Growing up I never could figure out why anyone would attempt suicide. What could possibly be so bad that you’d end your life? The concept itself was competely foreign to me.
Flash forward to sometime in 2000 when I was struggling with accepting who I was. At the time I felt like my very soul was being torn apart. I grew up knowing that gay people were bad, evil even, and obviously outside God’s will. Yet I knew I was undeniably gay and it wasn’t something I had chosen. I was crushed between two contradictory facts, each of which I believed in my core. I felt very alone. I was terrified of telling anyone I loved for fear of getting pushed farther away — knowing that such rejection might result in me doing something stupid. It was at that very lowest point of my life that I understood why some people consider suicide. I’d like to think that it was the realization of where I was, the meta-cognitition of why some people kill themselves, rather than any self-destructive thoughts of my own, that forced me to turn the corner — but perhaps that’s splitting hairs.
Regardless, the very next day I went to my doctor, told him what I was struggling with, and he started me on anti-depressants. He was the first person I ever told I was gay. Eventually I started telling the people I loved starting with my friend Meg. I still recall the day I told her — and receiving her immediate acceptance and unequivical support. Over the next few months I told others — waiting for the right moment before putting that little bit of myself out there and hoping for the best. To my surprise, most everyone was supportive. Sure there were a few that weren’t so supportive, my parents among them, but some of them have come around in time.
To anyone who is struggling with being gay: it gets better. Others have been through it before and there are people who can help you where you’re at. Don’t go through it alone and don’t give up.
To everyone else: lets all give a damn.
2 thoughts on “Youth Suicide: It Gets Better when We Give a Damn”
Thanks for not giving up.
You’re an amazing human being, Casey, and I’m honored to know you!
(And you install a mean thermostat, and bake a killer banana bread, too.) :-)
Thanks for sharing Case. We were both very fortunate to have a number of very supportive people around us while coming out. Sadly, before that, life was obviously difficult. I am glad we made it through.