Friday, June 4, 2010

I remember a woman I once spoke to at the waiting room of my local train station. A few pigeons were pecking at the dirty ground swallowing anything that looked like food. If it was sunny that day, I wouldn't know because when your at the train station it always feels like you're in a fog.

She must have been in her fifties, I'm quite sure. Her brow was permanently furrowed and her eyes were blood shot most likely due to the the alcohol she'd obviously been drinking. I sat two seats away from everyone like most did at the station and it just so happened she was on my left.

I don't remember how the conversation started, but I do remember it was my first year in college. I was new in the world for the second time and very naive which I was aware of. When people spoke to me I wanted to feel important or just disappear completely. For her it was both.

She told me about her son and how he died when he was only 21 years old. He was in a very bad car accident. She said he was a good kid and loved him so much. It was why she turned to drinking. Soon her words took a nasty direction and all I began to hear was "death", "die", "want to", and "jump".

They wouldn't let her do it. It was the first time in my life I cried to an absolute stranger. "Why is she telling me this? She wants help, but from a youth like me?" I was baffled with these thoughts. Perhaps someone as ignorant as I seemed would be perfect.

But I wasn't that ignorant... I told her not to think like that when I knew very well how hopeless that sounded. I know how it feels to think like she did. How was I supposed to help this woman when I had similar feelings?

I felt a great amount of pressure, her feelings mattered more than my own. In a minute I had to realize that suicide wasn't right. It was like someone smacked me in the head for being so stupid. I had realized that by thinking thoughts like these I was being so selfish. There's so much I can do to help people, but instead I was just wallowing away feeling sorry for myself.

I'm not sure if what I said to that woman helped her or if she was even telling me the truth, but it gave me the strength to pull myself out of my slump. Remembering this made me think about all of those who are still thinking like this, I 'd just like to say it's not the answer. There's so much more to live for. If you're thinking about this, go ask for help from a close friend, parent, or a therapist. Anyone.