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Jul6
2017

A Funny Thing Happened When I Was Typing My Suicide Note

By Sam Grittner

This post was originally published on Medium.  

Please note that this blog contains strong language. We ask that you use your own discretion.

I was going to kill myself two and a half weeks ago. Calm down, it’s cool; I didn’t. I’m sure most of you who follow me have seen me post about how long it’s been since I quit alcohol. It’s coming up on 21 months now and that’s pretty incredible for someone who was addicted to crack and heroin in their mid-20’s. But I had a secret (not just the dolls buried underneath old man Wiggins’ abandoned cabin). I never said I was sober. I went out of my way never to use that word, because I wasn’t. I’ve been smoking pot since I was 18 and never stopped. Today, I have 15 days completely sober and I don’t think I should write these words which is exactly why I’m going to.

I’ve battled depression since I was a teenager. I’ve had two suicide attempts in my life. This last time was different. Before I get into that, let me talk about pot. Rather, here’s what pot did to me (instead of making sweeping generalizations): it slowly choked to death every good quality about me.

The last three years I have been a terrible human being. I didn’t remember people’s birthdays and, much like Janice in accounting, I just didn’t give a fuck. I stopped going out of my way to make drawings or music mixes for my friends. I started three different screenplays that I got two pages into then stopped. I was that guy that would post things like, “BIG THINGS HAPPENING!” “JUST YOU WAIT!” “HONK IF YOU’RE HORNY AND A VIETNAM VET!” (okay… maybe not that last one). I lost weight, which was scary because on a good day I weighed as much as a scarecrow full of wheat, because I was always worried. Worried about being found out as a fraud. My older brother and his amazing wife had a daughter and last week, after two years, I bought the first present I’ve ever gotten for her. That’s simultaneously pathetic and awesome (the fact, not the gift. The gift was a dope construction doo-hickey that she loves).

I started therapy today and am going to meetings again. I feel like my life has meaning and I have worth. I have an amazing job where I get paid to write jokes. When I first got it, I thought I deserved it and believed it would make all my self-hate magically disappear. To my surprise, there are no magic hats in which to stuff rabbits of arrogance, jealousy, or denial into another dimension where they disappear. Maybe there are turbans or bowlers, but I didn’t look around much. Every night I would come home and smoke. That was my reward for making it through the day. I stopped thinking about anything more than two hours out. I stopped caring about my future. I’m not saying if you smoke pot this will happen to you, this is my experience. I had a pot delivery guy (yes! they’re real, like in “Half-Baked” haha, remember those cool guys in their 20’s/30’s who all lived together and couldn’t make coherent sentences, those cool cats! 420! Blaze it! Ignore the bills man. Bills are just pieces of paper asking for better pieces of paper. Bills are williams, man) and I was a regular. “My guy” texted me one Christmas to make sure I was okay because he hadn’t heard from me in three days. Typing that sentence makes me want to vomit every liquid out of every orifice simultaneously. I was 33-years-old going on 15. Pot was my escape. I didn’t have to face how much I hated myself.

I didn’t move out to New York and sacrifice as much as I have to become a full-time loser, yet. That’s exactly what happened. Every time I turned on social media I was jealous. Why was everyone else in my circle of friends getting better at writing? Why were they going up the comedy food chain? Why in the fuck were they posting pictures with famous people and I was still recounting the time I held an Oscar when I was 11 (still a cool story but, c’mon dude). It was because they were getting up early and doing hard work. Poor little Sam. Poor little privileged white male whose only real problem in life has been his ego. I hated myself and for somewhat justifiable reasons: I was boring, always grumpy, never not tired. I felt like the picture in “Back To The Future” where everyone slowly faded out. I felt like Ben Carson’s eyes look like.

So I made a plan. I saved up two months worth of pain pills and then bought another 50 of something that, when combined with alcohol, would kill me. I had done research. My Google history was hilarious, in the most macabre manner. I had manic days where I felt good, followed by the lowest of lows.

I finally picked a date, after Facebook memories brought up the only picture I hadn’t deleted of the only woman I’ve ever cared for, it pushed my mental car into overdrive off a cliff. I’ve been alone for the last two years. No sex, no touching. I kissed two women in the last two years. Because I was convinced I was worthless, ugly, stupid and, to be perfectly honest, I was most of those things, but only because I let myself become them.

So I sat down and started writing out a note but that was taking too long and I wanted to leave a nice one that was pithy, at least, so I went to my computer and that’s when shit got weird.

