ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY SURE?
When I told a friend I was writing this book he said, "Well, I guess as long as they continue
reading it, they haven't made a final decision to die." And so, since I still have your attention, I
am going to assume that you haven't made the ultimate decision just yet. Or maybe even if you
have, you might be willing to reconsider. As someone once said of the person who had really and
finally and once-and- for-all made up his mind to kill himself, "He died ten minutes ago.'
What I hope is true of you at this moment is that you are still uncertain about taking your own
life. And because I have talked to hundreds of suicidal people, I can make a pretty good guess
that you, even in your darkest hour, remain torn between ending your life and trying to go on
with it. This is as it should be and, though it may not make you feel any better, almost all people
considering suicide remain unsure about taking their own lives- even up to the moment they
make an attempt. I can still remember interviewing a woman who had jumped from a bridge into
a rushing river and survived. She had worn her raincoat because, as she put it, "I didn't want to
If I can make another guess about what has been going on inside your head and heart, it is that
you have had long and difficult discussions with yourself about whether to live or die. In the
psychology business, we call this ambivalence.