My Fix for the Suicide Problem

I didn’t hear that Kate Spade had died until late in the evening.

My wife told me.

She found out on facebook or instagram or something.

The way that I discover news is by hearing it by friends on Slack or by my wife.

I haven’t found that I miss out on much. But, arguably, I’m rarely the first to hear about anything.

I can live with that.

Anyway, it’s sad. I really liked her handbags. I mean, I didn’t own any myself, but I could pick them out in a crowd.

While I was writing this post, I overheard the women in front of me talking to her friend about Kate. “She’s only 55 she’s such a wonderful person, she donates to so many causes. She’s 55. She looks great. She’s “such a woman of our generation.”

”And she killed herself with a scarf. A red scarf tied to a doorknob.”

“A successful woman. Why would she kill herself? I think she was depressed.”

“Women of color, they don’t kill themselves.”

OK, well, the subject seems to be changing over there.

And now I hear about Anthony Bourdain, and, well, shit. If he didn’t have life figured out, then I don’t know who the fork does.

The Vox says that

white, middle-aged males commit suicide

Hey! That’s me! Which just goes to show I know a thing or two about all this. And then there’s this:

Man. Not a good time to be a white middle-aged male in the US.

Luckily, I can help a bunch of them/us:

Introducing The Do-Over Button

My plan is to give everybody a button that, when pushed, whisks them away to Mexico. Or New Zealand. Or, maybe…Canada?

Here’s how it works:

You sign up for the Escape Clause service. Or maybe you’re signed up as part of your life-insurance plan. Or, whatever. Details.

As part of your lifetime subscription, you get a button.

When life gets really dark; when you just can’t go on; push the button.

As soon as you do this, we go into action. You can either erase your former life (all social media and email accounts are closed/archived, your computer password is changed, you cannot return to your previous life and others can’t log in to your stuff).

Or we just take you.

You basically die. Do everything you would if you were dying. Say your goodbyes. Leave. Everything.

When you die, you don’t get to take anything with you.

So maybe same goes with Escape Clause. You don’t get take anything with you.


You do get to start a new life.

This might even work if you’re bored with life. Though, if you’re a celebrity, while in your darkness spiral, you might not think it can really help. But there’s definitely a chance.

You go through life an you try, and you try, and you try. And maybe Bourdain never kicked the heroin. Or maybe he fought with his girlfriend and was just sick of it all. Or maybe…he just. Wanted. Out.

Our service can give you a new identity. A new place to leave. A new passport. A new name. New email. New facebook. Blank slate. Start over.

Our motto? We Do the Redo. The rest is up to you.

But would this even work?

I think so.

1) Suicide is about depression. You rarely hear stories of mentally-healthy people that purposely killed themselves. In most cases people have the disease of depression that is affecting the lens through which they are seeing the world.


Depression is triggered by powerlessness. Read anything by Martin Seligman and you’ll learn that the feeling of powerlessness lead to hopelessness which is strongly correlated with depression. Once people regain a sense of desirable possibility, they tend to struggle less with depression.

But what about Kate Spade? Surely she had power oozing out of hear ears.

But you don’t know what demons she tied with her identity. People can get so trapped in their identity, their life, their debts, their addictions and fears that they get to a point that they can no longer avoid them. And the only out they can find is ending it all.

Spade and Bourdain were both in the public eye. Their definition of success, of wholeness of happiness could be different from mine. They both seem to have accomplished so much, to have lived such actualized lives. But depression is a bad-ash motherforker. And you do crazy things. The hope is that the crazies is to push the Do-Over button.


This solution provides options within escape, rather than just escape without options. Escape isn’t the healthiest way to cope with your problems. But moving to your own personal Zihuatanejo, is just about the best way to “die” without ending a human life.

Now this person can take on a new identity. Will people be sad? Yes. Will they be hurt? Probably. But no worse than they would be if you had died.

There’s one other benefit that may come from having this option – its very existence could likely lead to it not being needed.

People often seek change through divorce, through running away, changing jobs, addiction, and as a last course of action, through death. But if you know this option is out there – if you know you’ve always got the red Do-Over button, it may give you enough sense of freedom that you never get to the point of actually pressing it.




National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255