Tag Archives: suicide

How it Feels to be Suicidal

Jumper

 

I have come back from the brink of suicide. I have visited that place several times. During the depression years, before I changed my life circumstances and also found a med that helped, I felt mostly heaviness in my chest and was hopeless, tired, and apathetic. During those 6 years, I “knew” I had no future. I couldn’t hold down a job for longer than 12 months, so I’d be on government aid and not enough of it to actually live a semi-comfortable existence. Severe depression is crippling and scary. I was often afraid I would never find my real self again. Was she in there somewhere or had this helpless slug of a woman taken over completely?

“When I was suicidal, it was because every single day was literally the worst day of my life.”                                                                                                                                Thoughtcatalog.com (13 Heart-Ripping Testimonies of How it Feels to be Suicidal)

I married at 19, and it lasted 25 years. We had two fantastic children who are now successes in their careers and family lives. For reasons that are saved for another blog, I ran away from home and husband at age 44. I ran wild for almost a year before my mind slowed and reality appeared. I was without a degree, training for an occupation, and had no previous work (to speak of) to complete a decent resume. Employers want to hire 20-somethings or 30-somethings. I was past prime, and it showed by the employment rejections. Depression became worse over each year until I came very, very close to speeding my car off of a high , multi-level interstate system. I drove, cried, and considered my options for type of demise. However, there was a tiny flicker of light still within me because before I chose the moment I could jump in front of an 18-wheel truck traveling 70 mph, I turned the steering wheel and exited the freeway. It was my gynecologist’s office exit. I knew Sally would try to help me. She was always empathetic and helpful. It worked, and the emergency feeling lowered to  just plain depression masked with humor. Always crack a joke and no one will know you hurt inside, right?

(In same article on Thoughtblog.com, the following testimonial was given)                                “I understand that feeling of utter hopelessness that can so easily consume a life. I’ve suffered from depression on and off for most of my life. My mother suffers from bipolar disorder. As a result, both of us have struggled with suicidal tendencies. It’s hard to go through life when your own brain has turned against you. Getting out of bed is a struggle. Taking a shower is a struggle. Looking in the mirror is a struggle. Ah, I wish I didn’t understand. Honestly, for a long time I thought that suicide was the nicest thing I could do for myself. I knew it was selfish to put my loved ones through, but at the same time it was so goddamn difficult to stay alive just for the well-being of others. I could easily rationalize it and say that they were better off without me. God, depression is a bitch. It has taken so much intense therapy and self-reflection and, yes, even medication for me to realize that giving myself a chance to heal was the kindest thing I could do for myself. So I guess I’m trying to say that I empathize with suicide victims. When your own mind betrays you it’s hard to get back up again.”

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Today, 8 1/2 years from the time I ran away from home for a different life, I’m on an antidepressant, remarried to a kind man, keep 4 precious kitties, and enjoy my family and friends again. I live in a house again and not a tiny apartment or noisy duplex. I get to decorate this home and even have the desire to do so. I now drive a 2 year old car instead of a 15 years old one with no sun visors or key fob. We’re going to Hawaii next month and to New York in December. Life did a 180 for me, and it happened quickly! Before meeting my current husband, I had zero hope of gaining the strength to break up with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, moving out of an undesirable location, or having a regular income. Then, a new friend helped me leave the codependent relationship I was in, and I soon (and unexpectedly) found love. Life is settled. The depression isn’t crippling and no more suicidal thoughts. But guess who has moved into my home?! Perimenopause! Ugh. I’m dealing with up and down mood swings – like way down. I still take an antidepressant and keep Xanax on hand for anxiety or insomnia. I’m very thankful that summer is at its end. Not so many hot flashes!

If you find yourself in a depressed state that doesn’t fully leave and that often (or always) confines you to your house or bed, have hope. I’ve been there and stayed there for years. However, you can find the strength to change your life situation – even if you were like me and saw NO way to do that. It just took someone who took charge and helped me jump a few hurdles to make changes for the better. My one take-away from this blog is this: don’t try to kill yourself. It turns out that “they” are correct . . . nothing lasts forever, and you will be happy again. Yes, it’s an every day climb but it’s very worth it. It’s your very existence we’re talking about, right?

