How Logan Paul Encouraged Me To Share My Suicide Story

The beginning of the end was that night the moon didn’t show. My wife wept on the bed, trembling, chasing images out of her head, dreading the day on which I might take my life.

The beginning was years earlier.


If you don’t know who the guy is, you might be living under a rock somewhere or in a dark forest in some small-but-influential country, like, say, oh, I don’t know…Japan.

If that’s where you are, though, you might recognize Logan Paul. It was a dark forest in Japan in which the 22-year-old flipped like a coin from popular frat boy YouTuber to infamous insensitive jerk-face. He exploited a sorrowful destination known as Suicide Forest and slighted the body of a man who had taken his own life, all under the sick guise of entertainment.

It’s awful, really. And, if he didn’t know that before, at least he knows now.

On January 24, 2018, he posted a new video in which he is almost unrecognizable. The tone is somber, emotional, and sensitive–three descriptors he’s hardly earned in any of his previous 500 vlogs. I mean, come on, there’s a slow-motion clip of him petting his dog by a trickling stream. It seems a tad over the top. Still, all in all, the video is worthwhile.

Logan Paul did something awful–disgusting–but, the truth is the truth no matter the lips that say it, and whether you love him or hate him, his redemption video joins a vital conversation in a beneficial way. The message is of the highest importance to our society and represents the notion that there is light on the other side of darkness. Not only does Paul represent this for us in his own personal comeback, but he helps the viewer to see it can be true for others as well.

I was challenged most by this quote from the video:

“One of the things that is so important about reducing stigma is getting stories out there of people positively coping with suicide.”

My Suicide Story

Suicidal thoughts are a part of my story I’ve wanted to keep to myself. I’ve hinted towards the struggle on occasion, but I’ve only ever talked to a select few trusted individuals about the specifics. Even when writing Dadding Depressed, a platform on which I proclaim the importance of conversation and the reduction of mental health stigmatization, I’ve found myself concealing the darkest parts of me, not trusting a light may be on the other side of transparency. To go into that part of my story just seemed too…complicated…messy…uncomfortable…

In response to Logan Paul’s newest video, however, I want to take the opportunity to chip off a piece of stigma with my chisel of a story.

It started with an unhealthy intrigue for the eternal.

It grew with feeling overwhelmed.

It started small.

It was a whispering temptation, a dismal hypothetical, a maybe-someday threat to myself. In 2007, I hadn’t yet recognized my depression or anxiety; I just knew that many aspects of life were overwhelming to me, and the idea of keeping my energizer bunny going strong into my fifties seemed daunting. I got stuck in my head. I got stuck in my house. I got stuck in the past. I got stuck in the future, and, at times there seemed to be only one escape:

Suicide.

As my untreated mental health declined, and my depression and anxiety worsened, the whispering appeal got louder in my ear. I took to Google to start teasing suicide methods.

What would be most painless?

What would be quick? 

It was an idea I kept secret, tucked away in my arsenal of coping mechanisms as a hail mary. I wasn’t necessarily going to use it. But, I wasn’t necessarily not going to use it either. It was a tempting option that I kept open in case my world crumbled.

When I felt anxious about family or friends, I’d pull the idea out and stroke it. If I felt low, depressed, hopeless, I’d cling to it in the shadows of myself. At the times in which I felt like I was underwater, panicking for the surface, I would take that idea and breathe into it.

The notion itself became a comfort to me, a beloved piece of weaponry, my ring of Mordor, my precious.

The Beginning Of The End

The beginning of the end was that night the moon didn’t show. My wife wept on the bed, trembling, chasing images out of her head, dreading the day on which I might take my life.

We had been in an argument which was typical of that season in our marriage. My depression and anxiety were at an all-time low; I’d only just begun to address it. She was pregnant with our first.

The argument took a sharp turn when, through tears, she said, “Sometimes, I feel like you might hurt yourself.”

I didn’t respond.

I didn’t know how.

And, in that silence, I confirmed her worst fear.

We talked for a while more as I pulled out my precious coping mechanism from my secret arsenal and laid it on the bed as if to say, “Well, there it is.”

It was a hard night.

The darkest one yet.

But, I wasn’t alone, and there was light in the morning.

I don’t know how the next part of the story happened–maybe I wanted to wash off my shame. But, for whatever reason, I opted to take a shower.

In a mess of emotion, I let the water take over my body. My naked form was suspended in the shower as I commit myself to the holy baptismal, letting the water search my every crevasse. My arsenal was in the pile of clothes outside the shower door. The weight of depression sat there as well, wrinkled on the tile. My anxiety was a filthy Tshirt that should have been thrown out years ago.

In that moment, it was just me and the water as it trickled down like vines on my legs. If there were tears, they were washed away.

Tranquility.

And then, as if grace descended and beauty arose; as if a veil had been lifted; as if I had finally let myself be known; as if I’d laid down my weaponry for my wife, the shower door creaked open, and she stepped in.

We shared the most intimate and cherished moment of our marriage.


After that night, I took a few more large steps into recovery with newfound ambition. I talked with a counselor. I cried for a doctor. I sought help. I sought hope.

I’d be lying if I said that it’s not still a struggle for me on occasion, but it’s no longer every day, and it is not nearly as severe as it once was. I’m proof that there is a way out of misery and daily suicidal fantasies. I stand as evidence of the benefits of being honest and seeking help.

Since I let myself be known, I was able to rediscover hope. No matter how much of a comfort it seemed to me at the time, it had been a weight on my shoulders. The only one who could have lifted it was me, simply by opening up and sharing it.

There is light on the other side of darkness.

 


Take a minute to watch Logan Paul’s video. It contains healthy perspective for the suicidal and helpful tips for their supporters.


Suicide is preventable. Get free help now.

Text CONNECT to 741741 in the United States or go to National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

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