This piece discusses a suicide attempt’s immediate aftermath. While there is no description of self-harm, those who are easily triggered by discussion of such subjects may want to skip this one and remember how much you are loved.

Those were the exact words that they said to me when I came into the hospital after I tried to kill myself the first time .

That’s what they said to me when they saw what I looked like, when they heard from the EMT what I had done to myself, and when they talked to my mourned after the fact as she rushed to see if I was alive or dead.

I’m not saying the words were particularly hurtful, I’m not saying they were insensitive or even wrong. What I’m saying is that the entirety of my life up to that point, all nine years of it, were encapsulated into a single word, and nothing else.

I hadn’t written my first poem yet, I hadn’t kissed a girl yet, I had never been to a school where you switched classrooms during day instead of sitting in the same one. I still thought cartoons were the best thing in the entire world, and my sister, my brother, and I still loved one another as much as innocent children can.

That was 29 years ago today. It was almost three decades ago when a single word summed up everything that I had never been yet. Where a single word was all that was said for life that nearly snuffed itself out so long before it ever had the chance to begin. I am not proud of myself for what I did that morning, nor am I particularly ashamed of it. It was an event that fundamentally shaped the man who I was to become. It was the reason that I will never look at The Flintstones the same way, the reason I wear a beard on my face like a suit of armor, and the reason I almost always get angry when somebody doesn’t call me Bear, instead of my name.

So, on this day, I would ask a favor from each and every one of you if it is not too much to ask. A simple thing that requires absolutely no effort. A phone call doesn’t need to be made, you don’t need to pray for anybody, you don’t have to send a text, reply to a message, send an email, or light a candle.

All I would ask, no that is not enough. All I would beg of all of you, is to think of more than one word to describe the entirety of your existence.

I know that some of you can’t find good ones now and that’s okay. I know that some of you won’t find bad ones, and that’s okay as well. No matter what, when you look at the absolute eternity of universes and experiences that are you, the infinite lottery that you won to become you, I beg you…

Don’t be harsh.

You may notice the category of this piece, “Dictates”, this simply means I dictated this into my phone and posted it here at a later time the same day.

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