I’m trying not to be.
I finally decided I was going to do it. I was going to reach out to one of those suicide helplines that have online chat rooms. (I am purposely not listing which one it was because, for all I know, I just got the one awful person there.)
I was fourth in line.
I waited and played around in FB.
My turn came up.
“Ana” was the person I got.
I told her I wasn’t sure how to start, and she asked if I was feeling suicidal.
We chatted for about 10 minutes.
I ended the chat by telling her I would call the hotline instead and logged out.
I did not call the hotline.
I felt like I had just gotten done talking to that old computer program/game that would parrot what you said back to you. I don’t remember what it was called, but according to Wikipedia, one version was called Eliza, and I found a free version of it online at http://www.manifestation.com/neurotoys/eliza.php3.
When I logged in to the chat, I had estimated my feelings as a 3 on a scale of 1 doing great and 5 doing horrible. Afterwards, they asked me to rate my feelings, and I went for a 4.
I honestly thought I could have gotten better advice from a fortune cookie. In fact, I have a number of fortunes taped to my computer screen, and some of them were way more motivation than what I got in my chat room.
In the box where they asked for feedback, I said that I felt like I had gotten platitudes from a computer. I could not tell that there was an actual living human being on the other end.
I’m really, really, really hoping that my experience was a one-off. I’m really, really hoping that other people who call go away feeling better instead of worse. And I’m really, really hoping that my week starts feeling better.