A Guest Post – Michael LeFevre

Today I am sharing a guest post from Michael LeFevre from his blog Peaceful Rampage. In this blog post, the author talks about suicide, and while the title might be misleading it is a good read. It is part of Suicide Prevention Month. Enjoy–

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

A Cowards Way Out

Today’s title is what many people, sometimes myself included, call suicide. They claim if a person wants to kill themselves, they are taking the coward’s way out. However, I also believe that this is just a lazy label from persons who don’t want to deal with the subject. It is unfair to say that a person who wishes to end it all is simply taking the coward’s way out because no one, other than that person themselves, knows what’s going on in his or her head and that things have become so bad for them that they see there’s no other way out.

I’ve been here myself. The first time was when I was nine and one occasion, I actually did stab myself. Fortunately for me at the time, my sister had brought me a butter knife, which couldn’t do the job properly, actually, not at all. Looking back, my mother and then step father saw the whole thing as funny and told me not to be so stupid by wanting to stab myself. Back then, we’re going back nearly half a century, mental health was something to be embarrassed about, especially in the middle-class suburban neighborhood I was living in at the time. Therefore, I wasn’t given the help I most likely needed.

Over the years since, there have been other times when I thought of or threatened to commit suicide. Looking back at those situations, those were probably cries for help or attempts to elicit sympathy. I got to be careful here because I know that this isn’t the case for everybody. The irony here is that during the three years of bullying hell which inspired me to write “He Was Weird,” I never thought of committing suicide. It could have been that I thought someday, I would move out of that town, which I eventually did. Seeing another way out definitely removes any thoughts of ending it all.

In our millennial year, that all changed. My world came crumbling down all around me in several ways, and I believed it was all down to me. I thought that I simply screwed everything up and maybe the world was better off if I wasn’t around to wreck things. Besides, people around me seemed to be getting on fine without me, and that gave me even more incentive to end it all. Nobody wanted me around anyway so maybe I should make it that I wasn’t. I had even chosen the method, hooking up a hose to my car’s exhaust and killing myself with carbon monoxide poisoning.


Furthermore, I vetoed my idea of having music playing in the car at the time because I didn’t want anyone to say that music caused my suicide. What made me hesitate, however, was my belief that I would be taking the coward’s way out. That hesitation made it possible to get a last-minute phone call from the person who I thought had pushed me over the edge, and it was that call which brought me back. I don’t think that person ever realized it, but they might have actually saved my life.

Not everything was peaches and cream after though. It was a struggle, but fortunately, I had a network which provided short-term help and sound advice which benefited me greatly. That is why when similar feelings came around again a few years later, I recognized it, and at that time, I ignored certain stereotypes and put myself into counseling. Probably one of the best decisions I had ever made in my life!

My conclusion from all of this is that while the notion that suicide is taking the coward’s way out might have saved my life, it isn’t a true notion for everyone. Some might argue that a person who wants to take their own life is actually brave by carrying out. That’s not my point. We can’t see into another person’s mind nor truly feel the anguish they might be experiencing at the moment or what events from their past might have contributed to their decision. What everyone needs to be is more supportive and understanding and take mental health much more seriously.

To buy He Was Weird, go: here

 

 

Photo Credit: George Kourounis

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13 Replies to “A Guest Post – Michael LeFevre”

  1. I agree! I believe we all need to do more to end stigma and get mental health taken more seriously! I too have been there suicidal and tried a few times as well!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is a great post, thank you for sharing and spreading mental health awareness. What are some tips for helping people in your life experiencing depression?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It’s interesting we see it as cowardly and I think that speaks to our self-centered nature that, because of the hurt caused by the suicide to those remaining, it is cowardice and a braver person would stay alive and absorb the hurt instead. I think asking somebody to stay alive and live in potential agony is a pretty selfish concept. Also, everything in your body wants to live. How could somebody killing himself be cowardly given how painful and scary that must be, especially because a lot of people who commit suicide die alone and have inglorious deaths (if there is such a hint of the reverse). This was very thought provoking and I whole heartedly agree that people commonly shame something they are afraid to look at too deeply lest they fall down the rabbit hole themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Also, if you don’t mind me asking, to guest post it did you just ask him if you could share it on your blog? I’m new to blogging but would love to share this. If it’s just an arrangement the two of you have, however, I certainly understand.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m sorry to comment again but I commented earlier before I finished because I was interested. This describes exactly how I feel right now in terms of my place with the people moving on around me. Thank you for sharing this and thank you to Michael for being brave to write it.

    Liked by 2 people

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