I watched a terrific programme last night The Stranger on The Bridge

This programme told the story of how in January 2014 Jonny Benjamin set out to find the man who 6 years before had talked him out of committing suicide on Waterloo Bridge.  Sadly one things is that this programme exposed my woeful lack of getting to grips with Twitter.  I’ve just never got it – I sometimes go on there and shout something profound, dumb, stupid, inane or all at once into the cyberspace ether and then wonder what on earth that is all about.  If I had been more clued in I’d probably have known more about this story already, like my daughter did, since it apparently was followed by over 300million folks worldwide.  That’s phenomenal!

If you can get to watch it I recommend you do.  This really resonated after my recent reflections on suicide.  … honesty time….  I used to often have thoughts of suicide in my drinking days, they were mild in that I never really did anything to progress them but I did regularly think that people and the world would be better off without me.  There was one time I did get closer.  In April 2004 I’d had the year of manic drinking where I’d continually tried to control it, cut back, stay stopped etc.  I found myself back drinking insanely again.  I left a pub with an intention to end it all.  I went to a cliff I knew that looked out over the channel.  Some weeks before someone had been killed there by jumping, falling, being pushed off.  So I went there knowing if you leapt over the aluminium railing I’d probably die.  I stood there but couldn’t do it – I wasn’t even strong enough to commit suicide I thought.  An elderly lady came passed walking some little yappy dog, a terrier of some type I think.  She remarked what a lovely day it was, which is was.  I smiled and said “Yes” and headed back to the car.  In my head I was thinking “Go away bitch I want to die here”…   I got in the car and drove off… to another bar and another drink.  Although that was only a few days/weeks before I stopped.  Now I can’t claim this lady stopped me as I hadn’t had the courage to do it already but her speaking to me did at least snap me out of it as it were.

Since stopping drinking and all the work on myself that I’ve done as part of my recovery I rarely have any thoughts about suicide – I can’t say I never have them as every now and then it may flicker across the screen in my head but I really don’t entertain it at all.   I suppose what all this is about for me is realising that 11 years ago I could have been one of those men in his 40s who did just take his life one day.  If say I had walked straight to that cliff and jumped straight away rather than thinking about it.  As the stranger on the bridge said to Jonny “Your life can get better”… mine did

About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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9 Responses to #findmike

  1. Bea says:

    I watched it too. What a touching and humbling film. And I’m so very glad that you found your better days.

  2. My barometer for how old I am is that I don’t understand anything about twitter and, worst of all, have no curiosity about it. None. Ready for the grave.

    Sad and a little funny that you thought it’d take inner strength to commit suicide and that you lacked the fortitude to do it. Thank God for your weakness.

  3. SoberMom says:

    I’ve never been more glad that I share the planet with old ladies and yappy dogs.


  4. ainsobriety says:

    An angel crossed your path.

  5. elsieamata says:

    I absolutely believe life can get better. Mine did too. I have a friend who committed suicide and it angered me terribly until I came to grips that I had no idea what he was going through in his battle with BPD. Okay, I’m still angry he did it. But, I’ve let it go. If that makes sense. Hubby had thoughts of suicide after his diagnosis. Same as you, an odd thing stopped him. But, the thought remained on and off for months. I’m glad that lady was walking her dogs that night.

  6. Lily says:

    ainsobriety echoed my exact thoughts.
    I have attempted suicide three times in my life, after the drinking, drugs and eating disorders became too much. The thought that it takes strength to do so, I now realise is a false one. The real strength lies in continuing to live through and to survive your struggles. Having recently read through your blog, I for one am glad that you’re still with us.

  7. Untipsyteacher says:

    I too, don’t get Twitter, and I am smart!
    I too, thought of suicide when I was drinking.
    I am very glad you are still here, too!

  8. liz says:

    I meant to watch that but – I don’t know, didn’t!

    So glad you lacked courage.

  9. daisyfae says:

    i’ve been fortunate – at least so far – that i’ve never seriously considered suicide. well, if you don’t count that teenaged angsty phase where i fantasized about how much they’d all miss me when i did it… i was never really thinking about it. Having been touched by it fairly recently, the well-planned suicide of a close friend, who gave no clues, i am more sensitive to it than i used to be… i’ve been trying to learn more about intervention, and prevention. will try to find the documentary…

    As for Twitter? i already waste too much time on facebook, and am not inclined to add another timewaster to my arsenal!

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