Thursday, April 2, 2009

A second chance

Justin Lall had the world at his feet. He was 22-years old, personable, attractive and one of the best in the world at what was important to him: playing bridge.

Lall is ranked as a World International Master by the World Bridge Federation. He won the Junior Teams in international play twice: in Sydney, Australia, in 2005, and again in Bankok, Thailand, in 2006.

Lall had a goal to win a North American Bridge Championship while still a teenager. At the Chicago NABC in 2006, his team won the GNT Championship Flight. He was 19.

But things weren't as rosy as they seemed -- Lall was battling bipolar disorder. It had been controlled by medication, but he didn't like the side effects, and had stopped taking it. He had moved from his native Texas to New York City.

One day, last February, his world came crashing down, literally. He jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge!

Many people have done this, but only 12 have done so and survived. He was number 12.

Lall has, for now, moved back to Texas. His old blog, Squeezing the Dummy, isn't updated any more. He has started a new blog here. As I see it, changing from the old blog to the new is significant, metaphorically -- he's starting over.

Lall is frank about his suicide attempt, and you can read about it. He introduces it in Part 1, and gives some background in Part 2.

You can read about The Story in Part 3, and read about what he calls The Aftermath in Part 4.

But don't just go there to be a voyeur. Go there to enjoy his blog posts. Go there to understand how this remarkable young man thinks about bridge. Go there to read about a person who has been granted a second chance.

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