I am very grateful for a discussion currently going on on an e-mail list that I subscribe to. It's about suicide—who has ever contemplated it and who has ever helped a friend not go through with it.
I momentarily thought of suicide, to stop the emotional pain and upheaval, when my first marriage was ending years ago. My therapist shocked me out of thinking too long about it by telling me that if I were serious, she would be forced to start a procedure to remove my daughter from my custody, for my daughter's protection. The thought that my ex might have total custody of my sweet child (who turns 26 tomorrow) and that I might not be allowed to see her if I survived snapped me right back into the moment.
It's immensely reassuring to hear from listmates whom I perceive as mostly having everything together that they've been to the abyss too—and survived.
We are all human and vulnerable. I wish for us all a strong inner parent to advise and comfort us. And may more of us learn to act as a sort of foster parent when friends' inner parents temporarily fail them.