How many of us think of suicide? The answer is too many. I would not be telling the truth if I said I was not part of any statistic you threw out there. I have not gone that next step and tried it, but when I was younger and trying to deal with everything, the thoughts were there, too many thoughts were there.
Life is different now and those type of thoughts no longer exist for me, but getting over that hurdle can be a tough action. Some of us actually try to commit suicide while others are able to squash those thoughts. I remember I had to get past these thoughts on my own since. My two closest friends had dealt with losing someone to suicide before and if the topic came up in a movie or show or in the news, I would see them physically get uncomfortable and become reserved for a while. It was hard since these were my two best friends, but they were closed off about and too close to the topic I needed to talk about. I could not go there for advice, a shoulder, anything.
I am grateful that I did make it through that stage, but it was difficult. I do wish there were more stories like this next one out there when I was going through tough times. Nick Bogar, a triathlete and president of the Boise State men’s club volleyball team. recently shared his story in outsports.com.
I am so incredibly happy to be an out and proud gay man at Boise State University. Just a few short years ago in high school I could never have imagined my life being where it is today, a triathlete and president of the men’s volleyball club team at the school.
Yet this time of year always brings mixed emotions for me. It was around Halloween of my sophomore year in high school that I had my first suicide attempt.
I had been struggling with being gay, knowing deep down it was who I was but rejecting it like so many other teenagers. I just wanted to “fit in,” be normal, and lay low so I didn’t give people the opportunity to talk. I had girlfriends here in there, but I was always putting on an act.
Back then, coming out in middle school and high school was like jumping in a pool full of great whites. You were the laughing stock of the school and within five minutes, people from multiple schools would know.
No matter what, I had “rumors” go around that I was gay. When that happened, I was hit by a huge depression wave. No matter what I did, I couldn’t be happy with myself or anything else. I still was sickened by the fact that I wasn’t “normal”. The depression grew to where I did have thoughts of suicide and the “the world would be a better place without me in it” type of thinking.
Getting home after one of our high school football games, I felt particularly alone. My parents were going through a pretty bad divorce, which added to my stress. I sat down after getting home and my brain was running a million miles an hour with different thoughts and worries. It spun out of control. I needed to get out of this misery.
I went to the cabinet and grabbed different pills from different bottles. I downed them all at once. Then I went downstairs and found a rope to hang myself. As I was getting the rope, I grabbed it, dropped to my knees and cried so hard that I couldn’t breathe for a moment, my sight distorted by tears. I just thought of how my family would feel if I actually did go through this.
Those thoughts of my family saved me that night. I went back upstairs, calmed down, and went to bed and woke up trying to accept the fact that I am who I am and I can’t control certain things.
Months later my dad and I got into a huge fight over the divorce, and I went back downhill from there. Nothing could cheer me up. I started down the same self-destructive path, this time actually putting the rope around my neck. Again it was thoughts of my family – visions of my mom – that saved me. As I walked back to my room I decided this could not become a cycle or one day it would go to far. I had to somehow learn to love myself.
Shortly after I found the right moment to talk to a friend. We were talking about our fears, and I told her everything that had happened over the few months and that I did try to end my life. I asked her to not say anything, and she agreed.
Thankfully she broke that agreement and went to our school’s SRO officer. I was sitting in class when he walked in and asked my teacher if he could see me. Right when he and I were leaving, the principal came on the intercom and asked the teachers to pull up the email she just sent and read it to all the students: The email was about suicide prevention and what you should do if you are ever feeling down and need someone to talk to.
It was then that I finally believed people cared, and they cared about me. – outsports.com
Head over to outsports.com for the remainder of Nick's story that needs to be shared.
For some of us that don't have that friend to talk to about this, there is assistance, hope, an ear. Reading stories like this does help, but if a real person is needed to chat with, there's that, too.
If you are LGBT and considering suicide, The Trevor Project is there to help, and they can help anonymously. You can visit their Web site or call their hotline at 866-488-7386.
Thanks again Nick. And thanks again outsports.com for being such a great resource for our community.
My goal in life now is to be that shoulder or ear someone needs when they are trying to find themselves. I want to let people know that they are not alone, and they don’t need to be in a rush to come out. It is your life, not anyone else’s, so don’t let anyone rush you.
Now that I am finally out, I have never been happier, more free, or more thankful for the different opportunities that come my way or that will come my way.
But the best part about me is that I am different and I accept that. I am gay. – Nick Bogar