Have you ever stared straight into the barrel of a gun and wanted to shoot it straight into your head?
But my brother has.
I had to talk him down from committing suicide on Wednesday.
I’m still processing it.
It was over the phone.
He had gotten into an argument with my mother and both called me separately, crying.
My mom had talked to my sisters, so by the time I got back to her, she was okay.
My brother, on the other hand, was on the verge of a breakdown.
He was sobbing and in the midst of his sobs, he told me he had a loaded gun in his hands.
He kept crying, “I want to do it. I will do it. I want to do it so badly.”
He told me how he held it to his head.
I went into crisis therapist mode, which seems to be my specialty.
I listened and validated him.
I kept repeating to him that he is not alone, that I was there, with him.
I told him to imagine I was there, holding his hand.
I told him I loved him.
I told him other things, things I don’t remember because I was trying desperately to deescalate him.
I asked him where the gun was.
He said he was holding it.
I asked him if he could put it somewhere else.
He said he couldn’t.
I said, “That’s okay. We’ll just keep talking until you feel comfortable moving it.”
So we talked.
More like he cried and vented while I listened and said things like, “It sounds like you are very overwhelmed.”
Eventually he started to calm down and he told me he dislodged it.
Then his girlfriend called and he promised to call me right back.
I waited an hour and called and texted him until he answered.
He was still tearful, but no longer contemplating suicide.
I was able to help him gain some perspective that things are not hopeless and can get better.
He told me he loved me and that he was glad he had a sister like me.
I’ve followed up with him since, and he’s stable for now.
I intend to keep following up with him consistently.
I haven’t told anyone this happened except for Mr. Artist.
I can’t tell my family, they will make it seem like he just wanted attention and probably drive him to the edge.
I haven’t told my friends because I’m not sure I’m ready to process it in all it’s complexity.
I think part of me is numb in trying to protect myself of the gravity of what happened.
I’m only now realizing how scared and helpless I felt.
Sometimes I feel so heavy.
I’m doing the best I can.
Doing lots of praying.