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Author says suicide shouldn't be taboo subject

Rizzo's wife and younger brother brought him to the emergency room, after which he was sent for a psychological evaluation, he said.

"Seeing your father cry kind of wakes you up a little bit," said Rizzo. "Then getting in the safety vehicle, when you get in the back of a passenger car and there's a driver and a nurse in the front and a nurse next to me, and I look to my right and the door handle was broken off so you couldn't get out.

"I realized, 'Wow, I'm going to the psych ward now,'" he said.

Rizzo said the experience helped him realize that he was not only hurting himself but those he loved.

He then made the courageous decision to turn his personal crisis into a positive endeavor by piecing together several notebooks of poetry he had written since his early teens. The poems chronicled his life's journey, good times and bad, which Rizzo described as "a culmination of my 30 years here on this earth."

"I was ashamed and scared and embarrassed," Rizzo said of his suicide attempt. "And then I started the production for the book " it was already written, but I started to put it into book form."

Rizzo's story is not uncommon, but his story of success and hope is one that should be heard, said Sam Messina, a Bethlehem town councilman and former suicide crisis hotline counselor.

"It's time that the issue of suicide and depression come further in the social eye," he said. "It impacts society and it can impact any individual."

Messina said suicide has been appropriately described as "the perfect storm," when not just one incident, but a chain of events can lead to despair and a feeling of overwhelming emotional pain.

"It gets to the point for some people that the pain of going on with life is greater than the fear of death," said Messina. "The heartache of some of the callers is so great. They feel isolated, but being able to talk to someone confidentially can be very powerful."

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