Suicide Unpacked

Suicides fall into two categories: successful and failed attempts.

A successful suicide is when a person kills him or herself through their method of choice.

Failed attempts are further divided into how the attempt failed. Either:

  • A person is discovered in the attempt and is stopped.

  • The person chooses not to go through with the attempt.

  • The person tries to kill themselves but instead injures themselves.

That is how we talk about suicide. A person succeeds by dying. Attempted, aborted, or failed suicides are when a person lives. What a horrible way to categorize a still living person.

Suicide attempt survivors are indirectly told: “Congratulations! You lived and you failed!” It must not be this way.

Those that live should not be sidelined or marginalized. They should not be regarded as broken. They should be cared for. Reminded that they are not alone, and that despite their best efforts - they succeeded in failing.

I failed in more things in my life than I can count, and the failures I am most happy about are my “failed suicides.” I did not fail to kill myself. I succeeded in staying alive. 

I want this blog to flip the script on suicide.

I want to praise those that don’t kill themselves; those that succeed in living because someone found them, or because they had the strength to not see it through, or they were fortunate enough that their attempt didn’t work.

In the aftermath of my attempts, I felt a deep shame and a level of personal loathing so severe, that the only course of action I thought was acceptable was to try suicide again.

I was stuck in a brutal cycle that reinforced the worst messages that I could tell myself. This is the cycle I aim to break with this blog because there are far better messages to say loudly and often to oneself and to others.

I hope you’ll join me.

Please visit this new site created by my friend, Bill York, to celebrate the legacy of his son who died by suicide earlier this year.