Tag Archives: suicide

Reasons to Live

content warning: explicit writing about passive suicidal ideation

I thought about killing myself* for the first time in a while earlier this June. I did not have any active plan or means to do so. At the same time, I felt a lot of pain related to my attraction to men and wanted that pain to stop.

When I noticed these emotions, I googled a DBT worksheet about the pros and cons of engaging in self-destructive behavior and filled it out on a piece of paper I found lying around in my apartment. Continue reading

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Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide by Kay Redfield Jamison

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

*Note: I do not post all of my book reviews on this blog. For more, check out my Goodreads page.*

“Suicide is a particularly awful way to die: the mental suffering leading up to it is usually prolonged, intense, and unpalliated. There is no morphine equivalent to ease the acute pain, and death not uncommonly is violent and grisly. The suffering of the suicidal is private and inexpressible, leaving family members, friends, and colleagues to deal with an almost unfathomable kind of loss, as well as guilt. Suicide carries in its aftermath a level of confusion and devastation that is, for the most part, beyond description.”

A gripping, masterful book about a topic shrouded in horror and sadness. Continue reading

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The Truth About “Normal Mental Health”

This past week, Virginia state senators have passed a bill that would require public colleges to create policies on parental notification if their children show “suicidal tendencies,” unless a mental-health professional states that alerting parents would cause harm. As a William & Mary student involved in mental health activism, as an Asian-American who comes from a family that stigmatizes mental illness, and as a human who values his autonomy, I write this post to demonstrate just how much this bill disturbs me. I aim to prove that we need to treat and discuss mental health with the attention and nuance it deserves, instead of assuming that we can cure the complexities of the human brain with shallow, inefficient legislation.

I understand that these senators have good intentions; I get that they want to do something to prevent school shootings, to help people who suffer from mental illness. But they – as well as everyone else involved in this conversation – need to realize that introducing family into the equation will not aid students. Continue reading

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Letting Go

“You are my perfect grandson,” my grandmother says. It comes out as a whisper, like everything she’s said in the past few weeks. Gray hair finally starts to show, a delayed indication of her old age. It’s hard for me to hear her, even harder to think about her more visible mortality.

There are different versions of perfection. Mine entails that every action I take has a purpose. Continue reading

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Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

 

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

Eddie Reeves’ father committed suicide, but she doesn’t know why. There seems to be no reason – he was a famous artist, a talented photographer, and had a loving family, most importantly, her. While entrenched in her grief Eddie meets Culler, his former student. They form a dangerous attraction and embark on a mission to piece together the broken picture of her father’s death.

Another powerful book by Courtney Summers. Like a punch in the stomach, Fall for Anything surprises the reader, seizing them and forcing them to feel Eddie’s anguish. I think the writing – and the emotions evoked by the writing – were enough to justify giving this book 3.5 stars, even though I’m not sure if I actually liked it at all.

I did not like the plot in this one as much as Summers’ first two novels. Sure, if one of my family member’s passed away I would be overcome with despair and angst, but I do not think I would travel around with some strange twenty-year-old who randomly takes pictures of me. I also predicted the twist about halfway through the novel, which may have lessened my enjoyment when it occurred.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll end this review by saying that I wish Summers’ had focused more on the aspect of recovery rather than the descent into depression Eddie experienced.

Here are two quotes from the beginning of the novel that exemplify Summers’ writing talent:

“I imagine diving under, swimming down, down, down with my eyes open and not being able to see anything in front of me. Not even my hands. I imagine forcing myself farther down, until I feel weeds everywhere, brushing the sides of my arms, my feet, and then I’m surrounded. Tangled up in them so bad the lake would have me forever. I imagine drowning and what that would feel like, if I’d be scared. If I’d let it happen or if I’d fight it. I read in a book once you can’t drown yourself. Your body will fight to survive, whether you want to or not.

But I don’t think it’s the same when you jump.”

“Sometimes I feel hunted by my grief. It circles me, stalks me. It’s always in my periphery. Sometimes I can fake it out. Sometimes I make myself go so still, it can’t sense that I’m there anymore and it goes away. I do that right now.

I go so still the thing inside me doesn’t know I’m there anymore.”

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Filed under 3.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books