Saying Goodbye to One of Our Own: A Bipolar Suicide

I am hurting from a very recent death of a friend. A fellow bipolar sufferer. He committed suicide over the weekend. The details do not matter. What matters is that he was a wonderful human being who was plagued with something he could not control.

Going Up In Smoke by Ashley Mackenzie

Some time ago my friend came to me, asking about bipolar disorder. He opened up to me that he was recently diagnosed, and part of him had always known there was something wrong. I gave some insight and told him about my own experiences. He also told me about his issue with rage, something many of us have to endure. He told me about how amazing his wife was with everything, and how she was his rock. He also had two young children. I suggested Julie Fast’s book Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder, which he was looking forward to purchasing for his wife. I am unsure if he ever went on medication. I know he expressed interest in the option.

Out of respect for my friend, I will only say that apparently there was a domestic issue between he and his wife. I can only imagine that he was fueled up and didn’t know how to deescalate. I did a year of anger management and I absolutely cherish the coping skills that became engrained in me, that taught me to bring it down ten notches and be able to produce clear thoughts. From my understanding, he felt so guilty about this incident, that he resolved to using a firearm in order to take his own life.

Friends were, and still are, shocked. Everyone is overcome with sadness. We all feel so much for his wife and children. My friend was a smart, funny, all around good guy. He was just in a state of mind where many of us have been before. Who’s to say if he was actually suicidal prior to the incident. Only he would know for sure. Just like only his wife would know for sure what really happened. All I do know is that many of us miss him and will be grieving this tremendous loss.

On another note, I know I’ve mentioned my triggers several times. One of my biggest triggers is when someone my age (25-35) loses their life at their own free will. I struggle with suicidal ideation and suicidal plans, and even a few suicide attempts throughout the years. Being around suicide or overdoses that result in death, tends to plant these thoughts back into my head. At this point I am uncertain if I will be attending his funeral service this upcoming weekend. I feel guilty about this. However I am currently in what I call remission from my suicidal mindset. I am at a pretty stable point right now and I’m afraid to compromise my mental health, especially for the sake of my own family.

Thank you all for listening.

Photo: ‘Going Up In Smoke’ by Ashley Mackenzie

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