My Suicide Attempt

I’m about to share a story that I haven’t shared with many people. I only just began doing so relatively recently because I wanted to use it as another way of helping people who may have been through or be going through something similar. About nine years ago I came very close to committing suicide.

Seeing Someone Do It

Before I continue that story I wanted to share something else. About 5 years ago, I was working in a building which had 21 floors and at the very top floor they had a cafe. One day I had to be in work early and so I got there and realised that in my haste I’d forgotten to have breakfast. I decided to go to the cafe and grab a coffee and some toast. The canteen had two sides of seating areas and in the middle was the counter. One side was non-smoking and the other was the smoking section. From the counter you could see both sides. I’d placed my order and was totally oblivious to what was about to happen.

From the non-smoking side I heard someone shout: “Oye, get down from there!” I had no clue who this guy was talking to but then I looked over towards the smoking section and realised that there was someone there who was trying leap from the window! I ran over as quickly as I could to stop them but it was too late. I was about 3ft from them when they jumped and plummeted to their death. It goes without saying that seeing something like that is very upsetting. After I got back downstairs I saw one of my colleagues and then I just burst out crying and hugged them.

I shared this story as I’ve been closer to it than most. Not only did I try it but I’ve seen someone else do it and I’ve also managed to stop other people from taking it any further too.

My Suicide Attempt

About 9 years ago my life wasn’t going too well and I decided that I’d had enough and that I wanted to end it all. I can’t remember exactly when it was, the day, the time or anything like that! I mainly remember being in that place and it will always serve as a reminder to me of somewhere I choose not to visit again.

Things were pretty bad and I had lots of problems including finances, health issues, very few true friends and a job I hated doing! I remember other parts of the day clearly though, I remember what I was wearing, I remember what I was thinking and I clearly remember how I was feeling. For me it was one of the darkest times I can remember about my life.

I recall that I wasn’t even sure how to kill myself. It’s a strange thought to have when you’re suicidal: “What’s the best way to kill myself?” But you do truly end up thinking about it. At the time the only option open to me was to slash my wrists. So, I got a knife, locked myself in the bathroom filled the tub with water.

I know many people say that people who are suicidal are very selfish because they don’t consider the people they will leave behind or what they have. That’s true but in reality when you’re in the suicidal state that type of thought is the last thing that enters your mind. The strange thing is that the people who say that, are right but, the person feeling suicidal needs something or someone to shift their focus. If neither of those come to them then they will likely go ahead and commit suicide. If they get intervention and someone knows how to shift the focus of someone who is feeling suicidal, quickly and effectively, then you can get them out of the suicide state.

Talking to them about what they might be leaving behind is not answer though; you need something more creative and smart.

Whenever I think back about it I’m reminded of the scene from the movie Pay it Forward where a woman is about to jump of a bridge and Jerry, the homeless drug addict, says to the woman: “Save my life! Have a cup of coffee with me?” What did that do? It shifted the woman’s focus completely away from her own problems and she realised that by not jumping she could in effect save someone else’s life.

So there I was, the tub filled with water, and I had the knife at the ready at my wrist. I was blank, cold and numb. I was feeling scared but also, in a topsy turvy kinda way, excited that everything could be over very quickly and soon all the pain would disappear! I pressed down on my wrist and nearly cut into my skin when something stopped me and a little voice just popped into my head and said: “Don’t worry; everything will be better tomorrow, just live for one more day!”

Suddenly I didn’t feel so bad. I thought “yep I’ll do one more day and if things don’t get better then I can always have another go!” So the next day came and I was feeling a bit better and so I didn’t feel the need to kill myself. The next day passed and another and still I didn’t feel like committing suicide again. I was still in pain, I was still very depressed but by then I felt a bit stronger and realised that I could get through it.

The next thing that happened was that I came across a story about a guy named Jerry (coincidence, or providence?) which can read here on the ‘About Amit’ page written in bold that made a huge difference to my life. I can’t remember who sent it to me but I do remember receiving it in an email and then later reading that very same story in the book ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’. It was the message of that story that gave me the greatest hope to continue and turn my life around. The next big thing that entered my life and I can’t remember how was the book Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. The combination of those two things assisted me in completely transforming my life around.

The final thing that helped me turn things around was the movie The Secret. I remember being one of the first to see The Secret about 3 years ago and it was as if that was the missing piece of the puzzle that pretty much enabled me to answer most, if not, all the question I had in life.

