The following is by Corinne (Metzger) Johnson, a Delphos Jefferson graduate who might have been a statistic but she found a way to “live.”

My Suicide Letter

6 years ago, I was in a very dark place. “Alone” was the only word or feeling to which I could relate. I was rejected by many and loved by few. I looked for “love” (now I understand I was never actually looking for love, but seeking acceptance) from boys who only wanted one thing. I sacrificed all of my dignity to try to win the approval of others. Drugs, sex, lies, you name it. I just wanted “love.” Simply put, I wanted to feel wanted and maybe even needed. To expect that from another human who is searching for the same thing is absurd.

So of course, Disappointment was a frequent visitor in my heart and mind. Following close behind Disappointment were his brothers, Worthlessness, Desperation and Hopelessness. Eventually, they got together and wrote a letter to the public but signed my name instead of theirs.

To whom it may concern:

It has taken me six hours to even write down the first words on this paper. Every word seems pointless. The thoughts consuming my mind have officially won; I can’t continue to fight. I hear the judgments of those around me, I hear the lies they spread about me, I hear the echoing shout of my own anguish from within. There is this emptiness I can’t seem to fill and I am certain that I never will. I can’t go on like this, pretending my life is fine. I love you. This was not your fault. I just give up.

Corinne

^

I probably would have written something along those lines back in 2011 in the midst of suicidal thoughts and self-harming. I did find freedom from my prison eventually…but what if I hadn’t? What if I had really written those words and taken my life shortly after?

I am discovered:

I would eventually be found hanging lifeless in our little house on Cass Street in Delphos. Who would have found me? My little brother… 2 at the time? Ah, yes…Sister of the Year award goes to me for scarring my baby brother for the rest of his life. Or what if my mom found me? The woman who struggles with her own depression and anxiety all alone. Maybe my older brother and my best friend, Tyler…instantly initiating blame and guilt for the next 60 years.

Next, the obituary comes out:

Corinne Ellen Metzger, 16, of Delphos passed away on Jan. 17, 2011, at her home.

She was born on Feb. 7, 1995, to Dale and Teresa Metzger, who survive in Delphos. She is also survived by her two brothers, Tyler and Eli; and her maternal grandparents, Joe and Rachel Schmersal.

Corinne was active in sports and extra curricular activities at Delphos Jefferson. She played soccer, ran track, was on the student council and more. She was outspoken, passionate and outgoing.

Flowers and donations can be sent to Harter and Schier Funeral Home.

Not long after, all of Delphos hears of the news and the Facebook posts begin…

“Oh my gosh, Corinne…we used to be so close. I would do anything to hang out with you one more time.”

“Prayers to the Metzger family…I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Heaven gained a beautiful angel today.”

“Wow…I don’t know what to say. We played soccer together…”

“Can’t believe you’re gone, Corinne…fly high.”

“This is crazy…I just saw you yesterday. I had no idea what you were going through. If I only knew…”

And so on…I’m sure a lot of these posts are genuine, heartfelt and sincere. But some are just following along with the latest trend of the town. Regardless, I’m dead. I can’t read them. So besides sparking distant memories in my family and old friends, what have I accomplished? I ended the pain!

Wrong.

All I have done by ending my life was transfer my personal pain to those who loved me. Now knocks on the doors of my family’s hearts begin from the same visitors I once had before: Disappointment, Worthlessness, Desperation, and Hopelessness. Unfortunately for my family and friends, the brothers have brought their father, Guilt.

For the rest of their lives, they will now struggle with forgiving themselves, forgiving God and forgiving “me” for taking such a precious part of their life away.

Acting on temporary pain I feel today, will only lead to a lifetime of pain for my family tomorrow.

My goal is not to point fingers at those who choose to commit suicide. Their thoughts and emotions are absolutely legitimate.

— They are real.

— They are ruthless.

— They are relentless.

I cannot deny that. But I hope you know that taking your own life will not put an end to the pain. In fact, it will do much worse than that; by tomorrow, it will multiply the pain you are feeling today.

My immediate desire is for every single person to know the captivating love and tenderness of our Father. To truly experience for themselves the ability He has to comfort during times of despair, acceptance during times of wandering, and love during times of isolation. I have felt His indescribable presence myself, many times. He was the only true path to freedom for me when I finally realized nothing else would work in 2012.

“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.” Psalm 40:2

However, I know not everyone is in a position where they can accept a truth and solution like Jesus. Oh how I wish everyone could, but I know it is not realistic. With that being said, let me offer to you what my heart longs for in this world: compassion (which only comes from the one true solution, anyways…Jesus.)

To anyone who has ever felt the slightest sense of depression or suicidal thoughts, I know you will agree with me. We all just need authentic compassion. We need someone who can look us in the eyes and say, “Something is bothering you. Please, tell me. I want to listen.”

More so, we need someone who can see our pain, recognize it’s unsolvable, and decide to silently stand by us. We don’t need any fruitless statements like, “Tomorrow is a new day.” or “Everything will be okay!” We just need another human being sitting next to us, maybe even hugging us, just being present. Words can’t solve our thoughts. Most of the time, we can’t even hear the mixture of awkward and unrealistic solutions you have to share with us. All we can hear is the numbing sound of hopelessness echoing in our empty skull.

What I’m saying is, be committed to the long and excruciating process of vicariously experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts.

— Listen if we decide to share.

— Don’t attempt to solve our problems.

— Know when to make a decision for us (reaching out for professional help).

— Stick by our sides even when we are “boring” and don’t want to do ANYthing.

— Don’t get frustrated with us when we don’t respond well to your “solutions.”

— Don’t blame yourself.

Hopelessness does not only affect the person who is fighting for their personal victory. The effects spread like a plague over not just family and friends, but the community as well. It is with great sorrow I tell you today, that this state of mind is now an epidemic. In the past 10 months, our community lost five precious lives to suicide:

• Logan Hamilton

• Cheyenne Klaus

• Matt Buettner

• Tristan Leach

• Trent Closson

Each individual left behind friends, family and coworkers. Furthermore, they left behind unreached potential, undiscovered passions and untouched lives.

My deepest sympathies go to the families that lost a loved one to suicide. It was not your fault. There was nothing else you could have done. Unfortunately, Hopelessness won.

There is help for everyone. Whether you are struggling to win the battle or you are fighting alongside someone; there is help. Do what you can, one day at a time for those around you and never stop fighting.