Learning from a suicide

EVER since Leslie Cheung committed suicide, I noticed there have been articles and letters on depression and suicide attempts. I read with interest the article “I tried to kill myself three times” (StarEducation, April 20). 

I, too, used to have suicidal thoughts, since I was in Year Six and facing the UPSR exam. 

My second attempt was in Form Five. I did the same thing – cut any wrist. I had done badly in the exam and Mum was against my relationship with my first boyfriend. I failed to kill myself when Mum broke open the lock to my room and found me in a pool of blood.  

Today, I’m undergoing training to be a counsellor to those with suicidal tendencies. After three years of pursuing this course, I was suspended for six months for breaking college rules. I thought that was the end of me. As I did badly in my SPM, I was very lucky to have had a sponsor to take up this course.  

I was totally depressed, suffered from insomnia, couldn’t eat or concentrate. I thought of ending my life but my single mum came to mind.  

Who’s going to take care of her if I’m gone? Can she take it? I’m her only child.  

She is the only reason I couldn’t give up on life. So now, I’m back in the course and hope to finish it without any problems.  

If I complete the course, I may be able to help others like me and this friend of mine who committed suicide after telling me his problems over the phone the night before he died. 

He was 15 years my senior and I treated him like brother. He had relationship and financial problems. He had broken off with his girlfriend of five years but just could not forget her even though it had been two years. And his business went bankrupt.  

One night, I received his call at 12.30am. He asked if I knew of Leslie’s death a few days ago. He told me again his problems and said he wanted to commit suicide after our conversation.  

It freaked me out. He was drunk that night and he told me exactly how he wanted to commit suicide. He said he wanted me to be the last person to listen to him. I urged him not to do anything stupid and after hours on the phone, he eventually hung up with a “bye”. I couldn’t do anything but pray hard that nothing would happen to him.  

Early next morning, when I came to know about his death, I broke down in tears. He was gone. I failed to help and seek help for him! Emotionally, I became very down, couldn’t sleep or eat, and lost weight terribly.  

I can only imagine how much he must have suffered that night; how he felt before he committed suicide, and the painful process of doing so.  

I just want to urge everyone to be sensitive to the signs and symptoms of depression. Don’t take the indicators lightly.  

Do something even before they start thinking seriously about suicide. If you think they need medical attention, please seek help on their behalf earlier.  

To all who harbour thoughts of suicide, please remember that there’s someone out there who still cares for you. I may not be the right person to suggest any solutions but if we can just think more positively, I believe we can stop this dangerous trend. 




Klang Valley 

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