This week was supposed to be about smiling and how it brings positive attitudes. But, that’s not going to happen this week. Instead, we are going down a sadder road. My personal world was recently rocked by a friend of mine who killed himself. I have had people who I know who have committed suicides before, but this is the first person who was a close friend.
I had a coworker who suddenly was never going to clap me on the shoulder and say its good to see you. That was a bit of a shock. Yet he wasn’t as close as Cory.
The Tale of Cory
Cory Hicks came into my life while I worked at a sand hauling outfit. This guy was funny boisterous, he had opinions on everything. We quickly became friends. ANd he also quickly became friends with everybody else on the team. We laughed and cut up. He made being stuck on location fun because he was always up for talking and joking around.
He didn’t stay too long at Sandstone. maybe a year when he quick to go do hotshot runs. Then he went to hauling groceries. He trained me when I went over to groceries during a particular big slowdown in the oilfield. Yet he then as Cory tended to do he bounced over to another trucking job. Till one day I called him up and he sounded elated. He was out of the truck finally. Cory was working as a forklift driver and loading trucks for great pay. This is what he wanted to do. He talked about getting out the truck and being able to live a real life.
I would talk to Cory from time to time. It would be 4-5 months between calls just to touch base and keep up with his antics. He sounded happy and had a pet Bunny Can you picture a 6 foot tall Bald headed Burly biker dude with a pet bunny. I couldn’t either but he did.
Then Sept 8 came around. I saw on Facebook through a mutual friend that Cory was missing.
Cory Allen Hicks
Missing since 09-04-18 10:10pm
If seen please contact LMPD
Could be in danger with mental health issues..please do not approach…could be armed..just call LMPD
Last seen driving a 99 Chevy Blazer…missing right rear center cap, harley licence frame on rear, window gaurds
I am working on getting plate#
Phone last pinged on Dixie extremely close to Waverly Hills
All I could think about was Oh no what is going on? So I try calling his phone and it goes to voicemail. It rings just no ones picking it up. I try intermittently, scared of what’s probably going to happen. Yet I felt the inevitable coming but I hoped that he was found and someone was able to save my friend.
I found out that we were too late. Cory for, whatever reason took his own life. Shortly afterward, I find a newspaper article talking about the end moments of his life.
After seeing the newspaper article all I can wonder is why. That is what all folks wonder. Why would someone do something like this? Such a horrible and dark end. How lonely Cory must have felt in those fleeting moments right before he starts psyching himself up to putting that cold barrel in his mouth. How scared my friend must have felt. How alone and desperate to end whatever pain he felt.
This makes me wonder if these are demonic in nature why would a happy person suddenly turn so dark that the only solution would be death. Unless that is the point of a demon, to claim that soul. I don’t know that is just me trying to rationalize why. Yet, that is very rational in my books. Some people may not and that is just fine.
Who can be suicidal?
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Tw: talk of suicidal tendencies. . "You don't look suicidal"… I remember these words coming from the Dr's mouth right after I'd just told him that I was having thoughts of suicide. I remember in that moment my 14 year old self felt invalidation, dumb and embarrassed; something no one in that mindset should have to feel. I left feeling confused, what was I supposed to look like? A bottle of pills in one hand and a suicide note in the other? Those words nearly cost me my life, that judgment, those stupid stupid words. . I remember the night just last year that I spiralled and overdosed in my living room. I remember thinking to myself "I can't get help, I don't look suicidal, I don't fit the bill, they'll laugh at me". I remember thinking I must have looked the part, must have been wearing the suicidal costume properly when I woke up in Resus as all around me were concerned, worried and sad faces. By then this could have been too late, i might not have been there to see those sad faces if my partner hadn't of saved my life. . This, this is the danger of thinking mental health has a 'face',a 'look'. This is how stigma, ignorance and judgement towards mental health/suicide affects those who are poorly. . In both these photos i'm suicidal, perhaps not in the same way but on both of these days I had suicidal thoughts racing around. . Stop the judgment. Stop the stigma.
The short answer that I found out is, Anybody. As I looked around there are kids as young as 8 and 9 years old who are killing themselves. Even trying to look at somebody and discern that they may be suicidal doesn’t work. Often I was told when I was young that if a person who is normally happy starts to draw way, and is often sad you may want to address their mood change and see if you can get them help.
