When You're At A Crossroads In Life And Suicide Seems Like The Only Option, Choose Life

When You're At A Crossroads In Life And Suicide Seems Like The Only Option, Choose Life

In the darkest of times, it may feel like the only way to fix your life is to end it.

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Content warning: Suicide

Life can be a tangled mess when things get complicated. Take it from somebody who knows and understands - it's not an easy place to be, especially when you desperately want to get back on your feet again. In times such as these, it's all too easy to allow your mind to drift to that all-too-depressing question: would everything be better if I disappeared forever?

As a blatant and honest answer before even getting into it: no. Regardless of where you stand in life, nothing could ever be further from a solution. I've seen the effects of it, I've felt the weight of it, and I've had times where I've even considered it. In the end, nobody wins in these situations, and those left behind are undoubtedly worse off for it.

We have to keep a check on our own mentalities.

When left unchecked, it's surprising just how dark our mindsets can be. We constantly overthink the interactions we have with other people, especially after going through a negative experience, such as a breakup or the death of someone close to us. In times like these, it's too easy to lose ourselves in our depression - and before long, the idea of leaving everything behind seems that much more reasonable.

There's nothing easy about making sure you keep these feelings in check, but you'll find that when you keep on top of the things that are dragging you down, positivity isn't far behind.

Learn not to make every little thing so dramatic.

When we're down, it's far too easy to overexaggerate everything that's going on. The more we feed into this negative mentality, the more likely we may be to give in to it, with dire consequences waiting on the horizon.

Reach out to others and do something to calm your thoughts.

In this time period, find select people whom you trust and whom you know will take you seriously, and let them know what's going on. It's going to hurt, but any pain you feel from going through these conversations will be infinitely better than the alternative.

In addition, try going out and doing something to still your nerves. There are bound to be friends who will be excited to see you, or you could even just take a peaceful walk down your street or in the woods. The world is your oyster, and you have every reason to explore every part of it that you can. It's worked well for me personally.

Music helps when you're walking, but it's not necessary. Just focus on appreciating the beautiful world that surrounds you, and use that to remember just how much better off that world is with you in it.

My older brother was unable to keep from giving in to the worst of his thoughts, and the effects of that caused emotional scars on my family that will never be sealed. I've had many friends struggle with similar thoughts, and after the events of last year, there were a few occasions where I considered it myself.

All of us just need to take a step back and appreciate what we DO have every time we've convinced ourselves that there's nothing here for us anymore. There will be pain to come in your future, but it will be nothing compared to the suffering you would put others through if you were to go down that path.

Step back from those crossroads and come back home, back in the direction from which you came. Nobody can promise you a life without strife, but I can tell you that you would be doing yourself a disservice by cutting off all your potential forever.

Hang in there. Get the help you need. No matter how bad it may seem, it will get better. When you keep this in mind, nothing can ever stop you.

It's time we got out and made some new memories.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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My Story As A Recovering Self-Harmer

Content warning: Self-harm.

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Since high school, I have physically and knowing self-harmed as a way to distract myself. It has been almost 7 years and right now I have only been a few months clean. In the past 7 years, I have relapsed more than a couple of times. I have gone months at a time and found myself at a breaking point.

I know it's nobody's business and it might be oversharing but this is meant for primary readers. For those who are going through recovery or just began today. If secondary or tertiary readers stumble upon this then I hope it helps you understand from the other side.

I am still recovering. The thing about addiction is that you can never fully be "cured." You can be clean for years and still relapse. The key is to decide to try again.

I call it an addiction because it was. I grabbed the razor before I could even understand why I was numb. I did it multiple times a day and sometimes I didn't need an actual reason.

It was a sort of ripple effect. I couldn't stop the ripples into turning into the next one and instead, I just watched as they spread. One second I was OK and the next I locked the door.

Some people smoke and some people drink. I hate the smell of smoke and can't stand the taste of alcohol but I often wish I could use those as a distraction for my distraction. I do many things now to distract myself from getting too close to another relapse. I let out a scream to alarm my family or I start running. The first few seconds of the attempt are the hardest. It's an internal pain that makes you itch inside out.

After a few minutes have passed I can usually begin to calm myself. I sit down and remind myself that everything is OK. It isn't always easy so calling a friend is always an option.

Sometimes I end up crying in order to release all the built-up emotions. When minutes have passed and I am still filled with tears I force myself to grab something to eat. I have realized that I can't cry and eat at the same time. I grab anything. Sometimes my siblings make me something instead.

I am seeking professional help for those who are wondering. I am almost half a year clean and I have two caring and supportive friends and a family who does their best to understand and support me.

Recovery is not easy when it comes to mental illness because the results aren't always visible like a broken bone. Any amount of self felt recovery is amazing. It's a step towards a better you. Talking to people and seeking professional help are all steps.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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