I’m here if you need to talk or have questions. Leave a comment, as well. Love to you!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-8255

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Women in Midlife Crisis – Suicide

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I read an interesting and disturbing article today. It seems women in midlife (ages 45-64) are taking their own lives 24% more often than in 1999. That is a very large jump – in the wrong direction. 

I was also unaware that suicide is among the top ten leading causes of death for women.

Reasons? A few were suggested. Aging Baby Boomers are a large portion of these women – even from adolescence. Possibly, it is cultural with youth being celebrated and aging “getting a bad rap.” Social isolation is another explanation for possible midlife female suicides. Spouses die or divorce. Kids are grown with families of their own . . . busy and often living in other cities. A study showed that women who had strong social supports were less likely to have a premature death – by threefold. Another reason given was finances. With a lagging economy came more deaths. Finally, easy access to medications in the home didn’t help depressed situations. Pain killers can kill more than muscle or joint pain.

I’ve personally experienced seven years of Major Depressive Disorder and have medicated, changed my life (gotten rid of most stress), and introduced new friendships and activities to my days. I now have come through times of suicidal ideation and have a firmer grip on my emotions and behavior. Perimenopause isn’t helping much, though. Erratic hormones have turned me into a Jekyll and Hyde but I don’t give up, and I don’t give in.

We women of middle age are strong. We’re resourceful and wise enough to know how to change our circumstances. Fear will get in the way, though, if we aren’t constantly aware of our goals, and it will stall or even stop our progress toward mental and general health.

Remember Rosie the Riveter from the 1940s? We can do it!

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Started a New Book . . . Quick Intro!

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Hello blog followers and friends! I’ve begun a new book. Will you read this brief intro and tell me your thoughts? If I “lost” you anywhere, etc. Thanks!

(This material copyright March 15,2016)

I stood at the precipice’s ledge – between me and whatever lies out there. My bare toes lined the craggy rock edge on which I stood. Such a place to be, present between two realities. Will I wake up somewhere else or just die and never again know what if feels like to inhale, filling my lungs with cold, moist air? Never again go to bed with an aching heart – a heart that never behaved properly anyway. It loved those who didn’t deserve it and was hurt by those closest to me. I teetered on the rock, almost falling before I was ready. Was I ready? Was living one more minute worth it? I’d only feel the pain from the fall for a short while but living was torturous every moment of every day.

I was ready to jump, eyes focused on my footing then on the expanse of sky in front of me – a cloudless, blue day. Quickly fighting with losing my balance, and righting my stance, I inhaled deeply, knees bent. Then, I propelled my body from the rock. Rushing wind pushed my hair back and gave resistance to my descent. I thought the fall would be faster, easier but time crept and gravity eased its grip on me.  Scents of mountain air, fresh water running below, and evergreen trees invaded my nostrils. It was a wondrous mix of smells but fear – realizing I’d actually done this – kept me from lingering on the beauty. Then, time sped, between hitting a large, jagged piece of rock sticking out from the mountain – first with my left shoulder then the opposite hip. Searing pain enveloped me. Raw, opened flesh and broken bones diverted any attention I may have given anything else. The whip of pine needles on my injured arm from passing saplings stung and gave final insult. Before I lost all thought, I wished I had held on . . . tried to live longer.

The wind continued to rush past my then unconscious body. Face downward I fell silently, as though no other thing in the world existed but my beating heart and faint respirations. Down, down, face into a rocky creek bed. The impact of my landing presented a unique and dull thump on the earth. Heavy, pushing out what air was left in the lungs. Breaking facial bones, skull. Gray matter as gelatin, neurons firing to communicate. Pulsing without answer. Firing without returns. There was no life. No time. No second thoughts. No second chances.

My question, though, was answered. There was existence beyond an earthly one, and I stood staring into it.

