Don’t Jump

Don’t Jump,
You’ll regret that,
Don’t throw it all away,
Take a step back
Staring in that black river
As the waves shimmer,
Doesn’t matter if you’re a great swimmer
Don’t Jump,
It’s colder than you think,
As soon as you let go,
You’ll be overcome
By an instinct
To survive
Too late,
You’ll have sealed you fate,
You’ll go to your grave
Knowing stepping off was a mistake
Don’t Jump,
I can see you’re hurting,
I can see you’re suffering,
The rivers lined
Wae restaurants and casinos
You can’t afford to play or eat in
You’re told to be grateful to work in,
Pretending you’re tougher than you are
To express your masculinity,
No industry left
To feel a sense of purpose or dignity,
While they tell ye
That yer problem’s privilege,
But think eh yer mates,
Think of your sisters,
Think of yer Da’s face,
Try and see through the mirage that insanity paints
On the canvas of yer brain,
As it aches with sadness and pain
Don’t jump,
I know yer sick of the phone
The texts,
Being one of the best and getting no respect,
Losing yourself in a coke sesh,
Going fae sober and fresh to a total mess,
Loast and depressed,
In your own head
Abandoned sleeping bags
Oan shop steps,
Women forced to sell torn flesh
To more men
For the money to score smack off the same guy that’s whoring them
Yer burd won’t connect,
Normal porn’s a snore fest
Compared to faux cest
Forced sex,
The impulses you get when yer no coping,
Bring you more stress
One more step,
To the edge,
Don’t Jump
Realise yer brilliance,
The mild stimulants
You use to manage hypervigilance,
A toxic algorithm,
On a pendulum,
Oscillating violently
Between humility and narcissism,
This city isny pretty,
Its brutal in its beauty,
But I swear to God,
It would be worse withoot ye,
I know why they dae it,
I know why these boys top themselves,
While am standing on this fuckin bridge,
Talking to myself




Many of us have been affected by suicide in some way – whether it’s ourselves, a loved one, or someone we know. Suicide is of concern to all of us. It is a leading cause of death among young people and men are three times more likely to take their own lives compared to women. Yet we still find it difficult to talk about suicide. Now is the moment for change. More details here:

Comments (19)

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  1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    Love the rhythm, love the sentiment, love the way it has been expressed.

    But, if yer gaunae emulate the Glesga wey a speakin, go the hale wey, Loki, ma man.

  2. Axel P Kulit says:

    Very stark.

    Good work.

  3. Wul says:

    This had much more impact for me being written down than if it had been rapped. Made me appreciate the poetry more. Probably just my age.

    Good, powerful, true words. It’s really hard just now. I’m lucky to have a garden, good family relations and my kids are past school age. God knows how I would cope being shut in a flat, with young kids or difficult relationships. Lack of meaning and agency in our lives is a stone killer.

    The way it gets you is you start to think that topping yourself is for the best. That everyone else will be better off without you. That is a delusion though. Thank you for reminding us we need to watch out for the black dog visiting us or our friends and to help each other.

  4. SleepingDog says:

    I think, though, the problem is not always the hyper-individualistic ego-range of a:
    “Oscillating violently
    “Between humility and narcissism”
    Some people contemplating suicide say that they feel the world would be a better place without them. They may express a kind of altruism as a motive. And whatever they feel they have done wrong (or doomed to do wrong in future) may seem unbalanceable: scales which weigh negatives rather than a swinging pendulum. Partly that may be a narrowing and skewing of viewpoint going alongside forms of depression. With hindsight, many people may realize that some problems are quite fixable, even if they seemed insurmountable in their darkest hour.

    Some people have found stories of personal journeys out of darkness helpful. Some have found philosophy helpful. Alain de Botton’s book The Consolations of Philosophy became the retitled Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness when made into a television series. There is a general point about addressing our own expectations of what constitutes a good life or happiness for ourselves. Maybe we really value some things more than personal happiness, and can thrive even in adversity (sometimes because of it), developing new skills, seeing with a fresh perspective, becoming more useful in ways not previously imagined.

  5. Angus says:

    I mean, imagine what it must of been like for a Polish or Lithuanian kid in a school in say Scunthorpe during Brexit (how much the per usual bullying would’ve increased) or a kid from Scunthorpe in Dundee during the Indyref. Awful.

    1. This is really disgraceful and embarrassing, whoever you are.

  6. Alan Bissett says:

    Oh man. Talk about missing the point.

  7. Lynsey Stuart says:

    You heartless bastard. Right now, in the middle of a pandemic, there many thousands of people living on their own. People who had decent lives before but who have been overlooked, their suffering sidelined, out of sight out of mind indeed. How many have you been keeping in touch with? How many have you messaged or phoned regularly just to say ‘hi’ or ‘how are you’? Every single one of us has a role in the current mental health crisis and we only need to look at our own circle to see exactly what our role is?

