In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, which was yesterday, here’s an excerpt from a friend of mine Quest Sims’ memoir “I’m Naked And Tired”. Its a book he wrote recently which detail his life and struggles and its available for free at the link below…
Remember every 49 Seconds someone in this world commits suicide. Just because they’re smiling doesn’t mean everything is okay.
SMILES ARE THE WORST CURVES
….. Ever been on one of those road trips. The kind you take in your 20’s with your friends to one of those things that you have to see, on that back road from Duval County down to Miami for the Super Bowl, or out to Memphis from Charlotte just to visit. Along the drive you get off of the interstate to go to the gas station and you have to take one of those old country roads to get you back to the interstate. The road seems fine enough, yeah it’s late and you been driving for 5 hours already hopped up on sugar and energy drinks. And there you see it, that weird curve with that sign “dangerous curve ahead use caution”. Yeah you’ve seen that before some idiot planner’s hair brained idea to preserve a tree, but there it is anyway that phrase “dangerous curve ahead”. If only life had points when we could write something down and file it away under “May mean something else later”. You never think that a smile could be one of the most heinously deceptive gestures or statements anyone could make. You think that a smile is always a sign of happiness and celebration. But that smile may be hiding the truth. So often you see us smiling and you think that we are enjoying the moment. My smile is the most dangerous curve not because of its sharp grade, but no it’s so dangerous because it conceals the river of emotions I have running thru me at that moment. It’s that moment when the last thing I need is another drink. What I probably need is a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear. What may work better is a stern lecture on how I need to take things more seriously. But all you see is the smile, so in that you calculate that hmm…drink will equal bigger smile. And yes my smile does grow, but that’s because that drink has broken another levee on this already rising river of emotion coursing thru me. Just because you see me smiling doesn’t mean I’m happy. Maybe I can’t tell you how fucked up I really am inside how inside me must be what a graveyard feels like because everything is really dead. Maybe I’m smiling because I know at the bottom of this shot glass or the bottom of this bottle I will find enough solace to make it thru one more night in this maddening race I’m running inside. And I smile because I know this. So I turn the bottle to the sky hoping to reach that place at break neck speed. Maybe this smile is covering an embarrassment. Maybe across the room I see someone who knows full well the state of my affairs and I put the smile on hoping it will lull them into some complacent state and not remind me of that thing that I’m running from. Maybe this smile will conceal what’s really wrong for one more day, just one more night to try to come up with some hair-brained scheme to fix everything. This smile this curve might be a damn, physically holding back this wave of hurt and pain that’s inside. I can’t make any other face, because for some unexplained scientific reason the curve of my smile is the only thing holding back all the pain and I’m too proud to do anything else. If I showed my true face then I’d probably be able to get the help I probably need or at least someone would say “That’s enough” but I am protected from that reality, the same way that ridiculous as curve and guardrail protected that old withering oak tree this smile is my own dangerous curve.”
Take time today to just check in and let those close to you know your shoulder is available to lean on. And if it’s you who’s in pain behind the smile don’t be ashamed to ask for help. There is always someone to talk to at the National Suicide Prevention hotline. 1-800-273 -8255
You can find the book “I’m Naked And Tired” in it’s entirety here: www.sendspace.com/file/ucpebr
And for more from Quest follow him at: