Monday, January 9, 2012

A Daunting Task

It is well-documented that the October suicide of Jamie Hubley led me to roll up my sleeves and get more directly involved in trying to save lives.  That led directly to this blog:  Enough is Enough.  And, of course, since its conception, this blog has been read tens of thousands of times.  That great news!!!  That means, hopefully, that this blog is really making a difference.  Somewhere.  Somehow.  That's my goal.  As Lyndsay Winegarden (STOP Teenage Suicide) put it, "if I can save even one life, this will all be worth it."  Agreed.

Since starting this venture, I know that I've had a hand in quite a few situations that were teetering on disaster.  And, they've all had happy endings.  I'm sure that everyone who has gotten involved in this grass roots movement to make a difference and save some lives can say the same thing.  I've witnessed some of the letters.

What I've learned since October, though, is that this business can be a very daunting task, indeed.

The thought is always in my mind "what if?"  What if we are unable to save this one?  What if all of our efforts go by the wayside?  Would I take that as hard as I would if it were my own family member.  That answer is yes.  When I took on this task, I put everything I have into it, emotionally speaking.  I was either going to give it maximum effort, or I wasn't going to do it at all.  And, this is far too important of an issue for me to opt for the latter.

Recently, I've run into a situation where the young person at-risk literally and honestly did not want to be helped.  I was angrily told to just give up, to stop caring.  That's not something that I'm able to do.  I told him that.  It didn't matter.  He was adamant that I should just forget about him, that he had already given up.  Frustration.  Then, determination.  Quitting is something else I'm not good at.  I will not "...just forget about..." him.  I will do whatever I need to do to keep him alive.  And, if I fail, I'll know that I tried my best.  I didn't give up.

I've had the occasion more than once where I'd been chatting with someone who was right at the brink.  Or, at least, so it seemed.  So, as I kept them chatting, I tried feverishly to reach someone on one of the several suicide prevention pages on the social network I'm a part of. (yeah, me and 800,000 others!)  And, in EACH case, I was shouting to an empty room!  THERE WAS NO ONE THERE!!  What if I were the one sitting there, gun in hand, tears staining my shirt, looking for that one last person to tell me "don't do it!!!  You're going to be alright", and I went to one of these suicide prevention pages?  Isn't that what I'm supposed to do when I'm feeling that low?  That's what I've been told.  So, I try it, as a last-gasp effort.  AND, NOBODY'S THERE!!!!  Chances are pretty good, at that point, I'm pulling the trigger.  Dominic Crouch tried reaching out in his final minutes, and the effort went unanswered.  And, we lost him.  So, my point is that if these pages are supposed to be there to help save lives, shouldn't there ALWAYS be someone on there to respond to the despondent?  Isn't that the purpose?  Frustration.  Then, determination.  I will be sending messages to the administrators of each of these pages strongly urging them to get enough administrators on their pages so that there will ALWAYS be someone there!!  Getting a message from someone from their page the next day asking me if I'M alright is certainly not good enough.  I pulled the trigger the night before...when I couldn't find anyone to tell me that I was going to be ok if I just held on a little bit longer.

This is a daunting task, indeed.  By far, it's the most emotionally draining task I've ever had.  However, it's also the most worthwhile venture I've ever involved myself in.  It's task that I will see through to its completion.  Because every life is worth the effort.