  8. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

    The bottom line for me is that the principle of autonomy requires that everyone has the right to decide the timing and circumstances of their own death. This is why the killing of others is to varying degrees wrong: it infringes, either directly or indirectly, the principle of autonomy.

    This conclusion is in direct conflict with the principle of heteronomy, which allows for that decision to be under the control of others; e.g. the state, medical experts, loved ones, moral bystanders, etc.

    It’s always sad when someone chooses to take their own life; it’s a deprivation that those who are deprived by the suicide’s decision often regret and grieve.

    But if we value autonomy, then our own loss and our feelings attendant on that loss can’t become a pretext for suicide prevention; i.e. for preventing others from taking back control of their own lives in what, in extremis, they perceive to be the only way that is ultimately left to them.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Anndrais mac Chaluim, so you think it is always right for a person to do what they want? Even if they escape obligations or cheat justice by suicide? To take information of extreme importance to others to the grave? You can value autonomy without making it your God.

      1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

        It’s always right relative to the principle of autonomy; it may be wrong relative to the principle of heteronomy. That’s what I think.

      2. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

        Correction: it [doing what you want] can only be wrong relative to the principle of heteronomy.

        1. SleepingDog says:

          @Anndrais mac Chaluim, but autonomy on its own is not enough. After you have the basics of a good life (and, for example, you are not drowning in debt or crippled by anxiety), there are other things that motivate you: Daniel Pink adds Mastery and Purpose to Autonomy in his work on Drive:

          I would say that if people lack mastery (they have not developed enough skills) and purpose (they don’t feel they can do something useful) then autonomy is not really going to help: like a Consumer can have as much choice and the ability to acquire stuff as they can imagine, but not have mastered anything or contributed anything useful (the current ignoble lie is that consumers make a useful contribution to the world by feeding the Economy, and that being able to use a shopping or gambling app constitutes a worthwhile skill). My guess is lacking any one of autonomy, mastery and purpose would significantly raise the risk of suicide amongst those of pre-retirement age.

          And of course, if your autonomy has led you to make what you currently consider bad choices, and you don’t have anyone else to blame but yourself, and you’ve neglected to develop your own skills, and you haven’t searched out and found a purpose, then I guess your outlook may be similarly bleak. But again, these can often be fixed by making better choices, and I guess that is what the poem is expressing.

    2. Gashty McGonnard says:

      Anndrais, I don’t object to you defending autonomy in the rather personal matter of continuing to live, or otherwise.

      But I read the poem, as being about suicide as a last resort for someone already deprived of all other autonomy and agency: social, economic, self-expression, control of their own addictive behaviours, and so on. I hope you’re not suggesting it’s immoral to engage in dialogue with somebody in those circumstances, and ask them to step back and look at other options. (Maybe you’re not?)

      1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

        Not at all. I’m not big on moralising. Laissez-faire!

        1. SleepingDog says:

          @Anndrais mac Chaluim, “not big on moralising”?! You’re a flippin’ Sermon Tank! I suppose people who identify as winners in the status quo might have a bit of blindness: whether morality or politics the drive is to depoliticize and demoralize, with the old There Is No Alternative. Because if there were valid alternatives, their choices would have to be examined. But in reality, there’s a swanfoot fury devoted to maintaining the status quo. Where, in the UK, some people have comparatively very few choices open to them, and various forms of quick or slow suicide makes up a corresponding large proportion of them.

          1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            Aye, but there are always alternatives; to insist that there aren’t is to victimise – i.e. disempower – the autonomous subject, to make them needy and therefore dependent for their fate on [the sympathy/charity/goodwill/justice of] some external agency, usually one’s own. To insist that others have no choice is ultimately an assertion of one’s own will to power.

            But every deliberate action – including whether or not to jump – necessarily involves an inalienable choice, a ‘yes’, a ‘no’, a straight line, a goal.

            As I said over on the Mental Health Recovery thread, I’m much more concerned about psychological guilt [than about the use of moral guilt to make people feel bad], the choice we have in how we respond to our feelings, whether creatively or destructively, and the role of therapy in freeing that choice.

            Here endeth this morning’s sermon!

          2. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            All this puts me in mind of one of my wee exercises in phenomenology: a poem-sequence (‘suggestions for the promotion of good mental health’) I wrote lang syne, while I was liberating myself from a bout of what the powers that be at the time diagnosed as ‘mental ill-health’. Here’s the final poem in the sequence, ‘become an ex-suicide’.


  9. Gashty McGonnard says:

    Maist pomes ur pash.
    Odd wan’s no that pash.
    Odd wan.

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