A facebook friend of mine posted the following status:
“I am committed to talking to my friends, even my Facebook friends, if they are contemplating dying. I am not committed to doing that for strangers.”
I’m not going to assume what he meant by that exactly but it did get me thinking again about my personal brush with suicide a few years ago.
I was living in DC and incredibly depressed, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I had a lot of people in my life but few that I could call friends, it seems hard to make real friends in a city like DC where even the libertarians are so entrenched in political activities that they can’t relate to people on a personal level very easily. I had friends from back home but “home” was the west coast and I was not making enough money to visit as often as I liked. I also had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but was surrounded by people who seemed to have it all figured out.
So, one evening I found myself in my bedroom a little drunk and watching something shitty on Netflix. A depressive cloud started to come over me and I felt the reoccurring feeling of my PTSD (this was before I discovered the healing power of MDMA)… I started weeping in my bed as images of friends I lost and regrets over surviving took over my mind. This had happened to me before but I had always had a trusted friend or a girlfriend who would hold me, comfort me, and help me in these times. I look back now and realize that there were many people who would have helped me if I asked but my depressive state left me unable to recognize that.
With no friends that I felt I could turn to I posted something on Tumblr about my current state. Within a few quick seconds I received a supportive message from a complete stranger. Her and I talked back and forth for about an hour online until I drifted off to sleep. Later I found out her name is Molly and she is a libertarian. We have actually become Facebook friends as well now, though we have not yet crossed paths in real life. I truly thank her for helping save my life. There is no way to know what would have happened without her but the kindness she showed me (a stranger) helped get me safely through the night.
My bike trip reinforced the kindness of strangers and that kindness can be found anywhere. Not only do I think we should be nice to strangers but it may just save a life to go out of your way and show love and support to one. So I guess what I’m saying is that if I am aware that a stranger is contemplating dying I am committed to doing what I can to help.