Tag Archives: suicide

suicide is a thief


how do you convince someone that ending their own life is the wrong decision? that their life is worth living?

at my job i get to know a lot of people who have been broken by something in their life. they have deep wounds and hurts, often masked by excessive drug use and risky behavior. its tough stuff to deal with. i dont mean to come across so casual by using the word ‘stuff’ in reference to such a heavy issue. i know how serious suicide is. ive had to deal with suicide in my life. it has killed family and friends. its stolen people i love. suicide is the thief. maybe using ‘stuff’ is my styled euphemism to keep the bad imagery from invading my mind and having to deal with its reality.

next to overdoses, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the downtown eastside where i work. i could argue that drug addiction leading to overdoses are a slow suicide (and im sure many would agree) but for the sake of simplicity ill leave them in their separate places. each year roughly 500 people in BC take their own life. 500 families are affected. hundreds of communities affected. poverty, drug abuse, sexual exploitation, depression, mental illness and scarred hearts from past traumas are some of the major problems that lead people to such an extreme decision. in the downtown eastside, its usually not a matter of either or but how many of the above.

the people on hastings have been abandoned. forgotten to the streets of old vancouver.

left to hide in alleys to get their fix, stand in cold lines for food and die without remembrance. is it any wonder why…

i dont think i need to finish that sentence. we all get it.

so my friend ashley pushed me the other day at work. surprised me. first violent action directed towards me since ive been at the church. ive been inadvertently hit while breaking up fights but nothing worth fussing about. the push came from the most unlikely place. ashley is a native brother of mine (ya, thats right… my ancestors shot bows and arrows) that struggles with a heavy drinking problem. i unfortunately dont see him sober too often. he spends most of his waking hours drinking and being drunk. numbing himself his wounds from the past. the other night was no different. what was different was his behavior towards me. when i stepped into separate two other gentlemen from fighting, ashley stepped in as well. he felt that i had been ignoring him, which i hadnt, and he was very angry with me. so angry that he wanted to fight me. so he pushed me. twice. it took me a few minutes to convince him that he didnt really want to fight me. i asked him if he’s like to sit down and talk about it. he did. as we sat and talked he apologized for his actions and broke down to me. he expressed to me that he hated what his life had become. he knew that he needed to get into a treatment center or else he would kill himself drinking, but in the same breath told me he didnt seem to care if he killed himself. he thought about killing himself instead of living like he currently was. i told him that he wasnt allowed. i told him that he has to go to treatment and get better so we could go fishing. he seemed to like that idea. i got on the phone and called the treatment center access line. closed. had to call back the next day during office hours. i told ashley and he promised to call the next day. now i know theres a slim chance he will. the conversation will probably be a lost memory of his due to the booze and the damage that years of hard drinking has done to his brain. if he doesnt then ill just have to drag him down to the treatment center myself.

im not willing to let suicide steal another one, especially another friend of mine.

but how do i stop it?

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