Recently received a call from a friend who has Aspergers with a strong dose of Bipolar 2. This night I sat on the other side of the desk. He was drunk and seeking methods of suicide to hide from the pride of failure. An ex felon with a job that he hates. Working hard to no end but a paycheck that doesn’t pay respect. He felt lost and abandoned and was definitely 14 cans of beer drunk when the call was made. He said that the suicide hotline often calls the police when chatting and as an ex con, that brought back traumatic memories. When calling for help causes more problems. So he decided to call me instead.
Have not spoke with him in months so it was hearing from a ghost for me. No time to catch up on anything casual as life and death was upon the phone lines. To die or not to die. Not quite the poetic version but this was not a fictional story from history but a reality facing me. I am not used to sitting on this side of the desk. No training on suicide prevention. No idea what to say. So I just listened.
I listened to the problems pouring out like a cold drink on a summer day. I listened to hopeless words stammering forth like sentences from a broken type writer. I realized he was sitting in a room that I had visited myself more than once.
After quite a spell, he retained enough common sense to confess that Bipolar Depression is winning over his will power. That going to the local bar for counsel was not quite working to overcome such negative thoughts and feelings.
I am in a mixed state as I contemplate his fate. So happy to hear he was alive. So sad to hear he is thinking about death. The previous prison record prevented him from purchasing a gun. So he went to research in the light of the dark web. It did offer a plethora of hidden advice on suicide methodologies. He shared his thoughts. I listened.
Tomorrow he officially loses the job that he hates. Tomorrow he wakes up to not having a friend that he had known for years. The obituary spoke so clearly.
“If it wasn’t for my mom”
“I just don’t want to put her through this”
The thoughts that kept him around when all else was failing. Chemicals in the mind like chemtrails decline from the sky. I kept listening. Bipolar depression lesson continued for almost an hour. He almost talked himself sane and sober. Not to suicide. Sure, horrendous English but the best news. I was finally able to offer some free advice. Get help! I know that the last psychiatrist really let him down. He called and texted but she was too busy to return any message. He gave up. I hope now that he knows what so many have to learn. Bipolar depression is real. It is a big deal. Most can’t cope on their own and without help, there can be a loss of hope. He did call. He did reach out. I passed the baton onto the professionals. Hopefully, after losing the job, he finds his way to the office to find his life.
Today I officially started my new job. Suicide prevention hotline. I officially quit. My number is not listed. I filled out no application. My only experience is…experience. I felt the voice of depression. Suicide has called me before on unlisted numbers. I almost answered the call. I didn’t. So far, he hasn’t. I hope that he calls me back. If he does, I will work again. He is my friend. I don’t want to lose anyone else to depression. To die or not, should no longer be the question.