Mid-life Suicide

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Suicide is not the taboo subject it once was, and rightly so – as the he act has risen 30% in just the last THREE years! It’s a scary statistic. Please click on the link below and read this well-written New York Times article concerning mid-life suicide. Educate yourself.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/health/suicide-rate-rises-sharply-in-us.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

“Springing Forward” on the Clock . . . It Makes Us Sick

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Heart attacks are 3.9 % more likely in the first week after we spring forward. Of course, the risk was even greater for people already taking heart medicines but still – this is a surprising fact.

A more recent study based on 21 years’ worth of accident data from the U.S. concluded that there’s “a significant increase” in fatal crashes on that first Monday (1999 edition of Sleep Medicine).

Workplace accidents are more common — and more severe — on the Monday after switching to daylight saving time, according to an analysis of mining injuries that used 23 years’ worth of data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The disruption to normal sleep rhythms was blamed for an uptick in suicides among Australian men in the first weeks after daylight saving time begins. “Small changes in chronobiological rhythms are potentially destabilizing in vulnerable individuals.”

Should we stay on Daylight Savings Time? Why keep switching when there is no longer a need to do so?

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(Not an original article by everydayclimb. Portions copied from http://www.sun-sentinel.com/la-heb-daylight-saving-time-health-dangers-20130311,0,5566049.story)

 

 

Back Into the Light

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Do you believe one small candle flame can grow until one would need sunglasses to view the illumination?

I do – because I am living it – I’m taking one thankful step at a time.

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I have posts on this blog that showed me in some very dark periods of my life. There are writings of sadness, hopelessness, suicide, and any other feeling of desperation one may experience in a time of a valley in life. Yet, I have been coming out of it – becoming healthy once again, and it feels so good. In the beginning, I had to crawl and claw my way forward through muck. However, the longer/further I persisted, the easier it became. Now I’m on my feet, at a slow but steady pace and smiling about it.

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Each week (sometimes each day) that passes, I feel a renewed sense of “myself.” I’m no longer in a dark tunnel searching but finding nothing besides curved walls and an echo. I’m completely off antidepressants (my doctors thought I’d developed Bipolar Disorder in late 2007) and half off mood stabilizer. Yes, it’s fully under a doctor’s supervision. Guess what? I feel sooooo much better off those meds! I was completely disorganized and having great troubles in college (I’m a 48-yr old student), and my mind was extremely foggy when it came to decision-making. I made some awful decisions over the last five years. The meds didn’t end up helping but harming.

However, that little flame inside kept reminding me that I need to stay alive and stay fighting kept flickering, moving, and showing me its presence. So, I moved from complete blackness 10 months ago to a much brighter and energetic and happy place today.

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I am dreaming of going fishing with a sandwich and thermos of coffee. I want to spend the next mild and sunny day outdoors, taking in the beauty of the simple yet highly complex natural surroundings of trees and water. The photo above is how I’m feeling at present. I’m not in the full sunshine of summer but I’m sure not in the dark room with only a candle anymore. I just wouldn’t give up.

Where do I see myself in a month? Two months?

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Here ~ in fully open skies, naked to everything around me ~ breezes, new experiences, a future.

The Aokigahara Suicide Forest

 

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(from It’s Just Morbid Curiosity blog)

 

The Aokigahara forest has the unfortunate distinction as the world’s second most popular place to take one’s life. The first is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Since the 1950s, depressed Japanese citizens have wandered in, and at least 1000 of them haven’t wandered out. In 2002, 78 bodies were found within the forest, exceeding the previous record of 74 in 1998. In 2003, the rate climbed to 100, and in recent years, the local government has stopped publicizing the numbers in an attempt to downplay Aokigahara’s association with suicide. In 2004, 108 people killed themselves in the forest. In 2010, 247 people attempted suicide in the forest, 54 of whom completed the act.

Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara’s trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the forest’s depths. Complicating matters further is the common experience of compasses being rendered useless by the rich deposits of magnetic iron in the area’s volcanic soil.

