Your soul

I Actually Had No Idea My Friend Was Suicidal

By January 17, 2016 1

Early this month, our blogger Shauni stated boldly in her article that she refused to accept “I had no idea” as a response to someone’s suicide.

The article was courageous and her points were strong, but I completely disagree.

Because about two months ago, one of my closest friends told me she was depressed and suicidal and I legitimately had no idea.

Just the night before we were dancing to some corny but addictive Justin Bieber song and hysterically laughing about how the guy at Starbucks spelled her name so incorrectly that it couldn’t even be pronounced. And then, less then 24 hours later, she sat telling me that she doesn’t have the will to live any longer.

I hugged her and fought back tears, my mind racing to find something, anything to say. How could this person, my best friend, want to die and I didn’t even notice? Am I a horrible human being for not seeing the emptiness in her eyes?

I tried to think back and pinpoint any moment where she might have shown any sign of her pain. I started thinking to myself, “Oh, well she did seem a little sad on that night” and “Well, she did say that one thing that one time.” But I soon realized I was trying to compensate for my oversight. I didn’t know she was suicidal, plain and simple. When she was around me, she acted completely like herself. I couldn’t even tell you when she started becoming depressed; I never noticed a change in her behavior because there wasn’t one.

In my eyes, she was the same fun-loving girl she had always been.

This girl has, on paper, a seemingly perfect life. She’s nothing less than a genius from a well-off family and has a new BMW and a super cute boyfriend. She is well-spoken and funny. She’s radiant, honestly. She lights up a whole room with her smile. A smile, I must mention, I never noticed missing from her face. So yeah, her suicide would come as a shock to anyone who knew her, even the people who knew her the best.

Suicide is an infinitely personal experience, so how can anyone, even a loved one, know when someone is suicidal? Depression is internal. Sure it may reveal itself externally at times, but the scariest thing about depression is it’s ability to conceal itself from the eyes of others.

You said it yourself Shauni, depression is completely unpredictable. And if the sufferer from it has no idea what’s coming, how is anyone (even their closest most trusted inner circle) supposed to know?

All we can do is hope, like in my situation, that the sufferer comes forward and talks about what they’re going through. It is only then that we are given the oppprtunity to pay  them extra attention, and help to alleviate them in any way that we possibly can from their hurt and pain.


  • Judie

    Beautifully insightful!