Sean O’Haire was a 43 year old former professional wrestler who killed himself a couple of weeks ago. You probably hadn’t heard of him, and this didn’t make the national news, because he wasn’t a really big name. But I remember watching the night back in 2000 that he debuted in WCW as part of tag-team and won his first match. I instantly thought he had the look and the skills to be a big star, but even after WCW folded and was bought out by WWF less than a year later, he just never caught on with the audience, and in 2003 he was fired from the organization and I didn’t follow what he did afterward. Who knows if perhaps his lack of success is what eventually lead to his suicide? But whatever the reason, it’s a shame. This naturally reminds me of the recent death of Robin Williams, also by suicide. That really seemed like a horrible tragedy, considering that this is a man who spent decades bringing joy and laughter to millions of people around the world but couldn’t find that joy within himself.
I generally don’t talk about my personal life here, but I feel like I just need to share this. There have been two dark periods in my life, once as a teenager and then years later as an adult, where I found myself consumed with suicidal thoughts. This is a reason why I’m somewhat conflicted about the issue of private gun ownership because if I’d had easy access to a handgun during either of those times I’m not entirely sure that I would be alive today. Thankfully, no matter how depressed I got I’m still a bit of wuss, so I would look for a way to kill myself the fastest and least painful way possible. Hanging myself or slitting my wrists is out of the question. But if I could have just grabbed a gun, put it to my head and pulled the trigger, well, I may have done something rash before I could change my mind and snap out of my mental state, the way I eventually did.
I sometimes see people react to someone’s suicide with anger. They accuse the person of wanting attention, or of being selfish for not thinking about the people they leave behind. Well, I can tell you from my personal experience that I wasn’t trying to get attention. As for thinking of others, no I wasn’t really concerned with that at the time, but I wouldn’t consider that selfish. The thing is, when you’re in that mental state, you’re full of such intense self-loathing that you actually think that your loved ones will be better off without you. You almost think that you’re being self-less, by removing yourself from the world. But most importantly you just want your suffering to end.
In my opinion, we don’t do enough to confront the issue of depression or mental illness in this society. And it’s very hard for people, especially men, to ask for help when they’re feeling down. They don’t want to be looked on as “weak”. You should be able to just “snap out of it.” Although I was eventually able to do so on my own, others with more intense problems aren’t always so lucky.
So, please, if you’re ever feeling this way, don’t give up. Suicide is NOT the answer. Things WILL get better. Don’t be afraid to seek help, whether it’s via a professional, a doctor, or just a friend or family member that you trust. I know that sometimes just having someone to talk to can help a great deal. If you don’t have someone like that in your life, consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Help is out there.
I’ll close this with a song that always manages to cheer me up when I’m down…