempt but it was the closest I came to actually succeeding and I will forever be haunted by the events that took place that evening but it also is a reminder that life is precious and worth living rather than giving up! Unfortunately, when it comes to suicide, we don’t notice the signs until after it happens and there is one thing that I have learned through all of this is that SUICIDE IS PREVENTABLE!
75% of people who die from suicide do exhibit signs. Here are some to look for if you know or see someone who is struggling:
- Loss of interest in things that they usually loved doing.
- Feeling of being trapped or assuming impending doom.
- Exhibit behaviors of being hopeless and helpless.
- Withdrawing from friends or family who they would normally be around.
- The individual is excessively using drugs or alcohol.
- A person giving away possessions that they would never get rid of in a million years.
- Appearing sad or depressed most of the time when you see this person. They might even talk about death or even mention suicide.
- Poor performance at place of employment or school.
- Signs of a personality change. For example they seem unaware of reality and show no life behind their eyes.
- The guilt and shame they burden themselves with is too much to deal with.
These are just some of the signs that a suicidal person might exhibit. Suicide is something that I believe in our society is not addressed enough. I like to think of it as the silent killer because most of the time it’s after the fact where we are hit with the reality that there were signs all along. Speaking for myself as a survivor of multiple attempts my family had no clue that I was feeling like my life wasn’t worth living. But I was so wrong life is beautiful today and worth every breath that I take. One of my biggest faults during all of this was that I stuffed everything that I was feeling deep down. This only made the depression and anxiety worsen to the point that I actually followed through with what I was thinking. I was afraid and ashamed to ask for help because I thought it showed a sign of weakness. I was so wrong and I wish I would have sought help earlier because it is a miracle that I am here writing this today.
If you are struggling with suicidal ideations or know of someone who might be exhibiting signs, please do not go silent on this matter! Don’t hesitate to reach out for help because your life does matter and you don’t have to go through this alone. There are resources available to you that can save you or that person’s life. Suicide prevention should be taken very seriously and should not go unaddressed because we are talking about a person’s life and that life will affect the family and friends that they are associated with. For others, and myself included, suicide seems like the only option to stop all the pain and shame we are experiencing in our lives but I am here to tell you today that you have options and one of the most courageous things you can do is ask for help. If you know anyone or you yourself are struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Together let’s help prevent suicide and spread awareness about this silent killer!