My Greatest Failure

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by Dante, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. Dante

    Dante Well-Known Member

    About 7 years ago now, I was living at university with 11 other people in the most soulless hall of accommodation I have ever imagined, this was just as my depression was starting for the first time, before I really understood what it was.

    In this flat was a girl, she was dealing with a whole hell of a lot herself. I did what I could to keep her happy and keep her going, I chatted to her, watched TV with her, tried to let her know that there was a support net. I know I have a rather strong saviour complex, but it has never sat right with me to leave someone to crash and burn if you have the resources to help, sure there is a point I draw the line, but that's a whole different story.

    Anyway, one day paramedics appear at the flat, it turns out someone had put them onto the fact that she had decided to kill herself. Unfortunately, she wasn't in her room, she wasn't anywhere, so they left, to them, this was over, but she was my friend, so I phoned her friend, got the story, then phoned her and to my delight she answered, but to my horror she had already carried out her plan, she had time, her method wasn't quick, but left to it, she would die, so now came the test: Can I save her?

    The information I had so far was the specific method of suicide, and where, roughly, she was, I also knew she was serious because people who aren't serious don't do such a thorough job of it. She was somewhere in the capital city, a full 3 hours away from me, there was no point trying to find her, even if I could locate her in a city THAT size without her help I would never get there in time, I also didn't know anyone who lived closer, the only choice was to convince her to save herself.

    You can probably guess from the thread title that she didnt perk up and say "Sure Dante, I will just hop off down to the hospital now". After the first time she hung up on me she answered the phone again rather quickly, but the more this happened, the more times I had to ring before she answered, until she stopped altogether.

    By this point I knew she had found an out of the way place and didn't have long left, and would not answer her phone again.

    Game Over.

    I got myself a drink, sat in front of my TV and watched something. I dont remember if it was a film or a tv series or in fact anything about it, I just sat there, watched the television and then got up and went to bed where I slept until the next morning. I had no trouble getting to sleep.

    The next morning I found out that she had been found by pure luck. Someone had stumbled into an alley and found her lying unconscious and got her help in time to save her life, a couple days later she turned up at the flat again and I helped her cover with the others for her absence. She thanked me for my efforts, and for not telling anyone, but inside all I could think was how little I felt about all of it, how I had just watched TV, how I had failed to save her when she needed me, when her very life depended on it, and how I had slept so soundly without even a bad dream.

    I know she is still alive, in fact she is happy now with a kid and a guy who loves her, she tried to stay in touch at first, but I have never and will never forgive myself for my failure and hanging around her was too strong of a reminder. Luck is no excuse, people live and people die, but when a person's life relies on you and you fail, no other knight in shining armour will salvage your disgrace. Yes she was found, and yes she is alive, but since that day I have counted her life against mine. This was not a win, if it were on my shoulders alone she would be dead, and even though it does nothing to relieve my sense of responsibility, I know that logically I am not to blame, but even logic cannot save me from how I reacted, how calmly I watched TV, how unconcerned I was when I went to sleep, and just how long it took me to think of her the next morning.

    I am not looking for anything, no consolation, no convincing that I am blameless, I know the facts of the case and my own principles hold me accountable regardless, I merely posted this because it came to mind, and because I am having a particularly bad day today so it felt appropriate.
  2. robroy

    robroy Well-Known Member

    Hey Dante I know you say you don't want any consolation, but just from reading this story it sounds like you did everything you could do and that you were a good friend :)
  3. Dante

    Dante Well-Known Member

    In every situation there is a perfect combination of actions and words which will achieve the desired result no matter what, I failed to find that perfect combination, simple as that. Its not self pity, simply the guilt of failure. Some things must be done, when these things come around failure isn't an option, it doesn't matter how slim the chances of success, you must succeed, and if you fail its on you, or in this case, me.
  4. Johnny Messina

    Johnny Messina Well-Known Member

    I somehow feel that you were in love with this girl...
  5. True-Lee

    True-Lee Well-Known Member

    Dante, I do not question that there may be a formula like you say in your post and yes you are right about it having to be perfect,
    I believe that you as well would have to be perfect, if you are not, there is not and should not be guilt even involved in that formula, or everyone here would be guilty of something by virtue of the fact we are human, we are born imperfect, everyone here has flaws or imperfections. I do not know how anyone could even think to say they are perfect. I have not heard you say that you are. nor have you implied it, I am not trying to put you down or judge you, because you did make an attempt, I do not think that you should feel guilty for that, in your own words you were in the onset of depression, I know what it is like, I have a hard enough time living from day to day even when I am, let alone thinking that I could stop someone from doing themselves harm. I have lost friends to suicide, I could no more have stopped them then I could have stopped rain from falling. I am sorry that someone you tried to help has gone and left you behind. I cannot see where in this whole world we have failed to stop anyone that is seriously and earnestly committed to killing themselves can be stopped, if we could and were able to we would not need this room. I truly hope that you can accept that someday and go on with your life, there are things we can do in this world, I wish I could just save one person, all I can do is try. I am glad that you have joined this Forum. We are here for you, like others are/were here for me, This is a safe place, we will support and help you. I hope that you will not think ill of me for suggesting you are blameless, that is your call, as you say you know the facts, I was not there, you were, I just want you to know, I will make no judgement, on you! irregardless of what happened you are here will us, we and I will help anyway we can! We Care About You!
  6. Dante

    Dante Well-Known Member

    I wasn't, it just takes a lot for me to consider someone a real friend and I value those friends, and I failed one of those friends.

    I don't blame anyone for calling me blameless, logically I know there is nothing I could realistically have done, but sometimes a thing just has to be done, there is no 2 ways about it, it doesnt matter if it is realistic or not, you get it done because it must be done, and when such an occurrence happened to me, I failed. I am not letting it hold me back, I am not wallowing it self-pity or paying penance, I just keep it as something I should never forget, the time I failed so badly when so much was riding on it.

    I believe that even if you don't need to pay for your failures you should never forget them, like all the monuments to all those who died for the wars of years past, I cant let such a failure go unremembered, it will be remembered and regretted for the rest of my life, its the least I owe.
  7. Johnny Messina

    Johnny Messina Well-Known Member

    no you did not, you did much more than most people would... trust me... watching tv and beeing able to sleep were just strange reaction