What font do you choose when you’re writing your suicide note? Times New Roman is too formal. Wingdings is non-sensical. I ended up going with Comic Sans because soon the world would be sans another comic (clever boy, don’t I know it). I printed it out and started googling hotels. I live with four roommates and I’m not a complete dick; I didn’t want one of them to have to find me and be like, really? You couldn’t have done the dishes first, dude? So I decided I would treat myself. I would go to the Waldorf. I found out that was out of my price range. Do you know how depressing it is to be completely depressed and not have the money to at least off yourself in a classy joint? I ended up going down a rabbit hole of hotel reviews on Orbitz and found a bunch of nice B&B’s upstate. I can give you recommendations next time I see you.

I said fuck it. I’ll just do it here. I went and took the bottle of vodka I’d had stashed behind my bed for three weeks out and I looked into the mirror one last time. I saw the ghost of the man I was.

But then the strangest thing happened. When I quit drinking, I made up my mind I would never do it again. I rarely attended meetings because I would have been a hypocrite and felt even worse, at least in my mind. I put 30 pills inside my mouth and—my body refused to let me drink alcohol. If I didn’t mix them, I would possibly die, but more likely than not I would live and have brain or body damage. I learned enough through my research to know that and what time ‘Nathan For You’ is on. I didn’t want to do that to my family and what few friends I had left. Make them take care of me because I took the easy way out.

I called a friend. They know who they are. They talked me down that night and I literally owe them my life.

Why am I writing all this? Is it self-serving? You betcha. Can it help anyone else? God I fucking hope so. You might have noticed over the past two weeks I’ve been even more emotional than usual and that’s because I’ve wanted to tell this story. I’ve learned that people look up to me (not a lot, but some) and people care about me, I had just pushed so many of them away with my behavior that I couldn’t see it.

So here we are. I promised myself I would wait 30 days before I would write this but I had to get it out of me. I’ve told a few people and been shocked that people who I love and respect and look up to because they have their shit together have told me they feel the same way too. A lot.

But you deal with it by being honest.

People have told me they would have never guessed I was going through this, which brings me back to why I’m writing this. Too often we put on a display for the world, many people have said this sentiment before and much more eloquently than I’ll ever be able to, but it’s so fucking true.

Don’t feel sorry for me for a moment. I’m alive and more so than I’ve felt in years. I have a job, a small circle of friends that are borderline angels, a family that would do most anything for me. I’m the luckiest guy on Earth. I won’t tell you about any plans I have, if I do, they’ll reveal themselves when they’re supposed to (good plans, for the future).

My DM and email will always be open for the rest of my time I’m lucky enough to have. I have been in touch with strangers and friends and want anyone, ANYONE who is feeling isolated and worthless to know, you matter. I will answer any message I get.

I’m so thankful that I’m typing this right now (is this Times New Roman? I’m not sure). Reach out. There is light at the very bottom of the tunnel you’ve buried yourself under, or maybe had fallen on you inadvertently.

There is no problem worth killing yourself over. I wish I hadn’t done drugs but maybe that’s why I’m here now. I don’t recommend almost dying multiple times in order to feel worthy of life but my path led me here so who am I to second-guess any of it? All I can do now is take it one day at cliched time and enjoy every precious second that I get going forward.

I love you.

You matter.

More than anything in the world, remember that.

“Nathan For You” is on at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Leave a Reply

Comments (21)

  1. Brittany Whiteside

    You matter and I love you, too! Thank you for one more day of life❤️

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  2. Kari Saxe

    Thank you

    Reply  |  
  3. Julie Hughes

    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply  |  
  4. Jaimy

    Thank you. Your story really spoke to me. I’m very glad you’re still alive

    Reply  |  
  5. Anonymous

    Found this from a friend’s post. You are not alone. Thank you for putting yourself out there.

    Reply  |  
  6. Jess

    So glad that you are alive!

    Reply  |  
  7. Rebecca

    “I don’t recommend almost dying multiple times in order to feel worthy of life but my path led me here so who am I to second-guess any of it?” having also attempted suicide multiple times, these words are so important to me right now. Thank you. I needed to read this tonight…

    Reply  |  
  8. Janet Robertson

    Thank you. I looked for you on twitter and almost thanked a Sam “gittner” for staying on this planet. Lucky I checked back. I laughed and as always looked for clues to help my partner who suffers from chronic suicidality. So you offer “dm”ing or emailing. Please if it’s OK an email address for my partner? She needs living peers. Thank God you stayed. Love.

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    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Janet. Thank you so much for your kind words and for reaching out. Our hearts are heavy to hear that your partner is struggling, but your strength and love for them has surely been a guiding force for them in their struggles. Your love for them and passion for fighting for them is so apparent. If you are comfortable, you or your partner can email us at info@twloha.com, and we can offer encouragement and resources there. Keep fighting, Janet. For you, and for your partner. We’re on your side, and we believe in you. Much love to you.

