I called my dad and informed him that I was ready to end my life. This was not the first time I’d considered this course of action. This was, however, the first time I was bold enough to seek my father’s permission. I felt ready to do it a few times before but the thought of what pain that would cause my parents always stopped me. This time, however, I figured that perhaps if I just prepped them in advance, they would be okay with it (or at least prepared for it). My calculations were wrong. My father promptly informed that no parent would ever be okay with their child committing suicide. From time to time I hear of friends and others who are considering it. I understand completely.

I seriously considered taking my life a couple of years back because I had been chronically unemployed for a few years- I said years. I didn’t see a way out. I had degrees but none of them were marketable and I didn’t perceive myself as having any marketable skills either. I couldn’t even get a job at McDonalds or Family Dollar. No one would hire me. I tried to start a few businesses but none of them ever worked. After three years of that, I honestly didn’t ever see things changing. I couldn’t see a way out. If nothing had changed in three years, why should I hold out hope for next week? Whenever I thought about this, the student loans I had in the hundreds of thousands, the slim chance I’d have at love and marriage given my financial situation etc., the only option I felt I had was to graciously check out of life. 
Many people feel the same everyday. Like myself, they see no likelihood that the situation will change. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all go away. I wish I could give precious promises and assurance that on this date and this time the world will change for them. I wish I could tell them with perfect knowledge that it will all work out and it’s only temporary. I wish I could tell them that all the answers to life’s questions are just behind some magical door that they need only walk through next week. But I can’t.
Understanding this, I shall only speak that which I know with full confidence. I’ll tell them that I love them deeply. I’ll tell them that my world, this world at large, would be without one of the most brilliant people on the planet should they leave. I will tell them that I understand and that for me, too, life ain’t been no crystal stair. I’ll tell them that my heart hurts when they hurt. I’ll tell them that their pain truly is my own because of the love I have for them. I’ll tell them that I’ll always be there for them. I’ll tell them that whatever they need or just want, if I can find a way I’ll do or get it. I’ll tell them they mean so much to me (or someone else) and I will stand beside them in this dark cloud if they want me to because I simply love them with all purity. These are the things I can say in all truth, my friends.


Duane Terrell

Been There Done That.

I didn't tell any one though. I just suffered in silence. I didn't want to be in pain during the ordeal and I definately didn't want to screw it up and be in worse shape. In addition to all of that I was too broke to buy a gun.

My fahter was already dead so couldn't talk to him, I had never really talk to mother about anything so no point their either.

The thing that kept me afloat was 1) I didn't know where I would end up in the after life. 2) I didn't want to burdern my mother with funeral expenses.

So, since committing sucide was more expensive than staying alive I chose to stay alive and I decided that if no one wanted to hire me, fine. I would use my God given talents to the best of my ability and wherever they took me either to homelessness or the white house then it would just be where I ended up.

I'm still here and still struggling. 2007 looked like it was going to be the turn around I was so desperately looking for in 1999 but alas the economy tanked, lost 50% of my business and I'm wondering what should I do.

I'm closer to homlessness than the whitehouse but I'm still here, and as long as I am here there is opportunity.


I've never actually been in the shoes you mention, but I do remember when I was at one of the darkest points in my life. It wasn't a feeling of uselessness, but I was more like whats the point if I'm not good enough to do what I enjoy doing? Its interesting because I relate this to another post you wrote a while back over at UrbanCusp about belief. I went to church last Wednesday and the sermon was all about fear – how its not an emotion given by God and how God wants us to access our full potential. This is a great message and stuff, but during the sermon – when I was hearing this stuff, I was reminded of what I've been through and the questions I asked about God. How do I know I'm doing "God's work"? Maybe I'm just being selfish and just doing what I want. I mean, I never saw a burning bush or anything like that. I had dreams (like close your eyes go to sleep and see visions dreams), but is that God or just me envisioning what I want? Stuff like this stressed me a whole lot….especially when I was going through this dark time. And what's more is that the community would upset (?depress?) me as well because they'd see me and say "awe you're so talented, you can be whatever you want" and that was upsetting because I knew I had a dream, like ONE dream, but it wasn't coming true.

But the end of that sermon on Wednesday talked about the process of going through a fire first. That kinda stuck with me because now (years removed from that particular instance), it does seem like that. I had my (non-religious) friends say that its all about breaking you down so that you can be built back up – the right way. They were telling me (mostly after the fact) that the whole process is natural, especially when you're at your lows.

I think about that now and I think about how I kept myself inspired. There were some people in my circle that kept inspiring me. And even when I didn't want to talk to them because I knew what they'd say, just knowing what they'd say was sometimes enough to get me out of the bed that day. Then I've got a collection of songs from Jazz to ol school R&B to hip hop, and its kinda like Lupe says on The Cool (Hip Hop Saved My Life). I've got a CD called "Tupac Therapy" with songs that remind me of the struggle, but also remind me of things like "keep your head up" / "life goes on" / "unconditional love" and put a smile on my face. So whenever I get too down about my current situation or because things look too bleak, I try to focus on some of these things. And I also try to get out of the house and be around people. Especially doing something like volunteering cause there I get a feeling of reward for what I'm doing that can really battle whatever's got me down.

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