I have battled Bipolar I for about 6 years now. I have had too many hospitalizations and three suicide attempts (two which landed me in the ICU), but have been *relatively* stable for 4 months now. And last week, after keeping my best friend on the phone until she reached her therapist's office after she expressed suicidal intent after her boyfriend left her, she left her therapist's office after confirming suicidal ideation there and immediately committed suicide. I last spoke to her approximately 1.5 hours before her death. And I've been completely obliterated emotionally in the wake of her death. But I have also experience something I had never really cared about before with my previous suicide attempts; the aftermath. Her death has completely crushed me and altered the trajectory of my life. My family has been terrified that I would follow suit, based on my history. But the strangest thing has happened; even though I am experiencing suicidal thoughts, I absolutely no longer can permit myself to move on to the planning stage o my death. Why? Because now I am feeling a lesser version of what my husband, children, family, and my very few friends would. And it's pure agony. It's now tangeable. And I can't believe the lie I have believed for years...that everyone would be better off without me. Because whether or not I chose to believe it, I have some people whose wagon is hitched to my horse, even if is only on a basic level such as providing childcare or contributing financially. But aside from those, now I have experienced the emotional blow suicide causes even if you only rely on that person for friendship, nothing physical or financial. And it's excruciating!!! I'm saddened for my friend's anguish, I'm lonely, I am devastated by not having her contribution in my life, and I'm supremely angry at her for deciding that her boyfriend's love was the only love that mattered...not mine, not her parents', not her other friends. She was 34. She had no spouse, no children to leave behind. I'm thinking she thought her death wouldn't reek as much havoc as it has. She had spoken of as much during tough times before. But I now fully understand how it was a complete lie. I didn't understand before as I do now since I am suffering through her suicide...but I now know that people who we view in our periphery would be impacted severly. Not to mention the people who raised us, the people we are raising, and the people who know us or love us, no matter how unlovable we feel. So suicide is now off the table for me, because the point of my previous suicide attempts was never to hurt others (I just *knew* that even if they cared, they would be better off without me)...it was to stop my pain. And even though right now I am desperate to end my pain, I am in this weird position where I realize I can't end it that way. There would be too much collateral damage, too many people would hurt and have their lives permanently altered, even if I have my doubts whether they really love me. The risk isn't worth it. I can no longer say they would be better off, because they wouldn't be...not if their pain would even be a fraction of what I am experiencing with my friend's loss. I know this has gone long, and thank you for hanging in there. I guess my point is that because of this first hand experience, today I chose life.