Why People Feel Suicidal

I’m not an expert on suicide by an stretch but all I’m doing is elaborating on the experience I’ve had with it and what I’ve learned from the whole journey; not just what I’ve been through but also what I’ve seen others go through to. The thing with suicide is that it involves an extreme of focus. The events that lead up to someone feeling suicidal cause the person to only focus on those things. Their peripheral vision narrows and they can only see the thing that got them to that point in the first place. Their thought patterns on that subject almost become habitual and as a result the feelings intensify as more time passes.

That is where a shift is needed and very things can cause a shift in the thought pattern but if you can find the right A:LKHG{OIEHFPWOEFHphfepowhfEPhfeipwdfUHPJFEI – Did that just shift your focus? 😉 Did you think for a second “Amit must have had a keyboard malfunction!” I didn’t but I knew that when reading that suddenly, if only for a brief second, you would thoughts would get interrupted and you would forget what I was talking about.

The principal for people who are having suicidal thoughts is similar. You can break that pattern and if you’re trying to help someone then you’re only job is to find a smart way of doing it!

If right now you’re feeling suicidal and you’ve just arrived at this blog post I want you to realise two things. Firstly through your own volition you’ve arrived here and secondly that you can’t deny that the timing is beyond coincidence; there is something greater that brought you here, a force far greater that you or I. Call it providence, call it fate or destiny, personally I don’t think the term matters but I do believe we’ve all arrive into the right place and right time.

Helping Suicidal People

This part could be potentially controversial because there are all sorts of ethics that come into play when it comes to suicide. You are in essence taking responsibility and putting for the life of another human being in your own hands. It’s not a question of whether you should or not but rather, the decision by you, on whether you choose to help them or not. So ask yourself whether you are helping them any more or less by choosing not to help them? That should stump you for a while. If anyone does come to me and say they are feeling suicidal then I choose to help them in anyway possible which will include pointing them in the direction of some sort of professional counselling service.

People have always said to me that I make them feel better just by them being in my company and so that’s always the first thing I’ll do is just give people my time. That first step is sometimes enough to make them reverse their decision to end their life. Maybe in fact it’s all they needed; for someone to pay attention to them. I will not leave it there though as, on its own; giving people attention is not enough to change someone’s whole attitude to their current situation.

There is a myth that you need to listen to someone harp on about their problems and I personally don’t like that method. From my experience it perpetuates the problem. I’m an action taker and I’d much rather give people constructive help by asking a whole different set of questions. If they’ve been asking themselves “why is this happening to me?” then I’ll ask them “how has this event given you a new set of tools to deal with life?” but before I do I might throw in a distraction or two and ask them something like “do you remember the first time you drove a car?”. What did that do? Suddenly they’re not focusing at all on the depressing thoughts and instead they’re thinking about something that is most likely a fun memory!

I love this quote from Viktor Frankl

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

My goal is simply to get someone to understand that before the response there is a choice and it is the choices we make in those spaces that ultimately change and determine where our life goes.

Following On

After performing those initial steps I’ve always found that I’ve done enough to help that human soul move up and beyond that path of self destruction to one of self creation. What else is life except a path of creation at each step?

If someone has come to you asking for you help how do you know what a suitable point is for you to cut off contact and let them go off on their own? Again, from experience I can say that it’s something they will do naturally and my advice to you would be to not force or resist the process. Let it happen naturally and support them through the transition. You will find that they will stop contacting you as much and they will start doing things without telling you and they’ll even surprise you as time goes by. These are all good signs which is why I say let them progress naturally.

Managing Your Own Expectations

You’ve done something for someone else and it’s natural to expect something in return. Even if it’s something as small as loyalty which is why I’m giving you the warning in advance that if you catch yourself experiencing this then you’re in a good place and you can then become aware and then slowly let those expectations go.

There are so many directions I could take this article in but I realised it could end up being potentially extremely long so I kept the scope of it quite narrow. I hope that it’s helped two kinds of people specifically. Those who are feeling suicidal and those who have been approached for help by someone who is feeling suicidal. I want you to know that you are not alone. There is no shame in feeling that way and know there is a way out. Reach out and ask for help! You may even be surprised at who comes to your aid! Not all people are clairvoyant and know what you are going through so just speak up and get some help. You will never regret that step.

No one ever does.

33 Responses

  1. Michelle says:

    Hi Amit,

    Quite a profound story. I, too, went through a period when I wanted to end it all.

    I was still in high school, had no friends, was taunted by just about everyone.

    I didn’t feel as if I were worth breathing the air or eating the food or drinking the water because it would have been better used by someone else.

    Two things in your story ring very true for me, also.

    First, I also spent a lot of time deciding on the best way to kill myself. It seemed quite important at the time that it be done just right! Second, I just woke up one day and knew, without knowing why or how, that life would get better. I knew I could get through this and be happy some day.

