Nic Sheff: 'Suicide is not a relief. It's a screaming, agonizing horror.'

In my last post, I warned those who may be depressed or considering suicide that Netflix's 13 Reasons Why could be a trigger.

But, to those same people. I DO recommend reading about the experiences of  Nic Sheff, one of the show's writers. Unlike 13 Reasons Why's main character Hannah Baker, Sheff attempted to take his life...and then changed his mind. And I think his life is more inspiring and can save more lives than the show can.

In his teens and early 20s, Sheff was addicted to heroin and meth. He suffered from bipolar disorder and depression. And he didn't believe the slogan that every suicide awareness activist has probably used at least once - that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. To Sheff, his problem didn't seem "temporary."

In an OpEd in Vanity Fair, Sheff describes his suicide attempt - saying that he went into his bathroom, emptied all of his pill bottles, and started chasing the medicine with whiskey. And then he stopped...because he remembered a woman who tried to kill herself in the same way as he was.

"I’d met her in the first rehab I ever checked into. Though she was in her 30s, her speech was slurred, her arm was in a full cast, her body was sick and bent, and she could walk only with a cane," Sheff told Vanity Fair.

Doesn't sound like something that would happen to someone who tried to overdose on pills, does it?

But suicide, no matter the method, is grotesque. It is messy. It can't be wrapped in a little box. It has consequences.

"Suicide is not a relief at all—it’s a screaming, agonizing horror."

Sheff went on to explain: "Her plan was to drift off peacefully into an eternal sleep, taking copious pills and drinking copious amounts of wine. ... Then her body reacted. Involuntarily, she sat up and began projectile vomiting blood and stomach fluid."

"In a total blackout, she ran headlong toward the bathroom, but instead smashed face first into the sliding glass door, shattering the glass, breaking her arm, pulverizing her face ... She was bleeding internally, but she would live."

Sheff told Vanity Fair that the story this woman told him saved his life, and, upon remembering, he immediately flushed the rest of the pills and made himself throw up.

"It was an instant reminder that suicide is never peaceful and painless, but instead an excruciating, violent end to all hopes and dreams and possibilities for the future," he said.

"It stopped me just long enough to remember my dog in the other room—and to remember that if I can just hold on, and not give up, eventually, one day, it does get better. Every time."

And it did get better. Now, at age 34, Sheff isn't only credited to a hit Netflix show, but he is also a New York Times best selling author and lives in Beverly Hills, Calif. with his wife of six years.

So easily, all of that could have never happened.

"That’s the cool thing about life: if you don’t give up, if you keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, you never know what’s going to happen next."

Read his entire "Vanity Fair" article here.

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