This story has special meaning to me. I can proudly say that I have helped my friend when he was trying to commit suicide, & I was a few states from him. If 1 of ur friends is thinking about this, help him/her right away..u don't know what it's like ta save someone's life unless u did it already

A Call for Help

My dear friend Lindsay; she had been part of my life since kindergarten. We met over her ninety-six pack of Crayolas, a big thing to a five-year-old. She was a born comedian, with more talent, creativity, laughter, love and curly red hair than she knew what to do with. The greatest thing about our friendship was that we completely understood each other. We always had a smile, a joke, a shoulder or an ear to lend to one another. In fact, our favorite thing to do was to have our parents drop us off at a restaurant, where we would have these outragously long talks over Mountain Dews, Diet Cokes and the most expensive dessert our baby sitting money would allow.

It was over one such talk in seventh grade where the subjet of suicide came up. Little did I know that this would be a conversation that would forever change our relationship. We talked about how weird it would be if one of our friends ever commited suicide. We wondered how families could ever get over such a tragedy. We talked about what we thought our funerals would be like. This conversation was definitely the most morbid one we had ever had, but I did not think about it too much. I assumed that, at one time or another, everyone wonders who will cry and what will be said at their funeral. It never entered my mind that his talk was a cry for help from my beloved friend. Whenever this topic came up, I had the same frame of mind as my mother - we could never understand how one's life could get so desperate that the only alternative was death. However, we ended our talk with a laugh about how we were too "together" to ever do something so drastic, and we parted with a hug and a "Call me if you need anything."

I didn't think about our conversation until three weeks later, when I recieved a phone call from Lindsay. I immediatly knew something was wrong when she did not begin the conversation with a bouncy hello and a good story. Today she came right out and asked me if she was important to my life and if she meant anything to this world. I answered with an energetic "Of course! I don't know what I'd do without you!" Lindsay then told me something that sent chills up my spine and neck. She told me that she felt lost, confused, worthless, and that she had a bottle of pills in her hand. She said that she was fully prepared to take them all, to end her life. Was this the girl who sat next to me in English class and with whom I loved to get in trouble? Was this the girl who loved bright colors, laughing, and striking up conversations with anyone in the world? Was this my wonderful, funny friend who was so bubbly and light that she practically floated though life?

My reality then came into check and I realized that this was my friend, and for that reason, I had to keep her on the phone. I then started the longest phone conversation in my life. Over the next three-and-a-half hours, Lindsay told me her troubles. And for three-and-a-half hours, I listned. She spoke of how she got lost in her large family(fifteen children, and she was the baby), how her self-confidence was low from her appearance(which I thought was beautiful and unique), how was was anorexic the summer before(I was too busy playing softball to notice), how she was confused about her future - whether or not she would follow her dreams or her parents' wishes, and how she felt completely alone. I kept telling her over and over how original, beautiful, and important her dreams and personality were to our lives. Byt this time, we were both crying; she was frustrated, I was pleading for her life.

My mind then reached out at what I assumed was my final chance at helping Lindsay; I told her three simple things. I first told her that everyone has problems. It's a part of life. That overcoming these problems and moving onto greater heights is what life is all about. The second thing I told her was that if life was as bad as she said, then things couldn't possible get worse. There wasn't room for any more failure - things had to improve. The final simple thing I told her was that I, or someone close to her, would always b there, no matter what trials may come into her life. I told her thaty the fact that we were having this conversation, that she wanted me to know what was going on, proved my theory that she really wanted to live. If she wanted to end her life, she would have just done it. But, since she took the time to call, her mind was saying "Help! I want to keep my life!" After I finished that last statement, I heard the best sound in the world - Lindsay flushing the pills down the toilet.

I think went to her house, and we talked about how she could start putting her life back together. We got her some help, and eventrally, Lindsay overcame her issues. I am proud to say that Lindsay and I will be starting the eleventh grade together in the fall, she is getting excellent grades, and is a happy teenager. The road there wasn't easy, and we both slipped a few times. But, the important thing is that we raised ourselves up and arrived.

- Jill Maxbauer