He stands on the edge, staring at the crowded street 40 stories down. But he doesn’t see the cars or the people or the pavement. He focuses on nothing but the sound in his head…those relentless voices, fighting with each other, just as they have been for months.
You’re worthless. You’re losing it. If people knew, they’d laugh. But what about the people you love? How cruel would it be, to leave them like this? But, if you don’t, you’ll be suffering forever…
His toes curl around the ledge. He leans toward the sky.
There must be a way to stop the voices…
Greg: Jimmy! What are you doing?!
Jimmy: Just go home, Greg! You don’t understand what I’m going through, okay?
Greg: You’re right! Nobody else can possibly understand how dark it gets, in that head of yours.
Jimmy: …exactly. I’m alone in here. (*Clenching his teeth) Except these goddamned voices. I gotta stop the voices, Greg!
Greg: Listen to me, Jimmy. It’s the disease talking. You’ve got a disease, just like cancer. You’re not thinking–
Jimmy: (*screaming) Oh believe me! I’m thinking! Thinking is all I do! I’m awake thinking All. Night. Long. I can’t get any rest. (trailing off*) ..I just need some rest… I only want rest.
Greg: I have no idea what you’re going through, Jim. I mean, I’ve struggled with hopelessness before, but never that bad. I can’t pretend to understand…
Jimmy: (sniffling*) So you don’t blame me, then? You don’t think I’m being selfish out here?
Greg: Of course not, Jimmy!!! What a horribly judgmental thing to say. Suicide is not selfish or cowardly or the easy way out. People only stigmatize suicide because they don’t understand mental illness.
Jimmy: Exactly! I’m stuck in this broken mind! This is the only choice I have left, Greg! It’s the only choice I have left… (he leans toward the open air*) …but I just can’t stop thinking about my mom. And my sister. And my dog. What will this do to them, Greg?!
Greg: That’s the problem, Dude… You’re always trying to be strong for others. Nobody knows what you’re going through except YOU. Why do you worry what we think?
Jimmy: I just don’t want their final memory of me to be weakness.
Greg: No, depression and anxiety are not a sign of weakness. They just prove that you’ve tried to remain strong for too long.
Jimmy: That’s right. Too long is right. And I won’t keep pushing a day longer… (he starts to lean out again*)
Greg: (looking upset, but remaining still*) I think people should be free to live or die as they choose. If you jump, it wouldn’t be “selfish” or “wrong.”
*Jimmy steps off the ledge and falls*
Greg: (*calling over the edge*) You’re free, Jimmy!
If we wouldn’t say this stuff to somebody on the ledge, why do we say it after they’re gone?