      Reply  |  
  9. Megan

    Thank you.

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  10. Scott Kendrella

    This is priceless, and really helped me today. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  11. Livi Mae

    thank you for sharing i needed this

    Reply  |  
  12. Dawn

    I put on a happy face but inside I die every day. I stay because I have daughter that needs me. She saves me every day but she doesn’t know it. My friends don’t know I feel this way. I can’t tell them. I feel I’d be a burden. My family don’t know. Each day I get up xnd put one foot in front of the other. I go to work and try and do my job. Some days I just stare at the computer. I have to write reports and sometimes I can get lost in the words I create. Some days the words, they get lost inside my space of muddy thoughts. Your words revealed the truth of mine. I hate myself. I feel like a fraud. I’m afraid one day they will learn I’m not who they think I am. I’ve tried suicide before a long time ago. God sent people who didn’t realise they came at the right time to stop me from going further with my plan that I’d out into motion of taking my life in my car. I turned the engine off when they drew up beside me. A car of a family with young children in it. Today I want to be over the struggle of getting through each day. I am glad I read your words. Maybe I’ll find someone who I can talk to. Maybe I’ll just talk to you. Thank you

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Dawn,

      Please stay. Please continue to fight. You are deserving of this life, and a life of hope and light and love. These thoughts and these feelings are not you, they are not the truth. It is the illness speaking for you. Don’t let it win.

      Your family, your daughter, and your friends love you. Please tell them how you are feeling. They cannot extend help if they are not aware of your struggles.

      But also know that we are here, that professional help is available to you. You can email us any time at info@twloha.com if you want to share more of your story. We read every message and will respond. Please take the time to visit our Find Help page, too. https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/ And if you are in need of immediate help, you can text TWLOHA to 741741 via Crisis Text Line. You will be connected to a trained counselor.

      You are not alone.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  13. Nikki

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes. I have been in that spot oh so many times. Probably more than I can count on my fingers and toes. I have been to counseling, therapy, meetings, etc. Nothing seems to help. Been on countless different antidepressants, and anxiety meds. Finally I just stopped. Stopped going to appointments because I didn’t feel like they cared, so why should I? Stopped taking my medicine because they weren’t helping anyways. Stopped talking to friends and family about it because they just seemed annoyed from hearing about it….again. Instead I go to work, come home, eat, and then go to sleep EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! My life is stuck on repeat. All my friends are out having families, getting married, graduating college, starting their lives, and here I am 26 years old with no college degree, working a minimum wage job, broken down car, scraping pennies just to get by, and 300 miles away from home. I try SO hard to tell myself that it will get better…this is just a rough spot, but honestly its been a “rough patch” for 7 years now. I don’t think its going to get any better than this, and I do not want to continue living life like this anymore 🙁 I sound like a big complainer and I’m sorry. I really appreciate you sharing your story.
    Much love,
    Nikki <3

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Nikki,

      Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us. We are glad that you have made decisions in the past to seek out help, but we are sadden to know that you feel as though nothing is working. Please know that you are not alone in your struggles or your emotions. The fact that you could relate to this blog post is proof.

      Please know that you can email us at info@twloha.com at any time. We read and respond to every message we receive. And although you have tried multiple counselors and therapy sessions, we hope that you will take a look at our Find Help page here: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/ If you are ever in need of immediate assistance, know that you can text TWLOHA to 741741 via Crisis Text Line, too. You will be connected free of charge to a trained counselor who wants to help you as best they can.

      A former intern of ours, Courtney, recently constructed a blog post that discusses the importance of a “Safety Plan” when we are feeling out of sorts and even experiencing thoughts of suicide. If you can take the time to read it, we think it will offer you some helpful options: https://twloha.com/blog/a-safety-plan/

      Your strength to continue provides us with inspiration and hope. Please continue. Please stay. We need you here.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
      1. nikki

        Thank you so much for replying. You have no idea how much that means to me. I will definitely check those out. I’m up for anything really. I just cant seem to get myself out of this dark hole. Thanks again for replying.
        Much love
        -Nikki

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  14. Summer Payne

    Thank you so much for writing this. I just turned 18 and didn’t see a point in life. But this has helped

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  15. Christi

    I read this blog and it gave me a sense of hope. I don’t believe in futures, only because I see myself dead in them. But people like you prove that things can really change. I’m 17 and waiting for something real to happen. Something that isn’t self medicating and temporary. And I don’t know if anything will get better, it just makes me happy that people like you are on this world, alive. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  16. Lea

    Reading this saved me today, hanks wouldn’t be enough to say.

    Reply  |  
  17. Lish

    I have no words for this. Your story is amazing and I am proud of you.

    Reply  |