Due to the vastness of the forest, desperate visitors are unlikely to encounter anyone once inside the so-called “Sea of Trees,” so the police have mounted signs reading “Your life is a precious gift from your parents,” and “Please consult the police before you decide to die!” on trees throughout the forest.

The place has long been associated with death. Ubasute, literally translates to ”abandoning an old woman.” Ubasute may have been practiced there into the 19th century, and the forest is reputedly haunted by the Yurei (angry spirits) of those left to die.

(via scruffylittleboots)

 

 

Chest Pain

 

This afternoon, I have chest pain. Not the heart attack kind, but the depression kind.

Meds are still doing their dance of adjustment. Take more of this, weaning off of that.

When I stay busy unpacking in my new surroundings, I’m not as bad, but as soon as I stop, I remember that I’m in debt with a credit card, now have bipolar2 disorder, am spending too much per month on this rent house, and am eating up my savings just to live (and have been for four years). I was supposed to have graduated from college two years ago with a nursing degree and be in the thick of things.

Instead, the God I had known allowed an alteration in my brain chemistry. It happened when I experienced severe empty nest. What I didn’t know at the time . . . the reason I ran away from home and can now never go back, was hypomania had set in. My life had changed forever.

For two years, hypomania ran my life. I spent too much, flunked out of college twice (I tried. I really did), and I did many other “classic” things that the internet and books give as bipolar2 symptoms. I had them all. In the midst of it, though, I had no idea what had happened to me.

My family and friends kept asking me what I was doing – what I was thinking. I just said, “I’m going to fly. I have a new life. I want to see the world. I want. . . I want . . .” I had no idea where I was going. I just knew EVERYthing had changed. I was euphoirc, and didn’t quite know why. My off-kilter mind led me.

After two years of acting like a teenager and losing forty pounds in just two months, depression hit me – slowly at first, then I hit a wall and texted my family good-bye notes. I got in my Jeep, sobbed over my steering wheel at the realization that I had to kill myself. . . . . . Again, I wasn’t aware that an out-of-whack brain chemistry led me to all of it.

I drove, seeking an interstate I could speed on and then drive off of. A high one. But, some little flicker of life inside me said, “There MUST be an alternative. Is there? I want to talk to my friend, but she’s at work, and she can’t really get me out of this.” Then, I knew. As I drove near my doctor’s office, I exited the highway and told her I was suicidal. I’d been on depression meds and was adjusting them at the time (I also desperately needed a mood stabilizer). It was an all-encompassing stress-filled and helpless time for all.

I dropped and dropped, new antidepresdsant didn’t work. None of them did. At first, they were fine. What happened?

So, I moved to Dallas, Texas, in hopes of finishing a shorter degree in funeral science. I’ve always loved that field of study. Depression, real depression, dropped on me. It was a heavy blanket made of cinderblocks. I couldn’t get out of bed, gained back the forty pounds plus another forty. Ate complete crap – and didn’t get any movement – just lay in bed, too low to watch TV or read. No talking on the phone. Texting for help was all I could do. Thankful for my dedicated mother and daughter.

I began investigating depression blogs. I came across one that shocked me. It was a woman with bipolar disorder. She spoke of highs and lows – in extremes. I didn’t have such highs, though. But my low had dropped me at the door of suicide. Every single day, for months, I wanted to die. I planned ways of going. Where would I do it, so that a loved one wouldn’t find me? How could I be sure I’d complete the suicide? I didn’t want to be rescued.

I kept reading related blogs, and I kept seeing myself more and more often. I thought I might be experiencing the bipolar, type 2 I read about – deep depressions that are almost impossible to get out of and light mania (well,mine was enough to ruin my life at that particular point).

My Psychiatrist listened to my questions and asked me why in the world I hadn’t told her about the first two years after I had left home. I answered that I didn’t think that was pertinent to my depression. “I would have had you on a different course of treatment,” she said. I was so fatigued, sad, and hopeless, I’d had trouble even keeping that appointment, and I’d driven SIX hours to see her.