    I applaude your courage in getting through a difficult time in your life, and for writing about it so that others may take heart and see a light at the end of the tunnel.

  2. Amit Sodha says:

    Thank you Michelle and because you’ve been through it you too are someone who can relate to others who might be going through something similar.

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for always being a part of this blog! 😉

  3. Milan says:

    Hi Amit,

    I just read your life-changing story and was moved considerably by the details, mainly because I know of many individuals who have been through this same experience, some are here to tell their tale and others sadly are not. I do believe that everyone always has a choice “all of the time” and that we as individuals are creators of our life experience. I truly believe that everyone (without exception) can change their lives for the better through constant analysis of their thoughts and feelings. At the end of the day “You are what you think!”

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts on such a difficult subject. It goes without saying that you have gained a lot from what you have been through but to put a positive spin on things, you would not be the person you are had you not been through the bad times. Let it be a lesson for all that Life is always full of abundance for everyone.

    Many thanks for the constant inspiration that you provide to the world and all the tremendous good work that you continue to do.
    God Bless You!

  4. Amit Sodha says:

    Hey Milan!

    You are a a true gentleman and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and wisdom too! I hope you truly have a wonderful xmas and new year!

    God bless! 😉

  5. I am so sorry to hear about the pain you were suffering.

    I tried to commit suicide in Nov. 2003, and have grown from that experience.

    I am hoping that you or by contacting someone, where ever you are now, will look into my book and buy a copy or copies in order to bring some stabiltiy back to you.
    ______________________________________________________

    My new book of personal poems were written over a 5 year period, and deals with my own emotional experience with my attempted suicide in November 2003, and I hope it will have an impact on others – to chosoe life over death. PublishAmerica, LLLP.

    www[dot]PublishAmerica[dot]com
    Incorporated in Frederick, Maryland
    Member of the Association of American Publishers
    USA: P.O. Box 151
    Frederick, MD 21705-0151
    Phone: 301-695-1707
    Fax: 301 631 9073

    www[dot]publishamerica[dot]com/shopping/index[dot]htm

    www[dot]publishamerica[dot]com/shopping/orderform[dot]htm

    ISBN: 1605639052 / 13-ISBN: 978-1605639055
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    I had originally planned on writing a journal to document my thoughts after my suicide attempt, but instead I chose to put my thoughts and ideas in the form of poetry. I had never had the reason in the past to even consider writing poems, but somehow I was able to take all of my most inner feelings and transpose them onto paper in the form of a poem, and in doing so, I was able to express what was going on inside my head and put all of my emotional pain and struggles down on paper.

    I just hope that in some way or another; that by sharing my poems with other people; that they will also have an impact on other men, women and teenagers of any race, gay orstraight…. that have gone or are now going through the thoughts of contemplating suicide, and that you will be able to absorb some of the meaning in my poems and take away a new outlook on life; in knowing that there are other people in the world who are going through the same emotional anguish.

    My book, My Suicidal Heart, also has several pages of “Resource and Helplines”, for people who are dealing with depression and/or suicidal tendencies. There are multiple organizations, websites, contact addresses and phone numbers for people of all ages, races, gay or straight; both national and international. For not only people who are depressed and/or contemplating suicide, but for people who either know someone who is showing the sign(s) of depression and/or suicidal thoughts; to people who have lost someone to suicide, so they too can get the bereavement help and support they need.

    Synopsis:
    Suicidal thinking and behavior are prevalent among all classes of society. Many cultures are impacted by the tendencies to end one’s life, despite their spiritual beliefs. The pressures of growing up are becoming more relevant in our fragmented lives. Childhood and adulthood are a war for some, and the toxic bed of pain becomes too much to handle. They blame themselves when all the burdens settle on them.

    We can’t act obliviously to this rising epidemic of suicide. We need to recognize the warning signs to save someone who is emotionally stressed without any hopes of love, happiness, living life to the fullest and experiencing what God has given us, before this becomes a vicious circle. Writing these poems gave me the inspiration and insight to enjoy this one life, and to help others by sharing them, so hopefully you can get the help you want and need.

    Sincerely,Michael G. Howard (Howie)
    Dallas, TX.

    Author/Poet; My Suicidal Heart

    www[dot]mysuicidalheart[dot]vpweb[dot]com

  6. Amit Sodha says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for your heartfelt comments and words. It was a very long time ago for me and not something I would ever contemplate now or in the future. However I’m extremely glad it’s something that I went through as it was all part of my personal growth.

    Thanks again.

