In 2012 I witnessed a suicide at work. Most of you know this (and are probably sick of this story. Too bad. The perks of being friends with me is I get to annoy the living shit out of you fuckers.)(you’re welcome!). I talk about it because *I* need to talk about it, but also people need to hear it. I’ve had people, complete strangers, tell me that my talking about it made them second guess their own suicides. They had never considered what their suicide would do to other people. They never considered what their suicide would or could potentially do to a stranger or their families. In essence, my talking about it helped a few people choose life.
I witnessed a suicide at work and it sent me into my own depression and PTSD. It is absolutely terrifying feeling so empty inside, feeling nothing, feeling like you could die and not caring either way. It is terrifying not feeling love, happiness, sadness. It is equally terrifying for loved ones to witness this absolute emptiness. They feel helpless and don’t know how to help.
The worst part of witnessing the suicide, besides the obvious witnessing OF the suicide, was that I worried I was taking too much time off work. I was worried about what my coworkers were thinking and saying about me. I was worried they were thinking I was milking the system. Did they review the cameras and watch me? Did they judge me? Did they laugh? Was my pain amusing to them? Did they have sympathy? How insulting to my own mental health that I even took their opinions into consideration.
After taking 5.5 shifts off work, I went back. While I was off work, only one person contacted me to see if I was ok (besides two lawyers at the firm where she worked). I get it. What the fuck can you possibly say to someone who just watched someone plunge to their death, who watched a life extinguish, who watched one of the worst things happen. How I wished they’d tried. Nothing makes you feel more isolated than having people not reach out to check on you when they know you’re suffering.
The first shift back was the most horrible day at work. I could feel all eyes on me and I felt such an intense pressure. I felt like everyone was judging me. It’s unfair that I thought so negatively of people, my coworkers, some of whom I consider family, but when you ARE so isolated and hurting so horribly, you don’t think logically. Having my two bosses greet me back at work, however, made the day harder in a good way. Having them there to make sure I was ok and that I was ready to return, those fuckers made me cry.
Please please please know that you are not alone. That you are loved. That I need you, if you are considering killing yourself or if you are suffering alone, to take a second and think of me.
*picture included is a week after the suicide. I’d slept just over 20 hours over the course of one week (the average human should get 55-63 hours of sleep a week).