So, she added a mood stabilizer to a new antidepressant.  —— I’ve been seeing improvement – finally. Who knew the two long episodes were related?!

I’m getting off of the highly addictive Xanax (2 mg per evening) that my GP had me on (for sleep) and increasing the mood med, slowly.

Different parts of my day mean different moods. I was energetic in the early afternoon. Now, I blog because of a heavy chest, tears as I write, and a feeling of sadness. However, no more suicide compulsions. Just hopeless at present.

One of my blog posts in the recent past said – “When the money runs out, I run out.” I have limited funds and worry constantly about whether I’ll have enough to pay for school, living, food – before I can graduate and get a job. Stress, stress, stress.

I see very clearly, in hindsight, what this disorder is. That I had it all along. I even suspect when I got it. When my daughter left home to pursue a new career and fiancee three hours away, I entered her pink room, closed her door, surveyed the empty bedroom, and sat down hard on the pink carpet – among pieces of discarded paper and childhood tokens -a plastic ring she had kept, a necklace from her grandma, a Bible School bracelet she had made with colorful beads.

And I cried harder than I ever had before. I cried loud, wailing sobs into a washcloth. My breath almost leaving me as my diaphragm screamed from overuse. I hadn’t cried so desperately and hard even at my father’s funeral (a suicide at age 44). My  mind swam in a dirty puddle of muddy, nowhere water. I don’t know how long I sat there, but no one came in to soothe me (husband or grown son). Alone, I grieved my loss as a “Mama.”  I’m sorry if you don’t understand, but my two children were my life. Nothing had touched me like my children.

I don’t remember anything about the following three weeks. Only that I woke up one morning in a very, very good mood – knowing I was going to hurridly leave my husband and son at the family home and find my own way, my freedom.

Within three months, I was in my own townhouse – a completely changed woman. Everything was new, different, and it was an exciting but scary time.

There it began. This “new life.”

I still sometimes feel lost, aimless, helpless, and often hopeless. Sometimes I still think, “When the money runs out, I run out.”

The reason I stay is my mama and my daughter. I can’t do that to those wonderful women.

What is left today? Chest pain and tears. That’s nothing new.

 

BOOM! Mood Change!

 

I’m going along just fine, enjoying my new days of being depression-free – not feeling great, but still better, when BOOM! I have to adjust the mood meds again. Doubling the dosage to get me where the Psychiatrist wants me to be. Every time I change the dosage, I get radical side effects. Today, I cried so hard that my diaphragm was sore for hours after.

I had confrontational “words” with my grown son and told him to not visit me in the future.

I got Mother’s Day flowers from my sweet daughter. I filled the vase with water and then it dropped to the floor. Water everywhere. Thank god the vase was a cheapie plastic one.

It’s 8:15, and I’m in bed. I can’t face anymore yuck today. Inside, I FEEL the dying I do daily. We all die a little each day, right? Imagine “feeling” it. Strange sensation.

If I had my choice, I’d wait about 2 hours – make sure it’s very dark out – and then stand next to the interstate – where a semi-truck wouldn’t see me until it was too late to slow. I’m sure I’d feel the intitial impact, but not afterward.

No, I’m not suicidal. I don’t need a hotline or a trip to the psych ward. I need to be normal again, whatever that is. I can’t really remember what “normal” feels like. I have had 2 years of solid hypomania, then 2 years of drepression (some minor. some extremely bad). Only recently did I get a diagnosis of Bipolar, type 2, so I can get proper help!

I write to get the desperation from my chest. To purge some pain.

If you are  praying person, remember me tonight?

I love you guys!

Suicide: How Can I Help You?

(Photo credit- Wikipedia)

My friend, Becca, wrote an exceptional blog. I copied and pasted it below. Also, here is the direct link to her post! http://moorestorms.com/2012/04/25/suicide-how-can-you-help/

Thank you, Becca!!

According to Suicide Prevention, suicide is among the top 10 causes of death per year. 34,598 deaths are attributed to suicide, 34,598 preventable deaths. That’s 11.3% deaths per 100,000 people. 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death. Those statistics are both staggering and disturbing.