  7. Rachel says:

    Dear Amit,

    I loved your story and thoughts. I can connect and relate. I wish you all the best and send much love!

    Have a wonderful day!

  8. Amit Sodha says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for you lovely message. I’m guessing that when you say you can relate you’ve been through or know of someone who went through something similar? Can you share? 🙂

    Have a great day.

  9. John says:

    Now, should you be running towards a person about to jump, thus possibly forcing them to make a quick decision?

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Maybe. But that’s a very slim perspective on a topic is enormous and that has so many angles. Did you ever think that perhaps, in my shoes, a huge amount of instinct took over? In that moment, unfortunately I wasn’t wise and calm enough to pose that question. Was I responsible for that person jumping? HELL-TO-THE-NO! They were going to jump one way or another regardless of me. If anything like that ever occurs again, would I react differently and more calmly? Most likely. I hope it doesn’t occur but you never know what life is going to throw at your next. And that’s what living consciously is all about. I can only hope that as a result I’m now better prepared to help people when they need it.

  10. Joseph says:

    I am currently considering suicide, I have it all planned and ready to follow through with it, I have never felt that my life will get better. I waken Dailey knowing its a day of pain and suffering, reading your story has at least made me post pone my actions today and see what tomorrow holds

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hi Joseph, wow thank you for your candour and also for reaching out; it takes an immense amount of guts to do so. Do you want to tell me more about why you’re feeling this way?

      • Joseph says:

        I have Ben in psycho therapy since I was 18 bi polar with some other problems I also hear voices, no medication has ever worked I am finally tired of fighting and pretending to be a happy person

        • Amit Sodha says:

          May I ask why you pretend to be happy? Or why you feel the need to fight who you?

          Who you are is who you are. There is no need to pretend, or to fight it.

          Why do you think, that you arrived, at this blog, at this particular moment? It’s because you have have to the power to call forth, what you need at any given moment.

          As was with me, having a voice telling me to take one more day, and so I have been that voice to you. The first part has happened, continue taking counselling, your meds, etc, the only think I would say is stop any pretending or fighting. You are the way you are for a purpose. Accept it, and work with it.

          I’m always here if you wish to continue talking 🙂

  11. chad caskey says:

    i have an important question to ask you not only did i experience someone committing suicide but it was also my best friend and i found him. you talk about how u help someone who is thinking about commiting suicide how do i get over the pain in my heart? am i just supposed to accept it?

    • Amit Sodha says:

      You never have to ‘just accept’ anything. You’ve been through something horrific. And it’s not easy to deal with. I’ve lost close friends, and my sister. And it’s never easy to just simple move on. But, with time and a decision to reach an understanding, that death is a part of life, even suicide. But this event, did it make you feel like no one should have to go through this? Did it make you feel like you should have done more? Maybe as a result of this event, it could be the catalyst for you to do more to help others. Who knows, I’m just completely spit-balling. But don’t lose hope that this was for nothing. I highly recommend that you read either Conversations with God or a The Breakthrough Experience by John DeMartini.

  12. Cassy says:

    I just wanted to tell you that I loved what you wrote and I admire the strength you had to lift yourself up alone, without anybody else’s help

    What you said, that “one more day and if nothing changes I’ll just try again” that’s like my life motto XD

    I think a lot of people can learn from this because suicidal people are more likely to listen to someone who felt what they feel rather than taking advise from someone who can’t feel more than pity for them

    Thank you for sharing this, it was very instructive

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hi Cassy,

      Thank you so much for sharing and your comments, It’s always a pleasure to hear from people who can appreciate what I was trying to achieve by sharing this.

      Thank you again and wishing you all the best!

      ~Amit

  13. Angela says:

    I woke to wanting to kill myself, I woke up suddenly with this drenoline rush to kill myself. And I ran to my daughters school and asked if they had the number of the priest.. He wasnt around so I walked home and the principal picked me up and we went for a coffee and I felt better..
    Also another time where I asked myself how can I kill myself, walk on the middle of the lake and jump on the freezing ice, walk up the water tower and jump, slit my wrist, get ranned over, but instead I suffered my thoughts for 5 years and things got better.. I just could not get the guts to do it, I wanted to, but something was saying dont do it.. I just couldn’t do it.. BUt I know the feelings of “almost” There was lots of guilt in my head, depression, PTSD.. your not there at the time, its like running in the bush slow motion because your getting away from a murderer, your mind just goes in to safe mode.. confusing to explain.. Its like you are ready to actually die, and you feel nothing, you dissociate. and I do believe there is freedom to death, but its just not the way to do things..

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