Yet as I looked around I saw that there were often people who are actually happy who suddenly turn very dark and try to kill themselves. This I don’t understand, and many other folks don’t either. It could very well be a personality disorder. To have your reality turn that fast would be understandably unnerving.
What not to say to someone who’s Suicidal
I wanted to start getting prepared so if I ever have to save someone how do I do that? Apparently, everything I thought I was going to say is the wrong thing. According to the Speaking of Suicide, some of the wrong things to say are
“How could you think of suicide? Your life’s not that bad.”
Apparently, this shows the person that you don’t understand. I get how it can be interpreted that way. We don’t understand what that person is really going through. The mind is a person’s reality. Therefore if a person perceives hopelessness that is their world. While a person from the outside sees that that same person in a completely different light.
It is a lot like rich people and poor people. You hear a rich person talk about their money woes and the poor person has no way to comprehend those problems. Their thought is often yeah if I only had a quarter of your money I wouldn’t be complaining. While the wealthy person is experiencing sleepless nights.
“Suicide is selfish.”
Now like most people, I see suicide as a selfish act. So and So is feeling so much pain. Can they not deal with even a little upset? From what I am understanding, a suicidal person often thinks they are a letdown, or they are causing so much pain.
Again from my viewpoint that is all about them. Yet the suicidal person has their reality so twisted around that the person believes their family won’t miss them and they are in the end helping their family by killing themselves.
So throwing a guilt trip on top of the pain really isn’t the best direction to take when talking a person away from the edge. Trying to point out that they are being selfish isn’t helping.
Thank you so much @lucyjwarner for sending me this.
Will be wearing it with pride on Monday 17th Sept for National physician suicide awareness day.
— The Bipolar Doc (@doc_bipolar) September 13, 2018
“Don’t you know I would be devastated if you killed yourself?
Again this is a guilt trip that your friend really doesn’t need right now. In a weird way, they are thinking of you. Their reality is not the same as yours so they think ending it right now they would be helping you. Because their pain is affecting you.
“You don’t mean that. You don’t really want to die.”
This tells the person that you are not taking them seriously. By disputing what a person says you are telling them that you don’t believe them. You are basically dismissing what they are thinking and feeling and if you want your friend or loved one to dismiss your concerns then dismiss theirs.
“You have so much to live for.”
We know this, but remember that the person who is contemplating suicide is seeing a completely different reality. This can, in fact, show your loved one that you do not understand what they are going through. Though you would think it would be the opposite.
“Things could be worse.”
You are correct life could be worse. Yet when you are seeing yourself hanging by your fingertips from the pit of despair. The worse is actually what scares you. If you have lost all hope then the fear of dropping even further is very scary.
This also says your pain is not as bad as you imagine and again this isn’t going to help your friend.Let folks know that there are wrong things to say.Click To Tweet
How to talk to a Suicidal Friend
The biggest key is to listen. Let them talk. Ask questions to further understand. Remember you and I don’t understand where our friend is coming from. We know they are hurting confused sad desperate and we don’t know why. Healthy Place gives some great hints as to how to talk to a person and to lead them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.Tweet out a message letting your audience know they have optionsClick To Tweet
Ask leading questions. Never act like you know the answers cause honestly we don’t. Even if you believe that this person is just wanting attention. Don’t say that, even if you do this once a week. Be a friend and sit with them. Get them help try to lead them to talk to a counselor that works with the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Get them talking with questions like,
- When did you begin feeling like this?
- Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?
- How can I help you right now?
- Have you thought about getting help?
Helpful comments you can make are,
- You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
- You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
- I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
- When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold off for just one more day, hour, minute – whatever you can manage
- You have a purpose you can get past this
- I love you. ( This may be one of the best phrases you can say).
If you find out that your friend needs help and you are stuck with talking with them you can actually talk to the NSPL through a chat service
There are many different phone counselors who are waiting to talk to your friend.
Suicide is not the answer. We know that it is a horrible solution to an in the grand scheme of things, minor problem. but what we know and what our friends feel are two separate things. We can not predict when that suicidal urge is going to strike. Who knows one day it could be you. If so find people to talk to. Make a call to the Life Line 1-800-273-8255 because don’t want anybody to go through the loss I felt. All of the Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda’s don’t amount to much in hindsight.
Cory, you will always be remembered.
Stay safe everybody next week we will continue with our regularly schedules program.