Two of the main reasons for suicide is Depression and Bipolar Disorder. You can find symptoms for both of these here Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder.

It’s important to respond to the person with strength and courage. If you are afraid to talk about the topic with them, then you are likely to lose out on your chance to help them. Please realize that suicide is not some flaw in a person’s character, nor are they weak and they are absolutely not cowards. These feelings do not just go away and treatment is necessary.

The symptoms mentioned in the link above, combined together could lead someone to consider suicide. Reminding the person that recovery is possible can be encouraging to the person contemplating their own death. When someone is going through depression, they often use something called “selective memory”. This is where the person only focuses on the negatives in their lives. This is a symptom of their illness and requires attention and treatment.

With treatment the person can find hope to push through this difficult time.

Recognizing the Signs

  • Feelings of despair. The person may talk about their situation as being unbearable or overwhelming. They may express self-doubt, self-blame or guilt for something they have done. The more someone talks about these things, the more they are contemplating suicide.
  • Taking care of personal affairs – For instance, making sure family members will be cared for once they are gone. Taking out life insurance policies, assigning beneficiaries, settling trusts and custody arrangements for their children.
  • Rehearsing their suicide.
  • Discussing certain methods.
  • Talk of suicide come and go in an attempt to build up to the impulsive action.
  • Drugs and alcohol abuse as a way to help them with the impulsive action.
  • Beginning to feel better – with affairs in place, knowing the end is coming soon, most feel better and at peace with their decision.

How can you help someone contemplating suicide:

  • Take them seriously. Do not blow them off and think they are just venting. This is NOT the case. They are reaching out to you for help.
  • Involve others – friends, family members, their psychiatrist, their therapists, the crisis hotline
  • Express your concern – Give concrete evidence that the person is contemplating suicide.
  • Listen closely to the person, hold their hand, hold them close to you and comfort them.
  • Ask direct questions – Try to find out specific details of their plan, determine which method they are considering using.
  • Offer reassurance. Remind them that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Remind them that there is help available to them.
  • Don’t promise confidentiality. A true friend or close family member will seek out help for the person they love, the person that is in crisis.
  • Take all guns, medications and harmful objects and put them some place out of reach. This includes ropes, knives, plastic bags, ect.
  • Don’t leave the person alone until they are in the hands of a trained professional.
  • Express sympathy – Do not play therapist. They don’t want to be told what to do.
  • Talk about it – Talking about suicide does not plant the idea in the person’s head. It lets them know you are there for them and not afraid to talk to them about their concerns. This is a oppurtunity to explore how they are feeling, their thoughts and actions. This can provide you with valuable information to your friend who may be depressed. Take any mention of suicide seriously!
  • Take note to when, where and how the person plans on following through with their suicide.
  • Describe behaviors and events that bother you – How they have changed. This could strike up the conversation enough for them to open up to you about how they are feeling.
  • Work with professionals. Call their pdoc, tdoc, crisis line. Don’t be afraid to call for an ambulance if your friend or family member isn’t willing to go to the hospital voluntarily.
  • Stress how important the person’s life is to you. How devastated you and others would be if they were to take their own life.
  • Be prepared for them to be angry with you. They may feel betrayed, but later may thank you for saving their life.
  • Be supportive – They may feel guilt and shame. Assure them that you understand it’s their illness.
  • Take care of yourself

I have contemplated suicide many times in the past. I can count 2 attempts that didn’t get me the help I needed and numerous threats that have also not gotten me the help I needed. It wasn’t until I reached out on my own before I got any serious help. I urge you not to put someone else in that position. They may feel as though their pleas for help are going unheard and they may act. Do not make yourself wonder what you could have done when all these examples are in front of you.

If someone you know is in crisis, please, reach out to them, offer them support, call the crisis line at

1-800-273-8255. If the person is in serious danger call 911 and have an ambulance sent and them taken to the closest Emergency Room. Once a suicide is completed, there is no turning back.

Until next time…..

Becca ♥