I work in (among other places) the American Automotive industry. Big plants, big unions, big pressure. Gran Torino Get-off-my-lawn style, just a generation younger.
This morning, a guy at the plant who worked night shift committed suicide in the parking lot. He got off work, got in his car, pulled his pistol from the glovebox, put it in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. There's a rumor that it's wife/kids leaving-implosion-situation, but regardless I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how he got to that point.
You see, I've been to the bottom, or at least as close as you can get without living on the street. I've faced the fact that my child will likely be born with a debilitating disease. We thankfully dodged that bullet but her first 2 months of life were spent in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) with 4 major surgeries along the way, including the first one 5 minutes after she was born. I made nowhere near enough to pay those bills with shitty small business insurance, but $10k too much for charities to even consider me. I had a March of Dimes (USA Charity) rep in the NICU tell me that if I'd divorce my wife that Medicaid would cover most and they would pick up the rest. That's what they did for our room neighbor's baby whose baby-daddy was in jail and she lied about having insurance. I was hard headed and proud then. Today I think I'd be more pragmatic.
I've declared bankruptcy. I've been foreclosed on. $350k+ of medical bills going to Collections will make that acceptable real fast. During that time I had my identity stolen along with my debit card (mid 2000s) and went negative value, can't deposit a check or it will be seized broke, for a few months until I got the fraud sorted.
In that time, when I was at my lowest, I never once considered suicide. And I think it was just a matter of keeping perspective.
I've had a lot of jobs. Most I've left voluntarily, one or two it wasn't by my choice. But I am confident in my value so I don't worry about finding work.
I've struggled recently with alcohol. 1-2 drinks turns into 5-6 too often (past 5 years, not previously). I can go a week sober no problem, but I enjoy the buzz too much for my long term health. I don't want to eagerly anticipate happy hour anymore. I walked out to my car mid morning today to do my video chat appointment for Sinclair method Naltrexone. It's a problem that's been slowly growing, so I'm going to fix it. At that time I find out about suicide dude, 3 hours earlier 150' away. And I think, damn, how bad does it have to be to go to that headspace?
So I'm sitting there thinking "my life isn't perfect, but damn how could it ever get to that point?" and I just don't see it. If you read this and you can bridge the gap in my understanding, take a big step back and reevaluate.
She left you? Ok, there's 3.5 billion women on the planet she's not that special. There's more women like her. She didn't arrive on a pedestal, you put her there.
She's taking your kids? Ok, get a good lawyer to limit the damage. Remain positive, be as much a part of your kids' life as possible, and play the long game. My home-life was good early, but rough as a teenager. My father and I get along great as adults, even though I respect him less now (lifetime blue pill) than I did as a child. My mother and I get along fine too. Stay in your child's life and they will understand you as adults later.
Lost your job? Eh, it's not the end of the world. USA doesn't have debtor's prison, the worst that happens is they take your stuff and you start over. Been there, done that, it isn't fun but it's nowhere near the black hole that it's perceived to be.
Feel stuck and powerless? It's all in your head. Being born in the USA (Or Canada, Australia, NZ, or Western Europe) gives you a financial and opportunistic advantage over most of the rest of the world. Make a plan and work it, you're already better off than a significant part of global population.
At the end of the day you're a man, you have value or at least the potential to be valuable and the world will open to you if you put in the work. You should go into the darkness clawing for another breath, not meekly accepting or worse yet welcoming it.
If you feel like checking out please recognize that is not normal, and perhaps you're not calibrated to the realities of life as squarely as you think. Please talk to someone